By: Ariana Palmieri
Who doesn't love roses? I know I do. Not only are they pretty to look at, but they nourish dry skin, have anti-inflammatory properties, and calm people down. Thankfully, June is the month where you have an excuse to go rose-crazy. In June, roses are at their peak and anyone born in Gemini shares the rose as their birth flower. Birth flowers are similar to birthstones, in the sense they capture each zodiac sign's essence. Roses capture the vibrant, passionate energy Geminis bring to everything they do. However, you don't have to be a Gemini (or even believe in horoscopes), to invoke the beautifying and healing power of the rose this month. All you have to do is give these simple techniques a go.
Make Your Own Rose Water
Rosewater not only makes a refreshing facial mist, but it even has antibacterial properties. The best part is rose water is easy to make. All you need is some distilled water, an empty bottle with a lid, your choice color of roses, and a saucepan with a cover. Start by rinsing off the rose petals with cold water to get rid of any potential chemicals, then remove the petals. Place them in a saucepan that's filled with distilled water. Then, cover the saucepan and let it simmer until the petals lose their color. Drain the liquid into the empty bottle of your choice and let it cool off. Feel free to use it as a facial/body mist, toner, or even for aromatic purposes.
Draw or Paint Roses (As Best You Can)
Even if you're not the best artist, it's fun to let your creativity take hold and let go of being in control. Drawing or painting roses will help you appreciate their beauty with each fine detail you re-create. If you can, find a place out in nature you can sit and observe a rose whose beauty inspires you most. You can either draw or paint it right there as a still-life, take a picture of it for later reference, or try to mimic it from memory. Which ever technique you choose, let yourself get into your own creative flow. Here you have endless possibility, and be sure to promise yourself you won't judge your final creation too harshly! Really admire the rose you chose to capture and feel your hand connecting with it through your pencil or paintbrush with each careful stroke. When you're done, feel free to color it, if it's a drawing, and frame it, if it's a painting.
Buy or Grow a Rose Bush
Who can resist the charm of actually owning a rose bush? If you don't have a green thumb, or a lot of room, no worries. Chances are your local grocery store sells miniature container rose bushes that are easy to care for and can remain indoors. All you have to do is water them once a day and occasionally prune off any dead leaves. However, if you want to grow a rose bush outside, you should choose an easy to grow variety. There are over 100 types of roses to choose from, so it can be an overwhelming process. If you have a lot of space and are new to gardening, knockout roses are a good variety to choose because they are easy to maintain and require little to no fuss. Whichever rose you decide to grow, try to invest in organic roses, soil, and fertilizer as much as possible for the best results.
Drink Some Rose Petal or Rosehip Tea
Rose is an acquired taste, and usually the stronger the smell of the rose, the more robust the flavor. Rosehip tea tends to have a sweet tangy quality, so you may desire to add honey to your tea. Rosehip tea can be purchased at almost any supermarket store, or you can harvest rosehips from an actual rose bush. To do this, let some of the petals on the rose bush completely fall off. A round nub should develop at the base and turn from green to red. Harvest when the nubs are soft and bright red, but make sure the rosehips aren't wrinkly or too soft, as this indicates rotting. You can also make your own rose petal tea. In a similar manner to making rose water, you just have to steep a tablespoon of rose petals into hot water. The longer you steep it, the stronger the flavor will be, but rose petals tend to taste a little more delicate than rosehips.
Go On A Rose Hunt (And Take Pictures)
There's nothing as uplifting as seeing a beautiful rose in an unexpected place. Walk around your neighborhood and see if you can spot any roses growing - guaranteed you will! Whether it's in your neighbor's yard, at the community park, or even a store lot, you might be surprised to find beauty in areas you otherwise overlooked. Make sure you take a camera (or your smartphone), so you can capture the essence of each rose you cross paths with. When you finish, look back on the photos in a quiet area and drink in the wonderful healing beauty each rose unfolds before you. Take a deep breath in through the nose for five seconds, then exhale slowly as you meditate on their radiant energy. Repeat. Stay in this meditative state for as long as you like as you continue to admire the roses, as well as the way you were able to capture them. Feel your own self-worth for being able to capture each particular flower's healing essence. When you're ready, slowly come out of your meditative state and be sure to share your stunning rose pictures with friends and family!