Dried scented leaves make great homemade potpourri
A couple of weeks ago I took my trusty basket into the garden and collected some scented leaves that I thought may be useful in potpourri making.
Picking scented leaves for drying
I found scented leaf pelargoniums, lemon balm and peppermint.
Drying the leaves
I put the basket in the airing cupboard as usual and stirred them around after a few days to encourage them to dry evenly. I didn’t bother drying them by hanging as I wasn’t going to try to use them in a bouquet. The lemon balm and peppermint were fully dry in about a week, but the pelargoniums took another week to dry – possibly because of the moisture-retaining hairs you can see on the left in the photo below of the dried leaves.
Potpourri made from dried scented leaves
They smelt gorgeous drying, and I will break them up a bit to release more fragrance as potpourri. In aromatherapy, this combination should pack quite a punch, as scented leaf pelargoniums are said to be uplifting, lemon balm gives an emotional boost, and peppermint is revitalising.
I think it’s going to be the type of potpourri that I stick my hands in and crush a little bit every time I go past to release more fragrance from the dried leaves. I’m not inclined to add any oils at present, but if I did, I think I’d use traditional potpourri making methods, and essential oils rather than fragrance oils to keep the aromatherapy properties. For more info, see my post about potpourri making.