‘I do sincerely trust
that the benediction
that is always awaiting me
in my garden may by degrees be more deserved and that I may grow in grace and patience and cheerfulness, just like the happy flowers
I so much love.’ Elizabeth von Arnim
The resilience of the garden never ceases to amaze.
After the extreme weather of last week many of the plants remained bowed down days after their snowy burden has melted away, yet the daffodils, or Lent Lilies as the wild form of the narcissus was originally known, made their own miraculous resurrection, blowing their trumpets skywards to announce the arrival of Easter.
Sadly the shrubby pieris has been nipped badly by the frost but, fortunately, I recorded its rosy glory before Jack made his unwelcome visit. I’ve fingers crossed that it will make a full recovery.
Peeping out from under the garden gate meanwhile is the delightful wild violet – viola odorata - whose flowers have been used for cake decoration and as a sweetener since mediaeval times. Candied violets are made by dipping the flower heads in a solution of gum Arabic and rose water, then they are sprinkled with caster sugar and placed in a warm oven to dry.
the shy sweet violet
In France the violet has always been revered. Shortly before his exile Napoleon was said to have picked the sweet violet flowers from Josephine’s grave and they were found in a locket he was wearing on his death bed.
I pray, what flowers are these? The pansies this; O, that's for lovers thoughts Ben Johnson