This is one of those things where, if you don’t know why it’s so thrilling, then I can’t explain it to you (and also you’re broken). I planted these wee tuberous things four years ago, sat back, and waited for the promised explosion of gorgeous, fragrant ground cover. I got yanked around for three years. Little pips would poke out of the dirt and die immediately, probably from horror at waking up in Idaho. But this year, they decided put on a show. I am overjoyed.
Incredible facts about this plant that must be true because I found them on the Internet:
- Lily of the valley is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species (that’s cool. I like lepids)
- The flower is also known as Our Lady’s Tears because of the legend that it sprang from the weeping of the Virgin Mary during the crucifixion of her son (legends are generally quite factual, as every knows)
- Another possibility is that the above name derives from Eve’s tears when she was invited to leave the Garden of Eden (both etiologies are undoubtedly true, I feel)
- Lily of the valley is considered the sign of Christ’s second coming (should I tell everyone about this, or just my loved ones?)
- The power to envision a better world is also attributed to the lily of the valley (I testify in the strongest terms that this is true)
And last but not least, from German mythology:
- Lilies of the valley are associated with the virgin goddess of spring Ostara, and its bloom heralds her feast. The sweet fragrance and whiteness of the flower symbolize the humility and purity of its patron goddess.
Although I am fundamentally opposed to goddesses who are humble virgins <snort> mama’s cooking tonight!!