GPAP – Lily of the Valley

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I have heard many people gasp at the mention of Lily of the Valley, declaring that it is their all time favourite flower.  Although I admire its delicate beauty and abundance I have never quite understood this enthusiasm.   I imagined this attachment was merely sentimental, the nodding ivory bells evoking memories of a mother’s cherished bloom, a bridal bouquet, a childhood posy.   Then I recalled my gross failing in the appreciation of this world, a missing dimension in my life, a chasm, a void.  I am talking about my, at best, meagre sense of smell.  When perfumes fleetingly return it is often shocking, over-whelming and physical in its intensity.  It is rather like being hit in the face by a football, not an altogether pleasant experience.  Furthermore, whilst in the olfactory wilderness I forget what smells are, my ability to identify one from another.  So on these lucid days I walk around with a scrunched up face saying “what is that strange smell?” only to be told with puzzled tone “petrol” or “coffee” or “chips”.  I can only guess that the (allegedly) sweetly scented Convallaria majalis, that admirably carpets our woodlands and shady garden corners in spring, has one hell of a scent!

12 thoughts on “GPAP – Lily of the Valley

  1. Your photo is quite perfect and captures the details of the curling petals, the effects of light and shade. I’ve always liked large flowers more than small ones, but that seems to be changing as I take more time to notice and admire the little ones.

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  2. I’m with you Gill. I’ve never quite understood the particular appeal of Lily of the Valley. It used to grow like billy-o in my parents’ garden, under hedges and through crazy paving. I thought it was a bit of a nuisance, which is perhaps why is refuses to flower for me in our London garden!

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