We've all been there. Someone really wonderful was excessively thoughtful and sent you the most ravishing bouquet of the season's finest blooms. You love them, of course, and you do everything humanly possible to extend their vase life. Sugar, check. Splash of lemon juice, check. Drop of bleach, check. You keep the bunch of beauties in a cool room and out of direct sunlight.
Alas, even though you've tried very, very hard, nature takes its course and the bouquet of gorgeousness begins to fade.
You can't possibly find it within yourself to toss out these little darlings. So what do you do? Hang them upside down and dry them? Yes, but because the flowers were never preserved, and their colour and shape would almost always be second rate.
What you should do is a little DIY potpourri. We promise they won't be the tacky stuff you get from the store. What you will get is a bowl of prettiness that smells of heaven.
So, here's how you go about it.
1. As soon as your fresh blooms start wilting but before they really droop and keel over, get your kitchen shears out and snip off the flower heads. Flowers or foliage that are longer in length can be cut into 1-inch pieces. Try to keep the blooms intact. Bin the excess stems.
2. Lay what you've prepared flat on a tray or a cookie sheet. Make sure you don't pack them tightly together and allow them to dry thoroughly preferably in a cool, dry and dark place. The cool and dark helps the material keep their colour (as much as possible) whilst the dryness helps get rid of moisture quickly. This step should take about 2-3 weeks. Once completely dry, you will yield crisp and typically shrivelled flowers and foliage.
3. Whilst you are waiting for your materials to dry, get yourself some essential oil. The good stuff -- we've added a short list of purveyors should you not know where to get some.
3. Now, when you have your dried flowers and foliage, get a shallow bowl that will fit what you have. If you've got excess, just get more bowls! Instead of throwing all your dried materials into the bowl willy nilly, lay them down gently in little mounds. This makes it neater and far prettier than the typically swirly mess.
4. Drop 3-4 drops of essential oil onto the potpourri and go crazy -- place on coffee tables, nightstands, entrances, bathrooms and enjoy!
Where to get essential oil.
1. Baldwins has been around since 1844. Their little bottles of pure essential oil are really inexpensive for the quality you'll be getting. Our favourite by far.
2. iHerb provides serviceable quality but prices, as with all things from iHerb are very affordable.
3. My Pure Earth available at Therapy Market prides itself for sourcing and pricing their products ethically.