Since time immemorial small bouquets of flowers have been given as a greeting or gift. These bouquets share a number of names; nosegay, posey and tussie mussie are the most common. In medieval times the nosegay (literally – to keep the nose happy) was carried or worn or carried around the head or bodice to mask the foul street smells of the time. Over time the nosegay evolved into today’s corsage.
The tussie mussie is a small, tightly made bouquet assembled with a carefully chosen selection of flowers and herbs with each item in the bouquet having a specific meaning. During the era of Queen Victoria the tussie mussie was wildly popular in England among young lovers as a way to send secret messages to each other.
I made the tussie mussie pictured for my young niece who was giving her very first dance recital. The flowers used have the following meanings:
Blue Hyacinth – Kindliness
Daffodil – Gracefulness
Heather – Admiration
Cherry Red Rose – Sweetness
Rosebuds – Beauty and youth
Coral Rose and Golden Rod – Good Fortune
St John’s-Wort – Protection
Is there someone that you would like to send a secret message to?