Flower of the Month: May: Lily of the Valley
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Spring thus far. In the Chicagoland area, the beginning of May is when it seems like temperatures finally begin to warm up and you can feel the excitement of summer that is just around the corner. I, for one, cannot wait for summer, but first, let's take a look at one last Spring flower.
This month's flower of the month, Lily of the Valley, is not a true lily but a plant. In fact, by appearance it is nearly the very opposite of a lily. While lilies have large star shaped petals available in a variety of colors, lily of the valley is a petite bell shaped bloom typically found in only white or light pink. Lily of the Valley is a symbol of romance, good luck and happiness. They also have an element of sadness associated with them, so they can be found in both wedding and funeral arrangements.
Because Lily of the Valley is not only a petite flower, but also an expensive one when purchased as a cut flower, I like to add them to arrangements as accents. They are a delicate addition, and they pair well with other flowers in pastel shades, such as delphinium or hyacinth.
Lily of the Valley is often used in a single bloom arrangements, and while they may not be considered a high impact flower, they can make a statement when en masse. One last idea for the use of lily of the valley is to create a romantic monochromatic table scape by arranging small posies of the blossom with other white flowers, such as roses, tulips, ranunculus and stock in glass vessels.
One important fact to remember about Lily of the Valley is that it is highly toxic to people and animals when ingested. Therefore, it is extremely important to wash your hands well after handling them, especially before eating or preparing food.