Who cares about Roses? With a reputation for being fussy and needy in the garden, I sure didn’t. The tough, hardy ones that take care of themselves (you know, the weeds) are more my style.
But you almost can’t pick up an herbal medicine book and certainly won’t find an herbal cosmetic book that doesn’t include Rose, so a few years back I made a token planting of 1 sprout each of 3 old-fashioned varieties: Apothecary’s Rose (Rosa gallica ‘Officinalis’), Rosa Mundi (Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’), and Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’).
These sweet shrubs turned out to be anything but fussy! Almost a little too robust, the Gallicas throw seed and are having a go at becoming a hedge while the Rugosa sends out runners in every direction! I didn’t pay much attention to them, though, until last Summer.
It was the bees I noticed first. There are so many bees working these flowers it’s actually noisy! Then, the aroma caught me. All throughout the garden I could smell those Roses. Suddenly, I was in love.
I’d only dabbled with Rose in salves and perfumes, so I gathered as many petals as I could in anticipation of Winter experiments: Oils and balms, tinctures and elixirs. Infused into aloe vera, witch hazel, apple cider vinegar. Whatever I could think of!
Today my herbal pantry shelves are brimming with rosy goodness and I can’t figure out how I ever lived without it. “Queen of the Garden” as nickname makes sense to me now.
Though I did intend to clip them back this Spring, I’ve decided instead to let the Roses run wild. Wonder who will be happier with the overflow this Summer, me or the bees….
Roses used topically are wonderful for the skin. And not only for beauty. Rose is a revered healer of wounds and important first aid plant :)
Rose flowers: anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-spetic, anti-viral, aphrodisiac, astringent, cardiotonic, decongestant, expectorant, hemostatic, laxative, sedative
Rose hips: anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxident, anti-viral, astringent, cardiotonic, laxative, nutritive, tonic, high in vitamin C