We’ll teach you how to make an herbal bouquet called a tussie-mussie.
The stems of these fragile herbs are wrapped in moist paper towel before they are inserted into the silver bouquet holder.
There are different ways to make an herbal bouquet. A small bouquet of scented herbs and flowers called a tussie-mussie is a charming option for an herbal wedding. This type of bouquet is made by gathering the herbs and flowers together and hand tying the stems. Although this style is very popular these days, you should be aware that some herbs are quite fragile and will last longer if they are nourished with a source of moisture. We suggest either placing fragile herbal material in a small bouquet holder fitted with floral foam (if you don’t care for the plastic handle, wrap it with pretty ribbons) or wrapping the ends of the stems in moist paper towel and covering it with plastic wrap to seal in the moisture. (See instructions below.)
Making a Tussie-Mussie
Herbs and flowers were once fashioned into small bouquets or nosegays, carried to the nose to ward off illness and freshen the air. A tussie-mussie can be constructed using the language of flowers to present a personal message. A single flower such as a rose is usually placed in the center, with additional material added around the rose, either randomly or in concentric circles of the same material. A lace collar, doily, or pretty handkerchief is the traditional finish.
The bouquet will last longer if you allow your plant material to soak up water for at least several hours after it is cut, preferably over night. This is called “conditioning”.
To make tussie-mussie like this you will need a couple of handfuls of herbs such as lemon balm, mint, nepeta, parsley, sage, rosemary, betony, lady’s mantle, silver thyme, burnet, sweet woodruff, monarda, valerian, heather, rue, lavender, dianthus, forget-me-nots, salvia, solidago, verbena bonariensis, Queen Anne’s lace, scented geranium, and coral bells. If you do not have a holder for the bouquet, you will also need ribbons to wrap the stems, or a pretty handkerchief to cover the stems. Other supplies might include green floral tape, paper towel, and plastic wrap.
Begin with a small bunch of herbs. Wrap the stems with green floral tape, stretching the tape so it adheres tightly. You could also secure the stems with string, raffia, or elastic.
Continue adding herbs until the bouquet is the size you want. Trim the stems to an even length, about 5 inches, or less if you need to fit them into a holder.
To nourish the bouquet, wrap a piece of damp paper towel tightly around the stems, covering the bottom ends. Wrap a layer of plastic wrap over the paper towel. Bind the plastic to stems with floral tape.
Finish the bouquet by centering the stems on a handkerchief, pulling the fabric up towards the binding point, and securing with a rubber band. You can then add a ribbon wrapping to finish the tussie-mussie handle.
Cut about a yard of ribbon. Lay it under the stems near the bottom. Criss cross the ribbon in the front and bring it back around the stems, then repeat all the way up the handle of the bouquet. Tie it off at the top. Very pretty!
For more information about herbal weddings, visit our sister site, www.herbal-weddings.com.