Saturday, May 13, 2006

Flower-a-Day: Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley, 6x8, oil/wood
They say that scent is the most powerful inducer of memories. These Lily of the Valley took me right back to my childhood home on Long Island. Lily of the valley grew right beneath the kitchen window in a flower bed that bordered the patio. Across the street from our house was a woods that was designated by the county as a bird sanctuary and lily of the valley had colonized in massive drifts around a small pond. Their scent is distinctive and wonderful. These particular lily of the valley I've painted are some that I took from my mother's flowerbed in Long Island and planted in my yard nearly 20 years ago long before I knew anything about gardening. I plunked then into the soil around a large beech tree, no cultivating, no ammending the soil, no fertillizer, no mulch and no water except what mother nature provided. I guess I saw them grow with such easy and profusion in my childhood that I just assumed they would grow if put in the ground. Life got busy after that with raising children and whatnot and it was some years later that I dove into gardening. But the lily of the valley were planted off in an odd corner, not in a part of the yard I was developing into garden. Then about 5 years ago I got around to taming that part of the yard and lo and behold there was a small drift of lily of the valley. What a wonderful surprise!

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