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Easy Fresh-Flower Bouquet for Mom on Mother's Day

Jill likes cooking, writing, painting, & stewardship, and studies gardening through MD Master Gardener & Master Naturalist programs.

how-to-make-a-tussy-mussy-for-mom-on-mothers-day

Make a Bouquet for Mother's Day!

When it comes to a gift for Mom, it truly is the thought that counts. What could be more thoughtful than a hand-picked bouquet on Mother's Day?

Small bouquets of fresh flowers, greenery, and herbs small enough to carry in one hand are called tussie-mussies, posies, or nosegays. They're simple to make and incredibly charming. They're also highly portable, so Mom can carry her small bouquet everywhere she goes on her special day. Afterward, she can place it in a small vase to stay pretty for days—a sweet reminder of your love and devotion.

If you're on a budget, don't worry! To make the bouquet inexpensively, use flowers and greenery from your yard, the roadway, and the woods. You can even use leaves from houseplants.

Mom can prolong the life of her bouquet by placing it in water.

Mom can prolong the life of her bouquet by placing it in water.

Spring Showers Bring May Flowers

Many lovely plants bloom in May, so the plant choices for Mom's bouquet are numerous.

  • Here in Maryland, irises, roses, pansies, lilac, forsythia, and yarrow are in bloom on Mother's Day.
  • Herbs like lavender, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and chives produce fragrant green shoots in May. Ferns are unfurling their fronds in the shade.
  • Along the roadside, many weeds and wildflowers are in bloom.

Where Can I Find Flowers for the Bouquet?

Cuttings from plants Mom has given you are also good choices for the bouquet, as are the stems from plants that have been passed down in the family.

In the bouquet above, I included a stem of a ground cover given to me by my mother, who received a cutting of it from her maternal grandmother.

The Language of Flowers

If you'd like to send Mom a specific message through the bouquet, add flowers that have special meanings.

Some Flowers and Their Meanings

The Farmer's Almanac online contains long lists of flowers and their special meanings. Online florists like ProFlowers, Teleflora, and FTD also provide information on the language on flowers.

FlowerMeaning

Daffodil

New Beginnings

Fern

Sincerity

Iris (Purple)

Wisdom, Respect

Lavender

Devotion

Lilac

Beauty

Rose (Dark Red)

Beauty

Violets

Loyalty & Devotion

Yarrow

Love

Make It Fragrant

Make It Fragrant

Make It Fragrant

As you combine your nosegay, crush the herbs a bit and breathe deeply, inhaling the mix of herbs and flowers. You're not only making a visually beautiful flower arrangement for Mom. You're also combining scents for her, in effect making her a perfumed bouquet.

  • Traditional tussie-mussies are made from sweet-smelling flowers as well as fragrant herbs like basil, rosemary, and lavender, so don't forget the herbs!
  • Some herbs like apple mint and lavender have a lovely soft texture as well as a wonderful scent.

Make Sure the Bouquet Is Not Poisonous

Whatever plants you choose, be sure to exclude those Mom may be allergic to.

Also, if you forage for stems in the woods or by the roadside, steer clear of pretty but poisonous plants like poison ivy and poison oak.

how-to-make-a-tussy-mussy-for-mom-on-mothers-day

The small bouquet above is composed of lilac, salvia (sage) and broomsedge, the latter taken from the side of the road in front of our house.

The sedge is not fragrant, but the salvia has a pungent aroma that cuts through the heavy sweetness of lilac, giving the bouquet a fresh, invigorating scent.

The stems are fastened together with a rubber band which was later covered with strings of sedge and hot glued in place. Otherwise, the stems are bare.

If the bouquet is left in water long, the lilac will probably develop roots. Wouldn't that be a lovely bonus!

1. Collect Greenery, Flowers, and Herbs

As you collect stems for Mom's bouquet, cut several of each. I usually collect three to five stems from established plants, being careful to take a third or less of it so as not to harm the plant.

Make Clean Cuts on the Stems

Rather than breaking off the stems, use scissors, a sharp knife, or by-pass pruners. As you work, place the cut stems in a clean container of water. A sharp cut that does not crush the stem will allow it to draw up water and stay fresh longer.

2. Strip the Stems of Leaves

Strip the leaves and thorns from the bottom portion of the stems, leaving Mom about six inches of smooth, clean stem to hold.

Use a flower stem stripper, pruners, or a gardening knife. For some plants, your fingers will work, too. For instance, the thorns on young rose cuttings can be easily nudged off with your fingernail.

Demo of How to Assemble the Bouquet

3. Assemble the Cuttings

  1. After you've gathered your cuttings and stripped the leaves, select one flower or group of flowers as the center of your bouquet.
  2. Hold the cutting(s) in your hand and then, moving around the center flower, add the herbs and other greenery to it with your other hand.
  3. Again, be sure you have stripped the stems. If you don't, your bouquet will be hard to assemble, and once it is, it will not last long, as the crushed leafy stems will speed up your bouquet's decline, especially if it's placed in water.
  4. Don't sweat it if your bouquet does not look florist perfect. That's part of its charm! Even if its appearance isn't astounding, if you've used herbs, your bouquet will smell far better and more unique than a bouquet purchased in a florist's shop or from an online florist.

The bouquet below, for instance, is definitely not the most breathtaking one I've ever made, but because it contains apple mint and lavender, it smells good enough to eat! It's also velvety soft to the touch.

What Mom wouldn't want to cuddle up to that?

how-to-make-a-tussy-mussy-for-mom-on-mothers-day

4. Bind and Wrap the Bouquet

Once you've arranged the stems in your hand, it's time to bind them. I prefer rubber bands for initially binding my bouquets, but there are many other options, including the twisty ties off bagel bags.

  • In addition to binding the stems, people often wrap hand-held bouquets in decorative twine or ribbon, or place them in paper cones or pockets made of paper.
  • Traditional tussie-mussies are surrounded by lacy doilies.

Of course, you can use nothing at all if you wish, leaving the bound stems bare.

TiesWrappers

Florist Tape

Doilies

Florist Wire

Kraft Paper

Twisty Ties

Tissue or Wrapping Paper

Ribbon

Paper Cones

Rubber Bands

Newspaper

Twine or String

Washi Tape

To keep cuttings fresh, place them in water as you work.

To keep cuttings fresh, place them in water as you work.

Keep It Simple

Finally, keep it simple. Shoot for sentiment rather than the expense. With just a few plant cuttings and items from around the house, you can create a thoughtful, fragrant and beautiful bouquet that Mom will love.

Handheld bouquets created by professional florists for weddings and other occasions can be incredibly elaborate and costly. But a small bouquet made by you? That's extraordinarily meaningful and wonderfully sweet. In other words, priceless.

© 2018 Jill Spencer

Comments

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on March 03, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, rdsparrowriter! Best, Jill

Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on January 22, 2019:

Information is quite useful :) Interesting

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on October 09, 2018:

Hi hudashabbir20! The HubPages website offers advice on writing articles. You should check out their blogs! Also, a template for articles is provided when you following the Write a Hub links. I hope to see your work posted on HP soon. All the best, Jill

mushir khan on October 07, 2018:

very best article

hudashabbir20 on September 29, 2018:

hello Jill Spencer i am Huda Shabbir right now can i ask you for a favour? can you please tell me how to write an featured article?

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on September 09, 2018:

Thanks, Alan! Thanks, Nuenna! I appreciate your stopping by and commenting. All the best, Jill

Nnenna uzo from Nigeria on September 09, 2018:

Such a splendid gift package.

Alan Grace on June 21, 2018:

Good Article

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on June 16, 2018:

Thanks, Dmitriy!

Dmitriy Rudinskiy on June 15, 2018:

Good topic, really liked your recommendation.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 31, 2018:

Thank you so much, Verlie! You're very kind.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on May 31, 2018:

Beautiful Jill, stunning floral art, a gorgeous page, and a useful tutorial. I like the way you have made it simple and accessible. Kudos!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 29, 2018:

Thank you, Kathryn! I appreciate your kind words.

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on May 27, 2018:

This is such a sweet article! I love the thought of handmade gifts, and most woman love flowers. Great job, and thanks for sharing this with us.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 24, 2018:

Thank you, Gerry Glenn! I appreciate the kind words. Best to you! Jill

Gerry Glenn Jones from Somerville, Tennessee on May 24, 2018:

This is a very in-depth and well-written article.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 24, 2018:

Good to hear from you, Toptactical. Thanks for stopping by! Best, Jill

Toptactical on May 23, 2018:

Your Right .For the mother said right, whether you make a bouquet from your hands or make a dish of their choice, they like it very much.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 22, 2018:

Thanks for the comment, Who. Best, Jill

Whosick from USA on May 21, 2018:

That's right, this bouquet is really beautiful and mother will love it too.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 13, 2018:

Hi Solaras! Peonies are so gorgeous and smell so good. Your bouquet must be a beauty! Happy Mother's Day! Best, Jill

Thank you, Thelma! It was an honor to be among those recognized. Happy Mother's Day to you, too! Take care, Jill

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on May 13, 2018:

What a wonderful tutorial! Congrats for winning the contest. Happy Mothers´ Day to you.

Barbara Fitzgerald from Georgia on May 13, 2018:

Thoroughly enjoyed it! Now i am off to make my own from the Peonies in my garden.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 12, 2018:

Happy Mother's Day to you, too, Ms. Dora! All the best, Jill

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 12, 2018:

A very useful article, especially for this Mother's Day! Thanks especially for the table of meanings. I can imagine the smell of the perfumed fresh greenery. Thank you and Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 12, 2018:

Thank you, Roberta!

Thank you, too, FlourishAnyway!

Happy Mother's Day!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 12, 2018:

Hi Peggy! Those sound like wonderful memories. Happy Mother's Day to you, too! Best, Jill

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 12, 2018:

This was beautiful and made me remember picking flowers for my mother as a young child. Your photos are lovely as well. Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

RTalloni on May 11, 2018:

So nicely done! Congratulations!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 11, 2018:

Reading this brought me back to my childhood when I often picked wild flowers and weeds making bouquets for my mother and grandmother. Your examples and ideas are lovely. Any mother, grandmother, aunt, teacher and other cherished people should appreciate gifts like this. Happy Mother's Day!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 10, 2018:

Hi Marie, I hope you'll someday revisit the topic of floragraphia here on FeltMagnet. Thanks so much for stopping by. Happy Mother's Day to you, too. Best, Jill

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on May 10, 2018:

I can only remember one special Mother's Day that I did for my mother as a young girl. I had painted a bird, I think a robin, from a model bird kit and presented in a box with Easter grass. She loved it.

I love herbs, flowers, and even some "weeds." Sadly, my article on floragraphia has long since been deleted (lack of self confidence and impatience aren't traits for success--and it's taken me quite some time to realize this with writing).

Happy Mother's Day!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 10, 2018:

Thanks for stopping by, Donna! Always good to hear from you. I spent the morning volunteering at a garden and pulled my blasted shoulder out again. Aagh! Hope you have a good one!

Larry, the language of flowers is an incredible subject I wish I knew more about. Maybe someday! Best, Jill

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on May 10, 2018:

Wonderfully written and interesting. I learned a lot. I had no idea the flowers and plants were associated with metaphorical meaning.

Great read:-)

Donna Herron from USA on May 10, 2018:

These simple bouquets are a wonderful idea for Mother's Day. I never thought of making a bouquet of sweet smelling herbs, but I love the idea. Thanks for these suggestions!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 09, 2018:

Yes, Mary, it really is the thought that counts. Thanks so much for stopping by! Good to hear from you. All the best, Jill

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 09, 2018:

I like your advice of keeping it simple. Moms usually just like the thought of being remembered and something simpe will do and for her will always be the most beautiful ever.