Make Poetic Posies | Living the Country Life

Make Poetic Posies

Use flowers to give a message of sentiment and meaning.

Clip herbs, flowers, and foliage from your garden and gather them into a fresh and fragrant bouquet! Bouquets aren't just beautiful–they can give special meaning through the flowers you use. 

Teresa Sabankaya, a floral designer and grower in Santa Cruz, CA, says that bouquets can tie into the Victorian belief that certain blooms and leaves can be associated with human emotions. "I loved the old-age idea of communicating with flowers and making tussie-mussies from three or four flowers, leaves, and herbs to create a single sentiment, such as 'happy birthday,' 'congratulations,' or 'get well soon,'" she says. 

Sabankaya selects botanical ingredients that express a certain message. She keeps in mind basic floral design, and strives for a nice balance of focal and complementary flowers, with berry or greenery accents. "They are aesthetically pleasing, romantic, and have a lot of texture packed into a small package," she says. Use a detail card to include a title and a list of botanical ingredients and their meanings. "Everyone is happy to receive flowers, but when we deliver them and people read the sentiment tag, they're captivated." 

Follow these steps to assemble your own poetic bouquet!

1. Determine the sentiment you want to communicate.

2. Select flowers, foliage, and other botanicals that convey your message. Teresa Sabankaya's recipes feature a mix of focal flowers like roses, sweet peas, or clematis, with accent flowers, berries, and herbs. Strip all foliage from the stems as you work.

3. Start from the center and work outward, adding stems while rotating the posy so it is circular and symmetrical. 

4. Add a collar of foliage to support the flowers. Geranium foliage, dusy miller, and ferns are ideal, depending on the meaning you wish to convey. 

5. Secure the bouquet with twine. Wrap stems snugly and tight.

6. Cut stems short enough to display in a goblet or tumbler.

7. Tie a printed or handwritten sentiment tag to the bouquet. 

Today, very few of us are aware of flower and plant meanings used by the Victorians. Find the Z to Z list of plant meanings at Sabankaya's website


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