HERE I go again, singing the praises of a rose called Absolutely Fabulous.
If ever a variety was well-named, this one is it. Bred in America by US King of the Roses Tom Carruth – his heart was set on a career in flowers at just ten years old – it went on to win the coveted 2010 Rose of the Year – ROTY – award and has since become one of the UK’s favourites, rivalling that of Peace and Iceberg.
“Ab Fab” is actually a floribunda, like Iceberg, and though every brochure states it is a small-to-medium grower, mine regularly grows robustly and, this summer, has sent up at least one shoot that’s 3ft long.
In a distinctive coat of butter-yellow and shiny, mid-green foliage, my “Ab Fab” is a bush that likes to be noticed. As it is in the front garden, I doubt if it’s complaining!
In the health stakes, Absolutely Fabulous is right up there, flourishing and blemish-free. There’s a decent fragrance, apparently of liquorice, according to some supplies, though my own nostrils don’t actually detect this specifically. Definitely worth a second sniff, though!
I’ll repeat what I wrote a few days ago – that Absolutely Fabulous is arguably the finest floribunda rose ever raised, in an arena of many thousands. I also predict it will be gracing our gardens for at least another generation.
I’m sure Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Dawn French & Co would agree with that verdict.
Tour the garden centres now for one that’s still growing in its pot. If you don’t mind waiting for the bare root season this autumn, most retailers will stock this variety. C & K Jones at www.jonestherose.co.uk or Bill LeGrice at http://www.rosebuddies.com are just two outlets where you’ll find “Ab Fab” listed.
¶ The finest floribunda? Rose Absolutely Fabulous looking pretty fabulous in my garden.