For a time when I was little, there wasn't much money for Christmas presents, and so one year for my present, Mum bought a remnant of material and made a bride's dress for my favourite doll. To finish it off she made a tiny bouquet with some plastic lily of the valley and attached it to the doll's hand with a rubber band. It was the perfect present as far as I was concerned, and lily of the valley became my favourite flowers.
Mum always had loads in her garden at this time of year, and would give me a bunch or two during their brief season. After she died, I dug up some roots from her garden and planted them in mine. They have produced a couple of blooms each year, but for the first time this year, they have produced masses of flowers, and their scent drifts across the front garden. There are so many that I felt justified in cutting some and bringing them into the front room.
There they are, sitting on the mantelpiece in their crochet-covered jam jar, filling the room with their fragrance, and bringing back lovely memories. It beats an air-freshener any day!