Our Lady’s Tears

It’s amazing where a simple flower will take you. 
Around two weeks ago our Lily of the Valley flowered up in the front garden. They come  every year without fail. There is a blanket clusteration,a botheration,of Lily of the Valley in between the lavender and the daffs. I didn’t plant them; they’ve been there since we moved in ten years ago. I’m not sure if they were ever planted, or if they just appeared there,multiplied,and grew.
 Lily of the Valley – Convallaria Majalis.  They hit the news last week.
The Bouquet. Much was made in the press of Kate Middleton’s choice of lily of the valley for her bridal bouquet;and of ‘the language of flowers’. Very Victorian. Lily of the Valley is such a Victorian flower. I like that.
 According to ‘The Language of Flowers’ Lily of the Valley symbolises ‘A Return to Happiness’. Also: ‘Purity of heart’,’Sweetness’,’You’ve made my life complete’,’humility’,’happiness’,’Love’s Good Fortune’ and – very Catholic,this – ‘Our Lady’s Tears’. It is also known as ‘The flower of May’.
‘ The Flower Of May ‘. Hmm. That takes me right back to my Catholic upbringing. May processions,grotto’s,plaster statues of The Blessed Virgin – ‘Our Lady’. We used to sing this hymn at school:
   ‘ The lilies of the field,
     they do not spin or weave,
     yet solomon was not
     arrayed like one of these.
     The birds of the air,
     they do not sow or reap,
     but God tends to them,
     like a shepard tends to his sheep.
   ‘Do not worry over what to eat,
   what to wear or put upon your feet.
   Trust and Pray, go do your best today,
   then leave it in the hands of the Lord,
   leave it in the hands of the Lord. ‘
I can hear it now. If I look down I must be wearing my ‘Jesus Sandals’. They didn’t let you wear your outdoor shoes in case you wrecked the parquet floor. The sixth formers were allowed to wear stiletto heels though.
According to legend the Lily of the Valley sprang from Eve’s tears when she was kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Bad Old Eve.
It is also said that Lily of the Valley protects gardens from evil spirits. I do hope so.
Mostly though,Lily of the Valley reminds me of my lovely Nana.
I like Old Lady flowers. I’m glad they’re back in fashion. Thanks Kate. Nice one.   

About In a Welsh Garden

Artist,Illustrator,Pro-face and body painter,Blogger and Happy Gardener : )
This entry was posted in Artist, Artist Blogs, garden, gardening, nature, Spirituality, Spring, Wild Flowers and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Our Lady’s Tears

  1. Oh, what a LOVELY blog post! I didn’t know all that about lily of the valley.
    We have some, too, but for some reason they have never taken over the place (yet).
    Kate’s was a lovely small, simple bouquet, wasn’t it?
    Best wishes

  2. Lovely post! We had some Lily of the Valley in our old garden, but none will grow here (I have tried). Even Our Lady’s tears despair of our terrible, chalky soil! My lovely Mum, who won’t admit to it, but is 80, likes the scent. I’m glad this beautiful, precious little bloom is back in fashion too. 🙂

  3. Thankyou for your lovely comment – I wish that I knew the secret of how to get Lily of the Valley to spread but can only suggest that a certain degree of negligence on the weeding front in our front garden seems to have mysteriously played a part in the multiplication of ours! x

  4. I am loving that your lovely Mum likes Lily of the Valley. She sounds fab! x

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