“A rose does not answer its enemies with words, but with beauty.” – Matshona Dhliwayo  

They’re the most adored flowers in the world for good reason. Roses blossom in a riot of colour, ranging in intensity from the feintest tinge to the deepest hues. The floral kingdom has no scarcity of eye-catching blooms, though none possess the combination of beauty and scent in quite the same measure as the rose. Not only do they look and smell incredible, all roses are edible too. Without their thorns for protection, roses would be trampled, inhaled, bruised and consumed by adoring humans and animals alike. 

At face value, roses are synonymous with beauty and divine scent – and yes, these are the more obvious connections to moms and Mother’s Day – but roses are also resilient growers and fiercely protective of their buds, which are qualities shared by all committed nurturers. 

Here on the farm, we adore the old-fashioned rose varieties – blousy and open and deeply fragrant. Out of sight from visitors, Babylonstoren grows approximately 110 different rose varieties in three tunnels. “Our rose tunnels are exclusively dedicated to cultivating scented roses. They must smell of something. It’s very romantic and something people are no longer used to. Shop-bought roses are generally cultivated for appearance and have little to no scent,” says Elzé Bresler, our tunnel farmer.  

Every year in the late spring, Babylonstoren’s Puff Adder walkway is transformed into a majestic exhibition of heirloom roses. Throughout the year, our fair-scented blooms work their magic in a myriad of ways, as they inspire chefs, bakers, gelato makers and parfumiers to capture the warm, heady, soft and sweet essence of roses in their produce. In May, we make the most of the season’s last blooms before our rose bushes are pruned back for a well-deserved rest.  

Now is the time to spoil yourself or someone equally deserving with the sight, scent and delicate flavour of all things rose. Our beloved tussie-mussies are sporting fresh roses in May – the perfect fragrant, floral pop for any table setting. The Creamery’s limited-edition rose gelato, available online and on the farm while stocks last, is made with water buffalo milk and rosewater distilled from hand-selected petals. Or indulge in our offering of Rose Petal, Beetroot, Ginger & Fennel Salt, Strawberry and Rose Flower Preserve, Lemon & Rose Geranium Cordial, Rose & Rosé Wine Jelly and the darkly decadent Gianduia with Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut Paste & Rose Petals. Our Mother’s Day Tea Box contains four herbal teas, hand-picked and blended on the farm by head gardener and herbal tea queen, Gundula Deutschländer. The uplifting rose tea blend contains dried rose petals and rose hips, a generous source of vitamin C.  

Several of our online hampers in the month of May feature products from our Roostuin scented range, like the Kiss from a Rose hamper that combines chocolate and rose-scented items. Or select your own rose-infused favourites from our Roostuin range which includes a travel candle, room spray, hand cream and soap. Pair an Antique Rose Candle with a rose-themed classic like our Rose and Silver Caneberry Tablecloth, or the Rose and Lily Pillow or Tablecloth, English Rose Tablecloth, Rose Candle Stack, Rose-coloured Travel Case, or the MiiR Wide Mouth Bottle in soft pink. We’ll add a handwritten note, wrap it beautifully and deliver it with love. 

The proverbial bed of roses surely has its thorns, but for someone close to your heart, life is one farm shop visit or friendly delivery away from coming up roses. And it will be the old-timey, wonderful-smelling kind. 

PS: Keen gardeners should make a mental note of our Fragrant Garden Roses Workshop on 13 November. Even better, book now to avoid disappointment.