Bloom Time for Russian River Valley Roses

Join in a celebratory petal toss to send the harvest good tidings.

PETALS HIGH IN THE AIR: So many traditions and holidays involve the throwing of items in the air, from beads during Mardi Gras to rice, birdseed, and flowers at a wedding. But rose petals are something a bit more special, at least in the "how we honor this moment" annals. Ask any flowergirl or flowerboy who has walked down a church aisle lined in white satin, carefully dropping each perfect little pink petal in just the right spot (and taking care not to dump the whole basket, as sometimes happens). Or check in with any hotel planner about whether couples have requested a swath of rose petals covering the suite's bed. (They have, and often, countless hotel packages do reveal.) Standing in a garden and throwing petals, though, is something less seen, though it is an occasion that bears a lot of bliss, good will, and general convivialness.

ROSE PETAL THROWS... happen in spots around the world, including Bulgaria, where Jan Tolmasoff first experienced the tradition. The petal throw welcomes a "bountiful harvest" according the Russian River Rose Company, and it is a tradition they honor at their rosy spot outside Healdsburg. Want to have the singular pleasure of throwing petals in the air in the hopes that a fine harvest shall be enjoyed? They make for the Blessing of the Rose Harvest on Saturday, April 18. Gradina Slavic Singers will also be on the grounds of the bud-brimful estate, saying hello to spring.

OTHER ROSY DOINGS... on the scentful schedule ahead include tours, a May Pole-centered happening, and an April weekend devoted to irises. There are demos devoted to gardening and Mother's Day is a big, big, big moment for the stroll-and-sniff spot. If you want to plan your first-ever petal throw -- or if you're an old-hand at the picturesque ritual -- point your nose this way, rose fans.

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