The breezy days of fall are a delight for potpourri and wreath-makers. Myriad substances for a woodsy mix of enticing potpourri have blown off bushes and branches, littering the forest flooring with items of lichen, lacy cedar and different evergreen department ideas, and an assortment of cones from tiny cedar, alder and hemlock specimens to bigger wreath/swag-worthy pine and fir beauties.
An occasional chicken’s nest is a real treasure. (Don’t steal one nonetheless connected to a department, since many birds return to their similar nests annually). By the best way, when you’ve got a bag of cedar chips for hamster cages, they serve properly in potpourri, as do the varied chips offered for barbecue use.
In meadow and backyard, decorative grasses have dried heads of various dimension and texture for harvest, starting from tiny, fluffy “bunny tails” to elegant plumes, and distinctive crops comparable to Japanese lantern and Honesty supply poufs and “cash” for added curiosity.
Whereas dried flowers and rose petals add perfume and delicacy to scented potpourris, the coarser pods and ideas of poppies and teazel, together with woodland gatherings, create a formidable show as effectively. Too, they’re faster and easier, and for many people with little time to spare, are the best way to go. Many individuals don’t take care of scented gadgets, preferring merely a decorative assortment in a picket bowl, maybe, for a country however lovely show. For those who’ve discovered a chicken’s nest, make it a focus.
Whether or not you create a floral or woodland potpourri, don’t overlook the important substances for both that await you in your herb backyard. Clusters of sage dry fantastically, look fairly and supply a delightful scent that isn’t “perfumey.” Dill heads — or the dried heads of parsley, Candy Cicely, and so forth., are one other risk for a singular look and a contact of scent that isn’t overwhelming. Lavender, too, fits properly, as does Rosemary: Used as sprigs, both of them emits a delicate, soothing perfume that isn’t “flowery” — nice for folks plagued with complications.
An herbalist from 1606 created a “sleep pillow” of herbs, as follows: Three cups of spearmint, three cups of rose petals, 1 cup of complete cloves, 1/4 cup grated orris root. “Place the combination in a material drawstring bag … take that to mattress with you, and it’ll trigger you to sleep, and it’s good to odor unto at different occasions.”
Simply dried flower-heads comparable to Feverfew, Sea-Holly, Echinops, Tansy and Yarrow are excellent for “scentless” potpourri, and naturally dried leaves of Lamb’s Ears (Stachys) or any of the Artemisias, add a silver-grey magnificence with out added scent.
On now, to the kitchen! Naturally, you will have by no means thrown away an orange or lemon peel, however minimize them into strips to dry only for immediately’s potpourris! You’ll be able to toss them into any and all mixtures as you would like, together with dried apple slices when you’ve got them, cinnamon sticks, complete or cracked nutmegs, complete cloves, vanilla beans, allspice, and little gossamer baggage stuffed with fennel, caraway or dill seeds. Entire nuts — walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and so forth., look nice in potpourri, too.
Containers aren’t an issue. They need to be both clear glass or open and shallow to show the contents, however can run the gamut from a reasonably glass bowl to a protracted chunk of bark — birch is gorgeous. Too, you needn’t toss all of the substances collectively, however can organize them right into a centerpiece very simply.
Heart a cluster of small cones, maybe, surrounded by blended gleanings comparable to lichens, chips and pods, then tuck cedar ideas across the perimeter, and bigger evergreen tufts on the ends. Sprinkle along with your selection of “pretties” as you would like — vivid rose hips, maybe, or clusters of Mountain Ash berries (take into account cranberries from the market — fairly and conventional)! As Christmas nears, add some small, shiny balls for vacation “spark.”
Convey nature into your property! Your potpourri may even function a encompass for a houseplant. There’s no finish to what you’ll be able to create — and it’s all free!
(Editor’s word: For a few years, Valle Novak has written gardening and cooking columns for the Each day Bee. “Weekend Gardener” and “Nation Chef” turned famend for his or her humor, info and customary sense recommendation on the way to do the whole lot from planting to cooking. Whereas she just lately retired, she has shared various columns to thrill her many followers. That is one such column, initially revealed Sept. 23, 2007.)