The Dog Ate My Rose Petals

No, this isn’t an excuse. It really is a true story about a special batch of potpourri christened Peace Potion.

I hadn’t made a batch of potpourri for more than twenty years. I’m not really sure why, though I’ve always had at least one rose bush in my yard since we moved to Texas. Perhaps it’s because I still have two batches of still-fragrant potpourri, I made in the 1990s. This past September, I got a new rose bush and two different varieties of lavender plants for my birthday. Rose and lavender create my favorite scent combination because of their calming properties. Who doesn’t need more calm these days? The rose was a mystery girl who had been mislabeled. After a couple of months observation, I believe she’s a classic Hybrid Tea named Peace, which made her ideal for this project.

She’s a variety with a story of her own. Developed and introduced in the mid-1930s by French hybridizer, Francis Meilland, she didn’t see world-wide distribution until the end of World War II. She had three different names bestowed upon her when first sold in the 30s. The company who introduced her to the United States in 1945, happened to do it on the day Berlin fell. They renamed the yellow and pink beauty to commemorate this event. Along with the name change, she received several awards well into the 1960s; which solidified her place in history as the most popular rose of the 20th century.

The bush I brought home proved very generous with flowers through December. It would have been a crime to waste all those lovely rose petals. I saved them from the cut flowers I enjoyed, then began plucking them from the bushes in November to encourage a bit of napping during sudden nasty cold spells. I dried them, along with petals from a yellow rose named Michelangelo, an apricot Drift rose, and leaves from the lavender plants. However, Peace didn’t nap for very long. Texas tends to ride a weather roller-coaster in the winter. We’ve had tempertures reach the 70s, then about every two weeks a cold-front blows through. Peace laughs at them. The silly girl put on some new growth recently along with four flowers; beautiful flowers with more intense colors, courtesy of the cooler temperatures. Now, I’m guarding more rose petals and lavender leaves, not that I really mind. My office smells heavenly during the drying process, and the scent still lingers a bit afterward.

Besides its longevity, the appeal of making potpourri is the ability to create a batch gradually. By December, there were only five flowers on Peace which hadn’t opened yet, and Michelangelo was still developing another four. When there were only two buds left on Peace in December, that was the moment someone chose to do something naughty. Our Labrador Retriever, Belle, who didn’t seem to have any prior interest in this project, suddenly decided to enjoy a rosy snack. She ate the partially dried petals in the photo at the top of this post, along with the paper towels upon which they rested. Now she has a taste for them. That darn dog is a sneaky ninja when on the hunt for things to eat. It forces me to keep my office door closed when I’m not working in there.

Fortunately, the illicit snacking was a minor setback. I still managed to fill a 32 oz. glass jar. Since it’s currently full, I’m adding the potpourri as a product to my store. It will be available until the jar is empty. Once it’s full again, the product will return to inventory. There are two pages on this site where you can find available products; the Homepage and the Shop page. The Homepage links to the individual book product pages, and occasionally other items I showcase. Everything I currently have available is on the Shop page. The links below are for the book collections product pages, one for the fixed EPUBs and the other for reflowable files. Purchasing a collection is a bit like buying in bulk. The unit price per book is a little less than buying them individually. “Tea with Friends” is not currently available in a reflowable version, because it isn’t a format which is friendly to the placement of photographs. If there is demand for it, I will create one. I recommend signing up for my newsletter to stay abreast of my activities. Book three more than three quarters finished, and Season Two of Tea With Kristal is currently in production.