Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Lily of the Valley

This flower with tiny bell-shaped blooms, pointy green leaves, and amazingly strong smell is one of the first signs of spring. I used to walk miles to get it, now it grows in my backyard and I can't wait to pick a small bouquet that will fill our house with it's distinctive aroma! 
The plant does so well in shady location and it functions as a great ground cover. Watch out, it spreads very easily, which could be a great thing but also it could be difficult to contain or get rid of it if you needed to. 

Did you know that the flower has a Christian legend behind it? It is also known as "Our Lady's Tears" and it is said that it sprang from weeping of the Virgin Mary during the Crucifixion of Jesus. 

For me, it brings me back to when I was a little girl, spending weekends in a small cottage in a middle of a Czech forest. I can imagine the smell of the morning air after a spring night rain. Putting on my rain boots and walking next to my grandpa up the hill, old leaves crunching under our feet. When we reached the top, we could choose any direction and we were sure there would be tons of lily of the valleys everywhere. Somehow it became a small competition among the people vacationing in the same spot as we did... Who will get out there first and brings the biggest bouquet!? Everyone wanted a piece of spring in their living rooms. 

 Now, I live thousands miles away from this magical place, yet, the beautiful smell of a small bouquet of the lily of the valleys, sitting on top of my table, brings me right back to those days of simple childhood joy. 

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