The vague hint of rose fragrance is rising with the humidity today. I smelled it from my bedroom window very early this morning. What a joy. What an anticipated, simple pleasure. I have an early May ritual of carefully choosing and adding more to the collection each year. To satisfy my own curiosity, I did a rough count of all of the rose bushes I've planted over the past 14 years and came up with twenty five fragrant old roses. As indulgent as that seems, I still feel far from having an abundance of rose petals to tinker with each year. I always seem to need more rose petal jam, more heavenly rose water and more rose petal cordial. I most certainly need to try my hand at rose petal mead this year. The recipe is waiting...the fancy clamp top bottles, too. I've even designed a label in my mind.
It's true, still need to practice my pruning skills. But, I plan to be very diligent about pruning right after flowering this year, like I'm supposed to. I know that they will appreciate it and I won't be embarrassed next year by the wild and unruly bushes that cause all kind of angst when the lawnmowers and weedwhackers are zipping about the yard.
The June 6th workshop "The Subtle Power of Rose" is filled beyond capacity as one of our most popular classes here on the farm. It is one of the few times I am joined by a crowd to enjoy the many gifts of the rose. The rose buds continue to pop this week and should be in full bloom by next Saturday. Ooh, how I look forward to that!
This is Darlow's Enigma, a great big bush with teensy, weensy flowers that pack a fragrant punch. I don't do anything with these petals except to enjoy their fragrance where it grows as a screen in front of the porch.