Even after the pedals fall off the rose, there’s still plenty of beauty to behold. Fall ushers in the season for rose hips, those red to orange colored, round and fleshy little jewels that hold seeds for future plants. A close relative of the apple, rose hips are not only bright, colorful and useful in crafts and cooking, they’re also very high in linoleic acid and antioxidant vitamin C which is why they’re so often used in supplements and in cosmetics.
We see rose hips less and less in our own gardens these days because many of us dead head spent blossoms. In doing so we cut off their growth potential (literally). It is my hope by sharing a few examples of how pretty they are and how much you can do with them might inspire more to rethink pruning some of those blooms.
Here are three creative ways I like to use rose hips for fall decorating.
#1 Wall Decor
Gather fresh rose hips (forage from a variety of roses–heirloom to modern to beach–for different sizes and colors) and slip the stems into a pre-made willow wreath from a craft store. To help extend their plumpness of the rose hips, give them a little spritz of hair spray.
#2 Place-Setting Decor
To achieve this place-setting look, hips from Beach Roses (also known as Rosa rugose) are among the largest and are easy to find if you live along the coast…which is another reason for moving to California. Cut longer stems and insert them into a knotted string for a most unusual seasonal napkin ring decoration. How simple is this!
#3 Create a Bouquet
If you have lots and lots of rose hips, perhaps the most dramatic way to use them is just to grab a bunch and insert them into a vase. Mix in other seasonal elements such as fresh or dried leaves, seed pods, and branches for a “fresh from the garden” vibe.
- Autumn is an ideal time of year to harvest rose hips.
- Harvest hips when they become a nice bright red or orange color, depending on species.
- Three ripe rose hips have more vitamin C than one orange.
- If using rose hips for food, be very careful to use rose hips from roses that have not been treated with any form of pesticides that are not specifically labeled as okay for food producing crops.
If you are interested in harvesting rose hips, I highly recommend visiting the following website, https://recipesfromthewild.wordpress.com/rose-hips/. There you will find excellent information on how to prepare rose hips for edibles and good recipes.
I cannot wait until fall! Enjoy, everyone!