Yesterday, James and I drove past a garden center where carts of pansies were outside in full view. Arriving home, I found my email included the announcement of The Mixed Border garden center opening in less than two weeks.
Gardening season is here!
I did stop at that roadside garden center to buy some enchanting pansies and violas. Who could resist??
Later,I became curious about these lovely little pleasures, so I did a bit of reading.
The pansy, as we know it, has been popular since the mid 1800's. Claims to its origins vary.
The pansy is derived from the viola, viola x wittrockiana and viola tricolor hortensis.
Lady Mary Bennet of England is said to have introduced the pansy in 1812. Her garden planted with every variety. It must have been a breathtaking sight! Meanwhile, at the English estate of Lord Gambler, it is claimed that the gardener, Thompson, began work with the viola tricolor species to achieve the pansy .
So the origins of the pansy seem to belong to 19th Century England.
" There is rosemary, that's for remembrance: pray you, love,remember. And there is pansy, that is for thoughts."
Shakespeare wrote of the pansy as did Nathaniel Hawthorne and D.H. Lawrence.
Georgia O'Keefe painted the pansy, more than once.
Some say that you can see a loved one in the face of a pansy.
I find that such a romantic notion.