It's time to make rosehip syrup

It's time to make rosehip syrup

It's time to make rosehip syrup – one of the most nutritious and delicious by-products from one of the most beautiful flowers in the garden.

Roses are best known for their gorgeous flowers, but their hips are pretty too - and incredibly nutritious, with each berry containing more vitamin C than oranges. You'll find plenty of varieties with particularly good hips here in our garden centre in Chorley: favourites include the Scots rose, R. pimpinellifolia, with dramatic black hips; climbing dog roses (Rosa canina) to train against fences; and Rosa rugosa with hips the size of cherry tomatoes.

To make rosehip syrup, pick the hips once they have a little 'give' in them, then wash, top and tail them and mince them in a food processor. Pour 2.6 litres of boiling water into a pan, tip in the minced fruit and boil for a couple of minutes. Leave to cool for quarter of an hour.

Strain the liquid through muslin, then put the pulp back in the pan with another 900ml hot water and repeat. Combine both batches of liquid and simmer the syrup until it's reduced by a third. Add 500g sugar, stir till dissolved and simmer for another five minutes. Bottle in sterilised bottles.