May 18, 2010

Johnny Jump Ups

These little flowers––which I sometimes think of as weeds, yanking them up when they get too prolific––are an introduced European wildflower, also known as Heartsease, species Viola tricolor. I shouldn't be cranky about them popping up everywhere because they are delightfully cheerful blooms at this time of year.

It is also fun to see the color variations from plant to plant, some with pale frosty petals, their small jottings radiating from the yellow center showing clearly; others have petals that are a deep red-violet, contrasting with lighter violet or with clear yellow. Each flower is distinctive in its markings and color, a unique face in the crowd.


  1. I can't seem to keep these going and they are so charming. I love your new page hedder. How do you use that offset scissors that's pictured?

  2. Isn't it just like plants to often be particular about their growing conditions? Johnny Jump Ups are weedlike here, as is marjoram, reseeding anywhere and everywhere, while other plants refuse to grow: I've never had luck with oriental poppies or hollyhocks.

    I'm glad you like the new header; I tried taking photos for this last summer and fall and didn't come up with something I liked, but finally did. As for the scissors, they are used to cut the ends of strips of hooked wool level with the tops of the loops so as to be less noticeable. The offset makes this job easier.

  3. I love my johnny jump ups and I'm so happy when I see them each spring. I love munching on the flowers as I walk the garden. Beautiful addition to salads and hors d'oeurve plates. Heart ease...I like that. Hollyhocks have reseeded and the oregano is claiming way too much space! And applemint...oh my!

  4. hi Maggie, thanks for reminding me that these violas are edible; they'll now appear in every salad.