Archive for the ‘Viola’ Category

The delicate thought that cannot find expression,
For ruder speech too fair,
That, like thy petals, trembles in possession,
And scatters on the air. – Brett Hart

Pansies are a cold weather loving member of the viola family, bred into endless variations of color schemes to brighten up your winter garden. We can thank the Victorians for that. They are biennials, meaning they have a two year life cycle. If you want to keep them blooming, deadhead religiously! (deadhead = snip off spent blooms) Pansies are edible and I think they are absolutely beautiful on desserts, so does Martha!

The name “pansy” comes from the French word pensee or ‘thought’, so named because they have a mildly pensive looking human face.
There is no end to how anthropomorphous we can be. I think they look a bit like a shih tsu.

Because of its name and face, the pansy has been used as the symbol for the “Freethought” movement and a couple other humanist groups.

One of my favorite Georgia O’Keefe paintings is of a black pansy.

Pansies and violas were once called “hearts-ease” and were used in love potions and spells and the “tricolors” are said to represent memories, loving thoughts and souvenirs – awww. Other sources reveal pansies can be used for “infantile convulsions” (oh my) and numerous itchy scabby issues…although I refuse to stand behind any ‘medicinal purpose’ claims, since I’ve never used a pansy for that. Mostly, I just think they are adorable, bright, and utterly friendly.


Read Full Post »