A few years ago, when I was still working at the school and before I began blogging, one of my co-workers brought in plastic bags of Lilies of the Valley starts. She literally pulled them out of the ground and plopped them in bags. I brought a few starts home and planted them in a bed right outside my kitchen window. The next year they came up and I asked Charlene (my co-worker) if I could have some more. She gladly obliged and the second batch of starts was planted. This is what my little piece of Lily of the Valley heaven looks like now.
The little silver creamer you have seen before. The milk bottle is a treasured vintage piece. It’s from the San-A-Pure Dairy which was the dairy that provided milk to my town back in the day. I’m told the milk was delivered by horse and wagon right to your doorstep. Residents had a metal box that sat on their front porches and the delivery man would place the milk in those boxes. I have looked and looked for a box but have never found one. Maybe someday. The blue and white rooster was a bargain at my antique mall.
Lilies of the Vally have a scent like no other and it packs a punch. I put the milk bottle arrangement on my entry chest and could smell it from the living room. The day they are cut is, of course, when the scent is the strongest. I carried the milk bottle upstairs that first night and put in on my bedside table. It was such a treat yet so simple.
Lilies of the Valley take no real care. Plant them in part-shade and let them go. I know some people think they are too invasive but if you have an empty spot they are the perfect choice. It takes a few years to get blooms so be patient. Let the foliage die down and cut them back in the fall. Like other hardy perennials, they need the foliage to die down completely to feed the plant for the next season. It’s important to know also that Lilies of the Valley are poisonous. Take extra care to wash your hands after handling and wash your containers well when the flowers are spent.
I have never once looked at my patch of Lilies of the Valley and not thought of Charlene. Then when I think of her, I think of my old job and the school that I love. I miss it and miss the people. There are days when I would give anything to be back at my old desk…but I embraced this blogging adventure and the adventure isn’t over. Thanks to all of you, it’s just beginning.
I’m happy you stopped by…I hope to be back before the long weekend but if I don’t make it please be safe and enjoy!