Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Changes

We are all cheering with the beginning of spring. The daffodils seem to be the universal herald of the season. Spring is understood to be a season of change, the beginning of new life. There is death in change. The death of old plants. The death of seeds, to transform into the sprouts of new life. Sometimes, there is death in other areas of our lives. We move on to a new time or phase in our life, allowing for growth, many times unimagined. We have ideas that die, allowing for the birth of new ideas. In the front garden I have had a dozen lavender plants in years past. I loved the scent wafting into the house. As I walked by I would rub my hands over the fat spikes and foliage, releasing more scent into the air and perfuming myself in the process. Last fall I had to say goodbye to the lavender. The trees by the road had grown too big, shading the lavender. They were unhappy, and struggled to grow and produce a few blossom spikes. I removed the plants and covered the beds with the fallen leaves from the maple trees. Now the beds are ready for top garden soil and new plants more suited to the partial shade. I'm still trying to decide what plants I want. I'm having a hard time imagining something new there. The birds, bees, and butterflies have been use to visiting, gathering nectar from the plants and drinking from the water. A new garden plan is slowly sprouting in my mind. It is taking more work than a real physical garden. As I try to work through this process patiently, I'll focus on some other plants that usually don't get as much of my attention.

The Violets are abundant this year. They are small, almost hidden in the growing grass. They are not as splashy as the daffodils and some other spring flowers. They have a delicate sweet smell and taste. Now is the time to harvest the blossoms to keep their sweet goodness all year long. Here are some ideas on how to use them.
  • They are beautiful pressed. Use them on cards or stationary.
  • They are edible. They can be used in salads, or sugar them and use them on cakes.
  • Violets are good for your heart, they are calming for stress, supporting the nervous system. Add them to your tea.
  • They can be made into a syrup for respiratory problems.
  • Add them to salts for your bath for skin conditions.
  • Infuse them into vodka to use as a mixer.
The season for violets in not long, making way for more spring plants. As each plant gives it's life, use them, embrace the process of change, joyfully growing.


A Romantic Porch said...

That bird bath is so creative!xoRachel

The Feathered Nest said...

Yes, very neat birdbath! The daffodils are blooming here - actually everything is in bloom - tulips too!