I was in a state of surprise and delight yesterday morning during my daily stroll through the garden. Right after entering the Moon Gate…there were two Easter Lilies smiling back at me.
I decided to name them “Faith and Hope” because one article (on origins of flower names) stated that white lilies represent these two attributes or traits.
The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat’ning horn:
While the Lily white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.
Our beautiful white lilies, that we love to display around Easter, are grown purposefully for that time…if left alone they bloom in the summer (or for me…late spring.)
Since my two lilies just popped up when they were good and ready…they appear even more special to me…“love delight and beauty bright.”
I came across an interesting story on how the Bermuda lily (we call the Easter Lily) became popular throughout the United States…two clues: a World War I soldier and a suitcase!
Sources: “The History of Easter Lilies” -Fun Flower Facts and “The History of Easter Lilies” – Kenn Pary
We can thank Louis Houghton, a World War I soldier, for the popularity of the Bermuda lily better known as the Easter lily. In 1919 he brought (some say smuggled) a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to the southern coast of Oregon and gave them to family and friends to plant.
(Originally Japan had sent the lilies to grow in Bermuda but sadly a virus wiped them all out…leaving Japan the sole distributor of these lilies around the world. In the United States they became such a rare commodity they were nicknamed: “White Gold” and were very expensive.)
The climate in Oregon and California was ideal for growing this lily, a native of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, and by 1945, over one thousand west coast growers were producing bulbs for the commercial market. Despite a sales window of only approximately two weeks each year, Easter Lilies are the fourth largest potted plant crop in the U.S., ranking among poinsettias, mums, and azaleas as America’s favorite blooming plants.
Today these special Oregon/California lily fields are called the “Easter Lily Capital of the World.” They grow 95% of the world’s Easter lilies.
Lilies are typically summer blooming flowers, but flower growers decided to forced them into spring bloom to celebrate Easter. Pure and white, the flower symbolizes purity, virtue, hope and faith—the essence of Easter.
Christians believe that the beautiful white lilies emerged where Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow and deep distress in the Garden of Gethsemane. The flower bulbs, which should be buried, were said to represent the tomb of Jesus and the showy trumpet-shaped flowers symbolize the resurrection.
History, mythology, and art are filled with stories and images that speak of the beauty and majesty of the elegant white flowers. One of the most famous Biblical references is in the Sermon on the Mount, when Christ said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Often called the “White-Robed Apostles Of Hope,” lilies are said to have been found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony.
So until tomorrow …consider Harriett’s lilies in my garden….I do…because they bring me such pleasure! After planting the bulbs there is no more toiling…just oohing and aah-ing. (And the nicest thing about lilies is that they don’t compare themselves to each other…they are all beautiful in their own unique way. Don’t we wish we could behave like lilies?)
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
I had my regular oncology appointment yesterday… but in a new location…Charleston Cancer Center….lots of paperwork to fill out but everyone was very nice and thank goodness I still have my favorite oncology doctor…Dr. Silgals!
Afterwards I met Anne at Oscars for our “Burger Bray Day”….we eat burgers and “hee-haw” all through lunch.
It was Anne who discovered the sweet-smelling gardenia bloom…first one of the season. Loving it…and a second gardenia bush is covered in buds…soon there will be a breath-taking lovely scent floating throughout the garden.
While we were in the garden a dragonfly flew down and perched right on Honey’s dragonfly ornamental stake she gave me and just sat there posing for Anne and me. A good luck gesture I am sure!
* Lucy gave Suzanne and me a bad scare yesterday…she has started perching on another neighbor’s fence which is really high…a fence that surrounds a pool. When I went to show Suzanne…she was no longer on the top post but lying in the tall grass below…like she had fallen. We called her name but she didn’t come or respond in anyway.
We both thought she was dead…Suzanne leaped over the fence and right before she got to Lucy….the cat stretched and yawned.
What a relief…. However…Lucy is having several health problems now…Suzanne took her home to try to clean her up some…she is getting to be an old cat…but a much beloved one.
Anne and I exchanged “surcies” yesterday…I gave her some lavender honey (made in France) and she gave me this adorable lotion bar (to use after gardening) with a special, personalized label!
*Look at this beautiful painting Joan Turner did for her daughter Michele’s birthday….lucky girl!