January is a month of few blooms here in New England. One must rely on indoor blooms to satisfy the senses. Usually that sense is sight but this Bloom Day I have a very special fragrant flower in bloom. A bloom with a story. About a year ago I read an article somewhere on plants which were sold in winter during Victorian times for indoor forcing. These plants were picked for fragrance and ease of bloom. One such plant which was often sold was the Lily of the Valley, Convallaria majalis. This shade plant grows with abandon in my garden. It tolerates dry shade and forms a lovely colony providing green ground cover for much of the season. The flowers bloom in May. Yes, the May of May Dreams. It has a fragrance unique unto itself and which once experienced is never forgotten. Last year's article remained in the recesses of my mind until Carol of May Dreams mentioned that she had bought some pips from White Flower Farm, a wonderful catalog supplier of plants. Since it was early December or so when she mentioned this, I went outside into the cold depths of the barren garden to that special place where the lily of the valley grow. There were a few tattered remnants of once lush leaves so I started to root around with the spade. Now, the pips of the lily of the valley are a bit smaller than the tip of your little finger but very identifiable. I scooped some up and brought them in the house not sure at all if they would bloom. Stuck in the urn in the entry, I decorated the urn with sheet moss and waited. Pips emerged. One pip has thus far resulted in flower. It is not full and lush but it is strongly scented although I will admit that I have to assume the prayer position in order to fully appreciate the fragrance. No matter, it is blooming, it is quite fragrant and it really is what May Dreams are made of. I owe a very big debt of gratitude to Carol for inspiring me to get out and dig. I have marked the calendar for next October to dig several pips, pot them up and bring them inside during the bleak months of winter. In the language of flowers, lily of the valley means purity and return of happiness. Everyone deserves a bit of happiness in their lives. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of experiencing the fragrance of lily of the valley, check out White Flower Farm and don't worry about that price. Some things are meant to be experienced at least once in lifetime. Happy Bloom Day!