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Rosalia, Holiday of Roses

June 4, 2014 , , ,

The rose has been celebrated for fragrance and beauty. It is a symbol of the goddess Aphrodite.  The Romans used garlands of roses and violets to commemorate the dead.  Rosalia was a time to decorate with roses to show respect for the ancestors.  The rose originated in Arabia where it was cultivated for perfume as well as for landscaping purposes.  Crusaders brought plants back with them when they returned to Europe.  This very popular flower continues to captivate our attention in gardens and in perfumery.  The symbolic power of the rose is still in use as well.  I found a Rosalia party in Maine, here in the US.  The Maine folks will make a batch of rose mead, among other DIY rose products.  Here are a few ways I have found to include roses in my life:

  • rose flower water in cooking and cosmetics
  • rose petals in bath sachets
  • rose flower essence
  • roses in tea
  • roses as ingredient in bitters
  • cut flowers

The roses I cultivate are Lady Banksia, or Tombstone roses that spread and like the very hot climate in Tucson.  In season they yield many small white and pink flowers that I use for making flower essence.  They are fragrant, and in an essence, very tasty.  I drink the essence straight up rather than preserve it with alcohol.  The taste is delicious.  Many hybrid roses are without scent, so I usually prefer the old style, strong smelling, varieties.  To preserve that smell for later use, simply spread the petals out in a single layer and dry on a basket in the dark until dry.  I store herbs in paper bags or glass jars. The scent lasts longer if you use glass.

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comments

I like the old roses as well the most because of their fragrance. While I like them my mom loves them. Whenever she finds a space in her garden she sure will plant roses there.

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Brigitte Kobi

June 4, 2014

I love that Rapperswill has the alternative rose party to the Street Parade..that town is amazing with the roses…for those not into techno beat costuming.

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mermaidcamp

June 4, 2014

I have never been there when they celebrate roses. Rapperswil is indeed nice; especially in summer.

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Brigitte Kobi

June 4, 2014

I love heritage or vintage roses. They have a gorgeous look and an incredible scent.

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