The humble Lily of the Valley — el humilde Lirio del Valle

Hi folks! I hope you are keeping well…

¡Hola amigos! Espero que estéis bien…

In my last blog I wrote about one of my favourite flowers that I have been able to enjoy during my stay here in London — the beautiful and delicate forget-me-not. However, there is also another one of my favourites that is just beginning to unfurl its tiny head from amongst its enveloping green leaves — and that is the lily-of-the-valley.

En mi último blog escribí sobre una de mis flores favoritas, que he podido disfrutar durante mi estancia aquí en Londres — el hermoso y delicado nomeolvides. Sin embargo, también hay otro de mis favoritos que está empezando a asomar su pequeña cabeza entre sus envolventes hojas verdes, y ese es el lirio del valle.

Below are a couple of photos that I took (using my Samsung again, so please be patient with my photography!).

A continuación hay un par de fotos que tomé (usando mi Samsung de nuevo, así que ¡por favor sea paciente con mi fotografía!).

And here is a lovely poem about the lily of the valley. It was written by the sisters, Jane and Ann Taylor. (The former Taylor also wrote ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star…’).

Y aquí hay un bonito poema sobre el lirio del valle. Fue escrito por las hermanas, Jane y Ann Taylor. (Ann escribió también ¿Estrellita Dónde Estás?)

THE LILY OF THE VALLEY

Come, my love, and do not spurn

From a little flower to learn.

See the lily on the bed

Hanging down its modest head;

While it scarcely can be seen,

Folded in its leaf of green.

Yet we love the lily well

For its sweet and pleasant smell

And would rather call it ours,

Than full many gayer flowers.

Pretty lilies seem to be

Emblems of humility.

Come my love, and do not spurn

From a little flower to learn.

Let your temper be as sweet

As the lily at your feet;

Be as gentle, be as mild,

Be a modest, simple child.

EL LIRIO DEL VALLE

Ven, mi amor, y no te desprecies

De una pequeña flor, para aprender.

Mira el lirio en el arriate,

Inclinando su modesta cabeza;

Aunque apenas se la puede ver,

Doblado en su hoja de verde…

Sin embargo, nos encanta el lirio bien

Por su olor dulce y agradable

Y preferiría llamarlo nuestro,

Que por completo muchas flores más alegres.

Los lirios bonitos parecen ser

Emblemas de la humildad.

Ven mi amor, y no te desprecies

De una pequeña flor para aprender.

Deja que tu temperamento sea tan dulce

Como el lirio a tus pies;

Sé tan gentil, sé tan suave,

Sé un niño modesto y sencillo.

(Bueno, no es exactamente lo mismo en español porque no tiene la misma rima…)

The two sisters, Jane (23 September 1783 London) – 13 April 1824) and Ann Taylor

Sadly, Jane Taylor died on 13 April 1824 of breast cancer at the age of 40 — her mind was still «teeming with unfulfilled projects».

Arriba, las dos hermanas, Jane y Ann Taylor. Desgraciadamente, Jane murió el 13 de abril de 1824 de cáncer de mama a la edad de 40 años — su mente todavía estaba «llena de proyectos no cumplidos».

Although the lily of the valley is a tiny little flower there is a lot to learn from it. The poem showcases humility and teaches us that we should learn to be humble like a lily. The head of the flower hangs modestly and is covered by the surrounding green, not much is seen. It is loved by all.

Aunque el lirio del valle es una pequeña flor, hay mucho que aprender de él. El poema muestra humildad y nos enseña que debemos aprender a ser humildes como un lirio. La cabeza de la flor cuelga modestamente y está cubierta por el verde circundante, no se ve mucho. Es amado por todos.

This picture is taken from Flower Fairies book, written and illustrated by Cicely Mary Barker. (See my last blog for her brief bio.)

Esta foto está tomada del libro Las Hadas de las Flores, escrito e ilustrado por Cicely Mary Barker. (Ver mi último blog para su breve biografía.)

The lily of the valley is the flower for those born in May.

El lirio del valle es la flor para los nacidos en mayo.

The fragrant white flowers are often associated with traditional feminine values such as motherhood, purity, chastity and sweetness.

Las fragantes flores blancas se asocian a menudo con los valores femeninos tradicionales como la maternidad, la pureza, la castidad y la dulzura.

The lily of the valley is also seen as a symbol of humility and a sign of Christ’s second coming.

El lirio del valle simboliza humildad y también la segunda venida de Cristo.

Well, that’s all for now.

Thank you for visiting — comments are always welcome.

Take care and bye for now xxx

Pues… eso es todo por ahora.

Gracias por visitar – vuestros comentarios son siempre bienvenidos.

Cuidaros y hasta pronto xxx

Forget-me-not! — ¡Nomeolvides!

Hi folks! I hope this finds you well.

¡Hola amigos! Espero que estéis bien.

I just wanted to share with you a couple of photos of one of my favourite flowers — the humble but very beautiful forget-me-not. I am lucky that their flowering has coincided with my stay here in England, as is the case too of other of my favourites, such as the bluebells, lily-of-the-valley, and cherry and apple blossoms. The daffodils have finished now, but they also put on a fine show for me!

Quería simplemente compartir con vosotros un par de fotos de una de mis flores favoritas – la humilde pero muy hermosa nomeolvides. Tengo la suerte de que su floración haya coincidido con mi estancia aquí en Inglaterra, y con otros de mis favoritos, como las campanillas, el lirio del valle y las flores de cerezo y manzana: los narcisos ya han terminado, ¡pero también pusieron un buen espectáculo para mí!

Forget-me-notNomeolvides

Bluebells — campanillas
Apple tree in flower — ¡el manzano en flor!
Flags around the cherry tree in support of Ukraine Banderas alrededor del cerezo en apoyo de Ucrania

Please excuse my poor Samsung photography: I never plan on taking photos, they somehow just happen, and they are a poor comparison to the stunning photography of others, such as Vova Zinger’s photo blog

Por favor, disculpe mi pobre fotografía (usando mi Samsung), es que nunca planeo tomar fotos, pero de alguna manera u otra, sucede. Son una mala comparación con la impresionante fotografía de otras personas, como de Vova Zinger y su blog de fotos  

Anyway, the flowers of the forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) are easy to press. I used to press them and then use them in making pictures or greeting cards and bookmarks… (hmmm… that’s a good idea for my online Etsy shop which is looking quite sparse right now…). However, in retrospect, I don’t think I want to dice with trying to smuggle hand-picked forget-me-nots past the border police in the airport, as this would be illegal.

Las flores de las Nomeolvides (Myosotis sylvatica) son fáciles de prensar. Yo solía prensarlos y luego utilizarlos en dibujos, tarjetas de felicitación y marcadores… (hmmm… eso es una buena idea para mi tienda online Etsy shop que se ve bastante escasa en este momento…). Sin embargo, en retrospectiva, no creo que quiero pasar como contrabando con mis Nomeolvides delante de la policía fronteriza en el aeropuerto, ya que esto sería ilegal.

Well, apart from being beautiful in all their powder-blue and delicate yellow simplicity, they also have an interesting symbology, representing true love and respect. When you give someone these tiny blooms, it represents a promise that you will always remember them and will keep them in your thoughts. They are also considered a symbol of fidelity and faithfulness (but I’m not too bothered about this last one!)

Además de ser hermosas vestidas en azul bebé y amarillo delicado, las Nomeolvides también tienen una interesante simbología: representan el verdadero amor y respeto. Cuando le das a alguien estas pequeñas flores, significa que siempre le recordarás y le mantendrás en tus pensamientos. También son considerados un símbolo de fidelidad y lealtad (¡pero no estoy demasiado preocupado por este último!)

Additionally, they symbolise different things in various countries, such as:

  • In Newfoundland, they represent those who fell in World War I.
  • In Armenia, it’s a symbol for the Armenian Genocide Centennial.
  • It’s the symbol for International Missing Children’s Day.
  • The Alzheimer’s Society uses forget-me-nots as a symbol for memory loss and to raise awareness for the disease.

(Please note: I have taken the above from the Farmers’ Almanac, and the author: Amber Kanuckel)

Además, simbolizan cosas diferentes en varios países, tales como:

• En Terranova, representan a los que cayeron en la Primera Guerra Mundial.

• En Armenia, es un símbolo del centenario del genocidio armenio.

• Es el símbolo del Día Internacional de los Niños Desaparecidos.

• La Alzheimer’s Society utiliza la Nomeolvides como símbolo para la pérdida de memoria y para crear conciencia sobre la enfermedad.

(Del Almanaque de los Agricultores, artículo de Amber Kanuckel)

Also, please see the above site for some decent photography of forget-me-nots, such as the following photo which I have borrowed from them (I suppose that’s alright as I am advertising their site at the same time?!):

También, vea por favor el sitio antedicho para una fotografía decente de la Nomeolvides, tal como la foto siguiente que he tomado prestada del mismo artículo (supongo que está bien copiarlo, pues estoy anunciando su sitio al mismo tiempo?!):

Definitely not my photography, but taken from the Farmer’s Almanac (see link above) Definitivamente no es mi foto, pero tomado del Almanaque del Granjero (ver enlace arriba)

But I wouldn’t like to go without finishing with a poem:

Pero no me gustaría ir sin terminar con un poema:

The Forget-Me-Not Fairy — Cicely Mary Barker

(Courtesy of Wiki)

Where do fairy babies lie
Till they’re old enough to fly?
Here’s a likely place, I think,
’Mid these flowers, blue and pink,
(Pink for girls and blue for boys:
Pretty things for babies’ toys!)
Let us peep now, gently. Why,
Fairy baby, here you lie!

Kicking there, with no one by,
Baby dear, how good you lie!
All alone, but O, you’re not—
You could never be—forgot!
O how glad I am I’ve found you,
With Forget-me-nots around you,
Blue, the colour of the sky!
Fairy baby, Hushaby!

El hada de la Nomeolivedes- Cicely Mary Barker

Hada bebé, Hushaby!

¿Dónde están los bebés de hadas

¿Hasta que tengan edad para volar?

Aquí hay un lugar probable, creo,

En medio de estas flores, azules y rosas,

(Rosa para niñas y azul para niños:

¡Cosas bonitas para juguetes de bebés! )

Echemos un vistazo ahora, suavemente. ¿Por qué,

¡Hada bebé, aquí duermes!

Pateando allí, sin nadie,

Cariño, ¡qué bien duermes!

Solo, pero O, no estás

¡Nunca se te olvidará!

¡Qué contento estoy de haberte encontrado,

Con Nomeolvides a tu alrededor,

¡Azul, el color del cielo!

Hada bebé, Hushaby!

The above picture and poem are taken from Flower Fairies (which everyone should have!) by Cicely Mary Barker (28 June 1895 – 16 February 1973).

La imagen y el poema anteriores están cogidos del libro Flower Fairies — Hadas de las Flores (que todos deberían tener) de Cicely Mary Barker (28 de junio de 1895 – 16 de febrero de 1973).

The beautiful and enormously talented Cicely Mary Barker (Wiki)

Cicely Mary Barker was an English illustrator best known for a series of fantasy illustrations depicting fairies and flowers. She was a devout Anglican and donated her artworks to Christian fundraisers and missionary organisations; she also wrote and illustrated many religious books, such as The Children’s Book of Hymns (1929), He Leadeth Me (1933), The Feeding of the Five Thousand (1929), The Parable of the Great Supper (1934) and many more. For more on this fascinating, extremely talented and inspirational lady, see on this link.

Cicely Mary Barker fue una ilustradora inglesa conocida por una serie de ilustraciones de fantasía que representan hadas y flores.  Fue una anglicana devota y donó sus obras de arte a recaudadores de fondos cristianos y organizaciones misioneras; también escribió e ilustró muchos libros religiosos, como El libro de himnos para niños (1929), Me dirige (1933), La alimentación de los cinco mil (1929), La parábola de la Gran Cena (1934) y muchos más. Para más información sobre esta fascinante, extremadamente talentosa e inspiradora dama, ver en este enlace.

Thank you for reading! As usual, your comments are always welcome, I love to hear from you.

Bye for now — take care xxx

¡Gracias por leerme! Como siempre, tus comentarios son siempre bienvenidos, me encanta hablar con vosotros.

Adiós por ahora – cuídaros xxx

Foxgloves and Mary Webb

Hi folks! I hope this finds you well and not melting in the heat like me — (hence my sporadic posts during these sizzling days of summer…)

I just wanted to share my lovely photo of this beautiful foxglove…

The scientific name for this flower is the Latin digitalis, meaning ‘finger’. The old German vernacular name that harks back to the 16th century is Fingerhut, translating literally as ‘finger hat’, though actually meaning ‘thimble’. The Olde English name, foxes glofa/e echoes the folk myth that foxes actually wore gloves on their paws so they could move silently when hunting their prey! Another more intimidating name for this deadly flower was ‘witch’s glove’.

Later names that emerged in the 19th century name were ‘folks’ glove’, where ‘folk’ means fairy and ‘foxes-glew’, meaning ‘fairy music’.

Foxgloves were also grown in medieval gardens and the flowers were dedicated to the Virgin Mary — here they were called ‘Our Lady’s Gloves’.

Apart from being very pretty, the flowers are also used for drug preparations that contain cardiac glycosides. The plant is very toxic to humans and other animals, and consumption can even lead to death. (I think this was one of the favourite toxins that wives would use in the olden days, before the advent of forensic science, to gradually poison problematic husbands!)

As to the symbolism of the foxgloves, they represent a whole host of themes ranging from pride, energy, magic, ambition, insincerity, intuition and creativity, to productivity, communication, cooperation, and confidence too (so that’s quite a load, isn’t it?!)

And last but not least, here’s a poem written by Mary Webb about the Foxglove:-

Foxgloves

The foxglove bells, with lolling tongue,
Will not reveal what peals were rung
In Faery, in Faery,
A thousand ages gone.
All the golden clappers hang
As if but now the changes rang;
Only from the mottled throat
Never any echoes float.
Quite forgotten, in the wood,
Pale, crowded steeples rise;
All the time that they have stood
None has heard their melodies.
Deep, deep in wizardry
All the foxglove belfries stand.
Should they startle over the land,
None would know what bells they be.
Never any wind can ring them,
Nor the great black bees that swing them–
Every crimson bell, down-slanted,
Is so utterly enchanted

Mary Webb
(25 March 1881, Shropshire – 8 October 1927)

Mary Gladys Webb  was an English romantic novelist and poet of the early 20th century, whose work is set chiefly in the Shropshire countryside and among Shropshire characters and people whom she knew. Many of her books were dramatised, including Precious Bane (one of my favourite books!). For a fuller biography, see this Mary Webb Society link

And to finish with, here’s another photo of my cat chilling out in the 43° C temperatures amidst the aloe vera plant.

Well, that’s all for now — thanks for visiting, take care! xxx