Tuesday, February 12, 2008


As you know by now, the violet is my favorite flower (NOT African violets). Violet is the name of my dearest oldest cat. Violetlady is my blog. I have a collection of violet decorated little boxes and bottles and pictures. It was also my mother's favorite flower. My first acquisition in the violet realm was a round violet cologne bottle hand painted with violets. It belonged to my paternal grandmother (my Nana) and she always kept it, even though empty, on a shelf in her bathroom. I admired it for years and finally it became mine.

I love old black and white movies. There is one on the television right now. It is called "Mannequin", made in 1937, and stars Joan Crawford and Spencer Tracy. I haven't been watching it, but I have seen several scenes where Spencer gives Joan small bouquets of violets.

I have seen this done in many old movies. Apparently, violet bunches used to be sold on the streets by vendors. Oh, how I wish that were still the case. And why not? Even in New York and Paris where flower stores put their flowers in wonderful outdoor displays, I have never seen bouquets of violets. Are they not grown for the merchant trade anymore? This is something I would like to know -- on to the internet!

There is a sentimental old song which sings about winter in New York and a gentleman giving a lady violets for her fur. Can you think of a more beautiful sight? A woman in a dark fur coat is walking down, mmmmm, Fifth Avenue. A gentleman is by her side. It is gently snowing. There is an old woman holding a basket of small bouquets of violets for sale. They stop. He buys a bouquet and gently pins it to her fur. The music continues..........

It was winter in Manhattan, falling snow flakes filled the air,
The streets were covered with a film of ice,
But a little simple magic that I learned about somewhere,
Changed the weather all around, just within a thrice.
I bought you violets for your furs and it was spring for a while, remember?
I bought you violets for your furs and there was April in that December.
The snow drifted down ON the flowers, and MELTED where it lay.
The snow looked like dew ON the blossoms as on a summer day.
I bought you violets for your furs and there was blue in the wintry sky,
You pinned my violets to your furs and gave a lift to the crowds passing by,
You smiled at me so sweetly, since then one thought occurs,
That we fell in love completely, the day I bought you violets for your furs.


Lynne said...

That song was on the latest Barry Manilow Christmas album. When I first heard it - I thought of you!

Karen said...

Ah, there's nothing like a good Frank Sinatra song:) This was such a lovely post. My mother loved violets, too, and she let them grow wild throughout her gardens. Her neighbor used to love it when some would jump through the fence into her yard. The spring after my mom passed away, the neighbor's yard had violets all through the yard. They spread like never before and the neighbor was so happy.

I, too, wonder why they don't sell bouquets of violets anymore. Is there anything more romantic?

Jo said...

Beautiful post...

I remember when the weather warmed up in the spring, walking home from school through the alleys. I was always late and my mother always worried about me. Still all the worries in the world couldn't keep me from a world of wild violets growing along my way home which I always brought a little fist full home just to see my mother's face light up with a smile.

Thank you for sparking that wonderful memory for me.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

What a beautiful post. The Violet on your banner is absolutely breathtaking!

Longing for the days when gentlemen bought little bunches of violets for their lady loves.
xo Lidy

Linda said...

I love violets too. I think of them as an old fahion flower, my granma had huge patches in her yard and thy even popped up in the lawn too. They are hard to find in our nurseries....I have one nice clump growing in my front border, I bought them from a little old man at the flea market. Linda

Mary said...


I also love violets. I have the Old English violets in my garden and they are fragrant. They are so lovely in the spring. Too bad they don't last longer.

I loved your post and thanks so much for entering my Easter giveaway.


Spiritheart said...

Violetlady - There's something I've learned in my soujourn through this tumultuous life. That is that EVERYONE has valid contribution to it. As I read your blog entries, I felt a sereen calmness. Please, trust me, THAT is extremely valuable. My humbly grateful thanks to youm ma'am!!

PAT said...

Beautiful post! I love it when the wild violets bloom, so pretty!


Rosehaven Cottage said...

What a wonderful post! I have always loved the smell of violet perfume/cologne. It has such a special and unique aroma. It always reminds me of my Grammy. And reading your post, it seems I can almost smell violets. I wonder now why violets aren't sold anymore. It would be wonderful. By the way, I just planted some violas and featured them yesterday on my blog. Do those count? ;)

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Marla Ellis said...

I also love these little flowers that just seem to pop up in my gardens...Thanks for the comments on my blog....I tried to keep out that is was my brothers house, because it is embarrassing to me....but I don't mind the being to personal..I like it, makes me not feel so alone in my way of thinking...


Linda said...

Hi Tina, I love this post, and I'm sorry I missed visitng when it was posted. My great aunt loved the violet scent,I remember she had several of the little violet botttle. I have some small plates with violets on them. At one time I was collecting them and then it I just didn't run across them at the sales.
I wish this special flower was as popular as it was years ago.
Years ago in San Francisco they did have corner flower venders. My auntie would buy violets and I would get a gardenia for my coat. Hugs, Linda