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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Making Potpourri

Where to get your ingredients:
Ask at the florist shop for any discarded flowers, or dry out your own
flowers.

Harvesting your ingredients
Handle your herbs and flowers carefully to avoid bruising them. Once
they have been bruised you will have lost any value in them for their
essential oils. The best time to collect leaves, roots, flowers and
seeds is in the early morning after the dew has evaporated.

Choose plants that are clean, free of any pests or diseases. Choose
flowers that are newly opened. Always collect 4 times the amount you
will need for the final potpourri mix as flowers, leaves etc. will
shrink when dried.

Drying Methods
The drying process usually takes up to 2 weeks in general. There are two
processes for drying flowers and herbs. Keep in a warm dark place that
has good air circulation.

Air Drying: Using a window screen works quite well. It allows air
circulation around the plant material. Place the flowers and or herbs on
a single layer. Do not pack them tightly together or on top of each
other or they will decompose. Takes about one week to be completely
dried out.

Hanging: Fasten together several small bunches, tie the stems off with
elastics or string. Hang them upside down to dry out.

Storing The Potpourri
Store your "New" potpourri in airtight containers or plastic bags. Store
in a cool dark place until needed.

Making the potpourri
To make the potpourri you basically need four main ingredients.
Flowers & leaves
Essential oils
Spices and Herbs
Fixative.

Potpourri Recipes

Piney Potpourri
Makes a good room deodorizer, mix the following ingredients:
1 cup rosemary
1 cup pine geranium
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup tiny pine cones
1 cup lady's bedstraw
2 tbsp. sandalwood
2 drops pine essential oil

Flowery Potpourri
A mixture of these herbs will freshen you on hot summer days.
1 cup rose petals
1 cup lavender
1 cup baby's breath
1 cup carnation
2 tbsp. orrisroot
2 drops rose or lavender essential oil