|original graphic by: Phil|
Merry Meet :) I just spent a couple hours with my roses in my garden yesterday. According to my arms and fingers the roses won. lol :))) It seems I am always cutting them back this year, for some reason they are growing like crazy. This will probably be the final time I need to trim them this year. You should cut them back to about 12 or 14 inches if they are the climbing rose variety either just before winter or in the beginning of spring for maximum flowers. You can then prune them as needed throughout the year. The climbing variety also need something to climb. All of mine are on iron arches.
A lot of people think roses are just beautiful to look at, and I'll be the first to agree that they are. :) However did you know they have many other uses as well? They can be used medicinally, in cooking, for fragrance, aromatherapy and cosmetics? Some rose types are more beneficial then others, so use google to research the type that you have and make sure. Some good ones to use are Dog Roses, China Roses, Damask Roses, Cherokee Roses, and Japanese Roses.
Medicinal: Rosehips are the fruit of the plant and are a wonderful source of Vitamin C, A, B, E, and K. You'll see them in lots of cold remedies at the store. Rosehip tea is a wonderful way to boost your immune system. The tea can also be used to help with kidney stones. Rosehips also contain acids and pectin which helps them to serve as a mild diuretic. You can use the petals of the roses as an astringent. The petals can be used in tonics and gargles to help with sore throats, mouth sores, and stomach disorders. Rosewater can be used on your face as an astringent.
Cooking: Rosehips taste tart and a little like cranberries. They can be used in teas, syrups, jellies, wines, soups, pies, tarts, breads and muffins. Some people use the rose petals in salads, as garnishes, and to make rose water.
Aromatic: You've seen the rose fragrance used pretty much everywhere from perfumes to soaps to candles. Most rose oil used for fragrance comes from Damask roses, as they are the most fragrant. Did you know it takes 60,000 roses to get 1 ounce of essential oil? :) You can still gather the fragrance from a much smaller number of buds by soaking the petals in vegetable oil. The petals are wonderful in homemade sachets and potpourri.
Magickal: I personally use rosewater nearly ever day. It is a great source of added protection. I keep it in a little spritz bottle and will use it as I feel I need it. You can make rose water by bruising the petals in water, and heating the mixture for a few minutes. You then leave it to infuse for a few hours.
Love and Blessings,