Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'

Monday, June 22, 2015

Herbal Posies

Good afternoon gardeners,

How I love organic gardening, herbs, and floral design. It is truly fun and magical when they all come together. Cutting fresh flowers from the garden to bring indoors is a lovely pursuit. But do not stop at just flowers, try snipping fresh herbs for your indoor arranging.

A small bouquet is sometimes called a posy, a nosegay or a tussie-mussie. The word posy used to describe flowers dates back to 1570. We floral designers still use posy to describe a smaller bouquet. The name nosegay originated in pre-Victorian London, where wealthy people would fashion something pleasant-smelling to carry in the crowded streets in an era characterized by poor personal hygiene and a lack of sanitation. The nosegay was worn from a loop on the belt or carried and inhaled as a fragrant filter against the strong city odors.

The name nosegay changed to tussie-mussie in Victorian times. Prim and proper Victorians were offended by calling anything by a body part, even the humble nose. In this era flowers were not only selected for their beauty and fragrance, but also for their meaning and means of transmitting the language of love.

Posy, nosegay, tussie-mussie…call them what you will, tiny bouquets are adorable!

Yesterday I crafted two herbal posies as summer solstice gifts for friends that are avid cooks, tea drinkers and herb enthusiasts. One posy for cooking included 2 types of basil, 2 types of sage, winter savory, rosemary, and thyme. One posy for tea included lemon balm, lemon verbena, tangerine sage, french lavender, monarda, chocolate mint, and peppermint.

Other herbs I love to include in ornamental posies are chamomile, scented geranium and calendula. They are so fragrant and colorful. Grab your scissors and head into the garden to let your imagination run wild.

Happy Summer!

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