I am very excited about this week’s Romancing the home challenge – roses.
We started our rose garden of 200+ roses 7 years ago and have not stopped adding to it since!
One of the many things we look forward to when summer approaches, is the first rose bloom opening at the end of September. By middle October the garden overflows with thousands of rose buds. We have cut roses, shrubs, climbers, pot roses and fairy tale (my favourite) roses.
I must have inherited my love for roses from my mom. She always had roses in her garden and still buys me roses every time she goes to Ludwigs. Here is a beautiful rose arch which welcomes one to their garden.
Here are some of my husband Chris’s tips on ensuring a beautiful rose season:
Make sure your roses have a good rest during the winter months. That means still watering them but don’t give them any nitrogen fertilizer during this period. They’re busy storing up energy and developing their root system to burst into life as soon as the weather gets warmer.
After the roses have been pruned heavily just before spring, make sure the soil is right to support the needs of the roses. Roses are heavy feeders so feed them well. Working in as much organic matter as possible, including the mulch layer that was on the whole of winter, will do wonders for the new growth. Building up a good organic base in the soil throughout the year is the only way to have great roses. Healthy soil produces the best roses consistently! Check your soil if there are no earthworms something is wrong.
Most rose gardens will do well with some lime added into the soil during this time. 8:1:5 is a good granular fertilizer to add to the soil but use VERY sparingly as once you’ve overdone it there is no coming back this season.
Watering daily is also a must during the growing season and try to do it as early as possible in the day to prevent and fungus growth on the leaves.
Preventative organic foliar sprays are best to use every 2 weeks during summer. But as a last resort if things get out of hand, sort out the pests, etc with insecticide and fungicide sprays. Adding a weak mixture foliar feed to the 2 weekly spray will keep the roses in top shape.
It’s best for long term soil health to stay away from any systemic chemicals.
I only have 3 tips:
Dead head as often as possible (at least once a week) to keep them blooming.
Apply Chris’s own formulated nutritional supplement, with root growth boosters, “Nutri Bag”, once per growing season. (Contact me if you are interested to find out more about this product).
Call Chris when I see the first signs of lice or rust!
We use our roses for making potpourri for the cupboards, rose scrubs for bath time, rose syrups for cooking, baking and drinking and of course our house is always filled with pots of picked roses. Last year on Valentine’s day, our girls made sure that there was not a single spot on the floor that was not covered with rose petals. Rose petals also appear in presents we wrap with care.
Easy Rose Body Scrub
1 cup of dried rose petals (pesticide free)
2 cups of white sugar (I use organic sugar but normal sugar is fine)
2/3 cup carrier oil (I use grapeseed oil because it has no smell)
7 drops essential oil (I use rose or geranium)
Add the rose petals to a food processor and pulse until they become small flakes.
Add the processed petals to a large mixing bowl and add in the sugar.
Mix the carrier and essential oil in a separate bowl. Pour the mixed oil over the sugar and rose petal mixture and stir well to combine.
Fill a pretty glass jar with the scrub and put the lid on.
The scrub will last for about a month as long as water doesn’t get into it. Water breeds bacteria, so make sure to use a scoop instead of your hands when using it.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Strawberry and Rose Mess
270g crème fraîche
15g icing sugar, sifted
1 1/4 tsp rose water
40g caster sugar
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp sumac
200g strawberries, hulled and chopped into 2cm pieces
60g meringues (shop-bought is fine), broken roughly into 2cm pieces
seeds of 1 medium pomegranate (100g)
2 tsp dried rose petals (pesticide free)
40g caster sugar
40g icing sugar
30g liquid glucose
200g strawberries, hulled and blitzed into a purée
I use store bought sorbet, but here is the method if you want to make it yourself.
1 Place all the ingredients for the sorbet in a small saucepan with 60ml of water. Warm through on a low heat, stirring so that the sugar and glucose dissolve. Remove from the heat and set aside until completely cool before transferring to an ice cream maker. Churn for about 20 minutes, until firm but not completely set. Place in a container and freeze until needed.
2 Place the mascarpone and crème fraîche in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the icing sugar and rose water and continue to whisk, just until combined. Keep in the fridge until required.
3 Mix the caster sugar with 40ml of boiling water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the pomegranate molasses and sumac, stir to combine and set aside.
4 When ready to serve, divide the strawberries between four bowls or glasses, followed by the meringue, rose water cream and half the sumac syrup. Top with the pomegranate seeds and a dessertspoon of sorbet. Finish with the remaining syrup and the rose petals and serve at once.
Check out my Romancing the home friends posts on roses:
Have a great week and take time to smell the roses!