Félicité Perpétue

A white rambling rose that we rescued from the jungle, and that Jackie trained along the front garden fence last year, is now blooming rampantly. The head gardener has now identified it as Felicite Perpetue.

Name that Plant website has this to say about its origins:

Rosa ‘Félicité Perpétue’ is a delicate yet vigorous Rambler which has been known since the early 19th century. Antoine A. Jacques  was the head gardener to Louis Phillipe, Duc d’ Orleans  for many years and took care of his estates which included Chateau Neuilly. Duc d’ Orleans( later the king of France) loved plants and had a vast collection for A.A. Jacques to work with. At Chateau Neuilly Jacques made some crosses of roses and named at least 3 which have gone on to become famous on their own. Those roses were  ‘Adélaïde d’Orléans’ in 1826, Rosa ‘Félicité Perpétue’ in 1827 and the less famous ‘Princesse Louise’ was introduced in 1829. 

Our white rambler was named in memory of two black Christian martyrs who died in Carthage in the Roman province of Africa in the year 203.

Perpetua was a young patrician, Felicity a young slave. They had both been baptised by the Bishop of Carthage. The emperor Septimius Severus had forbidden Christianity. The group of catechumens, of which they were part, was arrested with Sature, Saturninus, and Revocatus Secondule. For several months, they experienced harsh prison conditions, worsened by uncertainty about the fate that awaited them. Perpetua was nursing her child, and Felicity was pregnant. Perpetua’s father made a vain sacrifice to the gods in an attempt to save his daughter and her child. Felicity gave birth to a little girl in prison. Three days afterwards, she was martyred and the child was adopted by a Christian of the city. Like their companions, Perpetua and Felicity were sent into the circus of animals, wrapped in a net, and delivered to an enraged cow. The audience, aroused to pity, pleaded for an early end to the torture. The women were then slain. Witnesses reported that, “their faces were radiant and very beautiful, being marked not with fear but with joy.” (This is my effort at translation from articles in French, amended after comments from my poof redders)

The same rose straggles the dead stumps lining our back drive. It will be impossible from now on to pass either plant without sparing a thought for these two young women and their children.

I wrote this piece this morning before Sam came for a visit, all the way from Perth in Australia. He is only in England for a week, and is doing a tour. He will leave us tomorrow morning. Consequently I knew I wouldn’t spend much more time on internet, when we had so much catching up and reminiscing to do.

Becky joined us later this afternoon. She presented Jackie with a laminated miniature mock Ordnance Survey Map containing a reduced copy of her map of the garden. The covers measure 9 x 4.5 centimeters.

From the other side of the room she e-mailed me these images. The official series numbering stops at 204.. The layout and type of information covered exactly replicates the Landranger series.

This evening, the four of us dined on the sausage casserole with which I tempted you yesterday; carrots; peas; and mashed potato; followed by marvellous mixed fruit crumble and custard. Sam and I shared a bottle of Teroldego Rotaliano superiore riserva 2011; Becky drank Black Tower rose; and Jackie drank sparkling water.


  1. What a lovely thing to wake up to after a 13 hour sleep. 🙂 I love that people give meaningful names to flowers. The map is a most thoughtful gift and a brilliant idea.

  2. Interesting to hear the story behind your rambling rose – a lovely rose too. I loved the OS map gift – Jackie’s garden map is certainly worthy of OS status!

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