It’s that time of year when I am walking through the wholesale florist and am overwhelmed by all of the choices of flowers available… It can be daunting when trying to pick between them all. Ranunculus, tulips, dahlias, peonies, wax flowers and the list goes on and on. That is not even counting all the blooming branches such as cherry blossom and forsythia or blooming plant options such as hydrangeas, and kalanchoes. The most often overlooked choice is the Easter Lily. I’m not sure why the Easter Lily does not get the love it so deserves but for me, it is a stunning example of the best spring has to offer.
Maybe the strong passion I have for Easter Lilies is from my past memories and a sense of family tradition? Walking into my grandmother and mother’s homes, the smell was intoxicating from the lilies that they would use as part of their traditional Easter decorations. Or it could be memories of when my grandmother’s shop would line the local catholic churches with hundreds of blooming lily plants just in time for mass. The white blooms carried a sense of joy and glory that I just can not describe. I think it’s both, past memories and traditions, along with the reverent beauty and spirituality of the churches decorated at this special time of year.
In honor of the Easter Lily, I created an Easter table using these gorgeous trumpet shaped blooms as our main decoration. Giving them center stage and more importantly introducing them to a new generation of young adults. I knew the kids would ask about them and I would enjoy sharing stories of working at the shop, the Easter significance of the lily and how their grandparents on both sides absolutely loved these special plants.
I pulled from my collection of yellow ware a large bowl and planted three lilies directly into the bowl, then covered the soil with a thick mood moss. The rest of the table just fell into place. My earthenware bowls are easy vessels to fill with plants and other florals and I never run out of uses for them as a decorator. Originally I thought a white palette in terms of the cloth , plates and napkins but my little yellow cow prompted me in a different direction…blue! My tried and true blue Wedgewood, along with newly purchased pale yellow cotton napkins and those yummy textural placemats gave it a sense of comfort and down-to-earth feel.
I hope we have inspired fabulous Easter table ideas without too much fuss and that when you see the Easter Lillies at the stores that you’ll give this blessed plant a try! Happy Easter everyone.
Here are some facts about Easter Lilies that I’d love to share:
*As mentioned in the Bible, the white lily symbolizes new beginnings and the hope of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. They are also referred to as “white-robed apostles of hope,” lilies are believed to have sprouted from the ground where Christ’s blood and tears fell during crucifixion, as well as in the Garden of Gethsemane after his betrayal.
* Easter lilies are perennial (USDA Zones 8 through 11) After the last bloom dies, cut down the stem to approx 6 inches tall and transplant into the ground and indirect sunny area.
*My grandmother would say “pick those boogers,” in other words, pinch out the stamens/anthers and discard. Not only will the blooms last longer, you’ll keep from staining anything they come in contact with.
*They are poisonous for cats* Easter lilies, or Lilium longiflorum, are forced to bloom at the appropriate time for the religious holiday, completely out of their normal flowering time, which is August.