this is my first real model using the sculpt tool. I started with a grid. I deleted and moved vertices around till I gor a petal outline, and then I used the sculpt tool to shape the initial rose petal. I then duplicated the petal and changed the geometry a little, correcting any overlap with the sculpt tool. I repeated the same process working from the outside in.
the stem is an cylinder extruded a ton of times and sub divided to oblivion to give enough detail for the thorns. I was not concerned about poly count for two reasons. one, it is a simple scene, and two, I just got a dual core 3.0 GHz intel core 2 duo comp with 2GB RAM!
(you may have to ajust your screen a little to see it just right)
EDIT: fixed broken links and resized to fit on most screens.