Fresh rose petals!
Wondering what to do with all those lovely rose petals emerging in your garden? You’re in luck! One of my favorite parts of Practical Herbs by Henriette Kress was her instructions for making rose beads, and she generously agreed to allow me to excerpt that section of the book so you might make some, too! Here we go! Here’s what you need to get started!
5-10 quarts (5-10 liters) tightly packed, strongly scented fresh rose petals
blender or food processor
a free week during which you may fiddle with roses (mmm–lovely scent)
small sewing needle
thread of fine floss
Fill a blender or food processor container about half-full of rose petals and pulse until they’re the size of small crumbs. A few larger pieces won’t matter, as long as there aren’t too many. Repeat to process all your rose petals. If necessary, add a small amount of water.
Straight from the blender
Pour the chopped-up petals into a largish pan and add water to cover. Heat the mix to almost boiling, and then leave it at that heat for about an hour. Cool. Repeat the process once or twice a day for three to five days. Add water if the mass gets too dry.
Pour small batches (1/2 to 1 cup, or 125 to 250 ml) on the now-brownish mass into a piece of cloth, grab the corners, and wring.
Freshly formed rose balls
Form small balls (1/3 inch or a centimeter across, say) from the dryish rose mass, and dry them on paper towels or clean cloth for a day or two, making sure they don’t touch one another. This part can take a while, so be patient.
Balls formed from the rose mass
Cut steel wire in 5- to 8-inch (15-20 cm) lengths, and push the ends through your still-soft rose balls. One piece of wire will hold 10-20 beads.
Thicker wire will allow for a thicker threading needle later, but the thicker the wire, the more difficult it will be to keep the soft beads intact.
If you wire the beads too early, they’ll fall apart. If you wait too long, they’ll be too hard to work with.
Dry the beads on their wires for four or five days, or until they’re dark, hard and very dry. Or, if you don’t want to wait that long, use a dyhydrator on low heat.
Strip the beads from their wires. Pliers make quick work of this.
You needn’t try to make your beads perfectly round and smooth. An don’t coat the beads with anything; that eliminates the scent. There’s no need to add rose essential oils or attar of roses.
Find a needle small enough to fit through the holes in your beads, and then thread them on string or floss. Or use beading wire.
The stronger a rose’s scent, the more aromatic your beads will be.
Eight quarts or liters of tightly packed, fresh rose petals yields about 54 inches (or 150 cm) of strung rose beads.
Fresh beads release a strong and lovely scent of rose; older rose beads will release the scent when warmed in the hand.
If you store your beads in airtight containers between uses, they’ll keep their scent for a century or more. Just think–your granddaughter might hold these in her hands one day!
Take out your rose beads when you’re in need of some love, gentleness, courage…
Thank you, Henriette, for teaching us how to make these exquisite rose beads! I love the idea of making them this summer from the petals we would normally recycle or discard, turning them into perhaps a birthday or Christmas gift our loved ones will always cherish.
Love and garden blessings,
Book Notes: Hi! All set for summer here with my new hat from Three Sisters, owned by my friend Leslie Batz. (And she carries my book!) Delighted to report that OdeWire has just posted an excerpt from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy! Enjoy!
Dear readers, please take note. Now that Partners West is serving as distributor for Plant Whatever Brings You Joy my posting an exact list of which bookstores are carrying my book has become impossible. (!!) You can use the list at right as a guideline, but I have relinquished some of the marketing control, as comes with every creative partnership. So feel free to ask your fovorite bookstore if they are carrying my book, and if not, they now may order from Partners West–or Estrella Catarina. You may also order online from Barnes & Noble. Thank you!
Posted on May 29th, 2012 by Kathryn
Filed under: Book Notes