I was a little girl in my grandmother’s backyard on a sunny May afternoon when I spotted a thick patch of tiny, white bell-shaped flowers. As if it was a secret, Grandma whispered, “They are called lily of the valley, and they are your own special flower because your birthday is in May!” I’m sure I smiled ear-to-ear believing this flower bloomed for me and me alone. I immediately felt a connection to the delicate little flower that smelled so sweet and seemed the perfect size for a fairy’s house.
Since that day, I’ve been in love with my birth month flower. I was thrilled last May when a sizable patch of lily of the valley bloomed along the side of the house we had moved into a few months before. This spring was no different, although the patch has gotten noticeably bigger. Recognizing how much I adore this little flower, my husband made me a pretty stained glass lily of the valley for my birthday that now hangs in our kitchen window.
According to the book The Language of Flowers by Odessa Begay, lily of the valley was a favorite of French fashion designer Christian Dior. He designed his personal stationery with the flower and even stitched lily of the valley on the inside of linings and hems. For good luck, he always made sure at least one model in every fashion show was wearing a little bunch of the flower. In 1956, Dior released his fragrance Diorissimo featuring the notes of lily of the valley. That same year Grace Kelly carried a small bouquet of lily of the valley when she wed Prince Rainier of Monaco.
One of my favorite writers, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, wrote a beautiful poem titled The Lily of the Valley in 1913. The first stanza reads ~
Sweetest of the flowers a-blooming
In the fragrant vernal days
Is the Lily of the Valley
With its soft, retiring ways
Some may find sentimentality about flowers old-fashioned and frivolous, but I would disagree. In contrast to the coarseness of the world, flowers bring joy, and their history offers hope that despite whatever comes our way, they will keep enchanting us.
What do you know about your birth month flower? Here’s a simple guide to get you started, including what each flower can symbolize. I encourage you to explore the meaning and history of your birthday flower and feel just a little bit special believing it exists just for you.
Birth Month Flowers Through the Year:
January ~ Carnation admiration, love, luck
February ~ Violet modesty, faithfulness, wisdom
March ~ Daffodil new beginnings, happiness, prosperity
April ~ Daisy purity, transformation, innocence
May ~ Lily of the Valley honor, purity, bliss
June ~ Rose happiness, romance, love
July ~ Delphinium grace, positivity, joy
August ~ Gladiolus passion, strength, integrity
September ~ Aster love, patience, magic
October ~ Marigold creativity, peace, warmth
November ~ Chrysanthemum compassion, friendship, joy
December ~ Narcissus hope, wealth, protection §
“Like the lily of the valley in her honesty and worth
Ah, she blooms in truth and virtue
in the quiet nooks of earth.”
~ Paul Lawrence Dunbar