violets are blue


The modest, lowly violet
In leaves of tender green is set;
So rich she cannot hide from view,
But covers all the bank with blue.

—Dora Read Goodale

I've been thinking of violets lately because we have thousands of wild ones in our lawn and they really are a sea of blue this time of year. We also have some of the cultivated variety (the one shown above has white edges and a purple center) in the flower beds. They spread like crazy so they'll soon take over there, too. Not complaining because I love them.

I didn't realize quite how much until a few days ago when I was going through my box of vintage hankies. I need to make some new sachets so I was trying to work up some combinations—hankies with fabric and buttons that all work together visually (not always as easy as it sounds). I have a lot of hankies with violets and I thought I'd share some pictures. The embroidered ones are especially pretty!

embroidered violets

violet handkerchief

embroidered violets

embroidered violets

embroidered violets

embroidered violets

Did you know that violets have more than 200 common names, many of them relating to love and sex. Names like Hearts Ease, Bird's Eye, Bullweed, Pink-eyed John, Pink-of-my-Joan, Godfathers, Godmothers, Wild Pansy, Love-lies-bleeding, Love-in idleness, Love Idol, Cuddle Me, Call-me-to-you, Meet-me-in-the-entry, Kit-run-in-the-fields, Three-faces-under-a-hood, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, Kiss-me-at-the-garden-gate, and Kiss-her-in-the-buttery. Too funny!

And speaking of those sachets, I wasn't able to cut up these hankies up after all! Sometimes I just can't bring myself to do it so back in the box they went.

1 comment:

Homemanager said...

The embroidery on those hankies is beautiful! I don't blame you for not cutting them up. I wouldn't be able to bring myself to either! :-)
I remember reading somewhere that the victorians considered violets a symbol of "faithfulness", maybe the names that you found point to this thought...