Early summer is rose season. I’ve always loved wild roses, and shortly after we moved to Eugene, I planted a Nootka rose. Rosa nootkana is the same species that grew in Alaska, the wild rose of my childhood, and it’s simple, fragrant pink flowers make me deeply happy. It grows about twice as big here in Oregon though, to almost eight feet tall, and spreads like a weed which also makes me happy.

Harvesting the petals is pure joy. Standing out in the sunshine amid a lazy bee buzz, pulling warm velvety petals away from stames of spun gold, all the while drunk on the haze of perfume! The experience always feels so rich, so indulgent. For me, there is no better way to connect to the sheer abundance of life than growing edible flowers.

We use the petals for Fairy Tea, my kids favorite. Mix about equal portions of rose petals, calendula petals, chamomile, hibiscus and mint, with just a dash of lavender. This is a calming tea– great for little ones, not bad for big ones either.

3 thoughts on “Bloom

  1. Tea!? Sounds lovely. I thought I had to wait for the rose hips. And maybe this will help redeem me and the roses. We have a ton of thorny twigs all over our woods and yard. I assume they are wild roses- I think I remember rose hips last fall. Somehow in the dead of winter I forgot all that and the pictures online were so enticing I bought 2 Wood’s Rose plants from the Soil and Water Conservation District plants sale. My husband was not impressed that I spent money to buy, and asked him to dig holes to plant the very same bushes that tear our legs up and that he rips out of the ground all the time. But the stems look different- less thorny. I hope there are multiple varieties. If they are different, can we make tea from either one?

    1. You can make tea from any variety of rose, petals or hips. Some will taste like roses and others won’t taste like much at all, but all make a pretty addition to the tea jar!

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