Patricians

Flawless

Coreopsis

There is not much that can be called flawless in an August garden, at least not in mine. Mid-August is the time when mature plants become cluttered, foliage looks a little dusty and tired, and any semblance of the thought process that was put into landscape design gets lost to the whims of nature.

Dill

Fragrant hostas

It's a great year for hostas, they're all in bloom, and "Aphrodite", the variety in the picture, is very fragrant. It's scent blends lily and lily of the valley, a reminder that hostas belong to the lily family.

It is this perspective that frames the perfect blossoms of the tuberose. The pure white flowers float above the overheated, overgrown flowerbeds completely impervious to the noisy competition from the rest of their sun baked companions.

Their fragrant buds look fresh, thick and dewy, one can't even fathom how in the dead of summer, and their tall stalks have a slender aristocratic poise that makes it impossible for them to go unnoticed.

Did you know that tuberose flowers last for a month and a half and during this entire time they hardly ever change?

In the meantime everything else is constantly in need of weeding, watering, trimming, stalking. It didn't rain enough and the flower beds are weary, it gets harder to tell what is what in the jumble of leaves competing for water and sunshine. My garden is taunting me, but there is one flawless flower not in need of attention and for that I'm grateful.

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Rose essential

Saint John's Wort

Roses are very good for the complexion, they can hold their own with lavender and chamomile in terms of skin care. Rose essential oil and rose water help restore broken capillaries, alleviate minor irritations and restore the flexibility of mature, dry or environmentally damaged skin.

Add to this the pampering aromatherapy and the stimulating effect they have on peripheral circulation and you get the perfect blend of wellbeing and relaxation.

If you add rose otto to a light, highly absorbable oil, like sweet almond or jojoba, you get a wonderful moisturizer and a very effective make-up remover. A blend of lavender and rose in witch hazel or alcohol improves skin tone and reduces pore size. As with all essential oils, do not use in more than 3% concentration, otherwise it can be irritating.

Roses complement almost any fragrance, but they are best matched with other sweet florals and woodsy scents. Their middle note is balancing: it binds the other fragrances and supports physical and emotional wellbeing.

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