Friday flowers: lily of the valley
In a secret spot near the river, where two paths meet, grows a patch of wild lily of the valley. Every May I make a little pilgrimage there to collect a posy of what is, to me, the essence of May.
Last year I misjudged the timing. Spring came so early that the lilies flowered in April, and I never saw them. This year, spring has come so late that they are only just beginning to flower as June approaches.
You can smell them before you see them. That sweet, creamy, green scent is like no other: it smells as if it would turn to rich lather on your cheeks. Then you make out the flowers nodding their heads under the leaves; little white bells with frilly hems, like a row of cotton bloomers on a washing line.
Failing the ability to share the scent with you through the internet, I can at least share a couple of pictures of the posy I picked. I won’t collect any more: a single small and treasured handful of wild lily of the valley is one of the greatest treats of the season.