Roses As Herbs
There are untold numbers of books describing rose varieties and giving information on growing roses, but for a more in-depth look at roses as herbs, look to the two book produced by herb organizations. The International Herb Association Rose (Rosa): Herb of the Year 2012, compiled and edited by Susan Belsinger is available at www.iherb.org/hoy2012.htm for $14.95. Within its 260 pages are 38 articles that provide history, plant lore, and botany as well as 48 recipes for using roses in crafts and cooking. Articles are illustrated with black-and-white photos, and there is a color insert. Roses 2012 Herb of the Year from the Herb Society of America is 102 pages with color photos. It is available for $15.00 at www.herbsociety.org/herbs/profiles-and-guides.html. Again, there is a wonderful range of articles and recipes. To be noted, there is an overlap of several articles to both books. For a book that focuses just on cooking with roses, look to How To Eat A Rose, Simply Delicious Recipes for Eating Roses: Cakes, Sorbet, Ice Cream, Cookies, Drinks and Lots More! By Jim Long (Long Creek Herbs, 2004, $5.95).
Favorite or New Plant
Using fragrant flowers near the porch and terrace of my home was one of my goals in landscaping my yard. Hands down, the most successful choice has been using Koreanspice Viburnum, Viburnum carlesii. For about two weeks every spring, the most wonderful spicy-sweet fragrance can be noticed from as far away as 40 feet. The 2- to 3-inch clusters of pink buds open to pale pink then white. The rounded, openly branching shrub has grown to about 6 feet tall and as wide in 12 years. Koreanspice viburnum is hardy to -30 degrees F. The 2- to 4-inch dull, dark green leaves turn wine-red in the fall. For smaller garden areas, the variety %%%Compactum%%% is a good choice, growing to 3 or 4 feet tall and wide. There are several other viburnums with similar fragrance: Burkwood viburnum, V. x burkwoodii, Judd viburnum, V. x juddii; and Carlcepalum, V. x carlcephalum. Gardeners debate the pros and cons of each, but you would do well to grow any or all.