Indoor freshness without the trouble of live flowerpots
Posted Thursday, July 12 2012 at 16:22
Walk into some homes, shops or restaurants and you will find a mixture of flowers, herbs and spices in a bowl or jar creating a colourful pleasant smelling decor.
This is potpourri, the mix that is becoming common in Kenyan homes, especially those that have a connection with the ornamental flower décor business.
The fragrant colourful pieces are a lovely sight to behold as a centre piece at the table. It is a simple way of having flowers indoors without the care that fresh flowers need.
You can put it into a beautiful ceramic, wooden, earthen or glass bowl in the middle of the table, on the mantle, or anywhere you see fit around the house including the toilet.
The multi-coloured, scented, plain or painted dried flowers are something that can be store bought, but its more fun making your own at home using dried flowers, especially those that are dear to you and you want to keep the memory, or the beautiful flowers that bloom in the back yard.
You can preserve the beauty for an extended period in a very simple fashion; you can dry and use them to make some potpourri.
To make potpourri you would need assorted dried flowers. To dry the flowers at home, you need different bouquets of flowers, tie each type together at the stem, but not too tight as to cut into them.
To dry them you will need to hang them upside down in a warm, dry and airy place. An empty closet serves as a good alternative. Keep checking their progress to prevent over drying or rotting.
For quicker drying, you can place the flowers in a box or an airtight container and cover them with silica gel. This takes a week or two to dry, gently shake out the silica gel from the petals once they are dry.
The oven method is also a quick way of drying flowers. Place them on an oven tray layered with baking sheets. Place them in an oven at temperatures of 80-degrees, leave the door open as they dry. This may take a few hours.
Once dry, take them out and leave them out overnight to make sure they are fully dry and have no moisture residue. Gently snap off the non-essential parts of the flowers such as the stem and leaves (if you do not wish to use them) before the final storage.
Store each variety in a different jar away from light and in air tight containers. Check the containers after a few days, if any moisture is present then take the flowers out and dry some more before returning them into storage.
Most flowers do not have a strong enough scent to permeate the air in a room. Fixatives are used to create that fragrance that will waft to the furthest corners of the room. The fragrance can be herbal, spicy, citrus, sweet or flowery.
A fixative absorbs scents and allows them to be released gently into the air. Some fixatives one can use include orris root, oak moss, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, cedar wood, frankincense, sandalwood and Tonka bean.