The Urbanpix caption for this Flower Card:
Violets are still held in great affection and bring to mind Victorian and Edwardian flower hawkers selling baskets of them on the streets of London. In the language of flowers they are associated with humility and modesty, and to Shakespeare they were a symbol of innocent love. They are perennial flowers that enjoy rich soil and shade such as you find in woodlands and hedgerows, and they have long been associated with Devon which has plenty of both. The scent of the Sweet Violet was immensely popular when extracted for perfumes and soaps as well as sweets and cough linctus, while the flowers were crystallised for cake decoration.
Josephine wore violets on the day she married Napoleon and thereafter he sent her violets on each wedding anniversary. When he was exiled to Elba, violets became a symbol of loyalty to the Napoleonic cause, and when he returned to Paris his supporters greeted him wearing violets in the lapels of their coats.
The colour violet which is a bluish purple, is named after the flower, a pale tint of which is lavender. In Chinese painting, the colour violet represents the harmony of the universe because of its combination of red and blue (Yin and Yang).