Seasonal harvests:

A foragers' guide to pressing wild violets

SPRING JEWELS

As the cloak of winter recedes, the world begins to don vibrant hues, signifying the arrival of spring. Among the first to greet the season are violets, peeking through the fresh green with their enchanting purple, white, and blue blossoms. Though often admired for their delicate beauty and sweet fragrance, violets hold more than just aesthetic value. Venture into the art and craft of pressing these spring jewels, preserving their essence for moments when you seek the wonder of nature amidst the ordinary.

IDENTIFICATION

Violets (Viola spp.) are perennial plants known for their heart-shaped leaves and vibrant, asymmetrical flowers. While they’re commonly found displaying shades of purple, violets can also bloom in white and blue. They favor moist, shady areas, often making homes in wooded environments, along hedgerows, or within the nooks of a garden.

HARVESTING

The best time to pick violets for pressing is during a dry day, late morning, after the dew has evaporated but before the sun reaches its zenith. This ensures the flowers are not too moist, reducing the risk of mold during the pressing process. Gently pick the flowers with a bit of the stem attached, being mindful not to disturb the plant’s roots.

SYMBOLISM

Historically, violets were symbols of love, fertility, and modesty in various cultures. In Greek mythology, they were associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who turned her mortal lover, Adonis, into a violet to save him from Apollo’s wrath. Violets were also worn by medieval ladies to denote their chastity and by poets as a badge of their art.

March 2024 (28)

THE ART OF PRESSING VIOLETS

Pressing violets is a serene endeavor, allowing one to preserve the ephemeral beauty of spring. The key is a gentle touch and patience.

Preparing Your Violets:
After harvesting, ensure the violets are clean and dry. Any moisture can lead to browning and decay.

Choosing Your Press:
While a traditional flower press can be used, equally effective results can be achieved with heavy books. Layering the flowers between sheets of absorbent paper (like parchment) helps draw out moisture.

The Pressing Process:
Arrange the violets on your chosen paper, ensuring they do not overlap. Place another sheet on top, then your book or press. Add additional weight for more uniform pressing.

Waiting Game:
Store your press in a dry, warm area. Check weekly, carefully changing the absorbent layers if they seem damp. Full pressing takes about 2-4 weeks.

For more tips on how to press flowers head to Wilder & Wren’s beautiful notes on flower pressing 

CRAFTING WITH VIOLETS

Pressed violets can be used in a myriad of ways – from adorning greeting cards and bookmarks to being encapsulated in resin jewelry, bringing nature’s elegance into everyday life.

Pressed violets make heartfelt gifts, embodying the time and care taken to preserve their beauty. They’re a shared piece of spring, a moment captured in time.

Our personal favourite way to encorporate pressed flowers into your home is by adding them to a gently scented floral candle. Take a look at our herbarium candles for inspiration or join one of our flower pressing and candle making workshops in our Dorset studio.

a handmade natural candle with pressed flowers, sitting upon books in Dorset

In pressing violets, we bridge the gap between the ephemeral and the eternal. Each pressed flower is a testament to the changing seasons, a mark of time in the palm of your hand. This spring, let the violet inspire you to pause, to appreciate the delicate dances of nature, and perhaps, to press a piece of it into your story.

MOVE WITH THE SEASONS

For a simple way to honour the cadence of nature, we have a candle for each of the four seasons, reflecting the natural aromas at each turn of the year. These help us to tune into the changing rhythms of nature and bring the outside in.

fresh & citral

notes of bergamot & mint

sweet & exotic

notes of citrus & patchouli

spicy & herbal

notes of cedarwood & thyme

sweet & woody

notes of orange & fir needle

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