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Making Potpourri Straight from Your Garden

December 28, 2012 2 min read

Making PotpourriLittle else brings the fresh scents of the outdoors in, like natural potpourri. You can spend a lot of money on store bought brands. However, if you have a garden, you can easily make you own!

Some of the benefits of making your own potpourri…

  1. It’s easy – the biggest thing it requires is patience.
  2. You get more from your garden by using your fragrant plants throughout the year.
  3. There is no end to the experimenting and customizing to make the scent just the way you like it!
  4. Make enough to give away as personalized gifts for birthdays and holidays.

Basically, just about anything in your garden that is fragrant can work for making potpourri including, seeds, petals, leaves and bark. Here are a few examples:

Rose petals, Lavender, Sage leaves, Fragrant Dianthus, Pine Bark, seed heads from Coneflowers and Bergamot, Thyme, Rosemary and other herbs.

You will need a fixative for lasting scent. Orris Root Powder or Oak Moss will work and can be found at most craft stores. You will also need Essential Oils of rose, lavender, lemon or another preferred fragrance.

Finally, things around the kitchen you may have such as, citrus peels (after drying), cinnamon bark and spices can also be added to further customize and create a bountiful aroma!

Making Your Potpourri:

Dry your material: Cut what you will need from your garden after dew has dried. One of the easiest and most efficient ways to dry flowers and leaves is to hang them. Bunch each scent separately and tie stems with a string or rubber band. Hang upside down in a dark, but well ventilated area. It will take anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks to completely dry out.

Remember that your material will shrink considerably when drying. You will need to collect enough to make the desired amount. This may take several cuttings over a month or so to accumulate. Keep dried material in an air tight jar or container until you have enough to make your first batch.

After you have enough dried potpourri, add about 4 – 8 drops of your essential oil and 2 T of fixative to every cup of dried potpourri. Let the scents penetrate and keep in a brown paper bag or other container in a dark area for 3 - 6 weeks. Shake the material one or two times per week.

After several weeks, you can add a few more drops of oil if need be or any other ‘extras’ such as cinnamon bark or citrus peels if desired. Then…

Simply stir, divide and enjoy!

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