Add Roses to Your Edible Landscape


a rose composition 

Roses are so beautiful and fragrant, and they draw us in to any garden with their pastel magic. Roses help pollination for all kinds of fruit crops, as well as having edible petals and providing the raw material, the modest fruit called rose hips, for vitamin C-rich juice, jelly, and tea.

Why don't more edible landscape gardeners use roses in their yards? Just because roses look delicate, no one should make the mistake of thinking them too fussy for the average gardener.

I have found roses to be tough and adaptable, ready to take all kinds of abuse and bounce back for more productive years (look where roses thrive: hot and dry places like California, Iran, and Spain). 

I have grown cheap grocery store roses and expensive name brand roses…and found them just about the same for durability and looks. I have dug up roses and moved them with me to a new house…and found they didn't miss a beat. I have grown big rambling roses and miniature roses…and found them equally hardy and enchanting.

And in a good year, like 2012, when summertime rainfall and sun balanced perfectly, almost all these kinds of roses are setting hips now that it's fall; I'm starting to experiment with rose hip tea and rose hip concentrated juice.

10/24/2012 1:22:22 AM

I, too, find roses to be hardy through the hot, dry southern summers. I will only purchase roses from Chamblee Roses in Tyler, Texas. They are strong, and ship well. My favorites are Duchesse de Brabant, Mrs. B. R. Cant, and Benjamin Britten. Lovely all.

James Lawless
10/10/2012 1:45:16 PM

I use the flowers from my roses to create a sweet fragrant jelly. Just make sure to use a fragrant rose and no pesticides. There is nothing like opening a jar in the middle of winter to bring back the memories of your summer garden.

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