Rose, I do love you! Intoxicating aromas combined with the delicate structure and colors make roses one of my favorite garden shrubs. Add the fact that the petals and hips are edible and have wonderful skin nourishing qualities, roses become a near perfect garden plant. I say near perfect, because it is a constant struggle to keep them from becoming dessert for the darling deer....
Walking through the garden of my friend TJ, the owner/artist/florist of Garden Party Flowers is a treat for the senses, especially when the roses are in bloom. She grows many of the flowers and botanicals used in her stunning signature arrangements for weddings and special occasions. I often get to help her pick all the fully open blossoms when rain threatens to ruin them, and add them to my own rose blossoms to make rose hydrosol (distilled rose water) or rose petal apple cider vinegar. Both TJ and I love David Austin tea roses for their beauty and scent. They are hardy, disease resistant, and reliable heavy bloomers.
Many roses mass produced for the wholesale markets are grown for the classic bouquet of roses look, as well as the ability to last in bud form until they end up as gifts; many are thornless, but most have little or no scent, and there is little variation in the form of the flower, since voluptuous blossoms don't have the same shelf life. If you are lucky enough to receive a bouquet of David Austin roses they will explode your senses with color, form and aroma. Some of our favorites are "Jude the Obscure," "Crown Princess Margareta," "Bolero," and "Lady Emma Hamilton."
Rose water has been used throughout history by women around the world. Cleopatra used it to keep her skin dewy and supple during her reign as Queen of Egypt. Modern science confirms what Cleopatra knew from experience: essential oil found in roses is a naturally rich source of essential fatty acids and Vitamin A. These help regenerate skin cells after damage from sun, burns, scars, wrinkles, age spots and stretch marks.
David Austin Rose: "Bolero"
David Austin Rose: "Lady Emma Hamilton"
The combined total of yesterday's haul from both our gardens netted 8 gallons of rose petals! A few blossoms made a lovely table arrangement, and the rest went into the still to become heavenly scented hydrosol. It is so satisfying to use them for something wonderful before finally relegating the spent blossoms to the compost bin. The next batch of rose petals we collect will be infused into apple cider vinegar to make Rose Hair Rinse, which helps remove tangles and any residue left from shampoos and soap.