Violets & Lace…….
Home-made Crystallised Violets for Cakes & Bakes
As violets so be I recluse and sweet,
Cheerful as daisies unaccounted rare,
Still sunward-gazing from a lowly seat,
Still sweetening wintry air.
While half-awakened Spring lags incomplete,
While lofty forest trees tower bleak and bare,
Daisies and violets own remotest heat
And bloom and make them fair.
Christina (Georgina) Rossetti (1830–94)
Violet on green, air heavy with scent……..peeping through after winter cold and heralding spring and beyond; lace and antique jugs with posies so gay, promises of sunshine and longer days. Old fashioned scent on hankies and scarves, cut glass bowls of candies and sweets……afternoon tea, your best china cups, sugar lumps and tongs with violet topped cakes…….grandmothers, aunties and mothers with crisply starched linen.
The potted history of the Violet…….
The Viola Odorata was one of the first flowering plants to be grown commercially. It was noted that they were for sale in Athens 400BC being grown in specialist Nurseries in Attica. Throughout the centuries Violets have been a favourite flower, either for their perfume which scented the rooms and floors or their medicinal qualities which are still being researched today (eg. Viola Yedoensis).Most perfumes of Violets today are synthetic of course but the perfume evokes such nostalgic memories for so many people. Dawlish in Devon was the most important centre for the cultivation of Violets in 1916 and a special train ran from Cornwall to London carrying all the flowers on their way to Covent Garden Market every day. By 1936 there was a flourishing trade from this area and flowers were sent regularly to the Queen and ladies at the Court. During the war years the land was requisitioned for the growing of food,and Violets went out of fashion, sadly never to return.
I will be back later today with more words, the Herbs on Saturday round-up and a new March Herbs on Saturday blog hop……….enjoy my scented Saturday post. I will also be posting another violet recipe, as well as how to use violets in baking. See you later, Karen
As sweet violets are classed as herbs, I am entering this into the March Herbs on Saturday Blog Hop HERE.