Updated: Feb 7
Ever since gardening with Herbs entered my life, I have fallen in love with the Seasons of Autumn & Spring. Every time Spring comes around, and the plants start coming back to life, nature becomes a chorus and a playground. Song birds, busy bees, perennials shaking dreams from their leaves, or poking through the ground just waking up after a long winter slumber. Rising from the Earth. I fall in love again and again with every waking year. The beauty, the inspiration, the hard work put in from previous years, every year growing into something new.
Two Springs ago, I ordered in 6 Rosa rugosa plants. My husband built a nice long raised bed out of stones near the duck pond in our yard. Here we planted the Rose and they really took to this area. Full sun, rich loamy soil and treats of banana peels left to compost at their feet. It is mid to late spring and there are many blooms of Rosa this year drawing me in. It is a quiet Sunday Morning, late enough that the dew has mostly dried up and Sun is beginning to warm the crisp morning air. I stop to smell a rose, delightful. A light morning harvest of some newly opening rose petals. Just enough today for a cup of Rosa tea.
Sitting with Rosa rugosa in the garden, holding my sweetly scented cup of tea, an infusion of the petals, I take a sip. I smile. Rose is softening. Whether it comes from the aroma, or the taste, or its spirit- it touches my spirit, calms my mind, my thoughts, and my touch. My heart feels softened and opened, allowing me to be vulnerable, compassionate, and receptive to all of life.
Rosa in her physical form is thicket-forming and spreading. Her stems are light green new growth, and woody older growth. Covered completely in various sized prickles. Gentler to the touch than they appear to the eyes, they bend and flex easily. The plant is many canes that grow to about 4-5’ in height reaching to the sun, holding each other up. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound, with serrated margins. The blade of the leaf is dark green, shiny, and deeply wrinkled. There are numerous bright pink buds that have a round start to what will grow to become the Rose Hip. As the blooms open, 5 petals surround many yellow stamen and pistils, successfully attracting many pollinators. If you turn the opened flower over, you can see the 5 sepals stretched wide open into a 5-pointed star. This plant is connected to the Venus energy. The goddess of Love.
The Rose is an edible, nutritive food as well as medicine. The pink and red petals have bioflavonoids, carotenoids, and antioxidants. I like to toss a few fresh or dried rose petals in my salad, mix with jams, or infuse into honey, wine or make a nice tea to sip as I am doing now. The hips are also edible and are packed with Vitamin C. They should be harvested when crimson in color and after a hard frost. Before eating the hips, they must be split and all the seeds with irritating hairs scraped out. You do not want to get those hairs stuck in your throat! The hips also have Vitamins A, B, K, and E, pectin, folate, and linoleic acid.
Rose is so versatile, from the kitchen to the bath, and gentle enough for the new born to the elderly. Her energetics are cooling and drying. Her actions: astringent, aphrodisiac, antimicrobial, diuretic, anti- inflammatory, nervine, nutritive, anti-anxiety, cardio tonic, and the hips are even a blood tonic. Whether you find yourself stopping to smell a rose, to admire her beauty, to sip upon her tea, or to dab a little aromatic perfume on your skin- She is medicine.
She helps to soften our edges, open our hearts, nurture us through times of depression, grief, and loss. She helps us to deepen our relations to all things in life. Divinely aromatic, skin softening and toning. She is used in the bath, in wrinkle creams, face serums, steams, and toners. A nice rose massage oil to ease tension, to nurture sensuality, intimacy, awaken the libido, and uplift the spirits. Her medicine can encourage a scanty menstrual flow or ease a painful period. She can be helpful in times of colds and flu, as well as respiratory or gastrointestinal complaints. Her antimicrobial and astringent actions make for a nice sore throat gargle. A first aid remedy to heal insect bites, stings, cuts, scrapes, and cooling sunburns and rashes. She is Rosa.
Rose essential oil is heavenly- and very expensive! True essential oil of Rose takes many, many rose petals to create just a single drop of essential oil. Rose geranium can be used in its place for a more sustainable option. Rose hydrosol or Rose water can also be used as a nice splash or base for perfumes.
As I gaze at Rosa, sipping on her delightful tea, I listen to the wind and hear what she has to say in this moment:
Life can come with many prickles. That is for sure. Yet it can be
gentle and compassionate, bringing us blooms of support and nurturing
and love. We can fear to touch the prickles, yet the aroma draws us in.
Seductive, opening, softening, healing, and oh so inspiring! This is why
you stop and smell a rose. Bringing your attention back to mindfulness.
Back to heart. Truly a reflection of your own inner blooms.
Rosa rugosa, rose quartz, Venus, inner child, receptive, healing, softening, gentle- this is my journey with Rosa. Smell a rose next time life brings one your way. Or plant a thicket and smell one every day!
Love & Garden Delights,
Herbalist, Astrologer, Gardener, Crafter, Homesteader, Sound Practitioner,
Teacher and Guide