Gardening can be a very risky business: cuts and scratches, bumps and bruises are a common occurrence. The equipment that is used can also have its perils, sharp things and climbing things and general falling off things. I have, however, carried out something potentially more risky than all of these things.
I have planted lily of the valley.
I have liked lily of the valley for as long as I can remember. I can remember the scent of them growing in one of gardens I grew up in. I remember a conversation with my mother where I said I wanted to plant more and she vetoed this straight away. There would be no planting of lily of valley as it was very unlucky to do so. I did as I was told and did not plant any, but I did nurse a grievance. It seemed hugely unfair to me that if I liked other plants I could buy more and increase the pleasure. Lily of the valley however, appears to be something that you were either granted lucky enough to have or doomed not to ever have. There was no mid way.
I thought I would do a little research to see if this plant is really so dangerous. Lo and behold I found references to be it being lucky. According to one source if you plant it in the garden someone in the family will die. It does not give a timescale for this death so it is a theory that is hard to disprove. It is also meant to be unlucky to bring it into the house as a cut flower (as, according to my mother, is lilac). There is also religious symbolism in that it is sometimes called Mary's Tears as allegedly when Mary cried at the cross her tears turned into these flowers.
This being said, it is not always seen as unlucky, in one source it says that it appears regularly in bridal bouquets and apparently in Holland it is traditional for some couples to plant pips in the garden of their first home so that every year when they bloom they can celebrate the renewal of their love.
Where does this leave me? Well it leaves me with ten newly planted pips in the garden. I will take my chances on the luck and hope that they will flower and florish. Time will tell.....