Though not a flower, rose hips are the after-flower—so to speak—of roses. On our recent trip to Maine, we were pleasantly surprised by the abundance of flowers in bloom. Every house we went by had beautiful gardens bubbling over with all flowers imaginable. Every hotel and inn was decorated with drifts of flowers here, there and everywhere. But what I loved the most was the number of wild flowers we saw rambling just about any place you could imagine. By sides of the road, on paths to lighthouses (see Magical Moment Mondays: Lighthouses) and near beach coves, wild flowers filled the view.
The scent of wild roses was the first thing to catch my attention. On our walk to a cove near the Owl’s Head Lighthouse the scent was particularly strong—strong enough that even my husband Andy who has less-than-stellar smelling capacity noticed the wondrous fragrance of the wild roses. Nearly all of the wild rose blooms were spent though clearly there was enough to still infuse the air. Mostly what we saw was large deep red and round rose hips, the fruit of the rose.
Rose hips are said to have healing properties. They are very high in vitamin C and often used in herbal teas and infusions and also used for jams, wines and even a soft drink in Slovenia (called Cockta). I think that the large pretty berries make a wonderful addition to bouquets. The shiny orbs add a cool geometric feature against the frilly petals of just about any flower. If you are lucky to find wild rose hips, snip some stems and try making your own unique arrangement.
Planting the Sand Cherry
By Ann Struthers
Today I planted the sand cherry with red leaves—
and hope that I can go on digging in this yard,
pruning the grape vine, twisting the silver lace
on its trellis, the one that bloomed
just before the frost flowered over all the garden.
Next spring I will plant more zinnias, marigolds,
straw flowers, pearly everlasting, and bleeding heart.
I plant that for you, old love, old friend,
and lilacs for remembering. The lily-of-the-valley
with cream-colored bells, bent over slightly, bowing
to the inevitable, flowers for a few days, a week.
Now its broad blade leaves are streaked with brown
and the stem dried to a pale hair.
In place of the silent bells, red berries
like rose hips blaze close to the ground.
It is important for me to be down on my knees,
my fingers sifting the black earth,
making those things grow which will grow.
Sometimes I save a weed if its leaves
are spread fern-like, hand-like,
or if it grows with a certain impertinence.
I let the goldenrod stay and the wild asters.
I save the violets in spring. People who kill violets
will do anything.