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The Tussie Mussie

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by Jenny Esots (subscribe)
A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Published April 11th 2015
A Bunch of Happiness
Every time I am at the local farmers market in Willunga I spot the local herb stall, which sells the most aromatic posies, known as Tussie Mussies. For those seeking out these beautiful bouquets the stall is Hillside herbs.

A Tussie Mussie, a nosegay or posie.
A Tussie Mussie, a nosegay or posie.


They are a small bunch of herbs and flowers that make a great gift, or just buy one for yourself! They are also popular with weddings as bridal flowers, or as table decorations. They retail at the Willunga Farmers Market for $10, or $9 for members.

The Tussie Mussie is popular with weddings as bridal flowers, or as table decorations.
The Tussie Mussie is popular with weddings as bridal flowers, or as table decorations.


Various forms of posies have been around since medieval times, and were worn around the bodice or the head. The posies had doilies around the stems or a posy holder, which could be made out of silver. Some of these were quite ornate. Another term used for these posies is nosegay, which arose in fifteenth-century as a combination of nose and gay (the latter then meaning "ornament"). So a nosegay was an ornament that appeals to the nose or nostril.

A Tussie Mussie, a nosegay or posie.
A Tussie Mussie, a nosegay or posie.


The term tussie-mussie comes from the reign of Queen Victoria (18371901). Small bouquets became a popular fashion accessory and included floral symbolism from the language of flowers. They were then sent as a message to the recipient.

How to make your Tussie Mussie
How to make your Tussie Mussie


The Tussie Mussie lasts for several weeks with fresh water. It is constructed using a gradual build up of layers of herbs. Typically rosemary, lavender, sage, thyme, various forms of mint and small flowers. A rose at the centre is popular, as are small dianthus. The arrangements can be quite individual.

The Tussie Mussie lasts for several weeks with fresh water.
The Tussie Mussie lasts for several weeks with fresh water.


They have a divine scent and also make an ideal homemade Christmas or birthday gift for those with these herbs on hand in their garden. A ribbon around the posie is not essential but does give that final flourish to the posie.
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Why? They are a small bunch of herbs and flowers that make a great gift.
Where: The Tussie Mussie can be bought from Hillside Herbs at Willunga Farmers Market.
Your Comment
I like walking past the stall at Willunga Markets too. They smell divine.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|3879) 1105 days ago
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