Tussie- mussies are little talking bouquets that either send a message if given as a gift or  convey a persons mood  if carried by the person who crafted it. They were always carried by  Victorian ladies  whenever they were out in public in case they came upon one of the  unpleasant smells of the time -at which time they would lift the  tiny bouquet ( also called a nosegay) to their nose.  To be caught in such a position ( smelling a bad smell) without a tussie-mussie would be very embarrassing.

In Victorian times any  verbal communication between a proper  young lady and the opposite sex was closely chaperoned— sending a little bouquet was  considered  an acceptable way of letting  ones feelings be known without compromising anyone’s reputation .

A proper tussie-mussie  contains a central flower ( the most important part of the message) surrounded by other flowers and herbs that add to the sentiment.  All are tied together with a pretty ribbon to make it easy to carry.

Lists of Flowers , Herbs , and Leaves to gather for your tussie-mussie and their meanings.

Words  of love and encouragement

Alyssum–worth beyond beauty

Arbor Vitae-unchanging, friendship, live for me

Aster-I will think of it, I partake your sentiments

Balm-sympathy

Bay—glory

Cabbage-profit

Camellias-Red –real excellence , White-perfected loveliness

Carnation-Pink –a woman’s love-

Carnation-Red- Alas! For my poor heart

Cedar-strength

Chrysanthemums-Red—I love you—White-truth

Daffodil-regard

Daisy-innocence, beauty,

Fennel-worthy, strength

Fern- fascination

Sage-esteem

Geranium- Lemon scented-unexpected meeting

Geranium-Nutmeg scented-expected meeting

Geranium-Rose scented-preference

Hawthorn-hope

Holly- foresight

Honeysuckle- Common-generous and devoted affection

Honeysuckle- Coral- the color of my fate

Hyssop-cleanliness

Jasmine- White-attachment, amiability ,Yellow-grace and  elegance

Ivy-fidelity, marriage, I want to please you

Juniper –protection

Magnolia-dignity

Marjoram- Oregano-I blush

Mint- Peppermint-warmth of feeling

Mint- Spearmint-warmth of sentiment

Morning Glory-affection

Myrtle-love

Oak-bravery, independence ,Live Oak-liberty

Ox eye daisy- patience

Pansy-thoughts

Parsley-Festivity

Pine-philosophy

Poppy- Red-consolation

Poppy- Scarlet-fantastic, extravagance

Poppy-White- sleep, my antidote

Potato vine-benevolence

Quince-temptation

Rose-  Red- strong  love , Pink-beauty, White- I am worthy of you  ***Red and White mixed -unity

Rose bud-Red-pure and lovely, White- girlhood, chaste

*Note—anytime the  bouquet contained  more then two buds—it meant secrecy was most important.

Rosemary- remembrance

Rudbeckia-justice

Sage-domestic virtue ,esteem

Shamrock-light heartedness

Snapdragon-to presume

Sorrel-(wood sorrel)- joy, maternal tenderness

Southernwood- jest

Spiderwort-esteem ( not love)

Stock-lasting beauty

Sweet Basil- good wishes

Sweet pea- delicate pleasures

Thrift-sympathy

Thyme- activity

Viloet-faithfulness

Zinna-thoughts of absent friends

Of course there are those days when other things are on your mind-

Anemone-forsaken

Barberry-sourness of temper

Basil-hatred

Borage-bluntness

Butterfly Weed-let me go!

Candytuft-indifference

Carnation-Yellow-disdain

Chrysanthemum-Yellow- slighted love

Columbine-yellow-folly

Dead Leaves-any kind-sadness

Fig –argument

Foxglove-insincerity

Marigold-jealousy, uneasiness

Hydrangea-heartlessness-a boaster

Lavender-distrust

Larkspur-fickle-haughtiness

Lettuce-cold heartedness

Marigold –grief, jealousy

Mistletoe—I surmount difficulties

Mushroom –suspicion

Oleander-beware

Pennyroyal-run away, escape

Pidgeonberry-indifference

Pine-pity

Privet-prohibition

Rue-disdain

Saint Johns Wort-animosity

Tansy-I declare war against you

Tuberose-dangerous pleasures

Yew- sorrow

 Source of definitions-

Kate Greenaway’s   Language of Flowers

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