Fresh roses are beautiful and fragrant, enhancing any home. At special occasions such as anniversaries and Valentine's Day, roses fill a home with love and grace. Alas, these delicate blooms don't live forever. Colorful and velvety-smooth to the touch, as rose petals drop off it seems a shame to discard them. Wondering what to do with fallen rose petals? Check out these romantic ideas to make flowers last longer (and know that you can also compost roses and their stems).
Decorate Your Bed with Rose Petals
Couples who book a romantic package at a fine resort often get their bed decorated with rose petals as part of the deal. What this means is that while you are out, usually at dinner, the hotel chambermaid prepares your bed and arranges the rose petals in a heart or scatter pattern.
Sometimes rose petals trail all the way from the door to your bed or to a filled bathtub.
It can be a sensual, intoxicating experience to get into bed and have the heat of your bodies release the scent from the rose petals.
Creating your own bed of roses is something you can easily do at home if you collect your rose petals and handle them gently.
Tip: Red and pink roses are best for rose-petal turndowns. I once came back to find my bed filled with yellow ones... and I initially thought they were potato chips!
Rose Petals in Your Bath
Another amenity borrowed from fine hotels and one of the most sensual uses for rose petals: a bath dappled with them, which feels like a beautiful indulgence.
Gather your rose petals in a soft, breathable bag (mesh is best). When you're ready to take your bath, fill the tub, adding rose-scented bubble bath. Once the water is frothy and you (or the person you're preparing the bath for) is ready to enter the tub, sprinkle rose petals atop the bubble bath and enjoy.
Add Romance to Your Table with Rose Petals
Planning a special meal for two? Set the table with your best tablecloth and make sure the china, glasses, and silverware glow. As a finishing touch, decorate the table with rose petals. Create a pattern of your own, or array the rose petals in a pretty pile in the center, perhaps surrounding a candle.
Tip: Avoid putting rose petals around the perimeter of your table. Unless you secure them with a glue gun, rose petals will fall to the floor if they're brushed against or blown by wind or an overhead fan.
Rose Petals + Floating Candles Centerpiece
Floating candles (small, flat-bottomed candles) in a shallow bowl add romance and interest to a dinner or coffee table. To add color and introduce texture to your floating-candle arrangement, sprinkle a few rose petals around the candles before lighting them.
Choose candle colors that complement the shade of the rose petals and avoid heavily scented candles. Although your rose petals will have little scent left, simply seeing them in the bowl can suggest their fragrance. Or you can add a few drops of rose oil to replicate the scent.
Create Potpourri from Rose Petals
Once your roses begin to wilt, prepare to save the petals by drying the roses. To do so, hang roses that are still on the stem upside down in a dark, dry, and warm place such as the inside of a closet. When rose buds are dry, take them down and gently remove the petals, placing them inside a glass bowl (a small goldfish bowl serves well here).
Sprinkle with rose oil and add natural elements such as leaves and pinecones. Enhance with eye-catching objects, such as fake pearls or shiny Mardi Gras beads. Gently toss. To refresh, add a few more drops of rose oil as needed to your petal potpourri to recall the scent of your cherished roses. This is one of the best uses for rose petals for those who want to preserve their memory longest.
Cook with Rose Petals
"Roses are one of the most luxurious and delicious of edible flowers," writes Darlene Schmidt, Thai food expert. As long as your rose petals haven't been sprayed with pesticide or preservatives, you can use them as a cooking ingredient or a decorative element with food. Two rose petals recipes to tempt a palate are Rose-Glazed Brie and Rose Petal Salad, both good starters for a romantic repast.