Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tussie-Mussie Valentine

What is a tussie-mussie, you ask? The answer originally was not as romantic as we think of it now. In Medieval times, when bathing and personal hygiene was not common, small herbal nosegays, or bouquets, were carried by both men and women. They were held to their noses to cover street odors and body odors when in close proximity to other people. Men kept small arrangements in their lapels and women wore small bouquets on their wrists or in tiny vials that were attached to their clothing. Today, we couldn't imagine living like that. It seems as though everything has a scent to it and daily washing is considered a must.

Over time the tussie-mussie came to be a gift. Each flower or herb had a meaning, and in the 1700s in England, the art of sending messages with flowers, called floriography, was developed. In the 1800s, there was a resurgence of tussie-mussie messages in the Victorian era in the United States. Lovers were able to send their deepest feelings through flowers and herbs without the knowledge of others.

Here are a few herbs and flowers and their meanings. I though you might want to select a few for your Valentine or special friend:

Heart Ivy -- Friendship or marriage
Honeysuckle -- Devoted affection
Lemon Balm -- Sympathy
Mint -- Wisdom
Parsley -- Festivity
Pansy -- Thinking of you
Rosemary -- Remembrance
Roses -- Love
Sage -- Good health or long life
Sweet basil -- Good wishes
Sweet Violets -- Faithfulness
Tulip, yellow -- Hopeless love

All you need are some fresh or dried herbs, floral tape with wire, and lace or a Victorian posy holder; you can find them in antique shops, gift shops, and floral shops. It's just a small metal cone-shaped vase. You can even roll some heavy paper or poster board in a cone, covered with the lace and staple to hold in place. Group the herbs in small bunches, and secure each one with floral tape. Make sure you hold back an individual flower or herb for the center to convey your message. Group them together in a pleasing circle, wrapping with the tape as you go. Place in the holder and present to your sweetheart.
Happy Valentine's Day

There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that's for thoughts..... William Shakespeare

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice list.
If I may add the Oak-leaved Geranium for True Friendship.

<a href="http://gypsyherbs.com/2012/01/30/language-of-flowers-page-42-alphabetized-list/>Alphabetized list of flower meanings</a>