1. Measure frankincense (check mail-order herb suppliers) and orris root into small jar,
  2. Drip the oils over the mixture, tighten the lid, and shake the jar to distribute the oils,
  3. Set aside lor at least 3 days to allow the oils to blend with the plant material.
  4. Put the mixed Christmas herbs, myrrh powder, and chamomile and lavender flowers into the mixing bowl.
  5. Add oil, frankincense, and orris root to the herbs,- mix well without crumbling the herbs.
  6. Transfer the mix to the I -gallon jar. Shake the jar gently to blend the ingredients
  7. Allow the mix to age for at least 6 weeks, shaking often.
  8. Add the ribbon snips and citnis peel to the potpourri as you package it lor gifts.

Yield: 4 to 6 cups of potpourri m

Bundled lavender stalks

Herbalist and floral designer Betsy Williams of Andover, Massachusetts, author of Potpourri and Fragrant Projects, uses plant materials linked to Christmas in her potpourri. Betsy suggests using the language of flowers to create a "message mix" for the occasion. For example, thyme represents courage and sweet woodruff means humility. It is said that Joseph gathered these herbs to mix with the straw in the manger.

Ingredients and Supplies

Small glass jar with tight-fitting lid

X cup frankincense tears lA cup orris root, cut and peeled (or buy orris root chunks) 20 drops lavender oil 10 drops rosemary oil 4-6 cups Christmas herbs, like thyme and sweet woodruff % cup myrrh powder ยก6 cup chamomile and lavender flowers l^arge ceramic, stainless steel, or glass mixing bowl I -gallon glass jar with tight-fitting lid Cold metallic ribbon, cut into small snips Citms peel, cut into stars and dried

Bundled lavender stalks

To strip lavender flower buds quickly, put the stalks in a pillowcase. Roll the encased lavender with a rolling pin to separate the buds from the stalks. Store the flowers in a jar to use in potpourri. Tie together the bare stalks to make fragrant fire starters.

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