Savoring Violets {la partie une

The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily

do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm.

 If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose,

spring would lose its loveliness.

                         ~Therese of Lisieux


violets underfoot

It is a spectacular morning at Rose Cottage…hundreds and hundreds of sweet little violets have burst into bloom in the northeast corner near the emerging lady fern. It is as if the violets have put on their very finest for the spring dance!


Field of Freckles1


Especially breathtaking are the lovely “Freckles” violet. Just look at the soft lavender freckles over their little faces. I want to gather them all and arrange them in tiny vases throughout Rose Cottage. Alas, they are too delicate to last very long once picked–I simply enjoy them growing with wild abandon under the spruce trees, amongst the fern,  beneath the bridal wreath and tucked between the flagstone. Some call them weeds–I prefer sweet violets. Often, the simplier things in life–like enjoying a small, obscure woodland flower–can refresh our soul and change how the world looks. Sometimes, it is all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? 


Field of Freckles and Heidi


There are so many violets it is impossible to not crush them underfoot–but they are forgiving. I bend down for a closer look and inhale their delicate fragrance.

 Freckles close 4


Even the common violet is so beautiful in the early morning sunlight, and the soft fragrance fills the cool morning air.


Violet Common


gathering violets  

Each year, I plan on making violet jelly, but have never carried out the age-old idea of preserving the little delicate blossoms. Today is different–it is a perfect morning in May for gathering violets for the jelly. The dew is evaporated and the petals are fully opened. Time to use the sweet, simple gift offered so generously this spring. But first, I catch a glimpse of the red violets–not wanting to be outdone by Freckles.


Red Violet


I find the old, shallow wooden trug in the garden house next to the cottage garden. The shallowness of the basket makes it perfect for gathering the tender purple blossoms. In less than an hour, a generous amount of the sweet violets are gathered in the English trug. A few Freckles have slipped in the basket, too.


violets and garden trug


Next, the stems are removed from the blossoms. Stems may cause the infusion to be bitter.


Violets in frog close2


The wind blowing from the southwest is challenging, and a few blue violets are lost to the occasional surprise wind gust. Unexpected “wind gusts” can make our lives difficult, too-especially when we least expect it. But, I persist and keep on with the project. This year, I am going to make jelly!


glass basket and violets


making a tisane {steeping the blossoms

Though, not technically a tisane, the next step is to steep the blossoms to make an infusion. Four cups of loosely packed violet blossoms fill a quart canning jar.


violets and quart jar


Then, boiling water from the tea kettle is poured over the violets–about three cups of water. Look how quickly the infusion changes into a lovely “Monet-esque” piece of art–“priceless!” Within a few magical seconds, the tisane turns into a dark turquoise. Who would have thought the simple violet could hold such beauty and create such surprising “magic?” Beauty shows up when I least expect it.


Monet in a Jar


The quart jar is covered with a lid and stashed away in the refrigerator for 24 hours to draw out all the lovely sweetness and color of the violets.


Tomorrow, the jelly making will continue…


Would you like an espresso or a little cup of tea while we chat about your morning? The tea or coffee is waiting for you. We can sit next to the violets if you would like…


demitasse and violet


savoring violets (part II) –more about using these delicate culinary flowers in jelly tomorrow…

 If you are thinking more about creating beauty in your life, be sure to stop by  The Inspired Room .



Filed under Cooking, Gardening, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Savoring Violets {la partie une

  1. Oh, what a lovely post! I’ve always been charmed by violets, and these photos are beautiful! -Julia

  2. Oh, Debbykay, you portray an early morning walk through your meadow of violets so beautifully. I too , welcome sweet violets into my garden each spring. Their clear blue hue is the perfect foil for all the pink roses and yellow lemon drops. I think it was Van Gogh that said, “there is no blue without yellow”…….so I always have something yellow to make the blue sing. Violets are the one flower that I allow my granddaughters to freely pick for their bouquets, because of their abundance……thus saving the specimen plants from a similar fate. Their small blooms are perfectly sized for small hands.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my stroll with you, and look forward to making jelly from the violet tisane.

    Best Wishes,

  3. You have the most amazing post on my favorite flower–VIOLETS!! Would you considering gathering seeds for the lovey white, Freckles, and sharing? I’ve never seen any like that! Come by and see some of my violets. Have a great time making the jelly!

  4. Dear sweet Debbykay,

    I am so delighted to see a post from you! I have missed you, and was concerned about you. I do hope you are doing well! I love the quote you shared and all of your beautiful photos! The freckles violets are gorgeous! I have not seen those before. I love what you said about the simpler things in life, how they can refresh our soul and change the way the world looks. That is so very true! Indeed, it is a matter of perspective. I find I feel so much better when I go out in my garden and enjoy God’s beautiful creation… seeing baby Carolina Wrens leave the nest, having hummingbirds fly entirely too close to my face, being so close to the flowers that I can hearing the bees buzzing, watching Pearl the poodle play with those same bees, and I see that she feels better spending time in the garden, too!

    Your lovely girl statue looks so lovely nestled amongst the sweet violets! The common and red violets are quite beautiful, too! I love your English trug. It is perfect for gathering those violets for jelly making! Your photos are just amazing! I loved seeing the color change of the violets in the mason jar. Isn’t it wonderful to find beauty when you least expect it? I would love a cup of tea in your darling teacup! Yes, we must sit next to the violets!

    I look forward to your next post! Thank you for all the beauty you share! I always enjoy my visits with you dear friend! You are in my thoughts and prayers!

    Much love,

  5. Francesco

    Dear Debbykay,

    I can see (in my mind) you dancing from Violet to Violet scooping up the tiny and delicate little flower to make a wonderful jelly.

    I can not wait to read about and see the final result,

    My very best to you,

  6. Oh, I love those little freckled ones! I’ve never seen them. And the red ones, too! Thanks for sharing these sweet little gems. Love them. Can’t wait to hear about the jelly!

    have a good week

  7. Your violets are just so pretty…I love them so much…I need to plant some in my yard…I don’t know why I never did, because I just love them soooo much…..

  8. Oh, you have made a violet lover very happy reading your post. Thanks for the lovely, lovely walk in your garden and kitchen with you. Your fabulous wildflowers are making me green with envy, lol. I have a little pot with Freckles in it, just love my freckles. I hope one day she can grow wild in my garden like yours is.

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