I was determined not to get carried away and spend too much money on flowers for my wedding, so decided to make my bouquet myself. Initially the plan was to order specific flowers from a local florist, but then I thought why not just go along to the local supermarket the day before the wedding and buy a few bunches of whatever was available? I was delighted with the result and ended up with flowers I’d never have chosen otherwise, including some beautiful bright sunflowers. I also picked a pale pink peony rose from the garden to include, and my Mum brought me some gorgeous blue cornflowers as they’re a particular favourite of mine, so they got added in too! Basically I just arranged them as I would for a vase and tied lots of twine up and down the stems to make sure they would hold, which they did thankfully!
I really didn’t want to leave my bouquet behind when we left for honeymoon but knew there was no way I could take it with me, so had to find some way of preserving it. I read up a little on the best way to dry full bunches of flowers and found lots of articles suggesting they be hung upside down in a cool, dry place. Never having tried this before, but with no time to experiment with another bunch of flowers first, I decided to give it a go and hung the bouquet up in the garage once we were home from the wedding.
On our return from Skye 3 weeks later I took a peek and was delighted to find the flowers had dried perfectly. I was really worried that the petals might have dried and fallen off the stalks, and that I’d come home to a pile of petals on the floor, but thankfully they were all still attached to the stems!
The colours had faded and were now subtler shades rather than the bright vibrant colours they had been, but i don’t think there’s any way to avoid this happening.
Pot pourri seemed to be the best use of the flowers and I decided to carefully cut off the flower heads and keep them intact rather than detaching the individual petals. After Googling several articles on how to make pot pourri, I knew I needed some sort of fixative as well as something to provide fragrance. The most common fixative it seems is Orris powder (which I didn’t have needless to say!), but it turns out that powdered cinnamon works too, so that’s what I went with.
Unfortunately I didn’t have any essential oils to give the flowers a lovely smell though, so knew I’d have to use some of my budget to buy a bottle. The cinnamon I’d used made me think of Christmas so thought I’d team it up with some orange oil (which always makes me think of Christingles). As it happened, Holland and Barrett had some in their sale, so I’m now £2.74 down.
Whilst I didn’t have any oils at home, I did however have a spare lemon left over after my first attempt at home-made lemonade, so I decided to have a go at drying some lemon slices to add to the potpourri mixture. As well as being able to dry the slices in the oven on a very low heat, it’s also possible to dry them in the microwave on half power, or using the defrost setting. I have to say it took considerably longer than the 6 minutes the instructions I’d found stated, and after about 25 minutes I decided to just spread them out on a fresh plate and leave them on the windowsill to finish drying. 3 days later and I had some beautifully dried lemon slices and a lovely citrus smelling kitchen!
The potpourri, complete with lemon slices, is now in an airtight container that gets a little shake every day to help the powdered cinnamon and orange oil work their magic on every petal before it’s time to turn it out into a bowl in a few weeks time!
A wonderful reminder of a wonderful day 🙂