At the end of June the blossoms of the Dog Rose were out. The flowers are seemingly popular with bumblebees. This shrub is a wild climbing rose. Some say that it is named due to its curative properties after being bitten by a mad dog. However it is more likely that it used to be called a Dag Rose because of its dagger-like thorns and has been wilfully mispronounced over the centuries.
Later in the year it will produce rose hips, a very useful source of food for birds. During World War II when Britain was struggling to import fresh fruit thanks to the Nazi submarine wolf packs, rose hips were gathered to make a syrup rich in vitamin C. Apparently fairies eat them to make themselves invisible – this must be why you never see any fairies; obvious really. It is also known as Witch’s Briar: I don’t know exactly what witches did with them, just that it is something to do with, surprise surprise, love (beautiful flowers, painful thorns – very symbolic). So if there are any witches out there with more information the comments box is just itching to be used. Oh yes that reminds me; rose hip powder was also used to relieve itching. What a useful plant.