Despite the snow, there are a few plants which are beginning to come to life and remind us that spring is surely on its way.
One such plant is the stunning Sweet Violet, which we wrote about last year and is just starting to get going…
A few weeks ago we posted about the earliest edible flowers available to pretty up your plates and this weekend we spotted our favourites – sweet violets, or to give them their proper name, Viola odorata.
There is a large bank near our studio which sits right on the edge of a road, by a bus stop, which is completely smothered by a blanket of sweet violets which fills the air with the most amazing scent each March.
Given their demure size, the scent they produce is actually quite incredible, with a little bunch happily scenting a whole room.
The blooms are also wonderful added to spring salads to give a bit of colour, but our favourite way to use them is to place a single bloom on a chocolate violet flavoured cupcake – the dark brown icing really making the blue purple of the violet sing out. Or, as pictured to the left here, they can be crystallised and added as decorations (these cakes were vanilla with violet extract flavoured icing)
Sweet violets are a great addition to a garden and as they are happy in both full sun or semi shade there will almost certainly be a place that they would love.
Plus, as well as the standard violet coloured sweet violet, you can get white varieties too, which, if colour is not your thing, would be a brilliant alternative.
(top image from crocus)