Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday flowers...pretty violets

This pretty patch of violets are growing in the garden at work.

Aren't they beautiful?

They're such an old-fashioned flower, but that's what I love about them.

This feather was sitting amongst them.

The feather below was sitting on the ground next to me as I took the photos. I always feel if you discover a single beautiful feather it's a sign of something. I'm just not sure what!
I once helped save some magpies at work and when I went home I found a big magpie feather in my courtyard. I really felt like the birds were saying thank you to me! Or maybe I had just gone to the birds?

Anyway, I digress...
I looked up the meaning and history of violets and it tells me...
The Greek word for violet is io. Io is a character in Greek mythology and the daughter of King Argos. Zeus loved her. However, Zeus was concerned that Hera would discover them and so he turned Io into a heifer and then created the sweet-scented flowers that we now know as violets for her to eat while in her heifer form.
During the Middle Ages, violets were a symbol for humility and modesty not only because of the blooming habits of the flower but also because of their association with the Virgin Mary. Shy people are often referred to as shy violets and the reason is clear when one looks at a blossoming violet. Often the flowers are tucked away beneath the beautiful dark green heart shaped foliage and only peek out from under their hiding spot. The retiring behavior of the flower made it a fitting symbol for Christ’s mother.
Violets also have a unique method of reproduction, known as cleistogamy, which is found in very few flowers. In other words, violets self-pollinate. Naturally, the ability to create seeds without the interference of a bee or another plant reminded believers of the Immaculate Conception.
The violet is also a symbol of immortality, resurrection, and spring. These qualities are found in another story of Greek gods in which the violet plays a role. The god Hades fell in love with the maiden Persephone. One day while Persephone was walking through a field of violets, Hades carried her away to his land of death. The world mourned her death and became barren until Hades relented and agreed that Persephone could walk on the earth from spring through fall.
The scent of violets was the favorite perfume of Josephine Bonaparte. When Napoleon returned from banishment in Elba, Josephine was dead. He picked a bouquet of violets for her grave before then being exiled to St. Helena. When Napoleon died, violets and a lock of Josephine’s hair were found in a locket. Later the violet became a heraldic symbol for Napoleon and those who came after him.
If you send violets to someone you are sending them a message of love, humility, modesty, resurrection, spring, and the immortal soul.
So interesting! All that for such a small, shy flower :)
Anyway, yay for Friday. Have a lovely weekend friends!
Info from here.


  1. Violets and immortality - now it all makes sense. We planted several different colours of old heritage violets when we first made our garden here and now we have them everywhere, impossible to remove successfully. They are lovely to see tho.
    Your feathers look like a parrot of some type, one from the body and the other from a wing or tail. Funny, i was just now perusing images of feathers!

  2. So pretty !! from

  3. WOW!! What a beautiful story. Also your photos are amazing too.
    Keep up the great work and positive vibes. ^__^

    Have a beautiful weekend! =(^.^)=

  4. I never knew all that about violets. I've always liked the idea of having another daughter and calling her 'Violet'. I think I would now if I did have another little girl.

    Thank you, SarahB.

  5. A shy flower - such a lovely description for such a stunning flower. Love the pics! Happy weekend to you Sarah.

  6. I never knew any of the meaning behind violets so thanks for sharing that interesting info. Yours are very pretty. I like your story about the magpie feather too. Enjoy your afternoon x

  7. Oh, Sarah, this is most intriguing. Thanks! I want to buy some violets now - they remind me of my grandmother's garden, as do pansies. J x

  8. Such pretty pics! Beautiful little blooms! I have also learnt something about them! Happy weekend! X

  9. I love the story you've shared about the violets - and I love the fragrance of violets, something so enchanting about them!

  10. Violets are quite beautiful, hope you have a lovely weekend!

  11. Hello Sarah,

    I love how you caught the feather on your picture. It makes you linger and ponder. As do I think about your magpie story and, just like you, I can't help but to think that the feather you found was a sign of Thank You.
    Fun to read about violets. Certainly see the modesty connection. Mine that grow and spread freely are often a bit tucked away.

    Thanks for your continuous visits to me. I feel a little special having a cool chick like you comment on my little blog.

    I was just actually thinking of you this morning as I noticed how chilly it was. Man, I thought, the sun and warmth is on its way to Sarah.



  12. I love violets Sarah and these are such lovely shots too. Violets remind me of my mum because it is her birthday next week and they are always out so I put them on her birthday cake (usually carrot cake), it's funny how you associate things with people : ) Hope you had a great weekend!

  13. What a fascinating story. At some point I plan on learning more about Greek mythology. An old Aunty of mine used to think that purple flowers were only for funerals. I do not.


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