Please note this post has been edited from it’s original. We no longer grow ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ due to it’s susceptibility to black spot in our no-spray garden. This rose may be best suited to a drier climate.
Although it almost entirely lacks scent (it’s there but hardly noticeable) the blooms are so ridiculously pretty–like really, really pretty–that they more than make up for it.
Hybridized by Marie-Louise Meilland and introduced in 1985 by the Meilland rose company of France (who are responsible for so many other cherished roses), this rose goes by many synonyms including, ‘Eden’ ‘Eden Climber’ ‘Eden Rose 88’, and ‘Grimpant Pierre de Ronsard’ and it’s Registration name of MEIviolin. However, the American Rose Society’s Handbook refers to it as ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ in their handbook, so I will continue to refer to it by that name. (Meilland introduced a hybrid tea in 1950 also called ‘Eden Rose’. Confusing, isn’t it?)
‘Pierre de Ronsard’ is a large-flowered climber, reaching heights of 10+ feet and is listed as being hardy to zone 4 or 5, but from what I’ve read from other growers, it might be best to list it as hardy to zone 6. We grow ours in a south-facing position up against the house so have created a pleasant little micro-climate for it that provides some winter protection and late afternoon shade in the summer. (I’ve read that some gardeners have experienced problems with this rose surviving high heat conditions. I haven’t seen that problem, yet, with ours, but it could be the afternoon protection from the sun that we have provided. Something to keep in mind…)
‘Pierre de Ronsard’ has the look and charming appeal of an antique rose with full, cupped flowers containing approximately 5o+ petals. Even better, it has more than just one bloom-time (in our garden we get one big rush of blossoms in June followed by sporadic bursts the rest of the season), and it blooms on new wood. ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ is a “Romantica” rose, the french Meilland company’s answer to the David Austin English Roses. ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ was inducted into the World Federation Rose Society’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
‘Pierre de Ronsard’ was named for the french poet who was once in the court of Mary, Queen of Scots and who lived between the years of 1524-1585. Evidently he was also an avid gardener. Following is one of his poems (SOURCE)
See, Mignonne, hath not the Rose,
That this morning did unclose
Her purple mantle to the light,
Lost, before the day be dead,
The glory of her raiment red,
Her colour, bright as yours is bright?
Ah, Mignonne, in how few hours,
The petals of her purple flowers
All have faded, fallen, died;
Sad Nature, mother ruinous,
That seest thy fair child perish thus
‘Twixt matin song and even tide.
Hear me, my darling, speaking sooth,
Gather the fleet flower of your youth,
Take ye your pleasure at the best;
Be merry ere your beauty flit,
For length of days will tarnish it
Like roses that were loveliest.