I learned last week in the #languageofflowers that Convallaria Majalis, commonly known as the Lily of the Valley, symbolises 'the return of happiness' and is not inclined to flower before all danger of frost has past. Well, these delicate little flowers are reaching up from their leafy bed right now, can I rely on them?
My grandmothers front 'garden', a bed chopped into a concrete area between the steeply rising steps from the street and the front door, was just big enough for a few roses, but dense in the bottom was this wonderfully reliable perennial. Hidden rhizomes beneath the ground send up 'Pips' and from these new leafy shoots arise, followed by a stem of dear little white bell flowers, renowned for their delicate sweet scent.
Looking for signs of moving from early to late Spring is critical in our world of farming. The grass is growing, the cattle can be turned out, lambs suckling ewes also rely on this. Our greenhouse is bursting at the seams, vegetable and flower plants raised in their hundreds to provide crops for the year ahead.
A sobering picture from 9th May a couple of years ago shows the date etched in frost on the car windscreen, but cloud, wind and less daytime/night-time variation in temperature are now egging us on, so this week it begins.
We'll be taking the sign of Lily of the Valley emerging in our garden to spur us into a frenzy of planting .. fingers crossed she's got it right!