Latin Name: Rosa rugosa
Common name: Rose
Place of Origin: R. Rugosa is originally from China, but has naturalized itself along the coast of Maine.
Parts used: Flowers (whole), petals, hips
Energy of Flowers: Cool and moist
Flavor: Bitter, pungent, slightly sweet
This hardy perennial prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The easiest way to establish Rosa Rugosa plants is to purchase them from a reputable organic rose grower or nursery. Once planted, be sure to mulch the roses with straw, seaweed or organic buckwheat hulls. When pruning - BE BOLD! Prune roses in early April and cut them back by half. This amount of pruning encourages the roses to produce and abundance of flowers. Perfect for harvesting and collecting come mid-June.
Avena's roses begin blooming in mid-June. "Collecting rose petals early in the morning when the air is still is one of my favorite garden tasks." -Deb Soule
The flowers are filled with buzzing bees, busy collecting sweet nectar and rolling around in the yellow pollen. It's such a joy to watch these special pollinators and to breathe in the fragrance of the flowers which dispel physical and mental fatigue and uplift the spirit. Visitors enjoy this meditative space to sit and soak in the stillness of the garden. It is here that the gardeners gently harvest, in the early morning light, large baskets of fragrant rose petals.
The ruby-throated hummingbirds are often darting about the rose garden at dawn.
Our roses bloom continuously for almost 4 weeks. Every day, there are hundreds of new blooms to pick. If there are a few foggy or rainy days when we cannot collect roses, we nip the spent blossoms to encourage the plants' further blooming.
At Avena, we prepare dozens of gallons of fresh Rose Petal Elixir and Love Elixir and dry as many petals as we can collect before the Japanese beetles emerge in July. This extraordinary elixir relaxes the nervous system, eases feelings of impatience and agitation associated with PMS and menopause, comforts a sad heart, and inspires a feeling of love and compassion for oneself and others. Roses soothe and support the digestive system, cool emotional heat and inflammation related to women’s reproductive health, and fill the heart with harmony and peace.
Come October, we gather rose hips before the first frost and cut them in half, lay them out to dry on screens or in the food dehydrator. A cup of rose hip tea, especially in winter, combined with fresh ginger and red lycii berries is a true delight.
Deb offering a blessing of gratitude before the first rose harvest of the year.