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Potpourri for Fresh Summer Days

by Leah Morgan, CCAP

While dried flowers are making their way back into our bouquets and the design world, potpourri may be a dying art. This simple technique brings fragrance and beauty to your home while honoring nature’s infinite magic.

While the intention of this concoction has always been to freshen up the atmosphere in one’s home (or castle), the reason for its creation was not so pleasant. In the Middle Ages, when humans did not have such high standards for hygiene, potpourri was created by placing herbs and fruits into a pot of boiling water. The steam was released to replace whatever stench was lurking around.

Luckily for us today, plants are still supporting us to keep our homes smelling, looking and feeling so fresh and so clean. Here are some suggestions to create your own vibrant potpourri.

Place it in a bowl as a centerpiece, in the washroom, or by your bedside. Any spot in the home is a good spot for Potpourri!

Gather a few handfuls of brightly coloured flowerheads and petals (like marigolds, roses, delphiniums, hydrangeas, etc.) You can even save some citrus peels from oranges, lemons, grapefruits etc. Collect some interestingly shaped seedpods or cones (like poppies and pinecones). Try some herbs too, like rosemary, thyme, basil or mint! Look through your spice cabinet and gather some cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and clove buds.

Dry all the fresh ingredients on a mesh frame or sieve by storing in a dry and well-ventilated area for a week or two. You can also bake the fresh ingredients for two hours at 200F. If you’re anything like us and can’t wait to see your results, then baking is your best bet!

Once all your ingredients have dried or baked (flowerheads and petals should be crisp and completely dried), you can blend them with essential oils to add more fragrance. Some of our favorite essential oils for potpourri are Rose, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Lemon and Sage. Add 15-20 drops of your favorite oils into your blend, toss well, and enjoy!

Leah Morgan, CCAP

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