Tussie-mussie – a nosegay; small bunch of flowers or aromatic herbs, often with symbolic meanings; cone-shaped holder for such a bouquet.
The creative get togethers started four years ago when we went to Christchurch to learn how to make something arty for the garden.
The second creative gathering was at Jo Segar’s cooking school in Oxford and last year we met in Southland where we visited Maple Glen, lunched at The Potager near Wyndham, gained some floral arranging inspiration and had a painting class.
This year we met in North Otago at The Red Tin House , the home of Vicky Lee. She greeted us with morning tea which included her home made cheese then took us upstairs, presented us with some ready-wired bits and pieces . . . .
. . . added flowers, feathers and other treasures and soon we’d all made a tussie mussie:
Vicky sells her woven baskets, and brooches under her label the Wild Weaver. Her paua shell and pine needle creations are cradling the tussie mussies in the two bottom photos above.
She’s a skilled needle woman and a superb cook. When the tussie mussies were finished we were taken back down to her living room where we were served wine and lunch: terrine, herb and walnut scones and salads, followed by a wee ramekin of chocolate desert. All the food was home made and almost all the ingredients were home grown.
Vicky had more creative inspiration for us after lunch. This time we started with pots staked with prunings from the apple trees . . .
. . . we then wove willow round the uprights . . .
. . . and finished with posh pots.
The shade loving hostas are meant for outside but did temporary duty on the dinner table:
Vicky and her husband Roan run a homestay at The Red Tin House. She is happy to take workshops for guests and he is a keen fly fisherman. With advance notice, Vicky will pack a picnic and Roan will guide visitors to his secret fishing spots.
We finished our day warmed by the hospitality, inspired by Vicky’s teaching and cooking, thrilled with what we’d made and with no hesitation about recommending the delights of the Red Tin House.
It’s our fourth annual creative gathering.
In the meantime you might enjoy the tussie mussie one of the group made yesterday . . .
. . . and another:
. . . and mine: