Winter Violets

Violets do this – flowering randomly any time from October to April. Back in the day there was a whole industry forcing violets to bloom through the winter so that flower girls could sell posies on the streets of London. I have never seen enough violets in bloom at once to make a posy, but even the single unexpected blooms lift my heart. In spite of the fact they are a beautiful deep, rich purple, (like no body of water I have ever seen), they have a luminous gleam that always makes me think of sunlight on water. So I was very interested to find this article on twitter this morning

https://aeon.co/essays/can-we-hope-to-understand-how-the-greeks-saw-their-world

where a calm sea is described as ‘pansy-like’. I totally get this in one way, and yet in another, not at all.

This is the violet patch in the new look herb bed. This one focuses on scent and colour, with lavender, rosemary, purple sage southernwood, myrtle and costmary, for pot pourri, and the dye herbs – bog myrtle, dyer’s greenweed and woad to come next year.

I have finished the last big garden job before the winter, which is to plant the new rosa gallica officinalis here:

fortified with bonemeal and mulched with last year’s leaf mould, just in time, as we have had the first frosts, and it is time to think about work indoors.

Although setting up my plans for the colours and stitches projects I’m working on has been new and exciting, the two biggest concerns in my mind at the moment are the workshop I’m planning at Taigh Chearsabhagh, and the launch of Haggards next year. I am putting together some sensory experiences, some plant associations, and some very diverse ways of writing about herbs as ways of thinking about home, landscape, healing, femininity, wildness – and many more. We’ll have to see what comes out of it, but I’m very excited.

I’m putting together a newsletter for Haggards, which I hope will include news of events still at the planning stage – do sign up, if you would like to hear more.

 

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