Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Lily of the Valley

Last week, and again yesterday, I picked a bouquet of Lily of the Valley to grace my workspace. A few years ago I discovered a patch of them growing between some garages in my association. Until this past week, I think I'm the only one who knew they were there. As I was stepping out of garden patch last week, flowers in my hand, a neighbor spotted me while walking to her garage. "Wow! Where did you get those?!" Well, I had to tell her, right? So now at least one other person knows of them.

I was so surprised to learn how many young people - and some not so young - in my office had never seen them before. More than ten people have asked me the name of the flower.

My first memory of these tiny, bell-shaped, sweet smelling flowers was at the home of my Great Aunt Ann. She had them growing in what seemed like a perfect circle around a big tree in her front yard. When we would visit her in springtime, she would allow us to pick as many stems as we wanted. I guess I thought that was really special, for I have never forgotten it.

When we moved to Austin, when our kids were young, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there were Lily of the Valley growing in our backyard. This particular plant thrives in shade. I wonder if Heidi will remember this: when she was about 3 or 4, just before Memorial Day, we picked a bunch of these lovely little flowers and put them in a few home-made vases — baby food jars wrapped in aluminum foil with a ribbon around the rim, and at the cemetery, she placed them at the graves of my mother and dad and her dad's dad. They looked so sweet.


carrster said...

I adore Lilies of the Valley - except not when they spread EVERYWHERE. We had them at our house in Austin too. I love their delicate shape & their heavenly scent! I think I should plant some in the shade under our lilacs.....hmmm....

Heidi said...

I remember us having the Lillies of the Valley, I do not remember making the vases for the graves.