I know that i have mentioned daphne before... but I could not ignore posting about it again.. bringing back more memories of my fragrant childhood garden memories...
I can't remember either of my grandma's having this plant growing in their own gardens (although I am sure they did), but I do remember the plant growing at Auntie Elsies place.. she was my Nan's sister and lived in an old federation house in a suburb of Sydney. She was 'proper'... when we went to visit her, we had to be on our best behaviour and wore our good clothes. We weren't allowed to run amok in the garden but had to behave like ladies.
We were given lemon cordial served in a glass jug with matching glasses. Lunch was always in the 'formal' dining room, never on the scrubbed pine table in the kitchen. The table was set with various knives and forks and the cucumber was peeled and scraped with a fork, putting ridges in the slices... onion was served in vinegar and sprinkled with sugar... as only the rich do. Oh yes, Auntie Elsie certainly had airs and graces. I was in awe of her. Smelling very much like ladies do, of lavender and violets..
her garden was a delight.. we were allowed to wander around after lunch...I remember when we arrived at her home, the brick fence with a gate that opened onto a path that lead to the front door... a gorgeous russet and cream tesselated tile path... and my little feet would walk up that path, feeling very grand in their patented leather shoes, with white lace topped socks of course. I can remember wanting to skip up that path but the serious, perfect little capricorn in me, would not allow that... oh no.. I had to behave so that I would be a good little girl... so, I walked demurely along, trying to stop those shoes from dancing! all the time, tut-tutting at my sister who let her inner child run!
at the step grew a magnificent daphne plant that greeted you with the most delightful perfume. a perfume that after all these years, still whisks me back to my little girl memories. Auntie Elsie had a cut glass bowl that was placed in the middle of the dining room table, filled with daphne during winter and gardenias during summer.
I found this in my research on violets, it seems easy enough.. I might just make some for that dreadful dry winter skin that I seem to develop in this cold windy weather...
a simple recipe for violet salve which can be applied to the skin to help sooth it.
8 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon natural bees wax
1/2 Cup fresh violet flowers
2 drops Roman camomile 1/2 teaspoon honey
In a sauce pan or small pot, heat oil. Add flowers, wax & honey. Mix until well incorporated. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn heat off. Let stand for another 10 minutes. Strain off flowers & add essential oil. Pour into a clean container & let cool in the refrigerator.
Life at Inglewood today is cold, bitterly cold. My fire has been going non-stop for a week. Oh I know, it is not cold compared to many of my friends who live in the Northern hemisphere, but to us who live in the Land of sunshine & flowers... well, it is cold. I have been puttering around my home over the last week, seeing it with different eyes. I do love my home, but lately it has taken on an extra sacredness, like it is cocooning me from the world... I come into my own space that is my yard, surrounded by fences, close the gate and shut out the worries of the world. Then opening my door into my inner sanctum and come into my place of peace. Looking back over my soul journal the past year... I wrote: 'what do I wish to create?..... I wish to create a peaceful haven in my home......' and you know, I think I have done it.
The garden has virtually stopped, come to a standstill... resting, as it should in winter... the little finches are back, feeding on the grass seeds that are my lawn... I don't mow the grass during winter as the finches depend on it for their food...in one area of the grass, there is a whole patch of a tiny blue flower, I haven't a clue what it is.. but it is sweet, although a 'weed'.. I have seen it before.... perhaps in a previous life somewhere. Yesterday, while i was outside, I noticed the calendula and borage flowering in a tumbled confusion... blue & orange... such a perfect combination by Mother Earth... the daphne is still flowering profusely and the perfume is intoxicating... I can never understand why there wasn't a perfume made with this flower... or maybe there was...