Roses reward us in many ways-color, fragrance, landscape value, wildlife uses, and so on. You can also use them to make great household crafts and gifts. Here are two rose recipes to try:
This makes a lighter mixture than commercial brands. Choose clean, fragrant dark red or pink petals:
● 2 cups rose petals
● Water to cover
Boil water and pour over petals. Cover and let cool. Strain off liquid into a clean bottle or jar. Refrigerate to preserve.
Optional method: Dissolve ½ to 1 cup sugar in hot water. Simmer with petals for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and strain liquid into a clean container. Refrigerate. Either method should last for a few weeks.
Here's a simple mix you can make at home:
● 3 to 4 cups dried rose petals, small buds, and leaves
● 2 oz. powdered orris root (a fragrance fixative)
● 2 cups dried cornflowers, marigolds, pincushion flowers (Scabiosa spp.), larkspur, lavender buds, baby's breath, statice, bay leaves, or rose hips
● Rose oil
Place flower ingredients in a glass bowl or plastic bag. Gently mix in rose oil and orris root. Store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks in a dark spot. Shake or stir periodically. Use in glass or china bowls or in sachets.
Caution: Use only unsprayed roses for crafts. Also: When harvesting roses, wait until dew has evaporated-wet petals may rot. Some rosarians trim off the bitter whitish "heel" at the base of a petal.
Top roses for scent and crafts
Gallica, Damask, and Bourbon roses are good choices for fragrance and color. Some top varieties:
‘Apothecary's Rose' (deep pink)
‘Charles de Mills' (mauve)
‘Kazanlik' (deep pink)
‘Mme. Hardy' (white)
‘Mme. Isaac Pereire' (deep pink)
‘Souvenir de la Malmaison' (light pink)
For colder areas, try ‘Hansa', a Hybrid Rugosa with a spicy fragrance and lots of petals.