Ahhh… Sweet Roses


From our A Year of Healthy Living 2015 wall calendar. David Austin roses in a jar with blackberries © Georgianna Lane / Garden Photo World / Corbis.

Summer and Fall is a wonderful time to take in the bounty of fresh vegetables, fruit (mmm… berries), and herbs. But let’s not forget the roses! Ann Lovejoy has some charming tips for enjoying a rose harvest.

From the A Year of Healthy Living 2015 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy:

Gather Your Roses
Fragrant, lovely roses are delightful in the garden as well as the kitchen. Add fresh rose petals to salads or use them to garnish soups, and decorate cupcakes with fresh rosebuds and mint leaves. Dried rose petal potpourri will evoke summer scents when winter winds blow.

Drying Rose Petals
Gather petals from especially fragrant roses for sachets and potpourri. Dry petals in a single layer in a warm, dry spot out of direct sunlight, stirring once or twice a day. When completely dry, store in a tightly sealed container in a dim, cool spot for up to a year.

Rose Petal Beads
When you wear a string of rose petal beads, the warmth of your skin will awaken their delicate fragrance. Each rose blossom makes 4 to 5 beads, so harvest plenty and dry the petals in a single layer until slightly wilted but still flexible. In a food processor, combine 1 cup of rose petals with water to barely cover and purée to a fine paste. Spoon into a fine strainer placed over a bowl and gently squeeze out as much liquid as you can. (Use the rose water in cooking or body care products.) Roll the rose paste between your fingers to form a ball, which will shrink by about half as it dries. Poke a hole in each bead with a darning needle and dry them on uncolored paper for 5–6 days. Thread dry beads on silk embroidery floss, using glass beads between them as spacers. Stored in a closed container, rose beads remain fragrant for many years.

Ann Lovejoy
With more than 20 books to her credit, award-winning author Ann Lovejoy is one of the country’s leading experts on sustainable garden design and techniques. A popular cooking and gardening columnist for numerous national and regional publications, Lovejoy is fully committed to sustainable agriculture and is active in many community projects. For more information, please visit her blog.

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