The traditional meanings of the flowers and herbs help to make posies for special occasions really personal. A message can be brought together in the posy itself for a sick friend, new baby or new home.

Making a tussie mussie

Generally, at the centre we place a pink, a rose or cluster of herb flowers, such as yarrow, lavender or helichrysum . With the central herb decided, it is helpful to walk around the herb garden trying other herb foliage and flowers against this until you have decided on five or six herbs. It is effective to alternate flowers and foliage, with a large leafed herb such as sage, lady's mantle or lemon geranium as the outer layer.

Strip the lower leaves from all stems and place the first circle of foliage around the central stem. Tie in place with crochet cotton or use florists wire to hold this circle in place. Add the next circle of flowers and tie again. Repeat until the posy is completed. Enclose with foil or tissue and tie with a ribbon.

For a sick friend

Red rose is a good centre flower for love, with the added benefit of a soothing perfume. Lemon balm for sympathy (variegated is pretty) and chamomile to give patience and renewed energy, can be followed by heartsease or pansies for loving thoughts. Coriander makes the optimistic suggestion that things will prove better than they seem and lady's mantle, if your friend is female, adds a protective blessing.

To Welcome Friends to a New Home

A central cluster of yarrow for seven year's good luck is a lovely beginning. Rosemary for happy memories and new friendships, is followed by betony for happy surprises and sage offers the hope of every comfort. Basil gives welcoming, loving wishes, fennel adds a special, flattering greeting.

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