(women holding a violet nosegay – William Worcester Churchill)

Years ago I visited San Francisco in January.  I left the bitter, cold prairie city of Regina, and arrived that to me was spring.  A flower seller  on the street outside my hotel was selling violets.  Desperate to brighten a bitter cold winter  I flew home with a carefully wrapped nosegay of violets.  A shrieking  Saskatchewan blizzard howled raged outside  my home.    Inside it was spring.  The air filled with the sweet  fragrance of my tiny bouquet.   San Francisco will always be about flowers and the tiny violets that gave me such pleasure.

Each violet peeps from it dwelling to gaze at the bright stars above.

The eyes of spring, so azure are peeping from the ground;

They are the darling violets, that I in nosegays bound.

The prairie winters are a memory. January and in my garden  snow drops are blooming.  Tulips and daffodils are poking green spears towards the sun.  Spring will bring violets and a reminder of San Francisco.




And shade the violets, that they may bind the moss in leafy nets. (john keats)


Deep violets, you liken to the kindest  eyes that look on you, without a thought disloyal    (elizabeth barret browning)


Cold blows the wind against the hill, and cold upon the plain;

  I sit by the bank until the violets come again.

Here sat we when the grass was set

With violets shining through,

And leafy branches spread a net

To hold a sky of blue.


poetry from H. Heine, Germany, 1797 – 1856  and Richard Garnett England 1835 – 1906



6 thoughts on “VIOLETS IN THE SNOW

    • I have tried (unsuccessfully) to grow violets. I buy the perennial plants and with great expectations dig them into the garden. But they simple sulk and fade away. I am sure it is because I have so little shade around our home . But ever hopeful I do keep trying. Virginia

    • It was my dear Theadora’s blog, PEOPLE PLACES AND BLING, on San Francisco that brought the little nosegay of violets to mind. The icing on the cake -I discovered the flower seller outside – on a street corner. What Bliss. XX OO Virginia

  1. How I missed this post, I don’t know! The elegant woman could be you holding the violets and remembering SF. I loved Theadora’s post on SF as I love visiting there. It seems that flowers are sold everywhere and so affordable. I have not luck with violets but had only tried them in my kitchen window. The heat would melt them outside here.

    • Jo Nell isn’t this the most delightful portrait by W.W. Churchill. I wonder if he is any relation to Sir Winston? I am going to try once again this spring to grow violets. All the garden space is in full sun but I’ll try planting them on the north side of our house and keep my fingers crossed. Theadora’s post reminded me of my first visit to S.F. and buying the violets from a seller on the street. I thought I was in heaven! XX Virginia

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