A Nose Garden

When the petal and leaf mixture is complete, spices may be added in whatever quantities meet the nose test. Cinnamon, cloves and allspice are commonly used. Whole spices are more lasting than ground ones.

Last comes some sort of fixative. Either orris root or gum storax may be used, at the rate of a tablespoon or two to a jar. Both may be obtained from drugstores. Chipped orris root will make a longer lasting potpourri than the usual powdered root; and a properly made potpourri is long-lasting, indeed. Not long ago I sniffed a mixture twenty-five years old, which still retained a fine, heady aroma.

Sometimes other things are included to heighten the fra­grance, such as sachet powder, cologne or sandalwood powder. The flower fragrance, however, should always be dominant.

The finished potpourri is kept in a large covered jar for a couple of weeks, and stirred occasionally. Then it is packed lightly in attractive jars with tight-fitting lids. Whenever desired it may be opened and stirred a bit to permit the per­fume to drift through the room.

Instead of large jars, potpourri may be packed in small plastic boxes, the round or half-round ones like those in which cheese is sometimes packaged. A bright pressed flower laid on top of the potpourri will serve as a floral label, to be seen through the transparent lid. Or, a single blossom of a dried strawflower may be glued on top of the lid, like a knob. These small packages make ideal gifts.

Dresser drawer linings may be made by spreading a potpourri mixture, or any fragrant dried leaves, between thin sheets of cotton wadding. This pad is then slip-covered with some attractive sheer material.

Sachet bags are easily made by putting potpourri, or any simple mixture of fragrant dried leaves and petals, on a square of gay fabric, gathering up the corners, and tying it with a ribbon bow.

Herb pillows may be stuffed with refreshing dried herbs. Lemon verbena is an old favorite with insomnia sufferers.

Scented hair rinse can be quickly made by boiling a couple tablespoonfuls of rosemary, rose geranium, lemon verbena or other scented leaves in two quarts of rainwater.

Color in Garden - Plate 11b

A bath scent may be made by tying up a big handful of favorite aromatic leaves in a generous square of cheesecloth, for dunking in the bathwater.



      (c)2003-2008, gardening-with-kids.com