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.