Blossoming roses exhibit many variations in color and size. In addition to enjoying rose gardens and cut roses in floral bouquets, there are other ways to keep the look and scent of roses alive. Apart from using the petals of freshly picked roses, there are options for using the flowers even after the petals have dried out.
Rose Petal Beads
Originally prayer beads consisted of rose petals, hence the word "rosary." It's possible to create your own beads by using a food processor or a mortar and pestle, as ancient bead makers did, to chop the petals into fine bits. As you add water and cook the mixture to a clay-like consistency, the resulting material can be used for rolling the beads. You may use any color of fragrant rose. As you wear the beads, your body heat releases the rose petal fragrance.
Rose petals contribute to the creation of rose water. Rose water smells and tastes sweet and is an ingredient in many perfumes and lotions. Ancient Romans used it to fill their homes with the scent of roses; people of the Middle Ages used the water as a cure for depression. Today many cultures add rose water to cooking preparations. For example, some versions of the candy "Turkish Delight" contain rose water as a flavoring.
Rose potpourri functions as a way to add the scent of roses to a room by placing the potpourri in a given area. The main ingredient, dried rose petals, retains its scent as the petals dry. The petals are then used to make sachets for drawers and closets or nestled in bowls set around a room. A flat pan and an oven on low heat offer a simple method of drying the petals for making into craft projects.
Rose Petal Food
Rose petals, used as flavorings for thousands of years, are also the base of a few rare foods. Use rose jelly or jam as a spread for scones and other breads. Some recipes call for the fruit or "hips" of wild roses; a hip is the seed pod of the rose. Other recipes use the petals of any kind of rose. Rose petals and rose hips contribute to various rose teas and juices. Professional bakers frequently candy the petals with a sugary glaze and decorate cakes with them.
As wedding trends change, fresh rose petals offer an alternative to rice or confetti to throw after the wedding couple. Paper cones filled with petals and taped to the back of each guest chair encourage this new tradition. Brides also wear the petals in their hair, and wedding decorators sometimes strew the path to the wedding altar with rose petals.