Potpourri from Garden Flowers

Q: We are going through the garden and pulling flowers for seed collection, but we still have the petals. We have marigolds, sunflowers, daisys and more. We would like to make some potpouri. Can you make it out of these flowers, as I assume one can? I think that there are other things to add as well.
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If I can't make pot-pouri from them, what else could be made?

Laura - NH

A: Laura,

The answer is yes. All of the flowers you listed can be used to make potpourri. Here are a few tips:

Gathering and Preparing Materials: Use flowers and plants that are newly opened, clean and free of pests or diseases. To maximize essential oils, collect them early in the morning and be careful not to bruise them when handling. Place a single layer of leaves and flowers across a screen or tie several small bunches together and hand them upside down in a warm, dark place for drying (at least two weeks).

Recipe for Potpourri: Place dry flowers and leaves of your choice in a large Ziploc bag or airtight container. Crumble them slightly to release fragrance. If the leaves and flowers you choose are not especially aromatic, add some essential oils a drop at a time (approximately 1/4 to 1/2 oz. per pound) to the potpourri while stirring the contents. Add 1 tsp of fixative, such as orris root, cellulose fiber or oak moss. These fixatives all have slightly different scents so use the fixative than blends most subtly with the scent theme you're going for. Cure the mixture for two week in an airtight bag or container. Check in a few days and add more fragrance if necessary.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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