Make Your Own Garden Potpourri

Collect a mixture of natural materials and aromatic spices, arrange them in your favorite bowl and sprinkle with scented oils to create a potpourri that will look and smell lovely.

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Potpourri Made From Dried Natural Materials DK - A Greener Christmas © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Potpourri is made of three ingredients: dried natural materials, which comprise the filling and spices and scented oils to create fragrance. The natural materials can include whatever you find visually pleasing and suit the type of potpourri you're making. Collect interesting seasonal flowers, seed heads, flower heads, fruits, sprigs of foliage and berries. To dry these ingredients thoroughly, spread them in a single layer on newspaper and leave for a week or so in a warm, dry place out of the sun and away from drafts. Fruits like oranges, lemons and kumquats need to be dried slightly differently: cover a wire rack with cheesecloth, place the whole fruits or fruit slices in a single layer on top and leave in the oven on a low temperature or in a cabinet for up to 48 hours.

How to Scent a Room Quickly:
Place pinecones, orange peels or seasoned apple wood on top of a wood fire as it burns or place a saucer filled with orange and lemon peels or water containing a few drops of scented oil next to a warm radiator.

Making the Potpourri:
Arrange dried natural materials and spices in a large bowl and sprinkle a few drops of scented essential oil over them. Cover the potpourri in the bowl until needed and refresh with a few more drops of oil when necessary. Try mixing your own combination of scented oils to create a pleasing aroma or follow one of our recipes below.

Potpourri Recipes:

  • Spice Potpourri: Collect a few cinnamon sticks, star anise, nutmeg, cloves, walnuts, hazelnuts and a selection of dried natural materials. Sprinkle with 10 drops of cinnamon oil and five drops of clove oil.
  • Citrus Potpourri: Dry whole clementines, kumquats and orange and lemon slices and peels. Sprinkle with 10 drops of orange oil and five drops of lemon oil.
  • Pine Potpourri: Collect pinecones and a few small branches of any fragrant evergreens, such as pine, juniper or cypress. Sprinkle with 10 drops of pine oil and five drops of cedar oil.
  • Garden Potpourri: Gather a selection of natural materials such as thistles, berries, rosehips, and lavender and rosemary stems. Allow them to dry out thoroughly. Sprinkle with 10 drops of lavender oil and five drops of rosemary oil.

Excerpted from A Greener Christmas

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2008

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