My grandmother and Aunt June also loved violets. Grandma had the strong stem against the black dirt in her small yard facing Hull Street. My mom said they grew so well because Grandma put her kitty litter around them. She transplanted them from somewhere and gosh, now, I don't remember.
Last week we went to Poland Forest in Ohio. A jewel I had read about in the Youngstown Vindicator, but hadn't actually explored till last week. I wanted to see the fields of bluebells, but we were a week late. Yet, the violets, in lavender and white by the creek, were those strong, long stem variety, like Grandma's. Maybe her's were from Coolspring Township near her homestead.
We drove by the Thompson farm today. It seemed to be a Mother's Day tradition. Dad drove Grandma around, then later years, we drove my mom in that wonderful countryside. I tried to recall the family neighbor names, like North. I think their home was right next to the Coolspring Church. A big marker with that name rested in the cemetery across the road from the white country church. We drove over the creek where the men cooled off in the summer after their chores. I wonder if that is where Grandma got the violets.
The green rolling hills, the fields plowed, the black Angus cows with their calves frolicking or nursing delighted our eyes. The old home has been deteriorating for many years. I think it was painted, though, so in a way it appeared better than in past years, but still with the fancy Victorian touches covered over. The modern houses inching farther away from Lake Latonka private community into the country side.
We had a long season with violets this year. They started with our hot stretch in March, survived the snow of April. I still glimpsed a few today at Buhl Park, hiding under the green leaves, a deep purple. Usually, they pop up at the end of April, lasting a few weeks into May. My lilacs had a poor year, because we had a mild winter. They need a cold winter for abundant blooms. I sniffed them a few times, but they were never enough to cut for a bouquet in my home. My bush grows outside my living room window allowing the fragrance to waft into my home. This year the flowers were just too faint.
|This spring in Buhl Park|
|This I saw in November 2011|
|The ones in Poland Village Forest, OH|
|The remaining Bluebells|