As a child I learned that the birth stone for February was the amethyst and that the flower was the violet. Growing up in California the only violets I saw were the African violets that my mother grew in pots in the kitchen. It wasn't until I left home for college in Ohio that I saw violets growing wild in lawns and meadows.
When I moved to Lexington, Kentucky for graduate school, I would go on spring time violet hunts through the older neighborhoods of town. There were dozens of places where lawns turned into thick carpets of the purple blossoms in April.
One of my greatest joys is that my very own yard has a great abundance of violets each spring. Now that I've convinced my husband to leave unmown islands around our large maples, the violets (and other wildflowers) are thicker than ever.