Japanese roses (rosa rugosa) that grow in such abundance in our English hedgerows are actually an invader and not native to our shores. They are also very hardy, look beautiful with their big brash blooms, have the most enormous hips from as early as July and smell divine with their in-yer-face scent. So I have little compunction in making as much use of them as I can whenever they are about.
A jam jar – size dependent on the amount of rose water you wish to make
Japanese rose petals
Pick over your petals to ensure no insects present but do not wash them as this will disturb their scent. Pack into the jam jar. Fill jar with freshly boiled water and leave for 24 hours. Next day, strain through scalded muslin and bottle. Done. Use in all manner of recipes including Rose Tiffin.
How easy is that? I am not sure how long it keeps for. I have had some in my fridge since August and it is still fine.
Drying petals is equally easy. Simply spread them out over a rack or mesh (I use either my baking cooling racks or my laundry drying thingy – a Lakeland special I have never used for its proper purpose!). Leave somewhere dark, dry and preferably warm for as long as it takes for the petals to dry out thoroughly, approximately one week. Store in an air tight jar out of direct sunlight and use as required.