Sunday, July 26, 2009

How To Make a Tussie Mussie

Tussie mussies were a method of communicating using the language of flowers during Victorian times. Before that, they were used to ward off disease and cover the smell of the streets. The phrase "tussie mussie" comes from a medieval word meaning sweet posie. They are a thoughtful little gift to one you care for regardless whether you incorporate meaning into them or compose them for beauty only.
It doesn't take long to put one of these little bouquets together. Just use what you have on hand as far as flowers and herbs go and let your eye guide the composition. In general, it is best to use flowers in groups of odd numbers to create a balanced bouquet. Decide whether you want to create a meaning or not, and gather your flowers. To maintain their freshness, keep them in water as you work
Start with a focal flower. This bouquet is for a sick friend so I chose a rose to represent love, added some marjoram for joy and happiness, lemon balm for sympathy and lavender for devotion. Work in a somewhat symmetrical fashion, keeping your flowers in place with florists' tape. I then added some bee balm for compassion and yarrow for health. There are a couple of sprigs of thyme to bring strength and courageKeep your composition tight and don't make it too large. Tussie mussies are traditionally small in size. I finished with Lady's Mantle to bring comfort and Queen Anne's lace as it mimics the lace the Victorian ladies used in their tussie mussies. I finished the edges with a border of hosta leaves as they make a nice solid contrast for the laciness of the other flowers. Finish off your work by trimming the ends of the flowers evenly. I like to leave them long enough to go in a bud vase .

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