Posted in DIY

SUSTAINABLE LIVING (A Series of DIY projects highlighting Reuse-Recycle-Reduce waste)- Project #1

For our second anniversary this year, my husband gifted me a bouquet of fresh roses in a green canopy of leaves, mounted on a wooden pedestal. It was beautiful!!

The Bouquet in Full Glory
The Bouquet in Full Glory

Two days later, the roses started losing their freshness and colour. Normally, I would have either put them between pages of an old diary or throw them away after they dried.

This time, I had a brain-wave….

1) The roses could be used to make many things- dried rose candies, rose water, hand-made cards

2) The wooden base would always come in handy at home- as a paperweight or a candle-stand

3) The leaves and other greens could be used to make manure/bio-fertilizer

So, we got down to business…

Step 1: Dismantling the bouquet

The De-constructed Bouquet - after 2 days
The De-constructed Bouquet – after 2 days

The de-constructed bouquet – the wooden pedestal (to be used as a paper-weight) ,rose petals (which would become rose-water), the “Greens” (which would be converted to manure over a couple of weeks’s time) and some rose stems (which would, hopefully, grow into rose plants)!!!

Step 2: Making the rose water

First, I removed the dried, “losing-their-freshness” petals from the lot. This was followed by washing the remaining fresh petals in cold running water.

Then, I put the clean petals in a wide-rimmed pan and filled the pan with just enough water to cover all the petals. You can add more water if you like, just remember that too much water will dilute the consistency of the final rose water.

Making the Rose Water
Making the Rose Water

Then I covered the vessel and simmered the water (DO NOT BOIL)- till the petals lost all colour and the water got a lovely red colour. This took somewhere between 20-30 min.

Once the water had the smell and the color of the roses, I drained the petals out of it and cooled my fresh home-made rose water ! Later, I stored the cooled rose water in a clear jar/vessel in the refrigerator.  This can now be used in recipes and in home-facial kits for a month at least !

The Rose-Water andre- used rose petals
The Rose-Water and re- used rose petals

Step 3: Making Manure out of the leaves (or any other veggie wastes at home)

Take an old empty box/bottle/jar/ vessel. Fill it in layers as follows:

Layer 1: Veggie wastes (here I used the leaves from the bouquet)

Layer 2: Dry soil

Layer 3: Some more veggie wastes

Layer 4: Dry Soil (You can also use dried strained tea leaves on this layer)

Layer 5: Manure, if available (Or you can skip this layer)

Making of the Manure
Making of the Manure

Pour water to cover all the layers.

By this time I had some unused boiled rose petals from making my rose-water, so I added a Layer 6 of the cooled down petals on top of this manure.

All I need to do now, is add water to it everyday for the next 15 days and wait for the bio-fertilizer to get made (I have a little herb kitchen garden, which I am hoping will benefit from this activity)  🙂

Step 4: Growing a Rose plant

I am now left with 5-6 stems of roses, which I am hoping will sprout into a rose plant. I have left them standing in a bowl of water, and plan to plant them into a nursery planter early tomorrow morning.

If things do work out with the rose, will update this story further!

P.S.: I did leave a couple of roses intact and put them in that diary to dry and take shape… Hopefully, I will be able to make a card out of it as a Valentine’s Day gift for Hubby !  🙂 🙂



Traveler, Writer, Photographer, Quizzer, Automobile Engineer.... not in that order ;)

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