Making potpourri in the press
June 30, 2013 by
Photographing potpourri making
I was really pleased to be visited by garden writer and photographer Nicola Stocken this week. She spent an afternoon with me potpourri making for an article she is writing. It will take a while for her to process the photos and finish the article, but she sent me one image as a preview. In the photo I am preparing some flowers from my garden to dry. I felt very honored she had time to spend with me as she was visiting David Austin, James Wong and Bob Flowerdew the same week.
During the afternoon, we picked cornflowers, roses, marigolds, geraniums, peonies and geraniums, and laid them out to dry. We made traditional rose potpourri with dried petals, orris root powder and essential oils, and displayed some of my potpourri decorated with whole dried flowers.
Here are some of my own pics:
My front garden with rose Constance Spry by the gate, with marigolds, cornflowers and geraniums.
I filled a basket with rose petals and whole heads. To dry petals, I pulled them off the flower (as shown in Nicolas pic above), before laying them out on kitchen paper.
These whole roses were dried flat. I cut off the stem right behind the flower and laid them out on a tray in my airing cupboard. The dried roses are clockwise from left Iceberg, New Dawn, Constance Spry, Margaret Merrill.
Dry cornflowers by cutting off stems and drying flat as for roses above; leave on stems and hang up a bunch, or pull off petals and lay out to dry.
Marigold and cornflower can be dried in similar ways.
This marigold flower was dried flat in my airing cupboard. You can also pull off individual petals to dry more quickly.
Dry geraniums by cutting flower heads off and laying out on kitchen paper somewhere warm.
This pure white peony has pale pink highlights when dried.
Dry peonies flat (left above), or by hanging (right). The different methods subtly affect shape and colour of the dried flowers. Use to decorate potpourri.
The mixture of rose petals and other flowers in a kilner jar with orris root powder and essential oils, ready for the curing process.
Related links – drying flowers and potpourri
Find out more about drying flowers | Potpourri making
Last year I wrote an article about drying cornflowers
More about making potpourri from your garden
Update – this potpourri displayed