Muguet des bois ~ Lily of the valley

la porte-bonheur or "bringer of happiness"- the true symbol of spring and the gardener's hope

la porte-bonheur or “bringer of happiness”- the true symbol of spring and the gardener’s hope

I took this dramatic photo of my “porte-bonheur” or bringer of happiness. It is the french tradition to give these delicate fragrant white bells, muguet des bois, as a gift to a loved one on the first day of May.  I saw them peeking demurely out from their green wrap in the marché and decided I would capture the essence of springtime fleeting and precious as it is, and enjoy them on my table even if my sweetheart were not in this country to give them to me.

My mother’s garden is still a bloom with these acid loving perennials which spread with abandon into the grass or garden as they wish each spring.  Every year she offers me some and I have always wished I had a great tree under which to plant them allowing them to spread and grow as in the woodlands of central and northern France.  My little terra cotta pot with three plants in it looks a little passé and needs to be planted.  I will tuck it into a friend’s garden here in Sauve and add a bit of peat moss perhaps to make it happy in the limestone soil.  My french girlfriend received a handpicked bouquet of lily of the valley brought to her by her bon ami up north.  I noticed how the leaves encircled each stem of bells yet grew entirely separately, like a man with his arms around his woman, each beautiful in their individual splendor, drawn together by love.

souvenir de printemps

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5 Responses to Muguet des bois ~ Lily of the valley

  1. Winnie says:

    Lovely, Alison!

    Winnie

  2. susie wampler says:

    Lovely Alison. Did they have the big puce down at the parking lot as well? It was Sat the first of May I believe last year when Pat and I had arrived. Oh how I wish I was there. xoxoxo Suz

    On Mon, May 6, 2013 at 7:54 AM, alisoninfrance

  3. Arthur Lohrey says:

    Ali, my Love, that is a beautiful photo and what you had to say and how you said it, is well, so well said. You never cease to amaze me with who you are and your many talents and gifts. Love you and glad we are together here! I’m happy that you are happy.
    Bisses, me

  4. Marsha McAllister says:

    Hi Alison

    Beautiful photograph of the Lily of the Valley – I have a special affection for them – when I was growing up there was a tree that grew against a hillside that had a semi-circle brick well around the hill side of the tree – I loved to go there and hang out – in the spring it was carpeted with lilly of the valley – love them

    Hope you are well, thanks for sending me your blog link. best to you, Marsha

    On Mon, May 6, 2013 at 7:54 AM, alisoninfrance

  5. Jocelyn Wight says:

    DEAR, ALISON,

    IT IS LOVELY TO READ ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR DESCRIPTIVE IMPRESSIONS OF FLOWERS. HOW POETIC YOU ARE… I WILL NEVER LOOK AT ANOTHER LILY OF THE VALLEY IN THE SAME WAY…YOU HAVE EBUED IT WITH SUCH LOVE AND SPIRITUALITY. NO WONDER YOU SEE IT AT WEDDINGS A LOT..- THE FRENCH ARE SO ROMANTIC… I HAVE ENJOYED YOUR BOOK SO VERY MUCH. YOUR PAINTINGS TOO… LOVE, JOCELYNE Original Message —– From: alisoninfrance To: jwight3@cox.net Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 7:54 AM Subject: [New post] Muguet des bois ~ Lily of the valley

    alisoninfrance posted: ” I took this dramatic photo of my “porte-bonheur” or bringer of happiness. It is the french tradition to give these delicate fragrant white bells, muguet des bois, as a gift to a loved one on the first day of May. I saw them peeking demurely out from “

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