It’s been a long time coming but finally I have the rose bush of my dreams.
I was pretty sure I couldn’t grow roses in my shady back yard. Roses require a lot of sun, usually about 8 hours. My yard is bordered by large trees, which I love even though they don’t allow much sun to penetrate their foliage. There is only one little awkward corner in the back yard where the house and the driveway come together where the sun’s rays are not obscured by structures or by shadows. There I have had some luck with a few sun loving flowers, such as canna lillies and morning glories.
Finally, I could no longer ignore my desire to have a rosebush and though it wasn’t ideal, that awkward corner was the only spot in my yard where roses had a chance to flourish. So I would plant my rose there.
I bought the Cecile Brunner rose which does tolerate light shade. The first two years seem to bear out my misgivings about growing roses in our yard. There were only a handful of blooms. But the stems were lush with leaves. And then this year, there was a sudden profusion of blooms! I’m not kidding when I say I did a double take when I looked out the window a few weeks ago. I beheld a glorious rosebush that seemed to have bloomed overnight.
And the smell! The bush fills the air with its fragrance. Sometimes I just stand there and inhale. I’ve been cutting stems daily for bouquets for the house. Even as cut flowers the scent perfumes the air inside. It’s hard to describe the pleasure they bring.
After the arrangement wilted, the fragrance lingered in the petals. I didn’t want to waste those sweet smelling petals and decided to see about making my own rosewater, which I have been hearing so much about. I looked up “rosewater recipe” and found this one. It could not be more simple.
After steeping the petals for 10 minutes, I ended up with this golden liquid. You can’t really tell from the picture but there is a thickness to the water.
I used it on the back of my hands and now they feel supple and soft. And they give off a subtle rose scent.
Apparently rosewater has been around for a long time, thousands of years, and has many uses. This article from Elle was quite interesting. Although, I must admit I can’t see myself using it as mouthwash.
I do not have a spritz bottle, but I do plan to get one so that I can spritz rosewater around on linens and pillows. I love natural scents.
Of course the best scent of all is to have a big bouquet of beautiful roses in every room. You could just put bowls of petals around too.
I deferred my dream of growing roses, thinking I was being practical and realistic. But there was so little at stake to just give it a try. I’m not sure why it took so long to realize that.
I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.