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Activity #4: Tussie Mussie


Another garden we are looking at today is the SCENT GARDEN. This garden is full of wonderful-smelling flowers and herbs. It is located close to the Agecroft manor house. This would have been the same 500 years ago, so that the lovely scents from the garden could blow into the house through the windows.


People in England 500 years ago kept their floors and clothing smelling fresh with sweet-smelling flowers and herbs. They used these plants to drop and place over the straw on the manor house floors to keep them fresh. They also placed herbs with their clothing to keep their garments fresh.

To keep bad smells from reaching their noses and to keep themselves smelling good, Tudor men and women would carry little bouquets of flowers and herbs in their hands or attached to their clothing. These small bouquets were simply handfuls of plants and flowers tied together with a ribbon and were called tussie mussies.


Here is a chance to make your own sweet-smelling tussie mussie for yourself or as a gift.

You will need the supplies for Day 1, Activity #4. You will need a pair of scissors and you will need to pick some sweet-smelling flowers and some nice smelling herbs or other plants from your garden. Make sure you have permission for picking!

Steps:

  1. Pick the plants, flowers and herbs you will be using for your tussie mussie. Cut them carefully from the plant.

  2. Trim the stems of your plants so that they are about 6” to 8” long.

  3. Place the larger flowers in your hand first. Place plants with longer stems toward the back and shorter ones in the front.

  4. Holding the bunch of flowers and plants tightly, secure the stems about ¾ of the way up with a rubber band.

  5. Wrap the ribbon around the rubber band, and tie a bow at the end.

  6. Carry your tussie mussie with you. When you hold it to your nose, are other not-so-nice smells covered? What does your tussie mussie smell like? Record your answers in your field notebook.


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