Friday, February 19, 2010

The "Butterfly" Flower

I don't have anything blooming in my garden yet. There are buds on the older daffodils. The new daffs are still trying to come up as are the tulips and hyacinths. But on this dreary, cool day in February, there are a few containers with blooms that stand out against the cloudy day giving it a bright, almost spring-like look. Who would think such a tiny little flower could add so much color to an otherwise drab garden.
Of course I am talking about the little violas. My Johhny-Jump-Ups. I have several plants in pots. They are so small I always think they will not be very showy in a garden bed.
But this little guy is blooming away in the bed by the flagstone patio. I decided to read a little about these sweet flowers, and this is what I found: "Viola is the name of a genus containing about 500 different species. Most of the violas cultivated in gardens are grown as annuals or short-lived perennials. However, many will self-seed and give you years of delight...Viola tricolor / Johnny-Jump-Up is a self-seeding perennial with nickle-sized flowers marked with purple, yellow and white." I read on that violas are often taken for granted because they exhibit more tolerance to heat and cold than other panises. Hum..sounds like we need to appreciate these little flowers a bit more!
My pansies in the beds look terrible. I am hoping they will perk up when spring arrives. The few I have in containers look ok..
..but even prettier when paried with a pot of Johnnies.
Are you wondering why this post is called The
Flower. Let me explain. When my youngest son was a little boy, he saw my Mother's bed full of these pretty little flowers. "Oh" he squealed.."look at all the pretty butterflies!" From then on, Mother and I always refer to our Johnnies as "Butterfly Flowers."
I hope you have something blooming in your winter garden today.
"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment."
Georgia O'Keefe


tina said...

So sweet. You know they do look kind of like butterflies. They are gorgeous too! Thanks for showcasing them and showing how sweet they are as butterfly flowers. Made my day!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Linda, I'll have Johnny Jump Ups for the life of this garden and I'm very glad of it. I love how they reseed in the paths and in cracks ... tiny troopers, that's what they are!

Lola said...

I use to have the Johnnies but alas they expired. I must plant some more. I have the seeds so must do it before it's too late.
I did find a lone open azalea bloom yesterday. My first one of the season.

Meadowview Thymes said...

You are so sweet to say that Tina. I looked out the kitchen window when I got home today, and seeing these cuties just made my day too. (also made me think of my little boy, now young attorney son!) :)

Cindy, glad you like Johnnies too. I love seeing them appear in those cracks you are talking about! And thanks for the comment about the bluebonnets. I think they made it ok, but guess this time next month I may know for sure.

Lola-you have an azalea bloom? Oh goodness-lucky you!! That is so very exciting. Just one more sign that spring is right around the corner! Yea!!!

Susie said...

The only thing I have blooming right now is pansies. I don't have any Violas but to me they bloom lots better than the larger pansy.

JenningsJunk said...

Sweet post and sweet memory! Definitely brightened my day.

Anonymous said...

Well they do indeed look like butterflies! What as sweet name for them. They are so bright and cheerful in cool weather, and over the last few years I have really gotten into using pansies and violas for quick color during the chilly seasons.

Lola said...

I forgot to mention that I LOVE that bunny sitting by the pot.

Meadowview Thymes said...

I think you are right about the blooms of viola's Susie. As a matter of fact, I am thinking next fall I may try more of them in beds instead of pansies. I read an article on them in fall saying even though they are small, they create quite a good amount of color in winter.

Hi JJ--glad I brightened your day. Even time I see little Johhnies I think of Kyle thinking they were butterflies!

MsRobin--they do kind of look like butterflies. To a 3 year old little boy they sure did! I think they certainly brighten these winter days. And, do you know, they kept on blooming right through that snow we had!

Lola, I am glad you like my bunny "Benjamin!" Bless his heart, his ear has fallen off twice, but super glue worked really well to give it back to him! :)

Laura said...

I am do slad I found your blog through Texas Blogging Gals.
I live and blog in South Texas- which is zone 9.

I need to find some violas-
Where do you like to buy your plants?

Laura @

White Spray Paint

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Laura--welcome to Meadowview Thymes! I found my violas mainly at Lowe's. I buy plants anywhere really, and I think all garden centers carry them in fall, but I bought my a little bit later. Lowe's did not have a large variety like independent garden centers do, but these "Johnny-Jump-Ups" are my favorites anyway. You should be able to find some right now I think. Thanks for visiting--I will try and stop by and visit you as soon as I can.
BTW--we are headed to south Texas for spring break. Hope we get some good weather! :)

Skeeter said...

I love pansies but do not have any this year. The deer ate them one year and now they roam all over our yard when they did not in the past years. I am so worried about gardening with the deer this year...

I spotted the bunny like the one you have at Hobby Lobby! I passed on it as I was not sure it was the same one you had. I thought your bunny’s back legs were laying flat. Once home, I looked back to your post and it was indeed the same bunny! I am debating going back for the bunny or waiting to see if I can find one with the legs lying flat. I see the real bunny lying flat at times and think it is so cute. I will probably go back for it then it will be gone. My loss for procrastinating…

Meadowview Thymes said...

Skeeter--I think you should get the bunny! I think the legs would be more naturally lying flat, but I just couldn't pass up that little face! You know...if you got this one then found another one, you could get it too so bunny would have a friend! :)

Paula said...

I so have a black thumb but enjoy looking at your green thumb!!
Hello. Fellow Texas Blogging Gal member here to let you know about a giveaway of my Snail Mail Notes. Notecards include Texas themes. You can see giveaway details at and see my notes at


Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

your violas are the cutest things.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Thanks Debbi! I love my Johnnies!

Carol Conway-Fleisher said...

what beautiful flowers. Do you have any tips for a "newbie" gardener?

Meadowview Thymes said...

Hi Carol. Newbie gardener huh? Well, I would say start with something easy to grow..that way you don't get frustrated. (I'm not sure where you live, what zone, so it's hard to say for sure.) Also, look at the amount of sun you it morning or afternoon sun. I think Rudbecia, Goldstrum is very easy to grow. The profusion zinnias I plant in summer are easy as well. Both of these like sun. For shade, try begonias. I always have good luck with them.
Hope this helps--good luck!! Let me know how you do.
Happy Gardening!