Violets have been popular since ancient Greece and are still valued for their sweet fragrance and elegant blooms
Violets can be planted in the spring or fall and should be placed 8 inches apart with the plant crowns kept just above soil level. The violet is a self-seeder.
The violet will flower from late winter into early spring.
The violet needs shade or light speckled sunshine. Plant in well-drained, moisture-retaining soil that is enriched with organic matter. Apply complete plant food after flowering stops. Get rid of snails and slugs, which can damage the violet, by picking them off by hand or applying a chemical treatment.
Sweet violets have been much admired for more than 2,000 years.
The Celts mixed the flowers with goat's milk to make a cosmetic.
They are often used as an infusion or syrup for treating coughs, chest colds
• 2 oz. gum arabic
• 1 cup water
• 24 fresh violet blossoms
• 2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 Tbs. white corn syrup
• Red and blue food coloring
• 1/4 cup superfine sugar
1. In the top of the double boiler over boiling water, stir the gum arabic with 1 cup of water until dissolved. Cool. With a fork, dip the violets into the mixture, coating all surfaces. Dry on waxed paper 2 hours.
2. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of sugar, the 1/2 cup water, and the corn syrup to a boil, and cook -but don't stir -until it reaches 234º . Stir in enough drops of red and blue food coloring to produce a color similar to that of your violets. Allow the syrup to cool to lukewarm.
3. Color the remaining sugar with red and blue to create violet. Allow the sugar to dry on waxed papers: press out any lumps.
4. Dip each blossom in the cooled syrup, drain, place head down in the colored sugar. Dust the blossoms with colored sugar. Let dry overnight, or until hardened, then store in air-tight, moisture-free container. Use as a garnish on desserts.
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoonful of the herb and let infuse for 10 - 15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
In the late Victorian period has been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes.