Picking violets for grandma

Can there be anything more beautiful and refreshing as the bloom of spring flowers in Michigan? At the same time, is there anything more daunting than a yard and garden full of weeds?

The older I get the more I appreciate the beautiful spring blooms and the memories that accompany them – like the violet. The lovely lavender and blue blooms of this beautiful wild flower seem to spring up everywhere this time of year, their delicate little faces nearly hidden from view by their green leaves.

As I was facing the daunting task of weeding and prepping my garden bed surrounding my little backyard pond I kept coming across these lovely little violets.


The violets bring back memories of my Grandma Root’s backyard in the spring. As a child of the 1950’s we were taught to entertain ourselves and play with each other and find something to do. I remember her backyard was just full of these little wild violets and I would just plop down in a section at a time and pick little bouquets that grandma would place in a little tin cup.


During summer months we would sit on the ground for hours hunting for the elusive four-leaf clover. And, oh the joy when you finally find one! Do kids still do this?

When my middle son was a toddler the very nice neighbor lady who lived next door would spend time with him outdoors and one day I watched them from the window as they sat and stared at a small patch of ground for quite some time. Later I had to ask her what they were doing and she told me they were watching ants. The two of them just sat on the ground and enjoyed the simple pleasure of nature while creating memories.


So even though I was out there tilling and weeding these memories made the experience bearable and enjoyable. I just can’t bring myself to pull those pretty little violet plants out so I’ll leave them until the blooms are gone and think of grandma Root’s little backyard in Livonia every time I walk past.


Is there a spring favorite that stirs wonderful childhood memories in you?


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  • Laura C- Michigan

    Like you Linda, I can’t bear to pull the violets while they are blooming. They can take over a flower bed by their invasive root system so it is necessary to pull them. And yes, children DO STILL look for 4 leaf clovers

  • Christine D Frazer

    there is no prettier flower that the one that grow free —–I love the weed’s blossoms, better that store bought

  • Betty S

    How about those darn dandelions. Pick one and put it under your chin. If you see the yellow on your skin, then you love butter? Where did that idea come from?

  • Janet Root Shaw

    Thanks for sharing that Linda. It brought back memories of grandma Root,s back yard. One day I got up in the big tree in their back yard and was too scared to come down. My dad had to come up after me. They tried from the ground to get me to come down, but I was too frighten of falling and wouldn’t budge without my dad.

  • Judy Hawk Estrada

    Hello Linda- I love this story, it does remind me of the good ole’ days when times was simpler. I always enjoyed picking wild flowers & dandelions for my mother & grandmother. Back in the day it was hard to locate a 4 leaf clover most was 3 leaves. I think other than missing my parents, grandparents , siblings , all aunts, all uncles & all the family in heaven, I miss the Sundays. Every Sunday it was Sunday School & church, Moms home cooked meal at the table. All family was there. I loved that nothing was opened on Sundays. People was not working & no stores open . Those was the good times. I love the simpler times in life. I am not even sure if many children experience the outside life as we did. It just seems everyone is into electronics & gadgets, television, etc. oh, the television thing is a whole new story. There is nothing worth watching & way to much violence in my opinion. Nice hearing from you ! Enjoy spring!

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