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la fete du muguets

May 1, 2015

P1060755it is traditional in France, on May 1st, to give bouquets of lily of the valley to friends

it started with King Charles IX in 1561

it seems a little strange as all parts of the plant are considered poisonous

a corner of my back garden has been taken over – they are invasive!

for a brief time the scent is breathtaking

P1060794lily of the valley and linen seem made for each other

I found this wonderful Irish linen in my favorite consignment store

the label said tea towel but it is 40″ X 29″ (101 cm. X 73 cm.)

never used – $8.00


Happy Spring

19 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2015 1:49 pm

    I, too, grew up with May Day bouquets of lily of the valley!


    • May 11, 2015 3:56 pm

      Creaturecomfort-s – I love the scent but it does seem rather strange to give the flowers as gifts when every part of the plant is poisonous.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Heather permalink
    May 11, 2015 4:55 am

    I was just in France where I saw little bouquets of Lily of the Valley for sale on every street corner. Thank you for telling me why!

    That lovely old linen looks like a perfect canvas for some shibori or katazome!


    • May 11, 2015 8:01 am

      Heather – how lovely to be in France in the Spring. the linen is like an empty canvas, difficult to touch it’s pristine whiteness


  3. May 3, 2015 8:31 am

    The towel has beautiful handwork.


  4. May 2, 2015 9:45 am

    Lily of the valley was my mum’s favourite flower! They won’t grow for me for some reason and I’m allergic to the lovely scent so I just enjoy other people’s for a quick sniff.

    I have a number of those antique linen “towels” and use them for tablecloths. They fit perfectly on my small kitchen table.


    • May 2, 2015 10:04 am

      Louisa – the towels seem too big for tea towels, not sure if it will be used maybe just added to the linen stash.


  5. vdbolyard permalink
    May 2, 2015 8:55 am

    i remember a spot in my hometown where there was a large bank of them, so beautiful.


  6. May 2, 2015 6:40 am

    What a lovely post! Happy Spring to you too.


  7. May 2, 2015 3:34 am

    You got a great buy on that linen towel–it’s beautiful! Don’t be cutting that up for weaving! đŸ˜‰ We have one corner of the yard given over to lilies of the valley, too, and I love them–they can invade as much as they want!


    • May 2, 2015 7:03 am

      Kerry – I got a second towel for a friend, it is only the old damask linen that I cut up. My lilies have to compete with bamboo, they grow into the lawn but get mowed down


  8. Lis permalink
    May 2, 2015 1:46 am

    A lovely tradition. I picked a bunch yesterday and they smell heavenly.


  9. May 1, 2015 7:19 pm

    What a lovely memory this triggered … thank you for a perfect May Day gift


  10. May 1, 2015 5:38 pm

    Yet another lily – they won’t grow in my yard, unfortunately (I think).


    • May 1, 2015 6:00 pm

      Kjerstin – if you ever want to give them a try I can give you roots – but they do spread! love the smell.


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