Hedges on an Outer Hebridean Isle are few and far between but wide clumps of Rosa rugosa, bank ditches and serve as sprawling garden boundaries. When the wind blows in the right direction its perfume is intoxicating.
This year the seasoned forager can use squirrelled, store cupboard berry syrups in the confidence that replacement wild berries are plentiful. Some might even dare to open an immature bottle of Pontack with carefree abandon.In a year of berry famine, I'd probably err towards waiting the suggested seven years, until opening the Pontack.
Traditionally, country folk used flower blossom in syrups and wines, and more recently this practice has been taken up commercially, as fragrant blooms are captured in pretty, artisan bottles. The foraging experience can't be replaced, even if the syrup or cordial may now be purchased in a shop. The recipe is easy: steep the blossom in boiling water.