Friday, May 1, 2009

Muguet des bois

Today, on nearly every street-corner throughout France , countless vendors were selling plants, sprigs, and bouquets of the delightful, muguet des bois, Lily of the Valley. On this day, the French trade gifts of sweet-smelling muguet to friends and loved ones for good luck.

As the flower became a gift to recognize virtues and good conscience, it is said that when the world was created, Lily of the Valley were on both sides of the door of paradise and that its little bells were ringing every time a brave person would go through the door. In the Middle Ages, May was the month for couples to get engaged and the tradition was to hook blades of Lily of the Valley above the door of your loved one. The Lily of the Valley has long been the symbol of renewal and spring and fitting that it became a symbol of happiness and good luck.

From my garden to you, Happy May Day!


  1. I didn't know this. Thanks for the lesson. I love the scent of this flower.

  2. Stephanie,
    In the fall, look for a (very) tiny space in your yard garden. Put in a few lily of the valley bulbs, and next year you will have your own muguet for May Day!

  3. I love lily of the valley. We had a massive corner of the backyard devoted to them at an apartment building we lived in while we were in college, and I would snip just a few sprightly springs for the bedroom. They would scent the entire apartment. I wish we observed a holiday in the U.S. with these lovely flowers.