In A Vase on Monday – Tropical Tussie Mussies

My mother always enjoyed making (really me making them while she watched) Tussie Mussies, she just thought they were ‘so cute’. I seem to have an abundance of not very long stemmed flowers so I decided to put together a Tussie Mussie or two.



Tussie Mussie is a term for a small bouquet of flowers that has been around since medieval times, the Victorians used the selected flower type to send a message to the recipient of the Tussie Mussie. Each flower in the bouquet had a meaning. In reading the dictionary of flower meanings,  I found that Victorian England was not awash in the plants I have here in Tropic Florida. The only plant messages I could find in my Tussie Mussies are Dwarf Sunflower means adoration and Fern means magic. So, I am saying to you with flowers – I adore the magic of my garden. I can cope with that. Oddly enough, in Victorian flower dictionaries there were meanings for chickweed. If chickweed appeared in a flower arrangement I received, I would tend to think there was something wrong. The meaning from the dictionary – I cling to thee. Beware the man that sends chickweed bouquets.


This arrangement is in a tequila shooter from my niece’s wedding; my tequila shooting days are long over but it makes a great little vase.

The plants are Turks Cap (A native mallow in Florida) the red flower, the darker red flowers are Red Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana) a leaf of a Copperleaf (Acalphya wilkesiana ‘Raggedy Ann’) and a few Boston Fern fronds.


I have a pair of tequila shooters, this one has a Dwarf Red Ixora, Beach Sunflower (Helianthus debilis), Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus) and a backdrop of Hawaiian Snow Bush (Breynia nivosa)

Here’s hoping everyone is adoring the magic of the garden, this first week of 2016!


16 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Tropical Tussie Mussies

  1. Very pretty. You still have turk’s cap? I also heard that tussie-mussies were made to be carried and smelled when unpleasant odors were about. Some also included herbs. I used to make them up with dollies and sent them to school for teachers on May Day.


  2. Loved the vibrant tropical colors of these tussie mussies! They just scream summer and tropics…and I need a rum drink on the beach…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathy says:

    Gosh – I don’t think I know any of these plants. Very pretty nonetheless and as you say they are definitely the colour of summer cocktails! I might get myself a little book of flower meanings as they could add some extra piquancy to Monday vases – thank you for prompting me with your delectable tussie mussies!


  4. George Rogers says:

    Amelia, Thank you for adding tussie mussie to my vocabulary. Will have to use the term now and impress somebody. You sure have an eye for designing stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pbmgarden says:

    Great mix of tropical blooms, Victorian history and tequila shooters in this post.


  6. Kris P says:

    I love that Ixora! Don’t you wonder how the meanings established for flowers were defined? Perhaps we should come up with meanings for the tropical and Mediterranean plants the Victorians ignored when they compiled their lists?


    • Have you read these meanings? it is nothing I would ever come up with!
      The Ixora blooms so much I almost (almost!) get tired of it. The key here is Hollytone fertilizer which is so crazy but makes sense in a pH sort of way.


  7. Chloris says:

    Such lovely colours Amy. I particularly love the Coral Vine. I saw it growing in Martinique all over an abandoned garden and I really fell for it. I wonder if it would survive in a pot inside.


    • It is a pretty vine and blooms virtually year round here, a native as well. If I run across some seeds I will let you know. I think it would be like a Morning Glory there and you could replant it in the summer.


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