Gathering and Making Potpourri

There’s something satisfying about making your own potpourri.

It might be in the search for the beauty of nature, but it also might be a need to preserve every little bit of the spring, summer, or fall season, and bring it indoors to make it all last during a long cold winter. Either way it brings about memories of where and how you found nature’s treasures and can bring us pleasure.

Flower and pinecone collage

Gathering and Making Potpourri

Here are some suggestions and tips about gathering and making your own potpourri with an older family member.

  • There is no right way to make a potpourri. I typically experiment, gathering things from nature that I find pleasing to the eye and fragrant, although many do not have a scent. Experiment with your own blend of natural ingredients that you love and find pleasing.
  • Take nature walks with your older family member in search of things you find beautiful. Take a bag along with you to carry your natural ingredients home. Make this a walk where you take your time to find the beauty along the way. Gathering for a potpourri may take many different paths, for example, a garden walk or a walk in the park through some pine trees. Gather as much or as often as you wish.
  • The natural ingredients you might find on a walk are: pinecones; flowers or flower petals like roses, lavender, or mums; flower heads from past blooming flowers; leaves from plants like rosemary, thyme, sweet woodruff, or sage; wood chips, etc… Let these ingredients dry.
  • Other ingredients to add to a potpourri for fragrance and color might be whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice and dried orange peel.
  • Along with your older family member decide which ingredients work best together in terms of color and texture. Sometimes I find that some natural ingredients looked beautiful when living, but when dried turned out to not be so beautiful. Experiment with these items by breaking them apart or crushing them.
  • Place in an open basket, bowl, or other container you have and display so that the sight and aroma of the potpourri will remind you of nature, the memory of the walk, or just be a pleasing decoration. Let the potpourri be a conversation piece.
  • I often will gather natural ingredients of the same kind and display only that, like a wooden box of small pinecones, a bundle of wild grass, or a small basket of dried roses.

*Consideration: For those whose older loved ones place unsafe things in their mouths, take into consideration the safety of making and displaying potpourri.


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