Plant of the Week
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Sharifa Asma is one of my favorite types, a David Austin rose. David Austin is a rose breeder from England, and over the years, he and his team have bred countless gorgeous rose cultivars.
David Austin roses, also known as English roses, combine the best of antique roses with the best modern rose characteristics. Many of them have so many petals that they look more like peonies than roses.
And the colors are amazing. From deepest crimson reds to delicate, creamy apricots, and everything between. Although not all are fragrant, many of them are. Amazingly so.
My favorite is ‘Sharifa Asma’, which is a real stunner in my garden. ‘Sharifa Asma’ is a prolific bloomer. So prolific in fact, that I have a hard time finding a window to prune it when I won’t be shearing off precious buds! And although I’m sure there are more fragrant roses out there, ‘Sharifa Asma’ belongs on any list of most-fragrant. I often take bouquets to my office and colleagues from 10 yards down the hall always wander down to ask what that fabulous fragrance is.
English roses sometimes get a bad rap for being a little finicky and having some issues that make them problematic, and I’m sure that’s true of many cultivars, so be sure to do your homework on each particular rose before you plant. Or be willing to take a shot on a stunning beauty that you just can’t resist and see what happens. With so many roses out there, nurseries can’t possibly carry them all, so you’ll likely need to shop for many of the David Austin roses online. You can either order from David Austin Roses directly (they have a nursery in Tyler, Texas), or from specialty rose nurseries. You’ll likely have a choice of grafted or own-root plants, and I think you’ll have better luck with those on their own roots.