The Tenderness of Pansies

On this first day of spring
I offer you pansies

What better flower to symbolize spring
than the dainty pansy or viola?

In Victorian England, the pansy flower was used for secret courting. 
 Any display of love or passion was severely frowned upon
 and in order to communicate to potential romantic partners
 the  pansy was used to express one's feelings.

The pansy flower was used to convey such sentiments as
I'm feeling amorous towards you
I'm thinking of you
I miss you

The word pansy comes from mid-15th century French from the word 'penser'
meaning to think or ponder over something;
'pensée is the feminine form of the verb 'penser'.
The French word pensée is derived from the Latin word 'pensare'
which means to consider 
and 'pendare' means to take measure of a situation
to take everything into consideration.

***

Plant some pansies in your garden
 on your balcony.
Bring them into your home
and be touched by their tenderness.

***


36 comments

  1. I didn't know this about the pansies. I would have thought it would have been the violet in Victorian days. I love their sweet little faces, and so many colors to choose. I love going out in my yard and seeing them.

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    1. Barbara, I believe that violets were also given as a token of love, but maybe something very new and tender.

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  2. Oh, a lovely collection of images accompanied by inspiring prose. Happy Spring!

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  3. So pretty and I learned a lot!
    Happy first day of spring!!
    Kate :}

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  4. So very pretty :)
    Happy Spring!
    Connie :)

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  5. I did not know this about pansies, Sandra!
    Your pansies are just beautiful. I especially love the light purple ones.
    Happy First Day of Spring to You1

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    1. I love the meanings of all the different flowers. In days gone by, people were very careful about choosing which type of flower they chose for the person for whom they were intended!

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  6. Pansies and violas are two blooms that do well in our cool summers at altitude. They bloom from snowmelt to frost. I have some that reseed and return year after year, but I always buy a flat or two to replenish my stock. I love their sweet faces and the variety of colors from bright to pastel. Your photos speak to me of spring.

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  7. Beautiful photos!

    I like that they had secret, incognito courting with flowers. Ha ha...people are funny!

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  8. As soon as it's warm enough, I will! I love pansies and plant them every year (usually in late May).

    Pansies are for thoughts.... Thinking of you and wishing you a joyous spring, Sandra. :)

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    1. Thanks, Sue. Pansies are the perfect little flower to start of the season, aren't they?

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  9. Pansies are such sweet flowers, and, of course, you have captured them so beautifully. I have two pots of pansies outside my back door and i enjoy seeing them every time I go in and out. Happy Spring, my friend!

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    1. Thanks, Gina. Pansies seem to have sweet personalities, don't they? Little smiling faces all in a row!

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  10. How fun to read a bit about pansies! I think they combine simplicity with a bold graphic appeal that is particularly charming. Your images are lovely, Sandra! Happy spring to you:)

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    1. Hi Anna, I think that everyone seems to love these simple yet charming little flowers. They are the first ones I choose when spring is here.

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  11. Absolutely fascinating. Thank you xxx

    Happy Spring xxx

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    1. When you think about it Sarn, pansies, behind their coy demeanor were saying quite a lot when offered to someone!

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  12. Lovely photos, Sandra! You captured their color and simple beauty. Well done. I also enjoyed the bit of history. :)

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    1. Thank you, Michael. Welcome to my space!

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  13. so very beautiful, each image.
    also interesting to consider communicating in this way.
    can you imagine handing a person a flower and not knowing the meaning
    and the possible consequences ;-)
    i think it is just as challenging to communicate with words though, and to be understood.

    your photos hold such vitality and beauty Sandra.

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    1. Thank you, Tammie. I love the idea that all flowers have a secret meaning! Giving them to someone with this in mind can turn out to be something rather interesting, don't you think?!

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  14. I stumbled on your blog and looked at many posts. The meaning of flowers was very interesting. I will have to look up a few. Sweet Peas, for example, my favorite. The post titled "Pilgrim" really caught my eye. Two friends from Switzerland and I will be doing the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain, end of April. I have a blog on art and exploring if you would like to visit at saltairandpistachios.com

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    1. Thank you for coming in to look around, Barbara. Sweet Peas are wonderful little flowers in many lovely colours and they have such an enticing perfume.
      Enjoy your pilgrimage in Spain with your two friends. It sounds lovely!

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  15. I'm a fan of pansies as I've always thought they're just kind of strange looking but you've photographed them very well.

    just realized your header have pansies in them, it looks wonderful there.

    have a lovely day.

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    1. Hello Lissa, I'd never thought of pansies as being strange looking. They are what they are! I always think they look like little enthusiastic children with pert faces!

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  16. Pansies are the perfect flower to say "happy spring!" They are so sweet and have such beautiful combinations of colors!

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    1. I agree, Cathy! Pansies do tend to spread happiness by just looking at them!

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  17. Thanks so much for the lesson on pansies, I didn't know any of that. I will have to get some this spring.

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    1. The meanings of flowers is really quite fascinating. Many people knew them and acting and offered specific blooms accordingly!

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  18. Goodness, how wonderful are pansies. I'd rather forgotten their glory, let alone the history of them. Wonderful post. Thank you. :)

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    1. I love the meanings of flowers! Isn't it wonderful to be able to communicate through the flowers we send or those we receive!

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  19. Sandra - we love these photos of the pansies - so gorgeous!!

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    1. Pansies are like friends, they always greet us with a smile on their faces!

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  20. Oh may, love every one of these beautiful photos, but the first one is my favorite. I think my Mom called them Johnny-jump-ups.

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    1. Hello Karen, what an unusual name: Johnny-jump-ups! I do love these little flowers on my balcony in the spring!

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