Pansies always make me think of my grandmother–a master Bridge player, cook, knitter, imagination weaver…and gardener. The living gateway to her garden was a row of mature boxwoods, edged to the right and left with azaleas and hydrangeas, and the far side, a brick wall hidden by camellias and gardenias, and even more hydrangeas and azaleas. Daffodils, hyacinths, roses, primroses, zinnias, lilies of the valley–gosh, so many more I can't recall–lived there as well. It smelled as beautiful as it looked, with hints of spearmint, peppermint and parsley in the back right corner. One of my favorite childhood memories is jumping off the garage roof into the compost pile…we had NO idea what went into it (even if we had known, we still probably wouldn't have cared).
But it's the pansies that make me think of her, statuesque, regal and One Who Knew All Things. She had the most fabulous jiggly arms on the planet and she didn't mind us playing with them a bit. Forever I thought pansies were named "Kitty Faces" simply because she told me so.
I wish she had lived long enough to cultivate her gardening knowledge in me; I'll have to settle for a genuine affection for a flower's beauty. A single stem has the power to transform my day.