Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thoughts on Violets

Violets...those tiny purple blossoms that grow in freedom and let us know that Spring has come!

My Mother has always enjoyed these fragrant flowers. She tells the story that she used to stop and pick them for my Grandmother on her walks home from the two story old schoolhouse on Atlantic Avenue.  I wonder if that had anything to do with Gramma's love of purple. Did the 'purple love' come first, or did it come because her daughter brought the Springtime bouquets?

I remember days when I'd walk the mile or so home from my school building in the Spring.  Especially after the rain, the violets seemed to be so abundant and bright in the field next door to Louise Davis' house on Cooper Lane.  Sometimes I'd pick some to take home to my mother, never knowing that she'd done that same thing when she was a youngster.

Aunt Nita must have liked the little flowers too, as when she bought her china, she chose a pattern with green leaves and violets on the white background.  Her daughter now owns that set of dishes. I hope she remembers her mother when she uses them, and not the struggle my other aunt had with my widower uncle's second wife who determined that they should be hers. That was not a pretty story, so I will leave that story alone. 

When my daughter made her first home, I bought her a set of every day Corel dishes and she chose the pattern.  It was ...again...violets and leaves against a white backdrop. They don't come close to the elegance of Aunt Nita's china, but still, they set a pretty table.

The other day, while looking to see what might have come into bloom in my gardens, I discovered a few volunteer violets growing near the holly bushes at my front porch. It thrilled me to see them there!  I didn't know that the climate in SC was right for them to grow. Actually, I don't think I have seen any here before, and I'm not sure I gave it much thought until these little gifts popped up this year.  I'm glad they have planted themselves there, and I hope that they will spread! 

At our old home in NY state, the violets were 'everywhere' along the edge of the woods and in our back yard.  I suppose they are technically 'a weed', but what matter is that?  They are precious surprises that give joy to me in their growing, and I adhere to the saying that 'a weed is just a flower in the wrong place.'  As for violets, I think there is no wrong place!  Let them grow where they will!


  1. Mama, I too have volunteer violets growing in my side yard. I find such joy in the color and the delicate wildness of them. I love that they have spread all over that side yard and hope that they continue. Fortunately Darren hasn't mowed them over yet.
    Do you remember how I used to pick these for you when I was a girl and we would put them in a small jelly glass? I always thought the thin stems were so neat.
    I guess this is inheritted, our love of violets.

  2. A few years ago I gifted my twin sisters with a large pot of violets for their birthday....buying and keeping one for myself too. I am happy to say that we all have a lovely spread of violets in our yard every spring.

  3. Dear Kathleen, I was sent over, by another Dear Blogger. Lovely blog you have here.

    Violets! I love them! Still waiting, here in NYS. Actually I should go out and look for them today. They can *sneak up* on one. :-) Here and there. Along the row of trees at the side of our property. In the grass. LOVE them!

    Gentle hugs...