I must confess that I neglected to write two Mary garden posts in a row, but to make up for them I am going to tell you about one of my favorite Mary garden flowers.
“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys,” ~ Song of Solomon 2:1. These small delicate Lilies of the valley come in white, pink and blue. The Marian name for the Lily of the Valley is Our Lady’s tears. It is said that this delectable plant sprang up from the ground at the foot of the cross where Our Lady had been weeping. Another legend states the lily of the valley grew where Eve had wept when she and her husband Adam were cast out of the Garden of Eden.
“New upright shoots are formed at the ends of stolons in summer these upright dormant stems are often called pips. These grow in the spring into new leafy shoots that still remain connected to the other shoots underground, often forming extensive colonies. The stems grow to 15–30 cm tall with one or two leaves 10–25 cm long, flowering stems have two leaves and a raceme of 5–15 flowers on the stem apex.” ~ Wikipedia
The flowers are bell-shaped and smell sweetly. They flower in late spring, usually in or around the end of March. The Lily of the Valley produce berries that may attract children. These berries may look edible to children, but do NOT EAT THEM! The berries are highly poisonous. No part of the plant is edible, it is very poisonous. These plants, if consumed will cause abdominal pain, vomiting and can slow the heart rate down. If you decide to plant the Lily of the Valley in your Mary Garden, please teach your children not to eat any part of it. You might also consider growing the Lily of the Valley in an area of the garden that is not accessible to children.
Two other points worth noting are that the Lily of the Valley is considered the sign of Christ's second coming and it used in religious paintings as a sigh of humility.
I hope you have a very blessed Holy Week. We will see you back next week with another edition of Monday Morning in Mary’s Garden.