Thursday, 17 October 2013

Roses

Finally a new post after a very busy year in the garden. On the 12th June my U3A herb group met at Ballaghenny nature Reserve. Here we found a profusion of wild flowers but especially Burnet roses [rosa pimpinellifolia] of varying colours which spread by suckers to cover a wide area.   We studied various facts about roses and found several recipes using them. The rose is the national flower of the USA and the birth flower for June, in fact roses were Benjamin Disraeli's favourite flower.
Both the flowers and leaves of roses are edible, rose petals, once the bitter white portion is removed, along with lavender and violets add a sweet flavour to salads. Of course rose hips are widely used, those of rosa rugosa grow along one side of my pond. The outside flesh can be nibbled at as the hips are so large but be sure not to eat the internal irritant hairs. I also make rose hip syrup by adding two parts sugar or honey to the strained liquid of boiled hips. This keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge. A tea can also be made from  the hips by pouring boiling water and letting them infuse for 10 minutes They are a wonderful source of vitamin C. Burnet Roses photographs from Ballaghenny are seen below.

Roses are also used in perfumery Attar of Roses is the essential oil extracted from various rose petals and rose water is a by product from the production of rose based perfumes.

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