Lemon Eucalyptus Potpourri

I like to make this simple citrus and eucalyptus blend because its fresh, light scent is a great way to brighten my home any time of the year.

The materials used in this potpourri are readily available at any crafts store.

Potpourri Materials:
eucalyptus leaves
cedar shavings
dried ginkgo leaves
dried lemon slices
essential oil of lemon grass

Gift Packaging Materials:
4″ clay pot
clear cellophane wrap

The first thing to do is dry your lemon slices. You can do this in either a dehydrator or in the oven. To dry the lemon slices in your oven set it on 175 degrees F, place the slices on a wire rack and let them cook for about 4 to 6 hours.

Next mix the foliage together in a large bowl. Eucalyptus leaves are a nice choice because they hold up for a long time and I like to use the seeded variety because it has berries, which adds a nice touch. And ginkgo leaves are a favorite because of their shape and color. For a little textural contrast, add some cedar shavings.

Mix in the lemon slices with the foliage and to carry on the citrus theme, toss in some dried lemon balm leaves. I gathered leaves from my garden, but if you don’t have lemon balm readily available, mint leaves work just as well.

Gently blend all of this together. Now, to make the aroma last much longer, give your potpourri an extra boost with essential oils. These are concentrated fragrances from flowers, herbs and spices. You can buy essential oils at crafts stores or health food stores. Since this potpourri follows a lemon theme with the aroma and color of this blend, you may want to choose a citrus scented oil such as lemon or my favorite, lemon grass.

Adding the essential oil is sort of like baking chocolate chip cookies. If you want to increase the flavor, add more of the essential ingredient, chocolate chips. Only with this, you just add more oil. To make this blend extra lemony, add about four drops per double handful of the potpourri. Then toss the leaves and cedar to make sure that it is distributed evenly.

If you decide to give your potpourri as a gift I suggest you package it in a simple clay pot to give it a fresh from the garden look.

First cover the drainage hole with a piece of tape so that the leaves and eucalyptus berries won’t drop through. And then fill the pot with potpourri. A nice touch is to place a bottle of the essential oil on top for refreshing later.

For wrapping, just pull some clear wrap up around the pot, tie it at the top with raffia and accent it with some greenery. You just want to make sure that the potpourri is completely dry so it doesn’t cloud the plastic. What a perfect gift from the garden!