Thursday, 23 July 2015

Violets are violet: The Language of Flowers, Part 2

Roses are red,
violets are blue.
Sugar is sweet,
and so are you.

Violet  sweet beauty // modesty // faithfulness // 
"I return your love"

Zeus, who was in love with Lo, a beautiful nymph, sought to hide Lo from his wife Hera. He transformed Lo into a white cow so as not to arouse Hera's suspicion. However, when Lo wept over the taste of the coarse grass she was obliged to feed upon, Zeus transformed Lo's tears into sweet-smelling violets that only Lo was allowed to eat.

The Romans associated violets with innocence, they were often chosen as the flower to place on the graves of small children.

Gray, The Secret Language of Flowers, 92

An English myth tells the story of King Frost, who felt lonely in his harsh and solitary ice palace. Eventually, he decided to look for a pretty girl to make him happy. His courtiers found a shy girl called Violet and, falling under his spell, he relented and promised his people six months of milder weather. Violet pleaded with the king to allow her to see her people again, and since he loved her, he granted her wish to visit them each spring. His only condition was that she appear in the mortal realm in the form of a plant, coming back to her husband's icy home each winter.

Gray, The Secret Language of Flowers, 95

In France, violets became strongly associated with Napoleon Bonaparte and the Empress Josephine. She wore violets on their wedding day and on each anniversary Napoleon sent her a posy of violets. Josephine grew an assortment of violets in her garden, setting a trend in France. At her funeral, violets were showered down upon her coffin as it was lowered into the ground. after he had been exiled to St Helena, Napoleon asked to visit Josephine's tomb in 1814. He picked some violets growing around her grave and they were found in a locket around his neck when he died. Napoleon was nicknamed Corporal Violet or La Pere Violet.

Later Napoleon III chose the violet as his personal symbol. When he first met his future wife, Eugenie, she was wearing a violet gown and her hair was decorated with fresh violets. She held a posy of violets at their wedding and the flowers became the couple's special anniversary symbol.

Gray, The Secret Language of Flowers, 95

The Language of Flowers, Part 1 can be found HERE.

Kate  x

Styling and Photographs by M o s s & V i n e

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