Weekly photo challenge: today (3) – violets

By: roughseasinthemed

Jun 03 2012

Tags: , , ,

Category: Flowers, Gardens, Gibraltar, Photography


Focal Length:11.759mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

Or pansies?

I thought I would look it up to check. Normally at home as a child, we called them pansies, but sometimes violets. How confusing. Seems they are all members of the family Viola, so that first bit is easy.

Next, if they have a blotch, it makes them pansies rather than violets. In which case these must be pansies? But definitely violet in colour. Question. If the yellow ones don’t have a blotch – does that make them yellow violets?

Violet is also one of those amazingly old-fashioned names that you never hear any more. My parents used to have a woman who worked for them called Violet. No-one ever called her that, she was always Vi.

And parma violets. Those strange, strongly-scented, flowery tasting sweets. One of the few sweets I actually liked.

Back to the flowers, I love their cheerful faces, and the fact they seem to flower all year round. In my creative floral days, they made a great hanging basket with ivy in winter.

And these ones below had just had their morning shower.


26 comments on “Weekly photo challenge: today (3) – violets”

  1. I would call these pansies. There are pink violets in my front yard that reappear every year. Have also seen them in white, still called violets mind you.
    And have also seen solid yellow pansies, and orange ones too, without the blotch. Those are are still called pansies at this end. But then a rose by any other name smells just as sweet. Speaking of which, violets have a fragrance here, and pansies less noticeably so.
    DT – nice one! πŸ˜€


    • Forgot to say – what an apt description. Cheerful faces. I love them too πŸ™‚
      BTW, I keep trying to remind myself that I am not looking at a photo blog. It is almost not working. Am very much enjoying your ‘today’ series! πŸ™‚


    • I have never seen pink violets! Apart from African ones which may be a different genus or at least a different sub-species.

      Nor did I know they had a smell. Apart from the parma sweeties πŸ™‚

      DT did a good one here. I fiddled with a few different pix, I did an inlay, but pesky DT promptly changed it to green!! There were some slightly paler violets (perhaps they were shrinking violets?) but I loved this one. As good as the pink πŸ˜€


      • When I get a DSLR, brush up on my apertures and focal lengths, buy a book, absorb everything you and vicky teach me, I may consider changing the strapline. How does that sound?

        (and thanks – it really was total fluke that I had been to the gardens and got a few decent pix, technically they are no longer ‘today’ as in Friday, but they were originally, if that makes sense :D)


        • totally makes sense. because ‘today’ is actually an odd concept for photography. of course every image captured is taken the day of – today, when it is captured. in fact it is only a fraction of a second of today. whoever is able to take a picture yesterday or tomorrow?
          but i understand that images were being looked for that haven’t been sitting in an archive somewhere but that were freshly captured – such as all of yours are.
          am looking forward to the evolution of your blog. sounds very intriguing πŸ˜€


      • this is equally striking as the pink – although with this one i do not feel as tempted to put on my sunglasses πŸ˜€
        there were some pink violets posted with an image from when they were in their prime. to get there, just click on the ‘p&k’ name for this comment. the colours are close to being spot on.
        certain varieties have more of a fragrance than others, but yes they are one of spring’s beautiful smells.
        anyhow i had never heard of parma sweeties. so i did a search, and it looks like we had something similar here – only not violet-flavoured. they were multi-coloured, and although each colour supposedly had a different flavour, they were all predominantly sweet. πŸ™‚


        • I remember your violet pic now that I have revisited. It was a lovely photo, I even said that. πŸ™‚

          I think I know about the multi-coloured ones, but parma ones were quite distinctive. If you like sweets πŸ˜€


  2. i seem to be taking over your comment corner, lol. but thought you might be interested to know that in the German language, these are called StiefmΓΌtterchen, which translated literally into English is the diminutive form of ‘stepmothers’. i remember my mom explaining to me why it fits about 100 years ago, more or less, when i was about four or five years old.
    the flower is the story of a stepmother with two daughters – and two step daughters. The stepmother got the best seat in the house, front and centre. Her own two daughters each got their own seat, to the left and right of her. And the two stepdaughters? They had to share a seat at the back of the table.
    Never thought about this story in a long time, however your post brought it back to mind. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚


    • I got as far as the ‘mother’ bit with my diminutive German.

      Anyway, I don’t get why they are called stepmothers. Do they get the best seat? Or are they the daughters? Or the stepdaughters?


      • guess my explanation wasn’t too clear, considering i jumped onto the computer even before coffee this morning πŸ™‚
        anyhow, it plays on the awful old stereotype that a stepmother is mean and looks out more for her own kids than those of the blended family. so the whole flower is called ‘stepmother’ in the diminutive form, which ought to be sweet and ironically, the stepmother lives up to the old clichΓ© of being mean despite the sweet moniker.
        the story involves four children, her own two, and the two who lost their biological mother and now have a stepmother. Those two are forced to sit in the back and share one seat (the two petals at the top), while the stepmother chooses the best seat for herself (the main petal in the front), and allowing a separate seat each for her own biological children (the petals to the right and left).
        It is an awful analogy, actually, but that is the story the way I remember it. Hope that makes a bit more sense. And if not, then no worries. Nothing is lost =)


        • It was the petals that I was missing. I thought it was a story about violets being pushy for their own patch of ground, not that it referred to their faces. And now I understand, I think it is a quaint tale. πŸ™‚ Thank your for explaining. Twice!


    • I think the nicknames flowers are given are far nicer than some of the latin names, andI find them easier to remember too. πŸ™‚


  3. Wow, I love the colour!!!!
    At first sight I thought pansies, as they are one of the few flowers I thought I knew, I always thought violets were smaller, so that’s a very interesting way to tell the difference, and something else I’ve learnt.
    Parma violets, I haven’t seen those for years, are they still around?


    • I’m impressed with the colour too. Even if the flowers hadn’t been OK, DT certainly would have made up for them!!

      Now that idea of large pansies and small violets is interesting. I had forgotten that, but now you mention it, I learned that one too.

      Anyways, it always confused me, so before posting this pic, I did a quick search and that’s what I came up with from the All-Knowing Pansy and Violet Forum (or some such name).

      Seems they are. (I searched those too!!). They are also vegetarian interestingly (well to me). Not that I am going out to buy any. I nearly mentioned cherry lips – but I’ll save that for the red floral post πŸ˜€


  4. Ahh … this is a cool page πŸ™‚

    The pansy is the county flower, where I come from in Sweden, and it’s funny; I’ve always seen them as ‘cheerful faces’ too …



    • Thanks for that link, looked at a few pages and loved your fog pic. Will visit more later.

      Never heard of a pansy being anyone’s local flower so that is a nice one to know.

      I have another cheerful face flower to post later…..


  5. At University my landlady was called Violet!


  6. Beautiful. πŸ™‚ Over here in my corner of the world we call these pansies too. I was always told pansies had the big flower and leaves while violets had the tiny ones. Yes, now you have put the idea into my head, they are cheerful faces.
    My mothers name is Violet, but she has always gone as Vye, note the different spelling. She has always said her mum and dad were really thinking about her name as this spelling was also her initials. Her maiden name was, Violet Youtha Eather. Now these are very old school names.:-)


    • Thanks. I think they are lovely too. And I think we must have been told the same thing. I’m wondering if I ever saw violets now? πŸ˜€

      Vye is very unique I must say. There were a lot of Violets/Vis around in my parents and their parents generations. But I don’t know anyone my age. Perhaps it will become trendy soon.


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