Making Herbal Potpourri

potpourri2 potpourri

One of the joys of growing an herb garden is not only having fresh herbs for baking and cooking, but being able to make delightful herba l sachets and potpourri with the dried herbs.  A touch of essential oil can also be added to the dried herbs to enhance the scent, and the leaves of the herbs can be periodically lightly broken up to refresh the scent.  Here are some ingredient suggestions:

Basil – must be one of the most versatile herbs you can grow.  The leaves can be easily dried in the sun and hold their scent well as long as they are not exposed to excessive heat and light.  There are numerous varieties available, with scents ranging from sweet to spicy.

Bay – is very versatile in a potpourri mix.  It has attractive, large green leaves with a touch of grey, and the dark, spicy scent lasts for a long time and anchors other scents well.  Bay adds a classic note that works well in almost all potpourri mixes.

Lemon Balm – Lemon balm adds a gentle, lemony scent to your potpourri mix, helping to lighten up the darker, spicier notes  in the blend. It is a clean, fresh and calming fragrance..

Mint – is  wonderful because it is easy to grow, comes in a great number of varieties, and mixes well into almost any herbal sachet blend. Mint and rosemary are particularly pleasant and effective in potpourri used in areas where you want to concentrate – such as in the office or near a student’s desk .

Patchouli – does a wonderful job of “anchoring” nearly any scent blend, giving it greater depth and making it longer lasting.  Dried patchouli leaves have the classic patchouli smell, but are more lightly scented than the essential oil .

Rosemary – is an excellent addition to your potpourri blend. It has a strong scent that can last for years, and a pleasant herbal “piney” scent that blends with many other herbs and anchors them.

Sage – adds a smokey scent to your potpourri blend. The leaves also retain their fragrance for a long time.  Periodically breaking it up between your fingers releases the scent all over again!

French tarragon – is a lovely addition to your potpourri blends. In addition to its pleasant,  light scent, it has elegant and thin  leaves that add a touch of beautiful color.

Thyme – is that scent that holds up the others. It never overpowers the blend, yet keeps the sweetness in balance.  Since thyme is a small and delicate herb, it helps to cut short sprigs of this herb – long enough to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the potpourri mix.

Sweet marjoram – is both spicy and sweet.   It combines well with citrus and light herbal  scents and holds its scent well unless exposed to excessive heat and light.

Wood shavings – are classic ingredients that anchor the scent of the potpourri with a warm and rich undertone.  Great woods to use are cedar, cypress and juniper.

Flowers  for scent ‐ Many dried flowers from your garden, including roses, geraniums, lilacs, lavender and marigolds , can add sweet scents to your potpourri

Citrus fruit ‐ Orange, lemon and lime peels add familiar and recognizable scents to your blend.  These can easily be dried in the sun or in a food dehydrator and they add a pleasant touch of color to a bowl of potpourri as well.

Flowers and Herbs For Color ‐ The final ingredient will be the flowers and other parts that add color to the mixture. Choose flowers that dry well and retain their bright coloring. Some herb flowers to choose: calendula, poppy, sage, tansy, borage. Of course, you can use any sort of dried flower that has a pleasing color.

Enjoy!