Monday, March 15, 2010

The ancient Greeks wore wreaths of these little jewels,
and the Romans made them into wine.

According to Greek mythology,
the violet was created from the tears of a nymph
who was loved by Zeus.
In order to hide her from his wife,
Zeus turned her into a white heifer.
She was forced to eat grass.
It was so bitter that she cried.
Her tears were turned into violets by Zeus
to provide delicate fodder.

This time of year my viola odorata is in full bloom
I can't walk by the patch without stopping short
and taking taking a deep breath
... and another..
...and another...

It started with two small plants,
and now have a 20ft long patch of violets along my garden fence.
They love rich loamy soil
and a little protection from hot afternoon sun

Viola Odorata is a perennial plant with soft
heart-shaped leaves and intoxicatingly
heavily scented flower.

Probably the most common know use is
crystallised for use on cakes or in desserts,
but did you know that a decoction can be made
to use as a remedy for chest colds?

... and a syrup of violets serves effectively
for bronchitis, coughs and chesty colds.

~Violet Syrup~
Put 3 large handfuls of flowers into a bowl
and add 1/2 cup of boiling water.
Cover and let sit for a whole day.
Strain through a piece of cheesecloth or muslin
and be sure to squeeze all the water out of the flowers.
In an enamel pan, add 4 Tbls. of honey with the Violet water
Heat slowly to dissolve honey and bring to a boil.
Immediately remove from heat, and cool.
Put the violet syrup into a screw top jar and store in a cool place
for the next time you have a cold.

~Violet Ointment~
Violet ointment is made with fresh violet leaves
and can be used to soothe and reduce swelling,
or to soften dry lips,
or for soothing haemorrhids.
Melt 2 heaping Tbls. of pure lard or
vegetable shortening in an enamel pan
and add a handful of chopped leaves.
Cover and cook on very low heat for 30 minutes.
Strain immediately through a piece of muslin or cheesecloth
Pour into small pots
Cover when cool
and store in a cool place.

~Aromatic Bath~
After a tiring day, draw a nice warm bath
to which is added a strong infusion of violet water
Pour 2 cupfuls of boiling water
over 3 handfuls of violet flowers.
Leave to infuse for 10-15 mintues
then add to your bath water.
Climb in and relax!

I want to thank all of you for leaving kind words yesterday
It was a tough day
It amazes me that I have been so fortunate to have found all of you
and I count you as friends
Thank you for your words of encouragement.
I'm probably a bit silly about my animals,
but I get so attached to them.
When something bad happens to any of my pets,
I almost can't bear it
They are dependent on me,
and I take that seriously -
and love them.

My favorite little Tweetie Pie didn't survive
the dog attack on Sunday.
She was the most loving of the 7 chicks,
and liked to sit on my foot,
even when I walked around.

But since losing their sisters,
these two little ones and I
have become very attached to eachother.

They hate being left alone in their box,
so in order to be able to move around,
I put them in the big floppy pockets of my garden dress
and there they sleep while I work

This is Put-Put
(Funny name, I know... but its hubby's choice!)
She's very active and bold...
always first to chase a bug or find a tasty morsel

and this is Hanna
(no reason for the name. It just seems to fit her)
Hanna is very quiet and gentle
and loves to cuddle

Hubby is working feverishly
to get a strong coop made for the girls.
We've been planning to take a trip to Oregon
to see our Sophia (grand-daughter) next week
I'm nervous about leaving the chicks...
We'll see how they like their new coop


~Happy Spring to you~


  1. I am so sorry to hear about the dog attack. The coop looks like it is going to be a very nice one.

    I love violets, but can't grow them too well in our clay soil. I am going to try again. Love the recipes Thanks for sharing. I had an Aunt Viloet and everytime I see the flowers I think of her.

    Have a safe and happy trip.


  2. How fun to walk around with two cute chicks in your garden dress pockets - love it! I am sure they are going to feel comfy cozy in their new chicken coop.

    Your purple and green make me wish for spring ~ I hope it comes soon!

  3. I had missed your Sunday post about the chicks. I am so sorry. Something like that just sickens you. I am so glad you have the two left. I hope they do well while you are gone. Take care.

  4. What a lovely story about how the Violets got their color! Glad to see you are doing a little better. It must be wonderful to walk about the garden with such sweet company in your pockets xxx (by the way, that coop looks like a fortress!)

  5. That coop will be just the thing for the chicks...
    I love violets and make a violet jelly that is a most heavenly colour...
    Susan x

  6. Chicks in your garden dress pocket?! How cute is that!!! The coop looks great so far, and I'm sure they'll be safe there. I'm not sure Violets grow here... Thanks for sharing about it!

  7. What a wonderful post dear Vicki!!! Love the violet recipes...we have a garden of purple and white violets out the front...
    Put-Put's a good name...we inherited Dum-Dum back at the Post Office!!!
    That's a good looking chicken coop...and I like how you carry the chickis in your garden dress...just wondering, is that a special dress you wear for the garden?
    Enjoy your precious time away with your Sophia...Much Love from Down Under, Dzintra♥x