Spring time brings many bright delights to the landscape after the long and damp winter here in the North West. One of these delights is the Wild Rose. Along both coastline and ridgeline, bushes spring to life with a radiant pink color once the sun shows its face. Rose is called the “Queen of Flowers” and is said to have the most heavenly of all scents.
Poppy Swap’s own Kiki and James went for a day of foraging in the forests of Washington. We were open to whatever the land had to offer, and came upon an abundance of wild rose and we let ourselves become immersed!
Harvesting this beauty is quite simple, depending on what you would like to use it for. In our case, we wanted to dry the young buds. It’s a favorite around here and we like to toss them whole into brewed teas or as a anointing accent to other sweet kitchen creations. Our idea is to store enough for a year’s supply and with the bounty around us that morning, we got a good start. We took our time, enjoyed the sun and also said hello to a few mullein plants who were just beginning to show their blossoms.
The actual picking of the flower buds can be a little prickly, as roses are known to have thorns to protect their delicate flowers and rose hips. Meticulous movements are crucial around the spiky plants! Quite a lot can be gathered in a short amount of time, especially with two people at work.
As with any wild plant, it is important to be mindful about how much plant material you collect. In this case, try to gather only the ideal rose buds to pick, and leave many flowers that are at different stages than what you are looking for. This ensures the successful propagation of this amazing plant.
These flowers can be dried in the sunlight, a dehydrator, or even a warm room depending on the humidity level. The drier the better! We found the best way to ensure this is to let them run overnight in a food dehydrator.
Once crispy and dry, the flowers are put into a jar for storage and enjoyment throughout the year.
Rose flowers and leaves have historically been important medicine for the eyes, dry skin, broken capillaries, insomnia and even impotence. We decided to enjoy some rose tea in celebration of our harvest. With the base of Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Mimosa that we had received from Tina at Essential Herbal Magazine, through an herb trade in the Poppy Swap Barter Zone, this tea had more than taste! It was truly serving us a sip of sweetness on the medicinal level!
Hopefully this inspires you to get out and do a little wild plant foraging this summer!
If you want further inspiration on the gifts of rose, check out these great rose infused beauty boosters available to you on Poppy Swap!
For our full gallery of over 25 pages of hand made products with rose Click Here!