So I have been on the soap box (I never really get off) about how dandelions have every right/reason/beauty to be in your lawn as your blades of grass. Running in a close second in despise-ability or love (depending on whose camp you are in) would be the precious Wild Violet. (We all know by now which camp I am in.)
Wild violets are used by Fritillary butterflies as a host plant. (See how I am sneaky and tie in last week’s blog with the children knowing they should love butterflies with the strange hate of a plant?)
So when I got home last night after a very brisk moving day at HG, I was looking for some quiet. And I mean really quiet. I had read a tidbit on FB in the morning concerning wild violet hand cream. It had comforted me all day. I got a little container and went out hunting.
It took a bit to slow myself down into the rhythm, but crawling around looking for the little flowers did the trick. The quilted heart-shaped leaf clumps are easy to spot. And the lovely purple flowers! OooAhh! The birds were singing as I plucked the flowers off the stems. I recalled my Mom sending my sisters and I out to gather them so she could make wild violet jelly. As my container started to get a nice pile of flowers, I wondered if I could find enough to make jelly.
The violets near the front of the house are a very deep dark purple. Looking closer, the pollinators will crawl in to the back of the flower, guided by a lovely pattern of stripes, through a guarding fuzzy ring, finally reaching a little rounded area of nectar. In the back garden, the violets are much paler, a light blue. Both would also be lovely scattered on a salad (of dandelion greens- teehee!)
I felt a light breeze pass through. The rain was approaching. My cat, Shady, and been following me around on my hunt, making sure I didn’t miss any (or perhaps wondering what I was doing now.) The violets were growing in the open areas under the trees where nothing else wanted to grow. It is a delightful groundcover.
Although my travels did not net enough for jelly, I have a batch of homemade hand cream simmering on the stove right now. 1 cup of organic coconut oil, and about 3 cups of organic wild violet flowers (fresh but dry) in a double boiler. Coconut oil melts at 78 degrees, so leave your heat on the lowest of low. Let it simmer all day long, then cheesecloth it into a container at the end of the day. It will solidify overnight. I put mine in little clear plastic containers to give away to my friends. This is my first batch of wild violet (I have made lemon verbena, and vanilla bean.) I can’t wait to get home tonight and see what color the oil has been infused!
I Love Weeds. ~Erica