There are a few different types of wild rose. All garden roses have been bred from this wild stock. Many of today’s roses have little or no perfume. To find out what a rose should really smell like you need to put your nose up to a Briar Rose, Rose-briar or Rosa rubiginosa (its Latin name). This is the sweetest scent of rose that you will ever smell … it is the smell of rose oil, Turkish Delight … it is the scent of an English Summer evening and it takes your breath away. It is said that once a person has smelt the haunting, lingering, seductive scent of the Rose-briar it’s perfume will forever linger in the mind and it’s smell will call out to you ready to envelop and wrap you up in its sumptuous fragrance.
This particular Rose-briar, England’s Rose was found in a near by lane curling its branches around its cousin the Dog Rose. It often grows in close proximity to its nearest relatives and so needs rose-ragging to collect the hips for the seed. This sweet rose makes an excellent addition to any rough border patch. To add it from natural stock it is best to look for the plant at this time of year when the blossoms are full and sweet, if possible always use wild stock from the countryside. Once it has been established that it is a Rose-briar (by the colour and smell) tie a small piece of ribbon or rag around the stem of each rose (rose-ragging). Check from time-to-time for the hips to form. When they are full, swollen and red – snip off the hip and a little of the stem and remove the ribbon or rag. If available place into a brown paper bag (only three or four hips are required) wait for the hips to split and the seeds are exposed. If a paper bag isn’t available make sure that the hips are exposed to the air so that mould doesn’t affect the seed. Traditional planting: clear a small piece of earth about the size of a dinner plate then gently scatter the rose seeds onto the surface and water in well. This usually provides about two or three plants which may be left to grow together or one may be dug up and perhaps given to a friend.
Remember to smell and enjoy the roses whilst you can!