I feel like I'm admitting to something a little shameful, like the beginning of an addiction. Hopefully this is something I'll be able to control, but I have to admit that I'm a bit infatuated with Foxi (also known as Buffalo Gal). The plant was already in bloom at the garden centre, and the big, purplish-pink blooms caught my eye, as well as my "purple flower" obsessed two-year old.
It's the right size for a sunny spot I want to fill (three or four feet tall and wide) and is supposed to produce lots of rose hips for jam, if I'm ambitious, or the birds, if I'm not. The "Pavement" series this rose hails from is supposed to be tough as nails (just watch for the suckers) and have pretty good fall colour, because of their Rosa rugosa parentage. A tough, beautiful rose that I could convince a little girl has purple flowers? The only other thing you could ask for is that strong, rose fragrance. Well, the bush had only one open bloom, but even that filled our car with its intoxicating scent on the way home.
I always thought roses were overrated, but I may have been wrong. I suppose I should evaluate its performance over a couple of seasons before saying it's a keeper, but I have a good feeling about it. And because I believe in edible landscaping, here's a recipe for rose petal syrup:
Rose Petal Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup rose petals (untreated with pesticides)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cloves (optional)
Most people recommend clipping the white base off the petals, as it can be bitter. Wash the petals and simmer in water for 5 minutes. Add sugar and cloves and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Strain and store in the refrigerator.