Sunday, May 22, 2011


I am in love with Pansies. I love their sweet little faces, their bright cheerful colors, their deliciously sweet scent.

 Every year I try and find as many different types of pansies to plant in pots for my deck.

 The last few years I have been able to find what is called, 'Glacier Pansies' or 'Icicle Pansies'. These are sold in the fall and will bravely bloom their little hearts out all winter long and then put on a spectacular show come Spring.

 Pansy is derived from the wildflower called 'Hearts-ease', 'Johnny Jump up' (and kiss me), or 'Viola Tricolor'. The name 'Hearts-ease' came from the woman St. Euphrasia, whose name in Greek signifies 'cheerfulness of mind'. The Specific colors of the original flower 'Viola Tricolor'- purple, yellow, or white- are meant to symbolize 'memories, loving thoughts, and souvenirs', respectively, as these traits are all helpful in easing lover's hearts. The nickname 'Hearts-ease" is quite fitting.

 Pansy gets it's name from the French word Pensee', meaning 'Thought' and was so named because the flower resembles a human face; in August it nods forward as if deep in thought. In the Victorian Language of Flowers, the Pansy was given to lovers or friends as a symbol of how often they were thought of.

This brings to mind Ophelia's oft-quoted line, "There's Pansies, that's for thoughts." There are two varieties- clear faced and the 'Monkey faced', that has a dark blotch in the middle of the face.

 Pansies are biennials with greenery the first year and flowers the second year.

 But once the hot sun starts to appear, around June, the pansies all die off or go dormant and I have to wait until the cool fall weather to see my beloved little Pansy Faces once more.

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