I wouldn’t want you to miss the blooming of the Lilly of the Valley. The fragrance is not too sweet, like that of the lilac. The Lilly of the Valley smells light, and yet distinctively sweet; better than an expensive bottle of French Perfume. The scent is a brief, once-a-year privilege for walking this Earth.
Yet, it is easy to miss the blooms of this plant. This is why I’m giving you a heads up. There are two reasons for this. First, the blooming time of the window is very short. Soon after the white, bell-shaped flowers form, the sun begins to shrivel the flowers. And, secondly, the plant itself, is fairly small, and the bell-shaped flowers usually get hidden under the big leaves. If you aren’t diligent about checking for them, you might find them already brown and shriveled, and no scent left. Then, you must wait about 360 days for another chance to smell their fragrance. So, go check. Mine have already been blooming for about 5 days — only a few days left.
The blooming of this flower reminds me of the birth of my second son — actually the labor of my second son. His birthday is in June. However, that year, the Lilly of the Valley bloomed late. I walked through the woods with my husband, trying to shorten the early stages of labor (which lasted for 72 hours), I was greeted at every turn by the sweet fragrance of the Lilly of the Valley. I have missed their fragrance several times. Usually this occurred when I was busy in the throes of nursing a baby, working hard to remember which side I nursed last, while focusing on reading books to the older ones, and trying to make everyone feel as special as they all were to me. As I get older, I’m getting better at remembering the important things, like Lilly of the Valley.
Lilly of the Valley is also called, Our Lady’s tears. According to legend, the tears Mary shed at the cross turned to Lilies of the Valley. According to another legend, Lilies of the Valley also sprang from the blood of St. George during his battle with the dragon.
Does Lilly of the Valley grow where you live? The flower is a native of Europe, (horror –some call it a weed because it spreads). But, thanks to commercial nurseries, you can buy the Rhizomes, (like a bulb), and plant them where there are cool, temperate climates. Mine grows along the side of our house, where it serves as ground cover, in an area where it amazingly, with 4 boys, gets very little traffic. You can buy the Lily of the Valley Rhizomes and plant them in your yard.