My Vibert Roses

Georges Vibert 1Hello fellow rose lovers, how are we surviving January so far? I’m posting this from snow-covered Pennsylvania, where great drifts are piling up against the door and we can’t shovel ourselves out fast enough before its builds up again. There are 52 days until spring. There are 52 days until spring. Just keep repeating and try not to freak out.

Aimée Vibert Noisette RoseLet’s dive back into the roses, shall we? It’s said that a group of more than 3 similar items makes a collection, so I suppose you could say that I have (inadvertently) begun a tiny collection of Vibert roses in our garden. Apart from Austin roses, I never gave much thought to collecting a particular hybridizer’s roses but I have yet to come across a Vibert rose that I didn’t really like so I think I might be onto something here.  When I say Vibert, I am referring to the “master rose-hybridizer” Jean-Pierre Vibert (1777-1866.) Vibert led a very interesting life, even fighting for Napoléon before he was wounded and returned to Paris. Serendipitously, Vibert worked near a rosarium which supplied roses to the Empress Joséphine which apparently sparked his interest in roses. When the famed rose breeder Jacques-Louis Descemet (1761-1839) had to flee the country, his stock and notes were rescued by Vibert. From A Celebration of Roses it is said “Descemet was a close friend of Vibert… it was Vibert who very hurriedly removed tens of thousands of rose seedlings from Descemet’s rose fields to his own nurseries, so that they would not be destroyed by the armies opposing Napoléon as they advanced on Paris in 1815.” According to The Quest for the Rose, Vibert told his grandson shortly before his death “I have loved only Napoléon and roses… after all the evils from which I have suffered there remain to me only two objects of profound hatred, the English, who overthrew my idol, and the white worms that destroyed my roses.”

Petite Lisette 1 Petite Lisette 2 Petite Lisette 3 Petite Lisette 4In my collection, I have only 5 roses that came from Vibert’s garden, and 1 of those is very likely a mixup in commerce and of questionable Vibert-ness. I still like it, though. More on that in a minute. But let’s go in order of Vibert’s introductions and start with ‘Petite Lisette’ (1817), an Alba-Damask blend which I first shared on this blog HERE. I truly can’t find a single fault with ‘Petite Lisette’ other than she does not make a very good cut rose. Otherwise, perfection!

Sultane Favorite 1 Sultane Favorite 2 Sultane Favorite 3A new rose to our garden is one that may not actually be a Vibert rose. It’s called ‘Sultane Favorite’  (1823) and I purchased it as a band from Vintage before they closed. It happened to be under their Gallica category but as you can see from this listing, my Sultane Favorite does not match the Gallica described. There is another Sultane Favorite, a Portland, described HERE which more closely matches the one growing in our garden. However, according to HMF, “‘Sultane favorite’ and ‘Félicie’ in commerce is a Hybrid China and probably not the Portland by Vibert.” Hmmm. Well, either way, this is a very pretty and vigorous rose so I’m not complaining one bit. Nope!

Aimée Vibert AV 10-17-1Next is ‘Aimée Vibert’ (1828), a Noisette, which I’ve already introduced a few times HERE on the blog so there isn’t really much more to add except to say, once again, it seems nigh impossible for me to get a decent photo of this rose. It really is much prettier in person and what makes it so special, for me, is that it blooms when all the other roses have finished or are at rest.


L'IngenueYou know my love of Gallicas….so when I read about a white Gallica my heart went pitter-pat. A white Gallica? They’re usually in shades of pink! ‘L’Ingénue’ (1833) is actually a China/Gallica hybrid, and in our garden, was slow to get started. However, she was also the one that I was able to propagate via a “cutting” (read: rabbit damage), and prompted a whole new way of propagating roses last summer which worked out splendidly. So now this garden has two L’Ingénue roses (yay!) and I’ve finally cracked the code on propagating roses in this climate (double-yay!) Read more about this pretty little rose HERE.

Georges Vibert 2 Georges VibertMy last Vibert rose was actually introduced by Vibert’s chief gardener, M. Robert, who took over the nursery in 1851. According to HMF, “Between 1845 and 1851 both Vibert and Robert obtained roses, so that an axact attribution to either is difficult.” ‘Georges Vibert’ (1853), a Gallica, was named for Vibert’s artist grandson, Jehan-Georges Vibert. Again, I’ve talked about this rose a whole bunch so there’s not much more to add…other than I no longer have it! It was given away last autumn but I did manage to propagate some cuttings from it so it isn’t gone from me completely. See more photos of ‘Georges Vibert’ HERE.

Aimée Vibert 1To learn more about Vibert, including a list of his roses, see this really awesome article by Brent Dickerson HERE.

8 thoughts on “My Vibert Roses

    1. Hi Holly! We’ve been super lucky to have been able to enjoy so many roses over the past 5 years….but sadly many of them are gone now (gave away) and we will be leaving the rest behind when we move. It is nice to have all these photos to look back on and remember, though. Thanks for your visit! 🙂

  1. Gorgeous! I had to leave a home once where I had established wonderful gardens, both flower and vegetable. I still miss that place, and haven’t been anywhere long enough since to have even one satisfactory garden. I hope to rectify that soon. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to leave your fabulous roses. When will you be moving? Do you know where you’ll be going? xo ~ Nancy

    1. Aww thank you Nancy, that gave me a lift to know I will not be alone in missing my garden! It’s comforting to know there are other gardeners out there who have experienced the same and I hope you get to a place soon where you can really grow your flowers and veggies again. (PS: nothing solid yet, but hopefully we will finalize soon and I can start planning. 😉 )

  2. Thanks for including the history – I enjoy learning the back story with the old garden roses. I had my eye on Amy Vibert for a while, placed an order with Vintage Gardens in the last day bonanza orders but didn’t luck out.

    1. Oh shucks I’m sorry that one didn’t work out for you. Well, if it eases the blow, Aimée does tend to get brownish petals if it’s been raining a lot. Get Mme Plantier instead…if you don’t already have that one! 😉

  3. So romantic. So beautiful. I won’t argue that 52 days does not include those days of spring that really are more winter than spring. Snow in april, yeah, let’s just pretend it won’t happen.

    I kind of envy you your snow now, though. We have only a small amount of dirty, trodden snow. Ah well. Weather is always fickle and is rarely perfect (oh, those few perfect days…).

    Your rose photos always let me get away, at least momentarily!

    1. I’d be happy to send you some of this snow! Actually, I suppose I shouldn’t complain since it’s doing a nice job insulating. And you’re right, spring can come rather late here, too (snow in April!) but I try not to think about it. 😉

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