One of the most fascinating and amazing things about plants, to me, is how they each have their specific seasonal moments to blossom, like a magical internal clock that strikes no matter what the weather is, just at exactly the same time, in the same place, year by year. Here where we live, September, the end of summer, is the last hoorah for big blooms; most have peaked and faded already throughout the spring and summer. But roses, which bloom in June, make an exciting and spectacular comeback this time of year, like one last beautiful, bright explosion of life before the lights go out and the ground freezes, and everything sleeps for months to come.
Roses are iconic of so many things around the world. Love, beauty, perfume. But, to me, they are much more symbolic many other things: Resilience, strength, joy, growth, and surprise. I love how their thorny spines keep vagrant fingers from plucking them. And how, though you cut them back, they only come grow bigger and stronger each year. I love how delicate and beautiful they are, yet how hardy and vigorous, almost like a weed. They can take over an old garden shed or crumbling wall and turn it into a stunning, welcome sight. And I love how a rose, when given to a loved one, often offers a surprise, a delight, a message of love and joy without any words attached. One last thing I love about roses is how many interesting and creative uses I have seen for them, over the years. Here are a few that stuck with:
You can use fresh rose petals as beautiful table decoration for a special celebration. You can toss them in your bath for an extra relaxing spa feel and aromatherapy treat. You can dry them and put them in a little cloth bag to use as a drawer freshener, or keep them in a dish or the bottom of an empty vase as a natural air freshener for your home. You can press them and glue them to plain stationary to make beautiful cards. Or you can just keep them as a bouquet and let them remain as dry flowers in a vase, to decorate your home or remind you of a very special moment or sentiment. You can also eat rose petals, as they do in Indian food, or use them to add flavor when making jam, or to float on top or a special cocktail or fruit punch for parties. (It is recommended, however, that you grow your own roses or buy them from a farm stand you, know before eating them, as florists usually use pesticides which you do not want to ingest).
Do you enjoy roses? Do you have any special uses for them?