Saturday, 28 August 2010

All the Pretty Colours: Violets

Just the other morning, as I went to open the curtains in the "parlour"

 I noticed something a little unusual over in the corner where Kaitiaki's duplo lives & it
wasn't one of his fancy creations..

Oh my goodness look at that would alstromeria looking for a warm place to grow!!
Fortunately,  Rob kindly volunteered to crawl under the house for the removal..phew!

I find myself perennially enchanted by sweet violets. I am not so sure that I should have planted the everyday purple variety but oh the fragrance.
In the language of flowers blue violets symbolize "faithfulness".. "I'll always be true".
 Maybe that's because once you have them they will never ever leave you, ever!
This little double parma violet is my favourite.
It is much more compact than all the others & not nearly as bossy, has smaller leaves & the flowers somehow sit above the foliage so that you can see them better. It is highly scented, gorgeously double & easy to pick.
My dear friend Gaye once had a job picking violets
...funny how you never see in the paper wanted
"violet picker" so I wonder how she got such a job?
violets actually come in more colours than you might imagine.
& of course they will happily make themselves at home
 in shady spots & under trees
 since they have spread around quite a bit it wasn't too
 much of a hardship to pick a few 
.... finding a wee late feijoa along the way...
but it was a little harder to bring myself to cook them!
 I have come across a very old recipe for syrup of violets
in a book published by Victoria magazine entitled 
"Dear Grandmother: Recollections of Love"
Basically, you pick as many violets as you like, 
add water or rose water, simmer them, 
strain them, add sugar & simmer them some more
 until you have a thick syrup.
At first my violet water was green I added a 
little lemon juice & the purple began to magically 
develop until it turned the most glorious colour of
...violets, of course!
Rob says it reminds him of Condy's Crystals : )

who knows what I will use it for..perhaps drizzled
 over strawberries??

I also adore little blue grape hyacinths. I guess they remind
 me of blue must be an amazing sight to see a 
bluebell wood..probably why I seem to have so many 
old pictures of them. 
This one is an old mirror version.
No wonder that I love the vintage Sanderson fabrics
..they are so timeless, romantic & floral!!
I was just thrilled with this fabric that I bought on Trade me
 this week. It came in the form of two single bedspreads
..wonderful lot of fabric & in beautiful condition!! 
Back outside & down the garden path, over near my 
worm farm I have made a small, slightly raised vege garden.
 It's a good little spot to catch the winter sun
& perfect for growing all the early spring salady things
I was really taken by this idea of a "shelf bunting" 
that I found on we heart it this week
so I had a fiddle with some vintage sheets & scraps of 
Sanderson & was rather pleased with this
Spotlight has some really cute bias binding at the moment
the pink spot was also available in a vintage green 
& turquoise blue.
Just tied this here to try it out : )
 I hope you've all had a good week.


  1. A lovely post to read early in the morning, beautiful flowers, fabric and garden.

  2. I love all the violet postings at the moment. Might try that syrup on my Jo Seagar dinner party people (even though it's Catherine not Jo!) I had curtains and a bedspread of that fabulous Sanderson fabric too. I just adore it. I've just used the last of it, and it is all over the place here in various permutations. Lovely post as always Catherine. What is we heart it by the way? I've seen you refer to that a couple of times. Sounds intriguing.
    Love Jacqui

  3. Hi, Angel. A lovely post. If you love the language of flowers, you might want to check out my debut novel, FORGET-HER-NOTS (HarperCollins, 2010). It puts a new spin on garden magic with the language of flowers come magically to life.

    Enjoy the last days of summer!


  4. Very cute bunting - I discovered the pretty spot bias binding at Spotlight too and also use it on my bunting - its perfect. Violets are gorgeous.

  5. The bunting looks great. I love sweet details like these.

  6. such gorgeous fabrics! that bunting is lovely and looks beautiful on your kitchen shelves.

  7. such gorgeous fabrics! that bunting is lovely and looks beautiful on your kitchen shelves.

  8. ps. thank you for the beautiful music, its so soothing!
    and sorry for the double up posting not sure what i did there : )

  9. well done on the shelf bunting! i've yet to try one myself. later, i think. ;)

  10. Oh yes! My violets are flowering too. I'm going to try the syrup - just for the stunning colour if nothing else. Lovely bunting - clever you.

  11. Hi Catherine, What a lovely blog you have. I love your vintage style. Your bunting looks beautiful and it's wonderful it has been made from reused vintage scraps. Jane xx

  12. Hola Catherine, you have a so lovely blog and the things you show for flea market finds are so lovely. I`m participating too.
    Greetings from Chile,
    maria cecilia


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