May is Gifts from The Garden Month and Mother’s Day is coming on May 13th, so wouldn’t it be nice to give Mom a gift from the garden this year.
A tussie mussie is a little circular bouquet of fragrant herbs and flowers originally made in Victorian times as a gift with a hidden message – a “talking bouquet.” It was meant to be small enough to be held in the hand so the warmth would release the aroma but can also be presented in a small vase or a holder made specifically for them.
Each flower or herb has a specific meaning and if they are not yet available directly from your garden this spring, many can be purchased from your local grocery store among the produce or fresh flower display! A few flowers and herbs readily available have the following meanings to express your sentiments:
Aster for Sentimental Recollections
Baby’s Breath for Greatness
Basil for Good Wishes
Bay for Merit or Honor
Daisy for Hope
Dandelion for Faithfulness
Mint for Virtue
Pansy for Thoughts of You
Rose for Love
Rosemary for Remembrance
Sage for Long Life and Good Health
Thyme for Courage & Strength
To assemble a tussie mussie, start by selecting your flowers and herbs for their appearance, fragrance and symbolism. Use a striking flower - usually a rose - as the central bloom and encircle it with contrasting herbs and flowers in threes. Bind the stems with florist tape as you go to keep the posy tight. Emphasize the outer rim with a large-leafed herb like sage or even dandelion. A small paper doily can also be added to help keep the circular shape and support the outer leaves.
Don’t forget to attach a note with your “message.” A tussie mussie will keep for up to a week in water or it can be dried by hanging upside down in a warm dark place.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment
with a promise that it may go well with you
and that you may enjoy long life on the earth”