Dog Rose Petals

Our garden is covered in wild dog roses (Rosa Canina). We have fields and a farm next door, so the roses are among the wild honeysuckle, elder and bramble in the hedgerow. I slipped on my clogs  and took a walk along the hedgerow with a bowl. Gently touching each rose (only those wide open already, or have already lost half their petals) I knocked off the loose pink and white petals into my bowl. They are so pretty and smell gorgeous. I brought them in and lay them on some paper towel to dry them out. I use old jam jars to keep them in. The best way to clean the jars and remove the labels is by simply putting them into the dishwasher. In two or three days I’ll put them in a jar and screw the lid on tight and it will join my other jars of hedgerow herbs. At some point they will be used generally in friendship, luck and goodwill, spells and incenses.

In the autumn, I’ll be able to collect in the rosehips to use in teas and syrups and also spells and incenses. Full of Vitamin C, I remember rosehip syrup well, as something that was given to us freely when we were children (my siblings and I). Come autumn I’ll be posting the recipes. If you don’t have wild rose, then Rosa Rugosa, a hedging rose, is great for this as it has large hips, and the scent of the actual rose is stronger too. I don’t know though, there is just something so beautiful and magical about wild rose.

Another way to collect rose petals, and you have no garden or anywhere you can freely gather them, especially if you’re loathe to buy a bunch to tear them apart, is to
wait until you buy or are given a bunch. When they are past their best and you are thinking of throwing them away, remove the centre of each one. You will fins the petals are still fresh. You can then dry them as usual. There is advice on internet about drying rose petals quickly in the microwave. Don’t so it. Apart from the thought of microwaves interfering with the petals, they smell awful when they come out. Be patient it only takes a couple maybe three  days to dry them out.

Thank you to my husband for running outside to take the photos.

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