There are probably many ways to make Potpourri, but thought I would share with you how I make mine.
The first thing you need are dried flowers, petals and even the leaves,stems (lavender) are suitable.I like to do my dries during our winter as we hardly get a drop of rain and air is very drying.
If you are going to dry your flowers yourself, the best time to pick them is in the morning when the flowers are dry. If you don't have flowers in your garden but would like to dry your own, buy a bunch or two from the flower market. As soon as you get them home, tie into a bunch with some raffia or string and hang upside down in a cool, dry, airy spot. If you have flowers without stems, break the petals up,or leave buds whole (I like to add rose buds), place on a sieve of some sort, preferably a large flat one, spread your petals out and leave to dry in a suitable spot. Toss them around occasionally to make sure the petals dry out all over.
The most suitable flowers for potpourri are roses and lavender, but you can experiment with all types of flowers. Just a tip here is keep the different flowers apart while drying. Once you can see which ones will dry suitable for potpourri, then you can mix them up. I like to keep my different flowers apart until I make my potpourri, that way I can mix the colours together for whatever potpourri I am making.
Here is a picture of of my autumn potpourri I made last year, where I used petals and berries of autumn shades.
Your flowers will be ready to make into potpourri when the petals are crisp to the touch.
Part 2- mixing the potpourri oils to follow soon.
Your flowers/leaves are now ready. You can break the flowers/leaves up if you have not already done so, leave some buds whole as they add to the look. Lavender stems should be broken up small, again leave some small lavender sprays to add to the look.
Place your flowers/leaves into a large bowl, I love to use my large old enamel bowls for this. You will also need a wooden spoon to mix, but hands do best.
Choose your oils depending on the scents you want. Remember if you have essential oils, it is concentrated so you will need about 2 drops per cup of dried flowers.
If you use fragrance oils, it is not as concentrated so you will need more drops of oils per cup, about double. When choosing your oil, try and match the flowers natural scents as far as possible. The oils will enhance the flowers natural scents.
You need a fixative, that is something you can use to add the oils to so that it disperses better amongst the flowers. Orris root is probably the best fixative, but if I make a spicy potpourri, I have used ground citrus peels.
Mix your chosen oil into the orris root.
Gradually add the oil mix to your flowers/leaves, mixing well in between each addition. You can add drops of oil straight onto flowers/leaves but this needs to be mixed very well between each drop.
Once your flowers/leaves/oils have been well blended, place all inside an airtight container and leave to "mature" for a about six weeks. I like to open my container every few days and toss mixture around so its all well blended.
Mature potpourri displayed in an open bowl or bowl with some opening, gives a room a wonderful natural scent.
How/where to use your Potpourri.- part 3 to follow soon.
Some of last years dries.
A useful way to use your flowers for potpourri. Today I picked some spring/summer flowers from the garden. I placed these in a vase without water and there they will remain until the flowers and leaves are dry to make a new batch of potpourri. Some flowers will dry beautifully this way, without tying in a bunch and hanging upside down. I now have an arrangement of fresh flowers for quite a while and at the same time adding to my dries for potpourri.
In this batch I picked bougainvillea, green foliage which has a tiny flower and sprigs of rosemary to add a lovely scent.
Copyright © 2008 - All Rights Reserved - Written By Lynda of A Prim On A Whim blog at http://whimsicalprims.blogspot.com and Marcella-Mia blog at http://marcella-mia.blogspot.com . Lynda is the owner of Marcella-Mia a store front gift shop specializing in fine traditions.