1. Pick petals on a sunny day after the dew has dried, choosing scented types with good color.
2. Spread them out on cookie sheets to dry away from light; warmth from the pilot light of a gas stove works well. If small, whole flowers are picked to dry, it is vital to check for bugs like earwigs, which hide in the center of the flowers and if undetected could consume them (we speak from experience).
3. When crispy dry, store dried petals and other colorful flowers (your choice of types and colors) in a covered container until ready to combine with other ingredients.
4. Add 1 teaspoon of essential rose oil to 3 tablespoons of plant fixative (orrisroot, cellulose, or your choice) in a small covered jar; shake it now and then over the next three days so the oil and fixative are mixed and blended.
5. Now add this mixture, and if you like, spices (whole or crushed cinnamon and cloves) and dried orange peel to the dried flowers, mixing well.
6. Store in a tightly covered opaque container and shake or turn upside down every day or every other day over the next six weeks.
7. The potpourri is now ready to use. To make it last longer, display away from light, and stir and cover occasionally.
That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet. –William Shakespeare
Click here for the main article, To Know A Rose.
Adapted with permission from Gardens of Use and Delight (Fulcrum, 2002) by Jigs and Jo Ann Gardner.