Discovering the Meaning of the Tussie-Mussie

In celebration of Mother's Day!

I was going to visit my mother a few weeks ago and wanted to bring a "little something" to her.  So, I decided to make her a tussie-mussie.  Originally my understanding of a tussie-mussie was that it was a small nosegay bouquet tied with ribbon.  However, after doing some research I discovered that these lovely little bouquets can be and can mean so much more but, I'll talk about that in a minute.

 To start the whole process, I purchased one package of six peach roses (sorry they look orange in the photos), pink mini carnations, baby's breath, (once a no-no in floral arrangements but now back in popularity, which makes me happy) and a package of very fragrant purple stock.  Oh, I almost forget.  I added some twigs of pussy willow in two bouquets and forsythia in the third one. I was able to make three tussie-mussie bouquets out of my supplies.  I think I could have made six if I made each bouquet smaller, which might be what I do the next time I make them.  My bouquets may have been a bit large for the real definition of a tussie-mussie but, this is a work in progress for me. :)
Anyway, on to my discovery.  I actually found the true meaning of tussie-mussie by accident.  I decided to look online to find out how to spell "tussie-mussie" since I wasn't sure of the spelling.  That's where I discovered that "tussie-mussie" was in fact a quaint term used in the early 1400s for small round bouquets where flowers and herbs were chosen because of the special meaning associated with each flower/herb to convey a specific message to the recipient. It seems over the years, flowers had, and still have, been given different meanings to convey special feelings and/or messages and the folks of the 1400s took it to a whole new level. I kind of like how they used flowers to express their feelings. I imagine they were able to express feelings of congratulations, sorrow and love through these special bouquets.  Loving flowers the way I do, I kind of think that's neat!
 
To give you a few examples of flower meanings; goldenrod is symbolic of encouragement, a white rosebud represents love and opium poppy symbolizes forgetfulness. (That's a funny one, don't you think?)

I already knew in a general way that certain flowers carried special meanings but I never thought about how flowers tied in a bouquet could convey a special message from the giver to the receiver.  After thinking about this, I decided to look up the flowers I used in my mom's tussie-mussie.  To my surprise, peach roses, I discovered, are used to express the warmth and cheer of getting together.  Wow!  That really fit the occasion of the day!

Next, I looked up the meaning of purple stock and guess what I found!  Stock is supposed to bring feelings of affection and tells the person receiving it that they will always be beautiful to the giver.  Double wow!  Who doesn't want to convey that to their mother?

Baby's Breath is representative of innocence or purity of heart.

Pink Carnations, in modern times, have come to be a symbol for Mother's Day to symbolize unforgotten or unforgettable love.  I'm loving these flower meanings!

Without knowing it, I had created a little bouquet with special meaning to give to my mother.  I really like the whole idea of these tussie-mussies.  Maybe it's time to bring back some of these long-lost traditions.  For someone like me who is sentimental, it's not a bad idea!



Anyway back to the job at hand, here is how I tied the bouquet.  I used sheer purple ribbon to give it a delicate look.  

 Since I ended up having enough materials to make three bouquets, I gave one of the bouquets to my sister-in-law, who I was planning on seeing later that day.  She seemed to really like her tussie, which brought me joy. That's what's so great about giving gifts.  You receive happiness also.  Kind of a win, win.

I delivered the tussie-mussie to my mom the next day, along with a hanging pansy plant because she is an avid gardener and loves flowers.  She seemed to be very happy, which, of course, made me happy.  We spent the day together having lunch, talking and shopping.  What better way to spend time with your mom?  It was a great day!


For you mothers out there, I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

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