Rosa 'Souvenir du Docteur Jamain'

or if its good enough for Vita .........
Souvenir du Docteur Jamain is a very beautiful rose.  It has lush dark red petals and it smells like a rose should smell.  It has a strong scent that on a warm day wafts across to where I sit in the garden.

I sought this rose out because I read that it was Vita Sackville West's favourite rose, well if its good enough for Vita then it is certainly good enough for me......

...... but.......
It has a tendency to be a bit manky (manky is a technical term).  Not all the flowers open, the buds quite often just stay balled up and whither away.

I know that this can be caused by rain/damp conditions, but this year it has not been very damp so far and this rose more than any other in garden suffers from this problem.  This is easily solved by removing the dead looking flowers so that new ones will develop. 
The rose does produce more good flowers than not and the colour and scent more than makes up for its irritating habit of mankiness.  I only have two, one shrub and one climber and the climber performs better than the shrub.  However, the climber has not actually climbed very far either, so it is a plant with some disappointment attached to it .....

....but if its good enough for Vita then it is good enough for me.