Herb of the Week for 14th September
By Lynn Kirkland
Heartsease and Happy Thoughts.
How can one fail to feel happy when you
look upon the little faces in the sweet
little heartsease flowers. Viola tricolour
is the botanical name of these little
herbs which belong to the pansy family
and self sow happily once you have introduced
them to your garden.
They are edible flowers and make a stunning
garnish on deserts or salads.
The flowers and the leaves contain both
Vitamins A and C so they are not just
a pretty face on the plate.
They have a long traditional use in herbalism
as a herb used for eczema, respiratory
problems and as a diuretic.
In the language of flowers they mean
“happy thoughts” and in Shakespeare’s
Hamlet there is the line, “There’s pansies,
that’s for thoughts” and in Shakespeare’s
time there would have only been heartsease
not the more developed pansy varieties
we have today.
If you want flowers like the heartsease
to self sow in your gardens it is important
to allow them to get a bit straggly as
they mature and when the seeds have formed
they will drop them and as long as you
don’t hoe or mulch heavily around the
parent plant they will germinate and provide
you with many seedlings.
If you want to transplant them it is best
to do so when they are small.
Nature has a way of spreading the offspring
and you can find them popping up in unexpected
places giving joy to the beholder with
their little flower faces.
Thanks lynn another great
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