“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.”
― Tennessee Williams, Camino Real
Violets or “violas” are members of the plant family “Violaceae.” Found all over the world and with hundreds of species, they are some of the most common flowers. No matter how ordinary they may seem, they are anything but! Planted in a pot or growing wild in the grass, violets are always welcome.
- The name “violet” literally describes its purple hue but some are blue, yellow, or even white.
- Violets are sentimental flowers (more so than one may think). They were actually the original preferred Valentine token up until pretty recently. “It should be noted that well into the 1930s, New Englanders still preferred their Valentine’s box of candies topped with a bouquet of violets.” With their heart-shaped leaves, these little flowers are definitely romantic.
- Violets are the designated birth flower for February.
- Tiny but special: Violets may be tiny but, when blooming wild, they are extremely plentiful and spread like mad, creating a plush purple carpet. They also make the perfect nosegay.
- Perfume: Violets are known for their flirty fragrance.
- Wild violets are edible and often used in summer salads, tea, syrups, and liqueurs.
- Violets also have medicinal properties; they contain antioxidants.
- L.M. Montgomery wrote “Do you think amethysts can be the souls of good violets?” in her classic 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables.
“Now that lilacs are in bloom
She has a bowl of lilacs in her room
And twists one in her fingers while she talks.”
-T.S. Eliot, Portrait of a Lady
- Lilacs are a favorite that bloom on a shrub during the spring months. With individual star-shaped blossoms with four prongs, they create a cluster effect and smell heavenly (while the dark purple variety actually has the strongest fragrance).
- Lilac is actually derived from the Persian word “lilaq,” which literally means “flower.”
- Lilacs are edible and belong to the same family as the olive.
- A lilac shrub can live for a century!
From Chelsea Flowers
- Classic Green and White: They may not be lavender but this variety of white lilacs (along with roses, hyacinths, calla lilies, and viburnum) is truly stunning and, well, nothing short of classic!
For more information from Chelsea Flowers, visit the website and the link below:
For more fun facts about violets and lilacs, consult the following links:
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