Spring has sprung in Kentucky and the ground is covered in sweet violets! These beautiful little flowers were beloved in days of old, but in modern times they are often overshadowed by their cousins, “Viola” and “Pansy.” In my opinion, all of these members of the violet family deserve adoration, but early spring is the sweet violet’s time to shine. Today I am sharing some “sweet violets to greet you” and to hopefully inspire you to take special notice of these beautiful free gifts from nature while they last.
Sweet violets are a naturalizing woodland flower that create a beautiful ground cover to welcome spring.
Just this week the violets have begun to put on their yearly show here in KY. I have been anticipating their arrival over the past few weeks.
As a child I always picked violet bouquets for my Momma or stuck them in my hair. Last year I stopped to pick some violets, and I sadly realized that it was the first time I had picked them in at least 20 years! I made a little bouquet with grape hyancinths and it turned out so pretty! I vowed to never let another spring pass without taking the time to enjoy the simple spring pleasure of sweet violets.
Today I put together a little vignette using some pretty vintage treasures and violets lovingly picked from my yard. Right now during this uncertain and dark time in our world I am finding true pleasure in the small things and gifts from nature. Sweet violets are tiny treasures! By the way, the pretty purple hobnail votive candle is an amazing Dollar Tree score from a few weeks ago. Doesn’t it have an authentic vintage look?
Upon considering my reaquaintance with the joy and beauty of violets, I was inspired to create this post with more information about violets and some gorgeous pinworthy images.
While many people today might consider violets to be weeds, this was not always the case. According to Gardenista, sweet violets used to be a mainstay of the floral industry:
“Both the leaves and flowers (which bloom in late winter and early spring) are also edible and rich in vitamins. Violets can be planted nearly anytime throughout spring and fall, though early spring is preferable. These plants enjoy light shade but will also thrive in sunny locations. While they tolerate many soil types, wild violets prefer soil that is moist, yet well-draining, and rich in organic matter.”
Read more at Gardening Know How: Wild Violets Care – How To Grow Wild Violet Plants
An Elegant, Tasty and Nutritious Treat
Foraged Violet and Dandelion Salad
Wild violets are edible! They are actually rich in vitamins:
Wild violets are also rich in vitamins A and C (more vitamin C by weight than oranges!) as well as other vitamins and minerals. Violet flowers can be used to make violet vinegar, violet jelly, violet tea, violet syrup and even candied violets. Source: The Survival Mom
Simple Spring Pleasures
I am enamoured by the elegant simplicity of sweet violets. Best of all, they are free in the spring!
Very Victorian Violets
Violets were prized by the Victorians. You will often find beautiful graphics featuring violets on antique toiletry bottles, linens, dishes and ephemera.
According to The Perfume Society:
“Victorians had a deep love for violets. Violet scents were incredibly popular in Victorian toiletries. They ate violets, candied, in cakes and pastries, and violets were at the heart of the cut flower boom: violet-sellers would stand on street corners, selling nosegays and bunches which women pinned to their dresses, or men tucked in their hat brims or wore on their lapels. And Victorian women – who were big on that so-feminine hobby of flower-pressing – pressed violets into scrapbooks, picked on leisurely country walks through woods where violets flourished.”
Vintage Purple Violets Afternoon High Tea Party
In the the Victorian times flowers were the “Language of Love” with each flower having a special symbol or meaning. A purple violet meant that the giver’s thoughts were occupied with thoughts of love for the recipient.
Violets, Sweet Violets by John William Godward
Well friends, I hope this post has inspired you to stop and take the time to pick a small bouquet of sweet violets this spring or to maybe even create a beautiful spring culinary treat using edible violets. Don’t let the joy of picking violets pass you by this spring!
“Almost!” Emily Dickinson
Within my reach!
I could have touched!
I might have chanced that way!
Soft sauntered through the village,
Sauntered as soft away!
So unsuspected violets
Within the fields lie low,
Too late for striving fingers
That passed, an hour ago.
When is the last time you picked violets? Have you ever eaten them? I love hearing from you, dear readers! Thanks for visiting today!
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Beautiful photos of violets! I didn’t know they were edible.March 27, 2020 at 5:55 pm
As someone who loves, violets, violas, and pansies, I thoroughly enjoyed this post! I had no idea that violets are edible.
MichelleMarch 28, 2020 at 8:24 pm
I really enjoyed this post; violets are one of my favorites. I have a few cups and saucers, a teapot, etc., all vintage. My late Irish mother-in-law gave me a love for violet fragrances. Purple is my favorite color. I once had a small section of lawn covered in white violets and pulled up the lit bit of grass that was left, but they eventually died out. Road salt? Here in Maine, I am excited to see a single daffodil breaking ground near the foundation! You are so far ahead of us. Thank you for all your research!March 29, 2020 at 9:43 pm
When I was a little girl growing up in the Mid Atlantic states, violets were my favorite.April 1, 2020 at 1:16 am
I think most of us associate them with childhood!
Thanks for stopping by!April 1, 2020 at 9:02 pm
Yes! Violets are tangy to eat! My friend Sandy in California, part of my old Victorian Tea Society tea group, used to create desserts with candied violets on them for us each spring; Sandy specifically picked spring to host so she could make us wonderful treats with spring flowers. <3 A happy memory!
I LOVE all of the wonderful violets you've found and your own… We had wild violets that grew in the untouched clay soil there at our last house in California. I tried to cultivate but they were happy in junk soil, oddly enough. They only grew just a few years. I did have a couple of violet plants inside the house but they were a different species, of course. Will have to try again here in Texas. <3
Enjoy your sweet violets,April 1, 2020 at 6:32 pm
p.s. Happy to feature your post this week at Share Your Style #250! Thank you, Amber!! <3April 1, 2020 at 6:33 pm
Such beauty, Amber! I so enjoyed this lovely post!April 4, 2020 at 12:58 pm
Dainty violets have always been a favourite of mine too Amber. This was such a sweet post.April 9, 2020 at 6:52 am
Thank you for sharing it at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I’m delighted to be featuring your ‘small spring pleasures’ at tomorrow’s party and pinning too.
Beautiful post! I’ll get lots of violets in a few weeks, but I’ve never arranged them in a bouquet. I think this year I will have time to try…April 9, 2020 at 11:53 am
Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Pleas stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarnApril 12, 2020 at 12:18 am
I loved your post on these violets. I miss not having them here in central Florida. Congratulations, you are being featured at Over The Moon Linky Party.April 12, 2020 at 8:54 pm