Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Faces of Pansies: Run for the Shade

When I was a little kid, one of my aunts used to take my cousins and me on walks through the woods near her house.

One of the best parts of those excursions was picking wild violets.  We'd gather fat bunches of them, come home, and put them into juice glasses. They were so pretty.

To me, violets and pansies, members of the same flower family,  are reminiscent of spring in New England. They arrive soon after robins and daffodils. They are among the oldest cultirvated plants and have a very delicate fragrance.

(Click photos to enlarge)

Pansies come in a huge variety of colors and designs.  The ones pictured above are among the most unique I've ever seen. Usually I think of these flowers as being purplish but, in realty, they come in a rainbow of colors.

The word pansy comes from the French word "pensie" which means thought or rememberance.

Pansies and violets are edible but, quite honestly, I wouldn't be interested in eating such pretty little flowers. I'd rather just look at them and admire their beauty.

Did you know the English have given all kinds of names to the humble pansy?  Check these out:

      * love-in-idleness
      * call-me-to-you
      * love-true
      * three-faces-under-a-hood
      * pink-eyed John
      * tickle-my-fancy
      * bird's eye
      * jump up and kiss me
      * God-father and God-mother
      * kiss-me-in-the-buttery
      * rob-run-the-street
      * heartsease

Isn't that amazing?

When someone lacks stamina, he/she is often negatively referred to as a "pansy."   This may have resulted due to pansies' inability to withstand heat. When the heat comes, just like me,  pansies wilt. Isn't it great to know one has something in common with  flowers? 

Here's one new, made-up name for pansies: run-for-the-shade!



Bookie said...

I have a pot of pansies like you very last picture, but in our heat (105 index yesterday), they are droppiing terribly, look like they are in pain. My friend calls them Johnny Jump Ups...but they aren't jumping right now. Thanks for sharinig yours!

Karen Lange said...

Pansies are so pretty. Thanks for sharing these photos.
Karen :)

T's Daily Treasures said...

There's no way those pretty pansies would make it around here. :) Our dust storm arrived late this afternoon. Gag, sputter! Love your teacup acquisition. And what a lovely porch you have. Enjoy! And have a great day. Tammy

diane stetson said...

I like the in idleness...That's what I love about summer..NO WORK..pretty pansies Susan!

Anonymous said...

oh the last photo is what does it for me...those little purple pansies!

they are fun to draw too..and they are edible...never tried them though I'd like to some day...

they are so pretty looking in a spring salad!

ciao bella
creative carmelina

Dayle said...

Love the photos. Such beautiful pansies. And I didn't know there so many phrases associated with them.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

That is me these days Susan, run for the shade. I love the little purple one's how sweet they are.

Chatty Crone said...

Purple is my favorite - for sure. Well maybe they just are taking care of themselves in the heat and then when the time is right - they open back up and enjoy the cool. I'm very much a pansy. sandie

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