Friday, June 10, 2011

basketfuls of rose petals

Today's garden section in the newspaper went into detail on why so many trees and shrubs suffered this year -- the unfortunate timing of some cold snaps, heat waves, dry spells, and wet spells all stress the plant world. Our Gertrude Jekyl roses had a little die-back this year and there are fewer roses than normal. They are the best variety in my garden for drying, cooking, and medicine-making because of their color, fragrance, and size. Fortunately, some roses in the wild part of the garden came through to pick up the slack.

In case you're wondering and in case you're coming over here this summer sometime, one side section of our backyard is wild. There's burdock and motherwort, mallow and lamb's quarters, yellow dock and dandelion galore. It's where the nature spirits live. It's where the bees have set up house. And it's where the wild roses are.

When things start blooming, flower drying begins -- this week, it's roses -- next week, the lavender. This little basket is only the first of many big basketfuls (yes, that is the plural of basketful, sounds funny, doesn't it?).


My little drying station is in the basement on a large window screen. After the rose petals are spread out and have dried a few days, a light-weight cloth will cover them until they're completely dry. Fortunately, drying plant material in Colorado goes so fast, there's no time to grow any mold. I store the dried rose petals in old Ovaltine amber glass jars. If you come across any, grab them because they don't make them anymore and they are fabulous for storing dried herbs.


I'm always on the lookout for rose recipes to try right now. This year, I want to make rose petal milkshakes -- doesn't that sound decadent? Do you have any fresh rose recipes?

17 comments:

deanna7trees said...

oh they are so beautiful. i used to make potpourri years ago. now all my spent flowers go into dyeing fabric.

woman with wings said...

Thanks, Deanna -- I was thinking most of these would go into making rose syrup but would they transfer any color, do you think? Maybe I should try that, have you ever used roses? You always get me thinking, Deanna!!

deanna7trees said...

i've used rose leaves that transferred well on silk. not sure about the petals but i would try it. you could just make a little silk bundle to test it out.

liniecat said...

They should give a subtle pink colour, but no harm in placign afew in a bag in the freezer first. then take them out once thoroughly frozen and pour boiled water on them, then leave them to sit in jar or bowl for a day or two, or three lol
India Flint suggest petals fair better when frozen, they release the colours better, then have hot water laid on them........than boiling them up in water.
Or you could simply try them in warm water and leave the jar in the sun to warm through and coax colour from that way. They may give a sepia shade instead of pink and the ater can be sued in a bath in any case, so wont be wasted lol
Never thought of cooking with rose petals! How wonderful though!

woman with wings said...

Lyn, thank you for these tips! This will be so fun to try out. Oh, you would love rose petal syrup -- I'll post it next week sometime. See you!

Marie said...

I use a vor-mag rose water spray from Edgar Cayce. It is fabulous!
Have you ever read the book "The Secret Life of Plants"?
Roses are my favorite, especially heirloom varieties. I think it is so sad that "they" would breed the smell out of roses for stores. Awful! A sad thing it is.
beautiful pictures <3

woman with wings said...

Thanks, Marie! Yes, I've read it but it's been at least 10 years. Another one that's due for a reread. That's the good thing about time and age -- you forget everything so it'll be a whole new wonderful book again! Need to check out that spray...

cindy said...

gorgeous! rose petal syrup! there's so much i don't know... so much to learn. i do remember that there was a very sexy rose petal recipie in the book & movie Like Water For Chocolate. & love what you did with the owl.

Marie said...

Hi Peggy, wanted to let you know that the rose water spray is from Heritage Products Virginia Beach,VA.
www.caycecures.com
I have always found it at my local health food stores.
I think Viktor Schauberger principles of water were applied to it (vor-mag rose water).
I am sure you could make the same :)

Deb G said...

I made a rose petal pudding a couple years ago...it was okay.

Post about it here:

http://beecreative.typepad.com/bee_creative/2008/06/eating-from-the.html

I've also infused oil with rose petals to make a salve.

Gracie said...

These photos are beautiful- I can smell roses just seeing them. Nice to hear the bees are still there!

woman with wings said...

Cindy, thanks! -- I'll need to look that recipe up, think I have that book around here somewhere if someone hasn't gone off with it!! Of course, my cooking skills are not really on par with anything that fancy! Ha.

woman with wings said...

Marie, thanks for the info. on that rose spray!

woman with wings said...

Deb, well now, I have no problemo with anything being rich! I love rich. Rich satisfies and then I stop eating. Otherwise I keep on eating -- you know? This is a great idea and is going on my list, so thanks!

woman with wings said...

Thanks, Wendy -- yes, I'm so glad they're still here! We decided to leave them be(e) and not try to move them into "better" housing.

cristina said...

this photo is oh so lovely.
rose milkshake? that is something my
mom might love to taste, yum.
Peggy, flickr is posted at my place so
you can see leona's requilted quilt
have a wonderful week...

woman with wings said...

Cristina -- thanks, I'll let you know when I make it! I'm going to go visit your flickr now...