About this text


The roses
1. Gros Choux d'Hollande
2. Milkmaid
3. Jeanne D'Arc
4. Rubens
5. Slater's Crimson China
6. D'Aguesseau
7. Niphetos
8. Desprez à Fleur Jaune
9. Mme Alfred Carrière
10. Noëlla Nabonnand
11. Parkzierde
12. Bullata
13. Reine des Violettes
14. Solfaterre
15. Meg Merrilies
16. Reine des Iles Bourbon
17. Fortuniana
18. Sombreuil
19. Molly Sharman-Crawford
20. Gruss an Teplitz
21. Maman Cochet
22. Souvenir de la Malmaison
23. Fantin-Latour
24. Waldfee
25. Harison's Yellow



This is quite a misunderstood rose. Most books list it as hybridized in 1850, but it is actually much older. They also incorrectly indicate that it is named after a heroine of the French Revolution; in fact "Sombreuil" is a corruption of the older, original name, "Sommeil" ("Sleepiness"). The odor of this rose is a powerful soporific - hence the original name. Its sweet fragrance is said not only to induce sleep, but to cause peculiar dreams: dreams of magic, dreams of botanical obsession, dreams of great beauty.

There was a wise ruler who had a garden with nothing but specimens of this rose, grown as a labyrinth of hedges. All who entered soon fell asleep somewhere within its boundaries. The king provided chairs and cushions for this purpose. He ruled for many, many years.