Every year we eagerly await the arrival of lily of the valley towards the end of spring. This small but sweetly scented bloom is easy to miss so it receives prime position on our store counter. The flower features a series of tiny white bell-shaped blooms on each stem and is accompanied by broad green leaves. Like many sought after blooms lily of the valley have a very short season, so snap them up quickly if you happen to come across this sweet bloom.
History of lily of the valley
The delicate bloom has Biblical origins. It is also known as ‘Our Lady’s Tears’ as according to legend, the tears shed by Mary at the cross turned into lily of the valley flowers. Similarly, the Bible suggests that lily of the valley flowers was the result of Eve’s tears when she was exiled from the Garden of Eden. The flower is also known as ‘ladder to heaven’, named by medieval monks who observed the way the flowers grew evenly up the stem and saw them as the symbolic stairway to heaven.
How to care for lily of the valley
Buy bunches of lily of the valley when most of the buds are open as they tend not to open once cut. Trim a centimetre of the end of the stems and immediately plunge into a small vase of fresh cool water. Trim the stems, clean the vase and change the water every couple of days. Keep them in a cool environment as they will wilt in the heat.
How to style lily of the valley
Due to their small size, we prefer to style lily of the valley alone in a petite vase. Perfect for a bedside table or small occasional table, the beautiful fragrance will fill the room. We adore creating wedding bouquets made entirely of the lily of the valley as the sweet scent will forever remind the bride of her wedding day. In fact, lily of the valley is also a favourite of the royals having featured in Grace Kelly and Kate Middleton’s wedding bouquets. The reason for this may have been because the deliciously fragranced bloom is said to bring luck in love.