Violet Season

Wild Violets OntarioJPG

The winter in this area takes a really long time to shake off.

For some people, Spring can be a time when we feel not that great and kind of fatigued. Its as if our bodies are coming to life again and adjusting to the new climate.

Transition, I suppose is never a pleasant process and one is reminded of old adages about how hardship leads to strength and growth.

For those of us who live in Northern climates, we are benefited by being taught these lessons by nature. Life is a cycle involving good and bad times, always growing and learning from the harsher side of reality.

I guess its only if you stop and notice what nature and the weather is doing around you that you contemplate these things and realize how awesome the world and life is.

While I have been feeling unusually sleepy and not well this season, watching everything come to life again has been dreamy and magical.

Living in the city for 10 years, working and studying like everyone else, I didn’t appreciate nature and the changing seasons or have time to. The only concern we really have with it, in our business and fashion entrenched lifestyles, is whether it is going to to be warm or not.  

I have taken notice of little things that I previously ignored. Simple things like observing the same tree everyday and how it transforms over the year, always returning to a state that it once was. How the bird songs in my local area also change with the seasons, and what birds are hanging out in this tree at this time or whatever.

The natural world really is enchanting, but we miss it because it happens so slowly to our perception.

For those living in highly urbanized areas, you may not be lucky enough to witness fields covered with wild violets. This is because lawns that are regularly manicured and sprayed will not produce them.

Wild Violets Ontario

It’s funny how much time and effort humans put in to killing off the natural environment. If you spend anytime in a subdivision, you will notice that it is an obsessional daily task of modern home owners to kill anything on their lawn that isn’t grass.

In my mother’s backyard we have let the lawn go a little bit wild because there are so many violets growing right now and it would be a desecration to mow them over.

Something I learned this year is that violets are edible flowers. I feel silly not having known that since they have been in my natural habitat my whole life. People who are into foraging wild edibles will add them to spring salads and some people candy them to be used as a decorative, edible topping on cakes. A quick search on Instagram, #violets will show you some pretty cool things.

Wild Violets OntarioJPG
I have this gem of a book, The Reader’s Digest “Magic and Medicine of Plants” from 1986, where I looked up uses for violets. It seems they don’t have much of a medicinal purpose but have been long admired since back into ancient times and believed to cure insomnia or banish dizziness and headaches. It says the Celts used to mix these flowers with goat’s milk to make a cosmetic.

Wild Violets Herbs

I’ve noticed some other wild flowers popping up in my area that I didn’t pay attention to before. Sometimes I’ll take pictures and try to look them up when I get home on ontariowildflowers.com.  

For example, I think this yellow flower is called a “cowslip”.

Cowslips Ontario

I saw these tiny white flowers, and later I was delighted to find out that I think they are Garlic Mustard, an edible plant. This plant was brought to North America as a food plant, but has since become very invasive.

Garlic Mustard
Do you forage violets or other wildflowers in the Spring?

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