Did You Know a Tussie-Mussie?

Did you know that a Tussie-Mussie is a posy of flowers and herbs that, as well as being beautiful to look at and smell, can be used to convey a specific message to the person being given to?

The history of the Tussie-Mussie dates back many hundreds of years. If you wish to make one as a gift some planning may be required to ensure the flowers and herbs you wish to include are available. Often a Rosebud or a Camellia is in the centre. A little research on the various messages is worthwhile to convey the right message.

Positive declarations:
Basil – love and good wishes
Burnett – merry heart
Forget Me Not – true love
Lily of the Valley – return of happiness
Mint – virtue
Oak leafed Geranium – true friendship
Rosebud – pure and lovely
Rosemary – remembrance
Sage – long life, good health
Spearmint – warmth of sentiment
Thyme – happiness and courage

Negative declarations:
Evening Primrose – inconsistency
French marigold – jealousy
Narcissus (double) – egotism
Yellow Carnation – disdain
Tansy – I declare war against you

To make: Collect the flowers and herbs in the evening when almost dark. Ensure the stems are as long as possible. Using a naked flame singe the end of the stems by holding over the flame for a few seconds.
Place in cold water overnight.

To create: Start with the centre flower and work way out. Ensure that at the bottom of the posy, the stems are even. If cutting any stems singe the fresh stem over the flame. Work way around the posy with the last flowers and herbs bending outwards – these may need some support from florist’s wire. When finished secure the stems together with florist’s wire – not too tight and then tie with gorgeous ribbon. They do need to be kept in water. Depending upon the herbs and flowers included it might be possible for the person receiving the posy to dry it – hang upside down in a dry and dark spot — always worth a try.

For a long lasting gift the Tussie-Mussie can be made from dried flowers and herbs with some drops of essential oil added to the stems. Place into a brown paper bag for 2-3 weeks, storing in a dark place. The scent will spread through the entire posy.


With thanks to Rosemary Sage, Victorian Country Woman, Nov 2013