How to Make a Traditional Herb Posy

{a herb posy or tussie-mussie}

Before the days of florists and imported flowers, posies made from garden herbs or hedgerow plants were common for weddings and gifts.  This is an easy bouquet to make and perfect for beginners to posy-making because you only need to use the things that you find around you in the garden at home.  It definitely doesn’t have to look exact and should have a country feel.

  1. Check that you have everything that you need before starting: scissors, string or jute twine, a bowl for collecting plants.
  2. Collect your herbs and plants, such as: mint, thyme, lavender, sages, large ivy leaves, chive flowers, rosemary and a large flower for the centre of the posy like,rose or dahlia.  You will probably need to collect more than you think.  Even the smallest of posies use quite a lot of flowers and foliage!
  3. Lie your herbs and flowers out in groups according to type.  Strip 2/3rds of the foliage off of each stem and clean/take off any dirty leaves.
  4. Gather a few stems of one of the herbs and hold them in your hand.  Insert the central flower in the middle of this mini-bunch.
  5. Without holding too tight, place another sort of herb around the edge of your posy, turning the bunch each time that you add something.  Your aim is to make concentric circles of each plant around the central flower.
  6. Keep changing the herbs that you are adding… your circles could go something like this:  central flower > circle of sage > circle of thyme > circle of 3 stems of lavender (a circle of single lavender stems doesn’t have much impact) > circle of sage again > circle of mint etc.
  7. When you have used up your herbs or if you feel your posy is big enough, finish it off with a circle of large ivy leaves, turned outwards so that the colourful part of the leaf shows.
  8. Tie your posy firmly at the ‘neck’ where the leaves stop and the stems begin. You can cover with thin florist’s tape if you want it to be extra secure.
  9. Hold the stems together and cut them straight – you will want about a fist’s length.
  10. Choose how you want to display them.  You could use: a jam jar, a tea-cup, a vase, a sealed flower pot…  Fill your chosen container with water and enjoy the admiring noises from everyone who visits!

Let me know how you get on!

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4 thoughts on “How to Make a Traditional Herb Posy

    • Good luck! If you want the flowers to have an even better change of a long vase-life, soak the stems for a couple of hours in water before making the posy.

  1. Gorgeous! Guests in spring get wild flower posies here are it´s virtually impossible to buy flowers locally. And then they´re of the type that people take to cemeteries, so not really appropriate or my taste! Might just step outside to see if I can do anything now with my herbs ….

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