Lily of the valley is the traditional flower for the month of May.
Here it is flowering in a pot in my courtyard last September
This exquisite flower is my favourite flower & the only fragrance that I ever wear..I just adore it! In the language of flowers lily of the valley symbolizes the return of happiness, purity of heart, sweetness, tears of the Virgin Mary, you've made my life complete, humility, happiness, love's good fortune. It is the symbol of May Day & known as a May Lily & Our Lady's Tears because it is said that it grew from the tears shed by the virgin Mary at the cross.
Since it is, in fact, May Day today I decided to do a little research & it seems that there is quite a lot of celebrating done around the world at this time. Most of the traditions hark back to pagan rituals & beliefs which I'm not so keen on but since we've just celebrated Easter I will go with the symbol of Mary's tears at the cross...& purity... & since her Son did indeed turn up again right as rain "the return of happiness" seems to fit quite well!
I rather like an English tradition that is said to have been...
"fading in popularity since the late 20th century & is the giving of "May baskets" small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours' doorsteps."
A beautiful flower that grows well here in Hawke's Bay in late summer is the Belladonna Lily or Naked Lady. They also come in several shades of pink.
I would often stay with my grandparents in Wairoa during the school hols in May when I was a child. I loved collecting the seeds & making strings of "pearls"...soo pretty.
Naked Ladies, their beauty & fragrance will always remind me of Nan especially as her birthday is the 26th May.
This autumn has been so mild & so pretty. Sometimes we take our lovely things & go just out of town near the river & at the top of a stock bank, we sit & have some bubbly wine together, play our most romantic music & watch the sun go down...