Preserving Rose Hips for Winter

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At this time of the year there is an abundance of rose hips growing wild and ripe for the picking in the hedgerows or more sedately in domestic gardens on species that have not been dead-headed. They are the fruits of the flowers and vary enormously in colour and shape depending on the variety of the parent plant. Some are as big as plums – dark, juicy and luscious in their appearance – others are tiny red jewels no bigger than a holly berry but nonetheless beguiling.

They all look fantastic brought inside as a seasonal home arrangement - displayed with other flowers and foliage or more dramatically  as the sole perfomers in a tall glass vase.  Unfortunately, the warmth indoors will cause them to wrinkle and dry out quite quickly so that they soon lose their plumpness and intensity of colour. To prevent this from happening  just follow these simple steps:

1.Remove lower leaves and hips so there is at least 10cm of clear stem. Discard any browning foliage and damaged hips at the same time. Recut stems at a sharp angle.

2. Mix one part liquid glycerin with two parts warm water in an appropriate vase or container and stir well. Liquid glycerin is readily available from a chemist or pharmacy as a skincare product.

3. Arrange the rose hips in the glycerin solution and allow them to drink it up, topping up from time to time as necessary. The end result is a vase of strikingly beautiful hips that will last for many weeks  and long after they have disappeared outside.

NB Whilst there is a bountiful supply this year, remember not to strip a bush completely – always leave some hips for the birds and other wildlife.

This post was written by guest blogger Carolyn Dunster, we love her ideas!