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One of the sidelines of my cutting garden is left over from its previous incarnation as a herb garden: I’ve got a row of plants specifically dedicated to producing perfume.

At the moment – since the whole thing got interrupted so wasn’t completed properly – it consists only of English lavender and Apothecary’s Rose (Rosa gallica officinalis). The rose is currently flowering its head off and so I’m gathering the petals and drying them on a shelf in the shady corridor that runs from one back door to the other, between my office and the kitchen. It might sound like an odd place for drying flowers, but in fact it fulfils all the main requirements in that it’s shady, cool and there’s a draught running through it regularly.

At the moment I’m not quite sure what I shall do with the dried petals: I could make simple rose-petal pot pourri, which just means dried rose petals in a bowl. That would be nice, but I’m not sure how long it will last. What I’d really like to do is to make wet pot pourri – the type for which it is named (it literally means “rotten pot”!). This involves packing layers of petals which have been dried for just two days in a big crock with rock salt. Unfortunately since the pot needs to be clay or similar (i.e. not see-through) I’ve got a problem sourcing one – large glass jars are relatively easy to find, but big clay crocks went out with my grandma. The search begins!

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