Violets: Grow, Decorate, Drink

GROW

Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you have to abandon all gardening until spring. The next time you wake up on the weekend to a brilliant blue sky sunny winter’s day, get outside in the fresh air and plant violets into your garden.

Australian Native Violets in particular are known to be extremely reliable and compact groundcovers. Growing primarily on the east coast of Australia, they like sheltered areas where there is moisture. Forming a sprawling, mat-like groundcover approximately 100mm high, their luscious, bright green foliage and vigorous growth rate is perfect for rapidly filling bare spots in the garden (eg. between stepping stones).

Viola-hederacea-Native-Violet-1013

You can also trail it down rock faces and walls for a dramatic effect.

Viola-hederaceae-spillover

What is the difference between violets, pansies and violas?

Pansies and violets both belong to the genus Viola. They share many similarities, but there are some clear differences to help define between the two.

1. Pansies have a more compact growth than violets.

2. Pansy flowers are usually larger, with distinct markings (or blotches) that can look like a face.

3. Note the flower petals – pansies have four petals that point upward and one that points downward; violets have three petals that point upward and two that point downward. (1)

DECORATE

Not only do violets provide fabulous ground cover during winter and flower profusely in the spring and summer, their dainty blue, deep purple, and mauve heads (and equally lovely leaves) also look super sweet in a teeny vase on your bedside table or bathroom.

DRINK

Fans of Masterchef will be quite familiar with the use of little violets as edible garnish in the culinary world. In addition to flowers ‘prettying up’ plates, you can also use them for flavouring and in beverages. Take a look at this rather delightful idea below for violet syrup.

violet syrup

Sweet Violet Syrup

Violet syrup is fabulous added to icings and butter cream for cakes, and is wonderful when used in beverages too. Only a small amount is needed to add to sparkling wine or lemonade for a delectable and elegant drink. Or why not try adding the syrup to homemade French macaroons or use to make violet ice cream?

All you need to make violet syrup is:

•40 to 50g Sweet violets (about 3 to 4 handfuls)
•150ml Boiling water
•300g White caster sugar

Click here to view recipe.

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Sources and Photo Credits

1. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/differences-between-pansies-violets-58561.html

2. http://www.secretgardens.com.au/plant-selections/plant-of-the-month-native-violet/

3. http://ideas.homelife.com.au/media/article-steps/3/0/321-1_asl.jpg

4. http://plant.daleysfruit.com.au/trees/m/Viola-hederacea-Native-Violet-1013.jpeg

5. http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5230/5634254145_970e19107c.jpg

6. http://flypapertextures.com/wp-content/uploads/violets-after.jpg

Fab Song Lyrics Using Flowers

Some fab song lyrics about flowers – might have to start creating a playlist of these to play in our florist shops 🙂

Billie Holiday: Violets For Your Furs

Song Lyrics – Listen While You Read

From Album ‘Lady in Satin’

It was winter in Manhattan
Falling snowflakes filled the air
The streets were covered with a film of ice
But a little simple magic that i’d heard about somewhere
Changed the weather all around, just withn a trice

You bought me violets for my furs
And it was spring for a while, remember?
You bought me violets for my furs
And there was april in that december
The snow drifted on the flowers and melted where it lay
The snow looked leke dew on the blossoms
As on a summer day

You bought me violets for my furs
Aand there was blue in the wintry sky
You pinned the violets to my furs
And gave a lift to the crowds passing by
You smiled at me so sweetly
Since then one thought occurs
That we fell in love completely
The day you bought me violets for my furs

(Okay, we really like Frank Sinatra’s version too!)

Billie-Holiday-Lady-In-Satin

Queen: Lily of the Valley

Song Lyrics – Listen While You Read

From Album Sheer Heart Attack

I am forever searching high and low
But why does everybody tell me no
Neptune of the seas
Have you an answer for me please
And the lily of the valley doesn’t know

I lie in wait with open eyes
I carry on through stormy skies
I follow every course
My kingdom for a horse
But each time I grow old
Serpent of the Nile
Relieve me for a while
And cast me from your spell and let me go

Messenger from Seven Seas has flown
To tell the King of Rhye he’s lost his throne
Wars will never cease
Is there time enough for peace
But the lily of the valley doesn’t know

queen

Glenn Miller: Blue Orchids

Listen To Song Lyrics While You Read

I dreamed of two blue orchids
Two beautiful blue orchids
One night while in my lonely room

I dreamed of two blue orchids
So full of love and light
That I wanted to possess each tender bloom

Then my dream took wings
And through a thousand springs
Blue orchids seemed in a world apart

But when I met you
Something pale and blue
Came stealing from the meadows of my heart

I saw my two blue orchids
My beautiful blue orchids

Last night and what a sweet surprise
When you looked at me
It was plain to see
Blue orchids only bloom in your eyes

glenn miller

Seal: Kiss From A Rose

Song Lyrics – Listen While You Read

From Album Seal

There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea
You became the light on the dark side of me
Love remained a drug that’s the high and not the pill
But did you know that when it snows
My eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen

Baby, I have compare you to a kiss from a rose on a grey
Ooh, more I get of you stranger it feels, yeah
And now that your rose is in bloom
A light hits the gloom on the grey

There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say
You remain, my power, my pleasure, my pain, baby
To me you’re like a grown addiction that I can’t deny
Won’t you tell me is that healthy, baby?
But did you know that when it snows
My eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen

Baby, I have compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey
Ooh, the more I get of you stranger it feels, yeah
And now that your rose is in bloom
A light hits the gloom on the grey

I’ve been kissed by a rose on the grey
I’ve been kissed by a rose
I’ve been kissed by a rose on the grey
I’ve been kissed by a rose on the grey

There is so much a man can tell you, so much he can say
You remain, my power, my pleasure, my pain
To me you’re like a grown addiction that I can’t deny
Won’t you tell me is that healthy, baby?
But did you know that when it snows
My eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen

Baby, I have compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey
Ooh, the more I get of you stranger it feels, yeah
And now that your rose is in bloom
A light hits the gloom on the grey

Yes, I have compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey
Ooh, the more I get of you stranger it feels, yeah
And now that your rose is in bloom
A light hits the gloom on the grey

Now that your rose is in bloom
A light hits the gloom on the grey

seal

James Taylor: Blossom

Song Lyrics – Listen While You Read

From Album Sweet Baby James

Blossom, smile some sunshine down my way
Lately, I’ve been lonesome
Blossom, it’s been much too long a day
Seems my dreams have frozen
Melt my cares away

Send the sunshine down my way whenever you call my name
I know what you mean to say to me, girl, it’s all the same

Blossom, there’s any empty road behind
Sit you down beside me
Blossom, there’s a sweet dream on my mind
There’s a song inside me
Take these chains away

Now, send the sunshine down my way whenever you call my name
I know what you mean to say to me, girl, it’s all the same

Blossom, smile some sunshine down my way
Lately, I’ve been lonesome
Blossom, it’s been much too long a day
Seems my dreams have frozen
Melt my cares away

james taylor

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