No longer the regular gift from grandmother, fresh and fragrant potpourri can freshen up your rooms and your clothes. It's cheap and easy to make, especially if you have access to fresh flower gardens.
Collecting your flowers
You will first need to gather a large stock of fresh flowers. A general rule of thumb is to collect four times what you need as the dried flowers will shrink in size significantly; so if you need one cup of potpourri, collect four cups of flowers.
Purchase flowers from a florist or pick blooms from gardens and parks. Wherever possible, choose flowers that are pest free and newly opened. If you are picking your flowers yourself, the best time is early in the morning.
Always handle your flowers carefully – if you bruise them, you will lose some of their scent.
There are two methods for drying out your flowers. You can space your flowers and herbs out on a window screen or similar tray with circulation vents and leave for about a week; or you can fasten bunches together with string and hang them upside down. This can take up to two weeks. When your flowers have properly dried, store them in an airtight container until you need them.
Start experimenting with different combinations once you've got a collection of dried blooms. A good potpourri mix is one that smells and looks good. Otherwise, you can begin with these recipes.
Purple Haze: Combine half a cup of lavender with a quarter cup each of pink carnation heads and violet, and two tablespoons of dried orris root. Add seven to eight drops of lavender essential oil.
Old Spice: Combine one cup of red rose petals with pinecone fragments. Add a quarter of a cup of dried orange peel, finely sliced, a teaspoon of cinnamon and about three or four vanilla sticks.
Country Garden: Combine a quarter of a cup of chamomile flower heads with three quarters of a cup of assorted wild flowers, a tablespoon of lemon herb and several sprigs of rosemary. Add several drops of your favourite floral essential oil.
Keep your potpourri in a closed container for a few weeks before using to ensure that the fragrance penetrates the mixture evenly. When it is ready, you can pour it into a tulle bag and place it in cupboards and draws to keep your fabrics smelling fresh, or into a glass dish to use as a room freshener.
Sorry Carly, when I searched the list for potpourri nothing came up. But that's o.k. cause now I know why. The title is listed as Potpurri, so the search engine wouldn't have found it I suppose. I thought I'd duplicated an existing article just now while I was looking through London articles for potpourri, but they are a bit different.
Great article too by the way. :)
By Simone Lee - senior reviewer Friday, 16th of March @ 01:36 pm