Thursday, 21 January 2016

Primroses and Violets for a February Birthday

Finding a different birthday card for a friend or relative, year after year, can be a challenge, especially if we're looking for something that will be special to that person.

I've just been ordering birthday cards for my friends and trying to remember which ones I sent them last year! 

Of course it helps that so many of the cards we can buy online can be personalized. It's not difficult to do and yet it can make a big difference because the recipient will know that we didn't just rush out to the nearest store and pick up the first card we found!

A 'photo card' is another option - slightly more complicated to create but not too daunting, especially once you've done it a few times.

And here's another idea - take advantage of the 'Birth Month Flowers'! Each month has at least one well-known flower designated to it. You can read about them on this website. Some of the suggested flowers seem completely out of season for me, here in the UK.

But both of the February Birth Month Flowers, the Violet and the Primrose, are very familiar to me and relate to the right time of year - more or less!

I have plenty of wild violets in my front garden! When I first moved into my house, I tried to get rid of them to make room for the flowers I wanted to plant. But because a quite rapidly growing Magnolia Tree spreads its roots throughout the garden, it was a losing battle. So I gave up and allowed my front garden to become a 'woodland' area with the only plants that enjoy the shade and the poor soil - mainly bulbs, lilies of the valley and the violets! The lilies of the valley are gradually spreading from one side and the violets from the other and they almost meet in the middle and I'm wondering which will win when they eventually meet!

Here's a webpage about 'How to Grow Wild Violets'  - not that mine have needed any help from me; they manage pretty well all by themselves. But I didn't know that they are edible until I read this article.

As I wrote in this earlier blog post, these little Wild Violets don't add a lot of colour to a garden, especially where they are often almost hidden amongst the fallen leaves. It was only on closer inspection for the purposes of painting them, that I 'got to know them' and began to appreciate them. They certainly live up to their description of 'Shrinking Violets', another of my earlier blog posts!

A Birthday Card or Gift with a 'Sweet Violets' pattern would certainly be special, especially as many of the cards and gifts in my 'Sweet Violets' collection are ready for you to personalize! So go ahead and choose from dozens of 'Sweet Violets' gifts and make it even more personal with your own customization. There's even a choice of 'Sweet Violets' wrapping papers, tissue giftwrap and gift bags to add the finishing touch - and don't forget that if you see a design you'd like on a different product, you can contact me through my store and I'll create what you need, at no extra charge, usually well within a couple of days.

Just click on the image below to see the full collection -

February does seem a little early to be seeing the other February Birth Month Flower - the Primrose. I associate them with springtime, but here in the UK they are usually at their best around Easter Time.

Here's my earlier blogpost about how I used to enjoy going out to the woods to pick them as a child. There is some confusion about whether we are allowed to pick wild flowers - understandably because some are becoming rare in the wild now. But this article from the Wild Flower Society - Wild Flowers and the Law - clarifies the situation and, although the wholesale digging up of wild flower plants certainly doesn't help our countryside to flourish, it's fine to pick a posy of primroses, just as it was when I was a child.

The 'Primroses' image I've used to make the repeating pattern below began as a print I made in a screenprinting class almost 30 years ago! I was living in the centre of Norwich at the time, with not many opportunities to get out into the woodland to see the little pale yellow primroses growing in the wild. But I did - and still do! - often buy the larger cultivated primroses in a variety of bold colours to brighten up my front porch in winter. I've even grown them from seed in the past, which works out a lot cheaper! Sometimes you can plant these cultivated primroses out in the garden once they've finished flowering and if they thrive there, they provide a bright spot when there's very little colour around in the gardens.

And it was from a group like these that I drew my 'Primroses' motifs for the screen print and luckily I kept the original drawing so I was able to paint them in gouache to make the repeating patterns that have become popular!

Here are just a few ideas to make someone with a February Birthday feel really special! The primrose is one of the earliest flowers to bloom but you may not know that it happens to be one of the February Birth Month Flowers. So why not celebrate a February Birthday with a special 'Primroses' Birthday Card and a gift with this pretty Primrose pattern? There's also a range of 'Primroses' gift-wrapping papers, gift bags and even matching gift tags! And you'll find an even greater selection of 'Primroses' cards and gifts if you visit the 'Painterly Florals' section of my Posh & Painterly Zazzle store.

Just click on the image below to see the full collection -

Primroses for a February Birthday
Primroses for a February Birthday  

So, whether you choose Violets or Primroses you can be sure that the Birthday Girl, whatever her age, will appreciate your Birthday Card and Gift choice!

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