New: Violas and Pansies
Are pansies and violas the same?
Pansies and violas are part of the same family, the violet family Violaceae. The smaller flowers with a taller stem are referred to as violas, or simply violets for the all purple ones, and the larger flowers that were cultivated from the viola we call pansies.
Why do so many love these garden flowers?
When I was small I wasn't that into flowers apart from maybe making daisy chains or using a buttercup to see if I liked butter, but I always loved pansies. They reminded me of little dolls or people and it seems I wasn't alone. Violets were one of the talking flowers in the garden in Alice Through the Looking Glass - all given human faces and characteristics, and pansy dolls were made by young American settlers, using the flowers for the faces. Maybe the fact these flowers capture the imagination of children is why they are so special to many. They have been requested many times for jewellery pieces.
Pansy and Viola Facts:
(including the bizarre coincidental connection to Shutter Jewellery!)
- There are up to 600 different species!
- A staple bedding plant of an English country garden, but pansies and violas also can be found in areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes.
- Flowers can appear from Autumn to Spring and into Summer, depending on variety.
- Young viola flowers are edible and often used to decorate dishes, particularly salads and desserts. Most are tasteless but some varieties have a vanilla flavour.
- The name pansy is derived from the French word pensée, meaning thought.
- The pansy is said to have been originally cultivated in the early 1800s by Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennet in Walton on Thames – coincidentally, the same town in which Shutter Jewellery is based.
Pansy and Viola associations and symbolism
- The pansy represents free-thinking, remembrance and consideration for others.
- In Florigraphy (the Victorian method of using flowers to convey messages), the pansy was used to say ‘thinking of you’ to a lover. (The flower was sometimes referred to as 'love in idleness' - thinking of nothing but their loved one)
- Violets became symbolically associated with love between women, a connection originating from a poem by Greek poet Sappho.
- Violets were sold in Australia and New Zealand in commemoration of the lost soldiers of World War I.
American pioneers thought that a handful of violets taken into the farmhouse in the spring ensured prosperity.
Violas and violets are the birth flowers for February.
- Violas are said to symbolise humility and modesty.
The Pansy and Viola jewellery collection
Both the pansy and viola come in a variety of colours and it was hard to choose which to include. With both flowers being part of the violet family, it seemed right to stick to this purple - blue colours spectrum with a little red and pink mixed in.
All viola pieces use 8mm photo charms and are available in three colours: pink, purple (really the true 'violet'), and lilac and white. There are also a number of pieces that include all three combined.
To make reference to the size difference, the pansy pieces are fractionally larger and use 10mm charms. Pansy pieces include a simple pendant and matching drop earrings in 3 colour ways: burgundy red, purple and also lilac and white. There are also a couple of items - a brooch and chain necklace which incorporate both flowers showing the contrast in size and pattern.