In the House
One way to extend your enjoyment of violets is to candy the edible flowers. This applies to the common blue violet (Viola sororia) and sweet violet (V. odorata). Be sure to collect the flowers from an area that was not sprayed with pesticides.
A Recipe for Candied Violets
2 drops almond or vanilla extract
1 egg white, frothy
1 tablespoon water
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
Gently rinse and drain the flowers. In a bowl, combine the extract, water, and egg white. Gently brush mixture onto violets to coat. Sprinkle with enough sugar to completely cover. Dry them in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about twenty to thirty minutes. When cool, store them in a glass or porcelain container.
Use the flowers to top a dessert or enhance a salad. They can also be used for sweetening a love spell.
Get Seeds Started
Get a jump on spring planting by sowing seeds indoors. Look for seed packets that have both the common and scientific names as well as planting instructions.
Items needed for starting your plants from seed include seed trays that are divided into sections, potting soil mix, and a spray bottle. Consider recycling plastic egg cartons for seed trays. Other alternatives to seed trays are peat or newspaper pots, which are biodegradable and can be planted directly in the ground outside where they will decompose. A potting soil mix is a blend of mediums that aids seed germination. A spray bottle is good to use because the seeds need to be kept moist, but you don’t want to drown them.
Soak the seeds in water overnight, which will help them to germinate. Before placing them in the water, cup them in your hands as you say:
Tiny seeds, I soon will sow; with love and magic may you grow.
The next day, place a little potting mix in the seed tray, drop in several seeds per compartment or pot, cover with soil, and use the spray bottle to gently water them. As you do this, you may want to chant to imbue the seeds with your magical intention.
Most seed trays come with a lid, and if you are using the clear plastic egg crates, they have built-in lids. Otherwise, use a piece of plastic wrap and make a tent over your seed pots. Covering them helps to create a warm, moist atmosphere. Place them in a warm, dark spot, which will aid the germination process. Check them every day for sprouts.
When seedlings begin to appear, remove the lid or tent, and keep them in a warm, bright spot but out of direct sunlight. If there are multiple seedlings per compartment, remove some of them and leave only the strongest one or two. After the seedlings develop several sets of leaves, transplant them into separate small pots so the roots will have room to develop. Put soil in the pot and make a well in the middle. Remove a seedling from the tray with a teaspoon and carefully place it in the pot. Gently fill in soil around the roots. Continue to keep the plants moist but not wet.
If you are using the biodegradable peat or newspaper pots, you will not have to re-pot the seedlings. Let the plants develop for at least a few more weeks before moving them outdoors.
19 Maxwell T. Masters, Vegetable Teratology: An Account of the Principal Deviations from the Usual Construction of Plants (London: Robert Hardwicke, 1869), 356.
20 Richard Alan Miller and Iona Miller, The Magical and Ritual Use of Perfumes (Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1990), 97.
21 Barbara G. Hallowell, Mountain Year: A Southern Appalachian Nature Notebook (Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, Publisher, 1998), 89.
23 Sheila Pickles, The Language of Flowers (London: Pavilion Books Limited, 1990), 75.
24 Margaret Grieve, A Modern Herbal, Volumes 1 and 2 (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1971), 309.
25 Laura C. Martin, Wildflower Folklore (New York: The East Woods Press, 1984), 91.
26 Susan Wittig Albert, China Bayles’ Book of Days: 365 Celebrations of the Mystery, Myth, and Magic of Herbs from the World of Pecan Springs (New York: Penguin Group USA Inc., 2006), 110.
27 Scott Cunningham, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1998), 228.