red  rosesRoses are of course a favorite for Valentines day.  Flowers have always been a popular way to spread Valentine joy.  Typically, most people resort to a ubiquitous bunch of roses, but there are other choices.
Of course there is nothing wrong with giving cut flowers to your Valentine. A dozen fresh cut roses in a decorative vase make a fantastic arrangement. But if you gave roses last Valentine’s Day why not try something new.  Have no fear growers and garden centers are working hard to offer us interesting plants with beautiful flowers and decorative foliage this season. How about a Rose bush? A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species and thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach seven meters in height. Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of the wide range of garden roses.[1] rose-Easy-Does-it-new-fl-300x225 Did you know that the rose was one of the most valued medicinal plants in the monastery gardens of medieval Europe?  When we consider rose as a medicinal herb today, we tend to focus only of the high vitamin C content of the rosehips, or the value rose holds in healing damaged skin. Some have used the rose petal as an astringent. An astringent is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues and can be used as a skin wash.  Rose petals can turn an everyday bath into a luxurious spa treatment for the body and spirit. Rose petals and rose oils hold a special place in facial care . Rosewater can be used alone as a facial wash or incorporated in lotions and creams. Homemade rosewater is inexpensive, easy to make as well as fresher and better quality than commercial brands.