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Victorian Journal
Tussie-Mussie in the holder
Posy Holder


Little Flower Elations
Elaine Kozak
e-mail: mariamante@aol.com

We have a guest writer for this article, Ms. Elaine Kozak, Little Flower Elations. Elaine creates this wonderful Tussie-Mussies and has written for us a the following article which we know you will enjoy. Also, for a special treat in our "Creation Section" she has directed us on how to make a beautiful Tussie-Mussie of our own.
So, get your cup of tea and enjoy the read!

The Victorians had a great enthusiasm for gardening. Floral designing was taught and recognized as an art. Young ladies were required to study flowers. However, cultured young girls had to know how to arrange flowers, make tussie-mussies, grow, preserve, press, draw and paint flowers. It was considered a genteel occupation. This was a time of sentiment often labeled the "Romantic Movement" by some historians.

Victorians studied the language of flowers or Florigraphy with passion. The "tussie-mussie" reached great popularity as a means for lovers to convey secret messages of sentiment and affection in a prim Victorian society.

A young man admiring a lady would bring her a hand bouquet of flowers with a romantic note hinting of the flower message.

The "tusssie-mussies" were not only worn by lovers. Because each flower had a different meaning, they were also worn by men and woman as friendship and so on..... Proper Victorian ladies showed up at fashionable social gatherings carrying their "tussie-mussies" and could have been subjected to criticism on their bouquet style.

During the nineteenth century the wearing of flowers was considered more suitable for young women than jewelry.

Friendship Tussie-Mussie
Friendship Tussie-Mussie

Get Well Tussie-Mussie
Get Well Tussie-Mussie (Top View)

Get Well Tussie-Mussie
Get Well Tussie-Mussie (Side View)

What does "tussie-mussie" actually mean? The word is sometimes spelled "tuzzy-muzzy". The word "tuzzy" refers to the Old English word which means a "knot of flowers". Muzzy refers to the damp moss wrapped around the stems to keep them moist. Before the invention of "posy holders" the flowers did not last long and were cumbersome during dining or dancing. Jewelers rivaled one another in making these holders. Many were quite ornate and there was a wide variety of shapes and styles. Bosom bottles were tucked into the decolletage of a dress. Tiny holders were also worn at the waist , in the hair, or secured with a brooch.

There were two styles of the "tussie-mussie"----formal and informal. The formal nosegays had concentric rows of flowers with a rose or other fragrant symbolic flower in the center. Rows of flowers, leaves and herbs formed tight rings around this central flower. Informal "tussie-mussies" were more casually arranged.

The meanings associated with certain plants, herbs and flowers goes way back in time and are rooted in mythology, religion and medicine. Contributing to the meanings of flowers were legends, folk tales, meanings influenced by poetry and literature (especially Shakespeare). The actual physical traits of plants and flowers that are universally recognized, as well as original meanings given by early authors were faithfully adhered to. Even the scent and color added meaning. The flower language books served to promote a kean interest in botany. After all, one would need to recognize the name of a flower to incorporate it correctly into your little bouquet. Ensuring that the giver's message not be lost or misconstrued, oftentimes a card with the intended meanings was included.

Today, it seems a "New Romantic" trend is being seen. People are asking florists what the meanings of flowers are. Some brides are opting for "tussie-mussies" for their bouquets. Of course, there are many occasions that would warrant the giving of a "talking bouquet". However, these days we can use a more relaxed approach when designing and giving our "tussie-mussies". How much more meaningful when the flowers themselves convey your sentiments. Who wouldn't enjoy receiving beautiful flowers? The fragrance and visual appeal of these bouquets have the power to evoke memories for years to come. Why not delight a special someone and try your hand at making a "tussie-mussie". Many language of flower books are available today. What better way to tell someone you love them, comfort someone who is going through a rough time, or just brighten someone's day than by "saying it with flowers".

If you would like to contact Elaine and are interested in her creations or have any questions (which are handmade and include sachets, potpouri, and many more) please e-mail her at: mariamante@aol.com

Thank you Elaine for a wonderful article!

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