Yes, the royal wedding is over and done with. It was a real bash. Reportedly, it cost some $45 million to pull it off. Just like your daughter’s wedding? I understand, and believe, that a major part of the money was spent on security. Thankfully, there were no problems. But they did save money on the bride’s bouquet. Prince Harry went into the gardens at Kensington Palace and picked the flowers and took them over to the flower shop. That line is tongue-in-cheek, because I think that romantic gesture was outstanding and loving.
Last week, I was way off base when I predicted that the bride would include peonies and white garden roses in her bouquet. I sensed that after reading all the guessing being bandied about by “experts.” She did not carry an elaborate bouquet of those flowers. Instead, she carried a bouquet steeped in tradition. It was a small posy bouquet of sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe and astrantia and, of course, forget-me-nots. (The forget-me-not is the only one I got right last week.) And, as has been the case in most royal weddings since that of Queen Victoria about a century and a half ago, the bouquet included a sprig of myrtle. That sprig was plucked from a plant that was rooted from the twig that Queen Elizabeth had in her wedding bouquet in 1947. Meghan’s sister-in-law, Kate, carried shield-style bouquet of hyacinth blooms, sweet William, lily of the valley and English ivy. Interestingly enough, a Sunday poll showed that people liked Kate’s bouquet over Meghan’s by a margin of 55 to 45.
The part that I liked best about the whole thing was that the bride laid her bouquet on the grave of an unknown soldier in Westminster Abbey, and that the thousands of blossoms used to decorate St. George’s Chapel, where the wedding took place, were rearranged into hundreds of bouquets that were delivered to nursing homes, hospitals and hospices. Now that is class. By the way, they did use white roses and white peonies to decorate the chapel.
Let’s talk about lily of the valley. Right now, today, they are at their peak, and they are beautiful, and they smell so good. It is nice to have them in the garden, but it is better to pick some and have them on your dining table, in your bedroom and the bath.
Last year, at this time, my grandson Sam picked a lot of that flower and brought it into the shop, set up a small table, asked for vases that were appropriate and proceeded to make a dozen small bouquets of 15 stems for his mom to put into every room in their house. Yesterday, while he was visiting me, he noted a vase of them and asked if he could make some more “flowers” for his mom. So this afternoon after school, we are into the garden to gather 150 stems so he can surprise his mom. I love it!
I know that it is an old-fashioned flower, but it is beautiful. I do not understand why it isn’t in everyone’s garden. Consensus seems to be that it is a small flower and, while on the plant, it is covered over by the large leaves and does not show very well. That is what makes them so perfect for cutting and bringing into the house. By the way, there is a lovely pink variety.
All you need are a few plants to start with because it grows into dozens and dozens over just a few years. The patch at my house was started about a dozen and a half years ago with just a few roots. Today, it is about 15 by 18 feet in size and absolutely solid with plants.
I like to grasp the stem down low and pull. In England, they pull the whole plant. They say the flowers will last longer.