No Shrinking Violet

Published on 22 February 2024 at 13:20

No Shrinking Violet


No matter what February brings, there's always the thought that Spring is just around the corner.  Soon we will have the earliest of spring flowers popping up.  There are Daffodils, Crocus and Tulips.  But we can't forget about the glorious wild sweet Violets (Viola odorata)!  They are so beautiful, easy to let grow wild, and so useful too.  I have some growing wild and free in my lawn, but I was thinking that it might be a good idea to expand and plant another spot of them too.  After all, you can sugar the flowers, make jellies, syrups, vinegars and the leaves can be used to make soothing skin creams and lip balms. It is quite medicinal. It is great for skin problems, is a pain-killer due to its' salicylic acid, which is used to make aspirin, it aids digestion, reduces blood pressure, reduces fever, is a blood purifier, relieves coughs, reduces inflammation from colds and the flu, plus much more.


The easiest flower to grow, it loves shady spots at the edge of your woodland or garden or yard.  The plants will also grow well in pots, and if placed in a shaded spot, you will soon be rewarded with little purple blooms.  These perennials will spread if left to their own devices and I hope mine do so.  I plan to put them in a tree-shaded part of the yard and let them go.   I ordered a packet of seeds and eagerly awaited their arrival, which came day before yesterday.


As soon as they came, I put some soil into a small tray, added the seeds and watered.  Then, I slid the tray into a plastic bag and tied it shut.  These seeds must have cold to mimic their natural growing habits, so for four weeks, I have to keep it in the fridge or freezer.  After that, I will open the bag, and place it in a warm place and keep it moist, making sure it is well-drained.  After the plants are growing well, I will transfer them to their chosen spot.  Hopefully in the future, I will have plenty of leaves and blooms to experiment and have fun with.


Meantime, I think I should have plenty this year to make Violet Jelly.  It has an interesting, grape-like flavor to it.  And you definitely will have something quite rare and unusual to share with guests at tea.


Violet Jelly

2 1/2 cups packed violet blooms

Juice of 1 lemon

2 1/2 cups boiling water

1 pack of Sure-jell

3 1/2 cups sugar


Prepare 7-8 jelly jars by washing and sterilizing.  In a pan, pour the boiling water over the flowers.  Let steep and cool.  The water should turn a deep blue.  Strain.  Add the lemon juice and the color will turn purple.  In a saucepan, pour the mix and add the Sure-jell.  Bring this to a heavy boil, stirring and let boil exactly 1 minute.  Remove from heat, ladle into jars.  Wipe edge and seal with lids and rings.  Process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes.





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