Throughout history the Pansy has been linked with love. Puck, from a Midsummer Night's Dream, used the juice from pansies to make either a man or woman madly dote upon the next living creature that they saw.
The Pansy is a cultivated variety of viola with brightly coloured flowers and the name is derived from the french word for thought. By 1833 there were 400 named Pansies available to gardener who once considered its progenitor, heartsease, a weed.
Modern horticulturists have developed a wide range of colours and bicolours with typical large showy face markings.
Pansy flowers can be frozen in ice cubes to add elegance to lemonade or iced tea and they can also be candied to add to cakes or ice cream. This process is quite simple and requires clean, unwashed Pansies.
Lightly beat egg whites and paint both sides of the flowers with a small, soft paintbrush, sprinkle with caster sugar and lay flat on cookie sheets. Place these into an oven that has been pre-heated 350 degrees and switched off. They will take between 2-4 hours to dry and will then be ready to eat!
Have any more ideas for how to use Pansies in unusual ways? Why not let us know...