In a region where roses are grown so extensively and successfully, one has frequent reminders of their enchanting beauty, fragrance and variety. There are many ways to enjoy them even after cold weather has ended their bloom and confined most gardeners to the indoors. Try the following ideas for capturing and conserving the beauty and aroma of roses for months to come.
- Dry freshly picked rose petals by laying them on an absorbent piece of paper in a cool, well-ventilated location to form a fragrant potpourri. They can be enjoyed alone or blended with other dried flowers or with dried, grated lemon peel for a unique scent.
- Use a food processor to grind rose petals to a course sand texture and mix with sugar to enjoy a rose-scented sweetness. And yes, they are completely edible! (Note – Do not use roses sprayed with pesticides.)
- Press short stems with a blossom and leaves between two heavy books. Once dried, they can be used to create stationery or gift tags. You can also find ideas for other pressed-flower projects – as well as flower presses – at garden shops or craft stores.
Rebekah Frazier, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service