Saturday, October 10th at the Cleveland Botanical Garden marked the Western Reserve Herb Society’s 70th Annual Herb Fair. A celebration of herbs in all forms and varieties was on display with a myriad of activities (make your own herb vinegars and meat rubs) to delicious baked goods and exquisite jams for sale. It was a celebration of the garden just as the season is wrapping up and the sun starts her descent into the autumn sky.
A most delightful table was set up in the center of the fair with several Herb Society members busily assembling little bouquets of flowers and aromatic herbs arranged together in arrangements called tussie-mussie’s (also known as nosegays or pose I later learned). Tussie-Mussie’s are given as gifts with the term tussie-mussie coming from the time of Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) when the little bouquets became fashion accessories with ‘meaning’ where the flowers in the bouquet had special symbolism.
After the fair, I tried my hand at making my own tussie-mussie from items in my garden and a few flowers left over from a previous arrangement. While not at all fluent in the symbolism of my flowers chosen (that will come later with a great deal more research), I felt fairly pleased with my first small bouquet. Parsley, rosemary, a red rose, goldenrod, mint and pink tick weed. Success! I have often made these at home but never realized the history of this hobby. How much more fun it will be to research the individual flowers’ meanings and then giving them away as gifts will make it even more enjoyable. Try it for yourself, it’s quite like painting with flowers and completely delightful.