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Herb of the week

By Lynn Kirkland

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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 read.

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