Feral, beautiful wild roses delight the senses. Thoughts of the fleeting nature of things & recipes for wild rose infused honey & a luxurious facial toner.
I have buried myself. In farm work. In school work. In housework. The phrase “biting off more than you can chew” comes to mind. Being successful in my endeavors and balancing my responsibilities so that I can enjoy my family and the nature I am so drawn to, is a difficult task that I have yet to master. But I am learning to pick up on the reminders.
Driving the country roads the other day, I observed that the wild roses are now in bloom, their hardy vines climbing over fences and pink blooms spilling into the sunlight. They will only bloom like this for a couple short weeks before the plant switches its focus to crafting its fruiting body, the rose hip, before the cold weather returns this fall. Like the blooms of the wild roses, my children will only laugh and bloom for so long before they set to the serious business of growing up. I need to take some moments to harvest these wild rose blooms. I need to take a few moments to harvest these memories – of smiles, and giggles and dancing and too loud music and messy faces.
These thoughts leave me somewhat melancholy, but hopeful and appreciative of the full heart I have been blessed with. Nature so inspires me to be a better person, a better mother. Stop to smell the roses. Stop to breath in the joy of parenthood. These moments, the blooms, the children, are truly ephemeral – fleeting, almost intangible if you are not present in the moment. They will pass you by should you not give pause and harvest what they offer.
Here in the Willamette Valley in the Pacific Northwest, the native Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) grows prolifically along roadsides, in fields, virtually anywhere that provides sunlight and soil. During late spring and early summer the vines are littered with fragrant pink blossoms. Not nearly as elegant or showy as their more formal, hybridized rose cousins, these wild roses are simple, with a mere five petals and a sunny yellow center, but they deliver the essence of rose with a wild feral power.
Wild roses are not only beautiful in their simplicity, but offer us food and medicine should we take the moment to harvest what she offers. It is believed that wild harvesting plant materials gives us the most potent and nutritious results, for these plants are growing in their preferred conditions. This ideal environment allows the plant to grow and thrive in ways that even the most careful and thoughtful cultivation methods cannot provide. I prefer to harvest wild roses when the flowers are in full bloom. I harvest only the petals, leaving the yellow stamen center to develop into a rose hip (providing food to foraging animals and an additional wild rose harvest of rose hips in that fall).
Wild roses are a powerful yet gentle medicine and the loveliest of edibles. Scattered across a frosted cake or crumbled into shortbread cookies, wild rose petals give a fragrant sense of romance and sophistication (though wild roses are anything but…). Wild rose petals can be used to flavor a water, sugar syrups and honey, and dehydrated to add to healing herbal teas. Wild roses also have exceptional healing benefits for the skin too. Naturally astringent, anti inflammatory, pain relieving, moisturizing and anti microbial, wild roses are a top notch ingredient in homemade skin care. Wild rose petals can be added to homemade soaps, infused into oils to be crafted into lotions and creams, and steeped in witch hazel to tone and tighten delicate facial tissues.
Below I have included a couple seriously indulgent, yet simple and nourishing recipes; wild rose infused honey and a wild rose facial toner. No wild roses to harvest? Any rose petal can be substituted with similar, if milder, benefits. Rose petals are also easy to order from companies like Mountain Rose Herbs. I encourage you use wild rose and allow its wonderful fragrance to help remind you that every moment counts…
Floral, healing, hopeful.
Wild Rose Honey Recipe
Wild Rose Honey
- raw, unfiltered honey
- wilted rose petals
- Allow freshly harvested rose petals to wilt for several hours or overnight to drive off excess moisture.
- Place wilted rose petals in a jar, filling approximately halfway.
- Meanwhile slightly warm honey until it is warm and runny. Pour warm honey over the rose petals.
- Place lid on jar and allow to infuse in a warm spot for 2-3 weeks.
- After infusing, filter honey through a fine mesh sieve and return to jar, discarding the rose petals.
Wild Rose Facial Toner
Wild Rose Facial Toner
- 2 ounces distilled or spring water
- 2-3 Tablespoons dried rose petals
- 1 ounce witch hazel extract
- 1 Tablespoon aloe vera gel
- ½ teaspoon vegetable glycerin
- 7-15 drops essential oil of your choice try rose, lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood
- Bring 2oz of water to a simmer.
- Add dried rose petals and remove from heat. Steep for approximately 20 minutes.
- Strain liquid through a fine mesh sieve, squeeze all moisture out of rose petals. Discard rose petals.
- Add all other ingredients to rose "tea" mixing well. Pour into pretty bottle our mister bottle.
- Shake well before using to disperse ingredients that may have a tendency to separate slightly.
- Apply to clean face and follow with moisturizer or mist to set mineral or powder makeup.