What genus of flower is beloved by millions? Comes in every color of the rainbow (except green), plus black and white? Has species native to Hawaii—and the Andes? Can bloom through the snow in the dead of winter? Is tolerant of wet soil—or survives drought? Handles full sun or shade with equal enthusiasm? Includes annuals, biennials, and perennials? Always elicits a smile? Is the “birth flower” of February? The lowly Violas—which include pansies and violets—are all this and more.
I love salads. Wash and tear some crisp, homegrown lettuce. Add a few sprouts, some mizuna leaves (mizuna grows exceptionally well in my garden) and other greens. Slice up some green onions, cucumbers and tomatoes, throw in a few flowers, and whisk together a light vinaigrette to pour over the top. Toss it all together, and yum!
Wait, you say. Flowers? You put flowers in your salads?