Gardening

Tussie mussies carried meanings along with sweet smells

tussie mussie photo: Tussie-Mussie d2f4.jpg

“What are tussie mussies?” you ask. Or you’re saying how you haven’t heard that term in ages. Either way, it’s a far sweeter word than “bouquet.”

Here’s a brief history on the tussie mussie.  From the research I’ve done, I discovered they originated in Elizabethan England and people carried and sniffed them around to help disguise the dreadful stench of London’s streets. They were often made with aromatic flowers and herbs such as lavender, rosemary and rue, which were believed to be protection from the plaque and other diseases. They were also believed to help cleanse the air of a house where sickness was.

By the time of the Victorian era, they’d become “highly stylized nosegays,”  (I like that word too), and had become a favorite way to send messages to friends and lovers.

They were also used in bridal bouquets for both their practicality and beauty.

Now that you know the history behind tussie mussies,  let’s look at the meanings behind particular herbs and flowers.

When I discovered tussie mussies, I also learned the meanings and sentiments that go behind many herbs and flowers that I as an avid gardener never knew. Yes, I knew red roses meant love, but  I didn’t know that basil has a double meaning. It can symbolize both love and hate. I’m sure some of these little gestures or as said messages could have caused some serious “Oops, that’s not what I meant!” moments.

Here are some interesting meanings behind the blossoms and herbs that were often included in a standard bridal tussie-mussie.

*Rose for love
*Rosemary for remembrance
*Mint for purity
*Thyme for courage
*Lily of the valley for the return of happiness
*Lavender gave luck… although it also represents mistrust, hmmmm..

There is a world of information on The Language of Flowers. Here are a couple books that I thought looked interesting on the topic.

Happy Day,
Jean

http://www.amazon.com/Victorian-Flower-Dictionary-Language-Companion/dp/0345532864/ref=pd_sim_b_1

http://www.amazon.com/Language-Flowers-Stencils-Notepaper-Folding/dp/0486273725/ref=pd_sim_b_4