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Sweet Violets

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Uploaded on Oct 21, 2011

Sweet Violets is a documentary about commercial violet growing and Rhinebeck, NY when it was the Violet Capital of the World. In the Victorian era and beyond, violets were the corsage and bouquet flower of choice. At its peak in 1912, growers shipped more than 5 million blooms for Easter by train from Rhinecliff Station. Sweet Violets like the Marie Louise and Swanley White from Dutchess County dominated the commercial flower market. By the roaring 20's fashions changed and violets began to be replace by other corsage flowers. In 1927,
"The Captive" was a scandal on Broadway involving violets and lesbians. Violets became politically incorrect to wear and the flower fell further out of popular fashion.

Although violet's champions included Eleanor Roosevelt, the industry slipped into decline until the last of the Violet Kings gave up in 1979. Now, one remaining strip of cultivated violets grows in an anemone greenhouse outside Rhinebeck. In the late winter and early spring deep purple Frey's Fragrant violets are picked for culinary purposes and bunched for the occasional Valentine's Day bouquet.

Produced and directed by Tobe Carey at Willow Mixed Media.
Go to sweetvioletsmovie.com or documentaryworld.com for more information.

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