Birthdays, Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day - anytime a lovely bouquet is received - why not make it last fresher and longer with only a few timely interventions.
Every two or three days remove the flowers and foliage from their primary vase to a temporary holding vase or pitcher filled with clean, cold water.
With dish soap and hot water wash the primary vase and rinse well. To the primary vase, add about 1/2-cup hot water and one TBS honey mixing until the honey dissolves.
Honey will feed the flowers and foliage. It's also an anti-bacterial and will help prevent mold and slime from forming on the stems of your bouquet allowing your flowers to last longer.
Fill the primary vase the rest of the way with clean, cold water.
Wash and trim each stem an inch or so shorter than it was. Cut on an angle with sharp scissors or pruners. Replace and re-arrange your bouquet into the primary vase one cut stem at a time as soon as it is cut.
Just these few steps, requiring only minutes out of the day will keep your flowers beautiful. Repeat every two or three days for as long as your flowers look good.
Once the flowers can no longer be salvaged - you'll know because they begin to droop - cut the stems off just below the flowers or buds. You may salvage the petals by peeling them gently away from the blossom end.
In the case of roses, daffodils, bachelor's buttons, and many others, the flower or bud may be dried whole.
Place a length of waxed paper on a cookie sheet and spread the petals, buds, flowers and leaves onto the waxed paper. Put the cookie sheet in a warm, dry spot for about a week to dry the flowers/foliage.
These petals, buds, and leaves will dry in about a week's time.
After everything has dried you'll need a pretty dish or bowl. Arrange your dried petals, buds, and leaves in a pleasing manner.
Set the potpourri on a table or shelf to enjoy for months and years to come!
You may wish to further enhance your potpourri with a few drops of essential oils or favorite perfume.
You may wish to add the oils to chopped or powdered orris root, dried and chopped corn cobs, or whole corks from celebratory champagne or wine, then adding these "carriers" to the potpourri.
The carriers will absorb the oils and help "fix" the scent so that your potpourri is as aromatic as it is beautiful. If using beverage corks be sure they're the real thing and not synthetic or plastic.
A lovely potpourri that you make yourself from well-received bouquets will remind you visually and aromatically of a lovely, meaningful gift.
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The next post will highlight the meaning and lessons of Natural Abundance learned while living at the Cottage.