rose is a rose is a rose” may have been true for Gertrude
Stein, but it certainly is not true at the Butterfield Cottage.
Popular opinion, hands down, declares our gate-flanking Rugosa
roses the favorites. Their wonderful fragrance and double crimson
blossoms welcome all visitors to the cottage. This particular
Rosa rugosa is Hansa. It blooms freely all summer and in the
autumn, is covered with large round red-orange hips.
have as much as twenty times the vitamin C of orange juice.
It’s no wonder the pioneer families made rose hip tea.
It is made by chopping up the entire rose hips, covering with
water and boiling for 30 minutes, then straining. Most recipes
suggest adding a bit of honey to the tea.
leathery leaves are disease resistant and tolerant of salt winds
so it is an ideal coastal rose. Its biggest fault is that it
loves to spread out and will send up suckers wherever it can,
often in the lawn.
far picket fence, we have two additional Rugosa roses, another
Hansa and a white Alba, both of which have crept under the fence
and continue to expand on the rocks.
A few years
ago when I was doing some research on heirloom roses, I came
upon a limerick written by Edward Lear (1812 – 1888) which
seems so appropriate to our Rugosas that I would like to share
it with you:
this is certain; if so be
just now my garden see
of my flowers so bright
you shudder with delight.
And if you
voz to see my roziz
As is a
boon to all men’s noziz-
fall upon your back and scream-
Lawk! O cricky! It’s a dream!’”