ROSES
Enjoying Their Pleasures

In the language of flowers red roses are the symbol of love.  No matter which color the rose, however, they are the most romantic of flowers and prized for their fragrance as well as their beauty.  While receiving a bunch of red roses for Valentine’s Day is pleasing, nothing is more pleasurable than going to the garden in the coolness of an early summer morning to gather a fragrant bouquet of still dewy blooms.  And once you’ve picked your bouquet, the roses can continue to delight your senses in many ways.

You’ll want to keep your roses fresh for as long as possible, so take a container of water with you into the garden and plunge the stems into water as soon as they are cut.  Back indoors, remove any lower leaves that will be below the water line and any large thorns (the latter is for your protection, not for the roses’ health).  Fill the container you have chosen for your arrangement with hot water – the flowers absorb it more easily – and as you transfer the roses, cut the stems at a 45-degree angle to give the flowers a greater surface for drinking.  Change the water and re-cut the stems every day or two for the longest lasting bouquet.

After enjoying the roses for a day or two, consider removing them from the water and hanging them upside down, in bunches of six, to let them air dry.  Once all the moisture has evaporated, wrap the roses carefully in tissue and store them in a box until fall when you can arrange them in a beautiful dried bouquet to give you joy all winter.

Or wait until the roses are full-blown, but before the petals start dropping, then snip off the heads and set them out to dry on a wicker tray (a decoration in itself) or bury them to dry in silica gel.  Use the dried blossoms to decorate special packages, potpourri, or even a straw hat.  If you have enough flowers, make a romantic wreath by covering the surface of a moss wreath with the blooms or decorate a topiary form with dried roses and moss.









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© photos Chris Mead;  text Emelie Tolleymailto:emelietolley@aol.comhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Emelie-Tolley-Herbs/132861443432843http://livepage.apple.com/shapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1

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