Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The roses of Linderhof

Roses have been at Linderhof since we first moved here 20 years ago. Before we moved in, we purchased two red Blaze roses -- one to climb up the trellis on the south side of the house while the other was planted in the back yard. They have grown and have thrived these 20 years.
And then 10 years later, we planted a pink William Baffin rose under our newly built arbor. It is alive in late May with masses of pink blossoms. It's very cold hardy and very vigorous and we decided that the rest of the arbor and fence needed these pink roses growing up and over and so last year we planted another.
When we bought this arbor 5 years later we bought two old fashioned climbers to clamber up and over. They are very fragrant roses and we especially like their pink blossoms against the white arbor with the green bench and blue bird bath.
This is a wee roses -- another old fashioned and I'm ashamed to say that I've forgotten it's name. It's a sweet rose that grows in a shady area and so has remained small. It's very fragrant, however, and when it blooms always brings a smile to my face.

Last year we succumbed to the Knock Out roses -- shrub roses that can withstand the heat of our summers and the cold of our winters and thrive. They're the red in our garden and we planted a whole row of them near the herb garden.

Linderhof is abloom with roses in mid to late May and bouquets are brought into the house daily for we so love roses. We harvest roses as well -- some get made into potpourri to give as Christmas gifts while others are used to make rose petal jam. A great jam to serve at afternoon tea or when the jar is topped with a square of rosy chintz and tied with a ribbon, makes a great hostess or Christmas gift.

Rose petal jam is easy to make and we make at least two batches each year.

Rose Petal Jam

1/2 pound pink or red edible rose petals
2 cups sugar, divided
4 1/2 cups water
juice of 2 lemons (approximately 1/2 cup)

Clip and discard bitter white bases from the rose petals; rinse petals thoroughly and drain. Place rose petals in a bowl and sprinkle enough sugar to coat each petal. Let set overnight.

In a saucepan over low heat, place remaining sugar, water and lemon juice; stirring to dissolve sugar. Stir in rose petals and let simmer 20 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil; continue boiling for approximately 5 minutes until mixture thickens and a spoonful dropped onto a cold plate jells and holds it's shape. (approximately 221 on a candy thermometer).

After boiling, transfer the jam into hot sterlized jars. Fill them to within 1/4 inch of the top and wiping any spilled jam off the top, put the lid on top and tighten the ring around them. Cover, label and store in a cool cupboard.

Note: all roses that you intend to eat must be free of pesticides. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers for these flowers may have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops.

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