What is a posy?

What Is A Posy: Tips On Creating A Posy Plant Garden

We’ve all heard the verse: “Ring around the rosies, pocket full of posies…” Chances are, you sang this nursery rhyme as a child, and perhaps sang it again to your own children. This well-known children’s verse originated in England in the 1700s, and though there are some dark theories about its original meaning, it is still as popular with children today as it ever was. Have you ever questioned, exactly what is a posy (or posey)? Continue reading to learn the answer, as well as how you can create a posy plant garden of your own.

What is a Posy?

Also called nosegays or tussie-mussies, posies are small bouquets of flowers that have been popular since medieval times. In the Victorian era, posies were created with very specific flowers that, according to the Victorian language of flowers, had specials meanings and were given to people to convey messages. For example, if a man wanted to tell a woman that he loved her, he might give here simple bouquet, or posy, of roses, chrysanthemumsand red or pink carnations. All of these expressed love in the Victorian language of flowers.

Posies were not just given for love or dedication though. Depending on the flowers, they could convey all sorts of messages. The woman receiving a posy conveying a man’s love could reply with a posy made up of candytuftand yellow carnations, which basically meant she was just not that into him.

These days, posies have made a comeback and regained popularity as simple, elegant wedding bouquets. Traditionally, wedding posies were created in a dome shape, with flowers placed in circular patterns, the circles representing never-ending love. These posies were then held together with a lacy doily and a ribbon in a suitable color to convey its message. Today, craft stores sell posy holders that you can simply arrange your selected flowers in.

Creating a Posy Plant Garden

Creating a posy plant garden is as simple as picking out and growing your favorite cut flowers in the existing landscape, a designated posy bed or in decorative pots.

When you want to make a simple posy to let someone know he or she is in your thoughts, just go out and snip the desired blooms. Common flowers for posy bouquets are:

  • Roses
  • Dianthus/carnations
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Iris
  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Snapdragon
  • Liatris
  • Anemone
  • Lily of the valley
  • Strawflower
  • Dahlias
  • Peony
  • Lilac
  • Zinnia
  • Cosmos
  • Love in a mist
  • Lilies

A cutting garden can easily double as a posy garden, as many of the same flowers would be used in any type of floral crafts.

Posies Stock Photos and Images

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  • William Kay Blacklock Picking Posies
  • Engraving depicting young girls carrying posies. Dated 19th century
  • Ring a ring of rosies, a pocket full of posies – Nursery Rhyme
  • An engraving depicting young girls carrying posies. Dated 19th century
  • Still-Life of small posies of summer flowers
  • Bries Flower Posies Mercat la Boqueria Las Ramblas Barcelona Spain
  • Victorian Border with Posies
  • Nut Posies
  • Close-up Of Posies Arranged On Table
  • Flower and fruit posies, Grand Central Square, Krakow, Poland
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Fruit and flower posies for sale Rynek Glowny, Krakow, Poland
  • Girl Sells Flowers 1812
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • LONDON MAY 6 VE Day Celebrations in London s Hyde Park on May 6 1995
  • Posies
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • posies
  • Yellow and white posies.
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Still-Life of tight posies of pink and white roses in glass vases
  • A circular book, folding outwards, reading ‘Passionate Posies’ written on the greek front cover, next to a cylindrical case painted green, 2016. Courtesy Eric Chen.
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Ring a Ring of Roses – Nursery Rhyme
  • A Victorian decorative floral Photo Frame with Roses
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • March, one of 12 monthly prints chromolithographed by Kronheim circa 1870
  • A Bouquet of various flowers
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Flower Seller London England UK
  • "All a-blowin’" A young woman sells posies from a basket. Date: 1812
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Rather venerable London Flower Seller with wicker baskets containing prepared posies and floral bouquets. Date: circa 1910s
  • Girls flower making Luang Prabang Laos
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Portrait of father and son in front of cottage with floral decorations.
  • Man Handing out Floral Posies
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. Amelia Vivian and Madeleine Carleston, both aged 6, wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • A close up of the purple flowers of the common dead nettle Lamium purpureum
  • Wedding bouquet for bride on table
  • Windsor, UK. 1st April, 2018. A guard passes Madeleine Carleston and Amelia Vivian, both aged 6, as they wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Social History including fashion (Derbyshire/Warwickshire). Photo taken probably in the 1920’s. This is a glass negative and formed just one of 102 negatives labelled ‘Crich’. All are available on Alamy and can be found under the keyword ‘Crich 1920s’.
  • Small bunches of flowers for sale
  • Pansies for sale outside a cottage in Charlestown, Cornwall, invoke the Poldark craze
  • UK Cheshire Chester Cathedral at Christmas medieval herbalism making herbal Tussie mussie
  • A bouquet of spring flowers
  • Pink passion
  • Spray of wildflowers
  • Pansies
  • Bridesmaids
  • Small bunches of flowers for sale
  • A Posie of Fabric Artificial Rose Flowers
  • Little bridesmaids on the church steps in England
  • Still-Life of strawberries in cut-glass vase with small posy of summer flowers in vase below cockerel ornament on windowsill
  • A Posie of Fabric Artificial Rose Flowers
  • Four colourful seasonal posies, view from above
  • Prince Charles Lady Diana Spencer Royal Wedding July 1981 Bridesmaids including Sarah Armstrong Jones in St Pauls Cathedral cary posies of flowers
  • Woman ‘s costume in reign of George III (1760 -1820). Wearing a pannier dress over a lighter dress holding a basket of posies.
  • Three bunches of posies, aromatic sage posy, floral scents, colours ranging in reds, oanges and greens.
  • The latest in millinery takes its inspiration fron the childs nursery rhyme Ring-a-ring-o’-roses, a head full of posies. It is one of the Spring fashions shown in London by Simone Mirman, who makes hats for Princess Margaret. March 1959 P008020
  • Young toddler girl of two and half years of age picking posie of flowers from garden
  • Two flower and herb posies, including Geraniums, Roses, Marjoram, Sweet Peas, Rosemary, Sage, Pearl Everlastings, and Cottage Scabious
  • The Queen Mothers Visit To Northern Ireland June 1983 Adele Healey 9 and Moyna Jane Glenn 6 of Hillsborough Primary School presenting posies to the Queen Mother and William Ferris 10 with John Knight 11 of Beechlawn Primary School who presented a pottery ornament made by 15 year old William Morris who was in hospital
  • Young toddler girl of two and half years of age picking posie of flowers from garden
  • London 25 March 2017. Flowers left in tribute to those who died following the terrorist incident that occurred on 23 March Credit: patrick nairne/Alamy Live News
  • Jul. 14, 1967 – Vintners Hold City Ceremony. The Worshipful Company of Vintners had a little ceremony in the City of London yesterday. Wearing their robes, the Master, Wardens and Court walked from their hall to the church of St. James Garlickhythe, holding posies to protect them from city smells and proceeded by a man sweeping the road. Photo Shows: Harry Draude, a wine partner, sweeps the street clean for the vintners.
  • Young toddler girl of two and half years of age picking posie of flowers from garden
  • Blacklock, Picking Posies
  • Shadow and Substance (from Wayside Posies: Original Poems of the Country Life), After George John Pinwell, 1867
  • Windsor, UK. 16th April, 2017. The Queen leaves St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle with posies of flowers presented by two young girls following the Easter Sunday service. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • London, UK. 20 June 2019. Guy Collins, unicyclist, takes part in the historical ‘Rent Ceremony’ in Covent Garden. A parade of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s trustees accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Mayor of Camden and other dignatories as well as street entertainers march around the piazza where the trustees pay a symbolic ‘peppercorn rent’ consisting of five rosy red apples and five posies of flowers and posies are paid as rent to the landlords. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News
  • The Island Bee (from Wayside Posies: Original Poems of the Country Life), After George John Pinwell, 1867
  • Windsor, UK. 16th April, 2017. The Queen leaves St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle with posies of flowers presented to her by two young girls following the Easter Sunday service. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • London, UK. 20 June 2019. Landlords hold their symbolic rents during the historical ‘Rent Ceremony’ in Covent Garden. A parade of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s trustees accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Mayor of Camden and other dignatories as well as street entertainers march around the piazza where the trustees pay a symbolic ‘peppercorn rent’ consisting of five rosy red apples and five posies of flowers and posies are paid as rent to the landlords. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News
  • Reaping (from Wayside Posies: Original Poems of the Country Life). Artist: After John William North (British, London 1842-1924 Stamborough, Somerset). Dimensions: Image: 4 5/8 × 4 13/16 in. (11.7 × 12.3 cm) Sheet: 9 5/8 × 7 9/16 in. (24.4 × 19.2 cm). Engraver: Dalziel Brothers (British, active 1839-1893). Publisher: George Routledge & Sons (London). Date: 1867. Museum: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.
  • Windsor, UK. 16th April, 2017. The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, is presented with posies of flowers as they leave the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • London, UK. 20 June 2019. Guy Collins, unicyclist, takes part in the historical ‘Rent Ceremony’ in Covent Garden. A parade of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s trustees accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Mayor of Camden and other dignatories as well as street entertainers march around the piazza where the trustees pay a symbolic ‘peppercorn rent’ consisting of five rosy red apples and five posies of flowers and posies are paid as rent to the landlords. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News
  • Windsor, UK. 21st April 2019. Two young boys arrive to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • The Island Bee (from Wayside Posies: Original Poems of the Country Life). Artist: After George John Pinwell (British, London 1842-1875 London). Dimensions: Image: 6 3/16 × 4 13/16 in. (15.7 × 12.2 cm) Sheet: 9 5/8 × 7 9/16 in. (24.4 × 19.2 cm). Engraver: Dalziel Brothers (British, active 1839-1893). Date: 1867. A woman holds a basket over one arms and the hand of small girl with her other, as they stand in a garden looking at flowers and insects. A second row of plants is shown behind them, then a wall and two-story house, with birds flying and roosting. The wood engraving was made for a boo
  • London, UK. 20 June 2019. Stiltwalker William Ladbroke-Hutt takes part in the historical ‘Rent Ceremony’ in Covent Garden. A parade of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s trustees accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Mayor of Camden and other dignatories as well as a town crier and street entertainers march around the piazza where the trustees pay a symbolic ‘peppercorn rent’ consisting of five rosy red apples and five posies of flowers and posies are paid as rent to the landlords. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News
  • Windsor, UK. 21st April 2019. Two young boys arrive to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Shadow and Substance (from Wayside Posies: Original Poems of the Country Life). Artist: After George John Pinwell (British, London 1842-1875 London). Dimensions: Image: 6 1/2 × 4 13/16 in. (16.5 × 12.3 cm) Sheet: 9 5/8 × 7 5/8 in. (24.4 × 19.4 cm). Engraver: Dalziel Brothers (British, active 1839-1893). Publisher: George Routledge & Sons (London). Date: 1867. A young woman stands by a pond and fishes with a simple rod, as an older woman sits and reads behind her, and a girl kneels and leans on a chair, the forms reflected in the still water below. The wood engraving was made for a book edite
  • London, UK. 20 June 2019. Alan Wyatt, town crier, and a marching band take part in the historical ‘Rent Ceremony’ in Covent Garden. A parade of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s trustees accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Mayor of Camden and other dignatories as well as street entertainers march around the piazza where the trustees pay a symbolic ‘peppercorn rent’ consisting of five rosy red apples and five posies of flowers and posies are paid as rent to the landlords. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News
  • Windsor, UK. 21st April 2019. Two young boys wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday Mattins service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • The Swallows (from Wayside Posies: Original Poems of the Country Life). Artist: After George John Pinwell (British, London 1842-1875 London). Dimensions: Image: 6 7/16 × 4 15/16 in. (16.4 × 12.5 cm) Sheet: 9 1/2 × 7 5/8 in. (24.2 × 19.4 cm). Engraver: Dalziel Brothers (British, active 1839-1893). Publisher: George Routledge & Sons (London). Date: 1867. A woman and young girl stand inside a barn, the child pointing up towards the rafters.Outside an open door, a boy holds a rope. The wood engraving was made for a book edited by Robert Buchanan, with original illustrations by G. J. Pinwell, J.
  • London, UK. 20 June 2019. Cllr Ruth Bush, Lord Mayor of Westminster, makes a speech during the historical ‘Rent Ceremony’ in Covent Garden. A parade of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s trustees accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Mayor of Camden and other dignatories as well as street entertainers march around the piazza where the trustees pay a symbolic ‘peppercorn rent’ consisting of five rosy red apples and five posies of flowers and posies are paid as rent to the landlords. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News
  • Windsor, UK. 21st April 2019. Two young boys wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday Mattins service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • A smiling local man selling posies of sweet smelling jasmine flowers from a basket proffered by the side of a street in Hammamet
  • London, UK. 20 June 2019. Alan Wyatt, town crier, and a marching band take part in the historical ‘Rent Ceremony’ in Covent Garden. A parade of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s trustees accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Mayor of Camden and other dignatories as well as street entertainers march around the piazza where the trustees pay a symbolic ‘peppercorn rent’ consisting of five rosy red apples and five posies of flowers and posies are paid as rent to the landlords. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News
  • Windsor, UK. 21st April 2019. Two young boys wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday Mattins service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Flowers in Vase
  • London, UK. 20 June 2019. Alan Myatt, town crier, and a marching band take part in the historical ‘Rent Ceremony’ in Covent Garden. A parade of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s trustees accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Mayor of Camden and other dignatories as well as street entertainers march around the piazza where the trustees pay a symbolic ‘peppercorn rent’ consisting of five rosy red apples and five posies of flowers and posies are paid as rent to the landlords. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News
  • Windsor, UK. 21st April 2019. Two young boys wait to give traditional posies of flowers to the Queen as she leaves the Easter Sunday Mattins service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • Still-Life of a vintage sampler and posies of dried roses
  • Windsor, UK. 16th April, 2017. The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, leaves St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle with posies of flowers presented by two young girls following the Easter Sunday service. Credit: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Live News
  • London, UK. 20 June 2019. Alan Myatt, town crier, and a marching band take part in the historical ‘Rent Ceremony’ in Covent Garden. A parade of the Covent Garden Area Trust’s trustees accompanied by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Deputy Mayor of Camden and other dignatories as well as street entertainers march around the piazza where the trustees pay a symbolic ‘peppercorn rent’ consisting of five rosy red apples and five posies of flowers and posies are paid as rent to the landlords. Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News
  • Pink posies on a beautiful Summer day

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A Pocket Full of Posies

I recall, many years ago, a college professor of mine telling our history class about the “true” basis for the children’s rhyme, “Ring Around the Rosie.” There are many variations of this rhyme, depending on where you grew up, and in which century, but the version I learned as a child goes like this:

Ring around the rosie
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, Ashes
We all fall down!

Children sing it while holding hands and walking in a circle, and all plop down on their little behinds on the last line, amidst a fit of giggles. Earlier versions start with “Ring a ring o’ rosies” and replace the “Ashes, Ashes” line with “Hush, hush, hush, hush” or “Atishoo, atishoo,” assumed to be the sound you make when sneezing. The final line, too, has variations, including, “We’re all tumbled down.” Historians note that in other children’s rhymes and songs, this would call for a deep curtsey, rather than the less-dignified falling on the ground that I practiced as a child! One version, traced back to 1790, goes:

Ring a ring a rosie
A bottle full of posie
All the girls in our town
Ring for little Josie.

Other versions exist, with similar tunes and similar words, in German, Italian, and Swedish. As I was humming it under my breath the other day, I noticed that the first line has the same rhythm and tune as the schoolyard chant, “nanny-nanny-boo-boo” that was used to provoke a classmate into chasing you!

My professor very solemnly explained to us that each element of the rhyme referred to a symptom or result of the Great Plague that swept through England in 1665. The “pocket full of posies,” he maintained, were sachets or small bouquets of herbs and flowers that either helped ward off the illness, or masked the horrible odors of death and uncleanliness that lingered everywhere. Other lines, he insisted, referred to the ring-like pustule rash, the ashes of the cremated bodies, and “all fall down” referred to the fact that everyone died.

Thankfully, folklorists have since proven this interpretation to be wrong, and we can go back to enjoying the innocence of the childhood game and the simple pleasure of a handful of blossoms. A couple of links are at the end of this article, presenting the history of the nursery rhyme, and the reason it is so very unlikely to have anything whatsoever to do with the plague, either pneumatic or bubonic. Versions of this children’s song were recorded in literature more than a hundred years before the Great Plague struck England, and the symptoms described don’t correlate well to the earlier Black Plague, or bubonic plague. In fact, there is no record anywhere of any correlation between the song and the diseases until the mid 1900’s, when someone published an explanation of “the true meaning” of the song, and everyone accepted it as fact.

Historically, posies have gone by many different names and spellings. If you do a search on posie, you might find it alternately spelled as posey, posy or even poesy. It usually refers to a small cluster of flowers or herbs, or even a single flower presented to someone special. In some instances, it can also refer to a brief verse of poetry inscribed on a ring or trinket and given to a young lady by an admirer.

In the 15th century, this diminuitive bouquet was called a nosegay. As you can imagine, hygiene was practically unheard of in medieval Europe. Baths were believed to endanger the bather, exposing them to certain illness. Though some cultures had introduced sewer systems of sorts, most of Europe still emptied their chamber pots out their upstairs windows into the streets below. Have you ever wondered about the origin of the tradition of men walking nearer the curb, and their lady friends walking nearer the buildings? This was because of the double risk of a chamber pot being emptied on your head, and also of mud and raw sewage being splashed up onto the walkers by passing horses and carriages. During this time, women would carry nosegays of fragrant flowers or herbs (the name literally means “to make the nose happy,”) and men would tuck them into their pockets or lapels, where they could easily turn their heads to take a deep sniff, and cover the unpleasant odors.

In Victorian times, it was more commonly referred to as a tussie-mussie. The Victorians were enthralled with the idea of flowers having specific meanings, so they would assemble their little tussie-mussies with great care to communicate a specific message to the recipient. This Victorian language of flowers was called floriography. Whole books and dictionaries were published with the proscribed meanings of the flowers, based on mythology, religious references, and local traditions. Even the manner of presenting a tussie-mussie carried meaning. The traditional shape for a Victorian posie was a small, round ball-shaped bouquet. The stems were bound together with ribbons, or bound up in a lace doiley or intricate little metal holder, sometimes of silver filigree, which was also called a tussie mussie.

Bouquets of this shape are now most often used as wedding bouquets, though recently longer, more assymmetrical bouquets have come into favor. Corsages are still occasionally worn, generally by men in wedding parties, or by women at formal attire events, like prom. When I was a child, my father would buy my mother a corsage, usually an orchid, for special occasions like Easter or Mother’s Day. It is a little sad that this custom of wearing fresh flowers has gone by the wayside.

A tussie-mussie may also be arranged in a vase for display. Quite an industry has been built up around the purchase of cut flowers. Elaborate floral arrangements are displayed at funerals and church services, at hotel desks, in the lobbies of businesses, and at fancy parties. However, many home gardeners still plant what is known as a “cutting garden,” full of a variety of flowers that are suitable as cut flowers for bouquets. I’m sure many tables this spring are sporting home-cut arrangements of iris, tulips, and the oh-so-fragrant hyacinths and lilacs. The next time I bury my nose in a handful of lilacs, I’ll remember the original meaning of the word nosegay. It is one of my favorite fragrances! I am always torn over when considering whether to cut a bouquet from my garden to enjoy indoors. I love having fresh flowers in my home, but I always feel like it leaves holes in my borders. I don’t hesitate to cut from my long row of peony plants, or the lilac that is covered with blooms, but the flowers that only produce a very few showy blooms are harder to cut. I would rather leave them in the garden, where people passing by can enjoy them!

My favorite form of posie, however, is much simpler than anything professionally arranged by a florist, or artfully collected into a vase by a dedicated gardener. My favorite posies are those presented to me by my children. The earliest variations were made up mostly of dandelions. This final picture is of my youngest son with a fistful of violets that he picked especially for me.

12 Types of Wedding Bouquets

From romantic whimsical cascade bouquets to traditional hand-tied bouquets, brides have options when it comes to choosing their wedding bouquets.

Your bridal flowers are such an important part of your wedding day, so it’s important to pick a type of bouquet that will complement your overall look and theme.

To help you figure out what’s right for you, here are 12 types of wedding bouquets to consider carrying as you walk down the aisle!

1. Nosegay

Mi Belle Photography

Highly traditional and popular, nosegay bouquets are round bouquets consisting of a tight bunch of flowers cut to uniform in length and style. The flowers are packed in very tightly, and tied by an accenting fabric wrap or wire.

Generally, one focal flower or focal color defines the bouquet. This is a very elegant and classic look; choose this bouquet for a chic and small indoor wedding that’s more focused on the romance and intimacy of the day.

2. Biedermeier

Sources: white roses and white orchids bouquet, green orchids with white roses bouquet, roses and peruvian lilies, baby’s breath and tulips, striped effect bouquet

Biedermeier bouquets are round and consist of a tight bunch of uniformly cut flowers wrapped by fabric or wire. However, Biedermeier arrangements align the flowers in concentric circles around each other, creating a striped effect on your bouquet.

This look should be used for a highly creative and artistic wedding, filled with excitement and eccentric arrangements. Use flowers like orchids, roses, dahlias and other texture-filled flowers to achieve this style.

3. Cascade

Laken Mackenzie Photography

Cascade bouquets showcase a literal waterfall of flowers; by using greenery and choice blooms, the bouquet gets a gorgeous tapering effect. This bouquet is meant to hang or drop down in front of the hand and form an upside-down teardrop shape, rounded at the top and forming a point at the bottom.

Cascade bouquets are fantastic for very high-end, elegant weddings, as well as more inexpensive garden weddings that have a lovely range of blooms.

To make this type of wedding bouquet, use the hand-tied technique instead of using a holder unless you’re going super formal since a silver holder can look very elegant. Almost any flower can be used in this bouquet, but using bold flowers like garden roses or lilies can make this style modern and fun.

4. Posy

One Eleven Photography

Posy bouquets are a classic choice for brides. They’re perfect for petite brides, bridesmaids and flower girls as it is a smaller bouquet. This type of style consists of a small round bouquet that is tied with a decorative ribbon and is easy to hold in one hand.

Posy bouquets feature mostly flower and little to no greenery. Flowers like roses, peonies, ranunculus and gerbera daisies create beautiful posy bouquets.

5. Round

Whitney Justesen Photography

Perhaps the most well-known bouquet type, round bouquets are, of course, round in shape, having more flower blooms than greenery and being very harmonized and balanced.

The round bouquet is a bigger version of the posy and a more buttoned-up, structured version of the hand-tied. Round bouquets usually consist of fewer flower types, to keep them more consistent. Consider using flowers like roses, anemones or any flower with a round bloom.

This style works best for formal modern or traditional weddings.

6. Composite

Sources: coral bouquet, white dahlia, ivory rose, white and green composite, lavender rose

Composite bouquets require a certain level of innovation and thought to perfect. By using a series of buds, petals, and blooms, you can wire together an arrangement that looks like a single, giant flower made from smaller flowers.

Composite bouquets give off a very extravagant and sumptuous ambience; use them more for refined, luxurious weddings with a softer color palette. These types of wedding flower bouquets are usually not for the DIY bride unless you are extensive flower experience.

Not all florist are experienced with the composite bouquet as well, so it can be challenging to find an experienced florist and it may come with a large price tag. That being said, this bouquet is not for everyone, but if you like simple designs with a big impact and price doesn’t matter, this bouquet is for you!

7. Hand-Tied

Connection Photography

Hand-tied arrangements look exactly how they sound: a cluster of flowers is hand-tied together with ribbon, giving the arrangement a casual look from the loose stems. This is a very popular choice for brides today, as well as one of the easier styles to create for a DIY bride.

To make a hand-tied bouquet, start with a focal flower, then start adding flowers around in a spiral fashion until you are happy with the shape and size. You can gently adjust any flowers if needed. Then wrap stems with floral tape to secure. Finish by wrapping stems with ribbon or fabric.

8. Crescent

Kaitlyn Rebecca Photography

The crescent bouquet is a unique style that is shaped in a soft arch. The flowers are usually more compact in the center, then extend out of each side into a more tapered shape. Think of a quarter moon shape. Depending on your style, it can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.

This bouquet is a great choice for brides that want something a little different. It can be used in modern, romantic or whimsical settings. To create your own crescent-shaped bouquet use greenery with a natural drape like cascading ivy or star asparagus. As for flowers, you can use hanging amaranthus, ranunculus and other wispy blooms.

9. Contemporary

Sources: air plant and succulent bouquet, white and ivory bridal bouquet, rustic twig arrangement, calla lily and dahlia bridal bouquet, calla lily arrangement

In contemporary wedding bouquets, no particular form is mandatory. Flowers and greenery stick out at unexpected angles, creating a highly unique and complex arrangement. Tropicals work great with contemporary bouquets. Consider using exotic flowers like anthuriums, monstera and birds of paradise.

This very detailed and complex arrangement needs a detailed and complex wedding to fit into; use this type of bouquet if your wedding will be over-the-top with versatile, strange, and unconventional arrangements to show your abstract creativity.

10. Single Stem

Sources: protea single stem, blue hydrangea, pink peony bridesmaid, bridesmaid rose, garden rose single stem

Instead of having an abundance of flowers, choosing one gives you a simple and humble appearance. However, don’t think this budget-friendly bouquet is less for it; the quiet accent of a single flower held by a beautiful bride can be a touchingly romantic and sweet look.

If you want a simple and elegant look, this is the bouquet for you. Use statement blooms like garden roses, king protea, hydrangea, or peonies to create a chic look.

11. Pomander

Sources: purple pomander, woodland themed pomander, lavender and green pomander, baby’s breath pomander, pomander with silver ribbon

While this bouquet is traditionally for children and flower girls, pomander bouquets can be a fun and unique addition to your wedding.

Pomander bouquets feature a round ball of flowers suspended from ribbon or twine, and worn by the wrist.

Typically, a pomander bouquet will be enhanced with colorful jewels and gems. To achieve this bouquet style, use sturdy flowers, such as roses, carnations, sunflowers, and gerbera daisies. Let your imagination play when choosing flower and color combinations.

12. Presentation

Radion Photography

Last but not least, are presentation bouquets, also called pageant bouquets. This style is traditionally used in competitions like Miss America but they’ve become an exciting staple of wedding flower bouquets.

These bouquets can be either simple and chic for an elegant and crisp look, or elaborate and detailed for a lavish and regal look. Either way, this bouquet should fit easily into the crook of the bride’s arm so she can carry it easily.

Standard calla lilies are a popular choice for this bouquet, but you could also use roses, orchids, gladiolus, tropical flowers or other long-stemmed flowers.

See More Here:

  • 45 Flower Meanings: Discover The Significance Behind Each Bloom
  • 10 Types of Vases For Flowers
  • Rose Color Meanings: 12 Shades and What They Symbolize

The Different Types of Wedding Bouquet

The Shower Bouquet

Perhaps the most traditional style of all wedding bouquets, the shower bouquet is the epitome of elegance and sophistication and is designed to gracefully flow out of the bride’s hands. This cascading style was made popular by Princess Diana in the 1980’s and has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years. Almost any type of flower can be included in this type of arrangement, which is often enhanced with trailing ivy and fresh foliage.

The Nosegay Bouquet

The Nosegay bouquet, also known as the tussie-mussie, has been around since the Middle Ages. Round-shaped and densely packed with flowers, this style of bridal bouquet traditionally features a handful of central flowers, encircled by ‘filler flowers’ and then framed with fresh herbs. It is usually tightly bound with organza ribbon, making it practical to hold.

The Presentation Bouquet

The Presentation Bouquet is a sheaf of flowers, designed to be cradled in the arms and was a popular style of wedding bouquet at the turn of the twentieth century. This simple style of bouquet typically uses long stemmed flowers such as Calla lillies or roses and has become a popular choice for the modern bride, owing to its chic appearance and the influence of period dramas such as Downtown Abbey.

The Biedermeier Bouquet

Similar to the Nosegay, the Biedermeier is a tightly wrapped bridal bouquet, arranged in a circular pattern with different coloured flowers. Typically each ring is made up of one distinct flower type, creating dramatic visual impact, which has proved popular with brides who want to really make a statement on their big day.

The Wrist Corsage

A great alternative to the traditional bouquet, a beautiful corsage worn on the wrist is a wonderful way to accessorise your wedding dress. Less restrictive than a hand-held bouquet, a wrist corsage allows the bride to keep her hands free so she can enjoy her wedding day to the full. Wrist corsages are also perfect for bridesmaids and can be created from a variety of different flowers to complement almost any colour scheme.

The Pomander Bouquet

A pomander is a ball of flowers, arranged in floral foam and suspended from a decorative ribbon. Most commonly the arrangement of choice for young flower girls, there’s no reason why the bride herself couldn’t carry one of these splendid arrangements down the aisle.

Feb 27

Posy bouquetsYvette

Posies are one of the most traditional floral arrangements. They have been used since at least medieval times when they were carried to disguise the unpleasant smells of the era. In particular the brides who carried them. Their popularity is timeless, no doubt due to the versatility of their use and the varied materials that can be used to create them.

A herb and rose posy is a perfect last-minute gift or the solution to the situation you find yourself in when you spontaneously want to make something. All the resources required for this arrangement are usually found within neighbourhood homes, gardens or local stores.

Posy DIY recipe

Ingredients:

  • David Austin rose – white, 10 stems
  • Lavender – 1 bunch
  • Lemon scented geranium – 1 bunch
  • Mint – 1 bunch
  • Basil – 1 bunch
  • Rosemary – 1 bunch
  • Berries – 1 bunch
  • Parsley – 1 bunch

Tip-

Use any herbs that are in season: the more you cut your herbs the better they will grow.

Accessories:

  • Baking paper
  • Twine
  • Hessian or similar
  • Birds nest wire frame (optional use as shown in video)

Tools:

  • Basics pack
  • Paper cutting scissors
  • Grey lead pencil

Construction Steps:

  1. Choose and cut your botanical materials. For this posy, have your stems at approximately 20–25cm. Begin by removing all the lower leaves. Then place each different material into a separate container.
  2. Once all the lower material has been removed, create the posy’s junction point in the web of your left hand (for right-handed people) or right hand (for left-handed people), holding your first finger and thumb as shown in the video. Remember: your thumb is the gatekeeper that allows stems to enter.
  1. Begin with the geranium or, if you have chosen different herbs, use the herb with the strongest stems. One by one, place the stems into the junction area, bringing the foliage of the geranium down close to sit on the top of your hand, as shown in the video on our app.
  1. Set aside 6–8 of your shortest stems of herbs to use after you have added the roses to the posy, and set aside all the lavender and berries.
  2. Add the remaining herbs to the posy. Use your free hand to turn the posy after every couple of additions, as shown in the video. This will help your posy get a nice, round shape.
  1. Take a stem of David Austin rose and place into the centre of the base you have created from your herb stems. Protect rose stems by resting them on the other foliage, held by your thumb, as shown in the video. Do not attempt to place rose stems into the junction point.
  1. Add three berry stems to the posy, making sure they are evenly spaced around the top of the herb base.
  2. Repeat the above step using three rose stems so that berries and roses alternate around the top of the posy.
  1. Disperse the remaining berries evenly throughout the forming posy.
  2. Disperse the remaining roses evenly throughout the forming posy.
  3. Distribute the lavender throughout the posy.
  4. Place the remaining shorter stems of herb foliage evenly around the edge of the posy.
  1. Check that all flower heads are placed evenly. Hold the posy as far from your body as you can and check that you have arrived at an even dome shape.
  2. Once you are pleased with the shape, tie the stems together at the junction point.
  3. Trim all the stems to the same length approximately 10cm from junction point, then place the posy in a vase.
  1. Whilst your posy is having a lovely drink, you can prepare the baking paper for the wrapping. Use about 1m of paper. Write on it, personalise it and frill it as shown in the video.
  1. Add the posy to your wrapping, tie the wrapping, add a birds nest if you want to, and finish off with a square of hessian around the stems to complete your work.

To watch video demonstration on the construction of this posy or join a beginners workshop or course

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