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~What's in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet~
~William Shakespeare~

Rose Myths, Legends, FolkLore & Facts......

roseMedicinal Roses

Pliny the Elder recorded 32 different medicinal uses of roses in the first century A. D. Roses were grown in Medieval gardens more for medicine and food than for beauty.

Rose hips  Rosa rugosa were used for the prevention of scurvy. Rose hips (fruit of the rose), contain more Vitamin C than any other fruit or vegetable. They are also high in vitamins A, B, E and K, organic acids and pectin. Red roses namely Rosa gallica andOfficinalis were used for a number of ailments.
roseDog Rose R. canina contains the highest amount of vitamin C.
roseCherokee Rose R. laevigata  is used in China for treating diarrhea
French Rose R. gallica petals are used as an astringent toner.
Japanese RoseR. multiflora, seeds are used in Oriental medicine as a diuretic and laxative.
Rose oil reduces cholesterol. Tea with dried rose petals cures headaches. The petals combined with wine are used as a cool compress for headaches or warmed to use as eardrops. Women believed that if rubbed on the skin, the petals would eliminate wrinkles and preserve their youth. A concoction of roses, mint, and cloves can be inhaled to to help sleep.
rose In the 19th century, it was proven that roses contained essential oils, potassium and iron. The Apothecary's Rose is still used for potpourri, teas, lotions and cosmetics.

roseRose Perfume

Attar of roses also known as ~Otto of roses,~ ~rose oil,~ or ~essence of rose,~ is made from rose petals (Damasks and Gallicas), and is very valuable. The term ~attar~ means a fragrant oil. The attar of roses used in making certain perfumes, is highly concentrated. It takes two tons of rose petals to produce a pound of attar, or thirty thousand petals to make one ounce and is very expensive. rose Most of the attar produced today comes from Bulgaria and Turkey. The Damask rose ~Kazanlik~ named for a valley in the Balkan Mountains, is one of the primary roses used in the making of attar. The Albas yield less oil, than the Damasks or Centifolias. Centifolias were used in France to produce rose oil.
The people of ancient Greece, used to adorn themselves with garlands of roses and splash themselves with scented rose oil during festivals.
According to an ancient Indian legend, the palace gardens of Emperor Jehangir were interspersed with canals and fountains which were decorated with rose petals in preparation for his wedding. While walking along the paths with his betrothed, Jehangir noticed an oily film floating on the water. He became so infatuated by the scent of the oil, which was produced by the action of the sun on the roses, that he ordered it bottled for later use; this was how the most precious of all Persian perfumes came about.

rose Rose Fragrance

~You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still~
~Thomas Moore~

Rose fragrance is emitted from the glands on the lower petals of the rose and its amount is limited by the variety of the rose and by climatic conditions. Sun and warmth are needed for maximum fragrance. Roses are more fragrant on a sunny day and the best time to smell roses is midmorning and when the blooms are 1/4 to 2/3 open. The more fragrant the rose, the shorter it's vase life.
roseDamask is the fragrance of love, and of love potions. An old love potion is made from red and white rose petals of Gallicas, Albas and Forget-me-nots.
Cleopatra is said to have seduced Mark Anthony with a room full of two feet deep, damask scented petals.
Antique roses and David Austin roses have the most beautiful fragrance. Before the end of World War II, all roses were fragrant; however, after the Peace rose, emphaysis was given to color rather than fragrance. In the 1960s David Austin started breeding roses for fragrance again.
Some of the best fragrant roses are:







Chrysler Imperial

Double Delight

Gertrude Jeckyll



Mister Lincoln

Perfume Delight

Sheer Bliss

Madame Isaac Perreire

Fragrant Cloud

Sweet Surrender

Sutter's Gold

Amber Queen

Sun Flare

roseEdible Roses

Roses and Rose hips have been used in the kitchen for centuries around the world. They add color and taste to any dish. Rose hips have a tangy but sweet flavor and can be used fresh, dried, or preserved.
The hips should be used when they are bright red and slightly soft.
Trim off the blossom and stem ends and cut in half lengthwise, remove the tiny hairs and seeds in the center, and rinse. Don't use aluminum utensils or pans as they destroy the vitamin C.
To dry the hips, spread in a single layer on trays and place in an oven on the lowest setting, or in a dark, dry, place.
Store in a glass jar in a dark, cool place.
Some basic recipes with roses are Rose Water, Rose Vinegar, Rose Jam, Sugared Rose.
When using rose petals in any recipe, remove the white tips at the end of the petals as they are bitter.
Use small rose blooms.
Don't use roses that have been sprayed with insecticide or fungicide.
Roses, because of their fragrance and rich color, best suited for cooking are:

Nur Mahal
~Hyb. Musk, 1923~

Cramoisi Supérieur
~China, 1832~

Louis Philippe
~China, 1834~

~Kordes, 1955~

Chrysler Imperial
~Hyb. Tea, 1952~

Paul Neyron
~Hyb. Perp, 1869~

Mrs. B. R. Cant
~Tea, 1901~

Duchesse de Brabant
~Tea, 1857~

~Hyb. Rugosa, 1905~

~Hyb. Musk, 1920~

Rose Recipes
Rose Hip Recipes

roseMiniature roses

Miniature roses were first developed in China.
150 years ago, miniature roses were known as Fairy Roses.
Miniature roses are ever blooming.
Most of the modern miniature roses descended from Rosa rouletti, a rose discovered in 1917 in a Swiss window box in Mauborjet in the Jura Mountains.
They were introduced to the western world 1818 by British botanist Robert Sweet who listed a miniature rose from the island of Mauritius that he called R. Lawrenceana.
In 1840 Miniature roses gained popularity in the United States.

roseRose Buying Tips

Do not order your flowers over the telephone but shop in person.
Ask your florist for his or her advice.
Rose buds should be soft to the touch.
Look for rose petals that are just starting to unfurl.
Roses that are tight and hard will not necessarily last longer as they've been picked too soon.
The sepals on the red rose, should bend away from the bloom, indicating that the rose was mature when picked.
Rose petals should have a velvety texture and rich color that looks moist.
Stems should be straight and strong.

roseRose Care Tips

Proper care of roses can double their life.
Place roses in a clean, deep vase of warm water and add one tablespoon of concentrated lemon juice. Leave them in a cool room or refrigerator to condition for 1-2 hours before arranging.
If your roses are arranged in foam or other filler material, add water immediately to saturate the filler.
If your roses are delivered loose, keep them in a cool, dark place, until they can be arranged.
Remove any leaves that will be below the water line of the vase. Cut about one inch from each stem with a sharp knife, under running water. Do not cut or scrape the green bark of the stem. Place the roses in the water immediately. Never let the cut ends get dry.
Add to the water in the vase every other day, and also add one teaspoon of concentrated lemon juice or use a floral preservative with the water you add. The water should be slightly warm
If a rose appears to wilt, recut the stem and put the rose in barely warm water in a sink.
Keep roses out of drafts at night.


roseDrying Roses

Listed below are some of the methods used for drying Roses.....

roseAir Drying
The simplest method is to air dry them. Let the roses open fully rather than drying them when they are still buds. Remove the bottom leaves. Hang them upside-down to dry in a warm, dark and airy room. Spray a light mist of Super Surface Sealer Spray or aerosal hair spray on each rose.
This drying process takes 2-3 weeks.

rose Alternative Air Drying Method
If using just petals, place them on a wire mesh screen on trays. Make sure they are well ventilated. Turn the petals every couple of days to ensure they dry thoroughly. They should dry sooner than the larger cuttings used in method one.

roseMicrowave Drying
Microwave drying works best with shorter stemmed cuttings and flowers. Line the turntable with greaseproof paper. Turn the microwave on to the lowest setting and check every minute to prevent ~overcooking~ the roses.

roseSilica Gel Drying
This method requires special silica gel to remove the moisture from the roses and flowers. Desiccants for this are available at most craft supply stores.

roseHot Paraffin
Another method of preserving roses is dipping them in hot paraffin. This technique dates back to the Victorian times. This process does not really dry the rose which usually lasts for only 7 to 14 days.

roseFreeze-dried Roses
Freeze-dried rose petals look fresh and lovely. They will not wilt or stain anything. Perfect for Weddings, Flower Girl Petals, Gifts and preserving arranbements


Freeze Dried Flowers & Roses by Lilac Rose

roseRose Potpourri

Potpourri, or rot pot, was something that was used to disguise the smell of the streets and alleys, resulting from the lack of hygiene in earlier times. Now, it revitalizes the indoors.
Pick the roses at mid-morning.
Pick fresh blooms for their oils to add to the fragrance of the mixture. Include a few small rosebuds. They dry well in the open air method on a screen. A pound of dried blooms can be mixed with the following ingredients:
grated, dried lemon peel from 2 lemons
1 tsp. of ground cloves
1 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 tsp. of ground allspice
8 drops of rose oil
The fixative is combined with the added oil essence and holds it to ensure the aroma is around for some time. It can be bought at craft stores.


How to Make Your Own Potpourri
Make your Own PotPourri
Project Directions

roseRose Topiary

Make a topiary, to hold your dried flowers. Find a six inch circumference sphere of foam, mount it on metal mounts like coat hangers, and wrap the base portion in dried leaves. Use dried roses with a portion of stem on it to project into the foam sphere at regular intervals. It makes a make a great table setting.

roseRose Candles

Candles are romantic and add beauty to any corner of the house. For making candles with rose blooms and leaves imprinted into them you will need:
Beeswax candles, 4-6" in diameter.
Dry press rose blooms between two blocks. Place the blooms on a paper towel, and clamp them between two sheets of board. Let it dry for several weeks. Mini roses or smaller patio roses are perfect for making candles.
Place an end of the candle in boiling water for a few seconds.
Press the pressed blooms and leaves into the candle according to design. Tweezers are handy for adding the bloom and leaves. Make your beeswax candles, adding your own rose essence.




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Wednesday, August 16, 2000