Not technically a flower but a small bouquet, posies go by several names. You may know them as nosegays or tussie-mussies. These adorable bouquets are traditionally given as gifts. In Victorian times, the gift was often very symbolic, with each flower carrying a very specific meaning. For example, a pink rose symbolized grace. Different cultures attach meanings to flowers, complicating this method of communication. In the Victorian era, for instance, a peony symbolized shame, while in China the very same flower indicated honour and prosperity.
Posies are traditionally pictured as small bouquets, most often tied with ribbon. They can be small enough to be worn pinned to clothing or fixed in hair. Today, they can be huge, making dramatic table decorations for wedding reception guests. The most common trait of a posy is simply a mixture of different flowers.
Growing flowers for posies in Australia depends on many factors. The different types of flowers, of course, need separate growing conditions. If you enjoy giving posies as gifts, you may want to research which flowers share the same growing conditions and cultivate those flowers for gift-giving. Remember to cut flowers in the morning for maximum bloom-life, and add a bit of preservative to the water to lengthen enjoyment of the flowers.
Virtually any occasion is ideal for giving posies. In fact, you don't need an occasion at all! However, if you want to have some fun with traditional flower meanings, you can begin with some simple and easy-to-remember guidelines.
Have fun and experiment to see which combinations you like best. Regardless of their traditional meaning, receiving a pretty bouquet brightens anybody's day!