V is for ...

Jenny Matlock


Violas are among my favorite garden flowers, especially because they will happily bloom all winter long.  Not only are they beautiful, they are edible, too.  They make a lovely cake decoration, or salad topping.  Very nice, violas!

Vitex (or Chaste Tree, as it is commonly known) is a gorgeous herb to grow, but it does take up quite a large space.  I love the lilac blooms almost as much as the butterflies do.  Vitex has some medicinal uses (ladies only!), and a rather interesting history, as well.  To learn more click here

Vanilla Beans are a wonderful addition to the spice cabinet.  I like to take a whole vanilla bean and place it in quart jar and then fill the jar with sugar.  Let it sit for a few days and you have a delicious vanilla sugar to put in your cup of tea, or your favorite cake or cookies.  For a different sort of vanilla recipe, try this:

Vanilla Sugar Scrub

1 cup vanilla sugar made with white or brown sugar (see above)
1/2 cup sweet almond oil (or whatever oil you like)
a few drops of vanilla essential oil (optional)

Mix together and use as a body scrub to exfoliate and make your skin soft, smooth, and sweet smelling. 

A note to my fellow Alphabe-Thursday friends:
I'm sorry I didn't have time to read many of your posts last week, the garden is a merciless task master these days.  If I don't water, weed, and pick squash daily, I have wilty veggies, wildly overgrown weeds, and zucchini the size of baseball bats.  I will try to do double duty this week and read both your U & V posts.  Anyone want some squash???  ;)

For more Alphabe-Thursday fun, visit Jenny Matlock today!


  1. Great V words! My favorite place for the Vanilla Bean is in ice cream!

    Love the purple flowers too..

  2. Super ‘V’ post – and super recipe!Lovely flowers too!


    PS Mine this time is HERE. Hope you can join me!

  3. Did not know viola's were edible and plan on trying out the vanilla sugar scrub! P.S. So true about the garden these days! Hope your enjoying the fruits of your labor:)

  4. Wonderful V post! Love vanilla so think I will make some vanilla sugar for my tea!!

  5. Hi!
    Great "V" post. Love the vitex, pretty blooms, kind of looks like Lavender. Have a great day!

    Sherrie's Stuff

  6. love vanilla and that scrub sounds divine :D

  7. I'm so glad that I stopped by your blog to learn about the V vegetation. We had a Vitex tree/shrub growing in our yard and people would knock at the front door to ask us what it was. Sadly I never knew the name of it so our visitors would pick a bloom and take it to a nursery for identification. Thanks for the information.

  8. Interesting info about the chaste tree, Happy Gardening :-)

  9. I could go for a vanilla scrub...mmm. love that smell. Great V post, thanks for sharing your creativity with us!

  10. Your garden sounds wonderful and a lot of work. The vanilla bean scrub is something I will have to try.

  11. I love V words esp. my granddaughters name, Victoria.

    Another good post and yes I'll take some squash,lol. I'll be patient, I'll have those coming soon.

    I'm going to try the V bean in sugar.

    Thanks and Happy Gardening
    tc linda

  12. I love your violet botanical print. (My Mom loves violets!) And your vanilla sugar sounds good! Did you see the other post on this V meme about making homemade vanilla extract?

  13. Very nice Catherine...now I see the Vitex connection in your comment to my post. Is that something you need to use? :-) Peace and blessings

  14. oh that botanical print is so pretty! I am guessing your garden is a source of much delight!

  15. This was a really interesting post. I didn't realize it, but apparently the vitex is quite popular in this area. I've seen alot of it, but had no idea what it was, I just love the purple flowers! Very interesting link! Kathy

  16. Vanilla sugar is the best to cook delicate sweets with. Thanks for the brown sugar recipe. I've only used the bean in the white.

  17. I just received 1/4 lb of madagascar vanilla beans that I am going to make vanilla extract. you always have such interesting posts and I learn something new time.

  18. We had viola's one time in a flower pot outside. I had no idea they were edible. Great V words and post.

  19. I share you love of violas - and pansies, too. Your photos are great, and I love he idea of vanilla sugar. Oh, and thanks for the lesson on Vitex!

  20. Hi Catherine. What a great "V" post! I love your reminder that violas (and pansies and violets) are edible. I used to make a lovely salad with them and nasturtiums. People would marvel at how pretty they were and then marvel at their peppery flavor.

    That scrub sounds fabulous, too!

    Thank you for linking up. I always greatly enjoy my visits here!



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