- Lily of the Valley: This poisonous woodland flowering plant with tiny white bell-shaped flowers is also known as “Our Lady's Tears” from Christian stories in which it sprang from where Mary was weeping during the crucifixion. In the “language of the flowers,” Lily of the Valley signifies the return of happiness, and the flower became popular after it was featured in Kate Middleton's bridal bouquet.
- Peony: This lovely flower is named after a student of the Greek god of medicine and healing. It's also one of the longest-used flowers in Eastern culture and is a traditional floral symbol of China.
- Hyacinth: In Greek mythology, Apollo made a flower from Hyacinth's spilled blood. Hyacinths are sometimes symbolic of rebirth and as such are used in the Haftseen table setting for the Persian New Year celebration. The plant has a single dense spike of fragrant flowers in shades of violet, red, blue, white, orange, pink and yellow.
- Tulip: Most commonly associated with the Netherlands, tulips date all the way back to the Ottoman Empire. These spring-blooming perennials grow from bulbs, and most only produce one flower per stem. They come in a huge range of colors. In Persia, a red tulip was a declaration of love.
Personally, I've been a fan of Lily of the Valley since I was a little girl, and we had some growing in our backyard up North. The delicate fragrance always reminds me of my childhood.
What's your favorite spring flower? Stay tuned for Part II and more spring blooms!