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Potpourri is one of the many cool ways of putting your garden’s products to use. Instead of tossing those fallen flowers, leaves, or tree barks, turn them into a mixture for deodorizing and accenting the beauty of your home. If you discover you have more than you need from your garden, you can turn it into business. Depending on what you have or can get, gather flowers, petals, leaves, cones, tree barks, bits of wood, and seed pods. All these add bulk and variety to your collection. Examples of seed pods include those of the flamboyant or moringa tree. Like tree barks, these pods are woody and can absorb and keep fragrances. You can also use choice flowers such as roses and frangipani, and leaves (not those of leafy vegetables please) should mature. You can also make use of tough types like those of the woody fruit trees or plants like the ixora and ficus, because of their strong scents. In addition, you may include dry cut slices or peels of citrus fruits and spices like thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. You can find cinnamon and cloves (known as tanampani and kanafuru in Hausa) in shops of those that sell items for zobo drink. Potpourri flowers and petals are dried like those of the zobo which is typically a dried hibiscus species. While preheating your oven at low temperature, spray the potpourri collection with 10 to 15 drops of your preferred essential oil with more emphasis on unscented items like barks and pods. Essential oils include vanilla, lemon, lavender, eucalyptus oil, and so on. You can mix the essential oil with a tablespoon of water to help spray extensively. Line the oven’s tray with baking parchment paper and place the items. Next, you dry them in the oven for about two hours, taking care to check and turn them so they do not get burnt.Always,  make sure they are well dried in order to make them last longer, keeping in mind that moisture encourages mould and decay. Arrange your potpourri in decorative bowls, baskets, or mason jars. From time to time, spray with essential oils to revive the fragrance. Wrap up and store excess potpourri in clean dry sealed odor-free bags or containers, away from moisture. Creativity is key. Keep trying new things and with time, you will come up with different potpourri recipes and methods.

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This article was first published on 2nd August 2017


Nnenna is an editor and writer at Connect Nigeria. She loves fine art, books and places.

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