Sprays of deliciously fragrant, small, white, bell shaped flowers in late winter and spring.
Ideal for borders where you can drink in that delicious scent, under trees and shrubs.
Or in a decorative pot.
No gardener should be without Convallaria majalis Lily-of-the-Valley.
(Scroll down to “Growing” section for advice & plant details).
Ideal under trees and shrubs
Lily-of-the- Valley grows so well under trees and shrubs.
Especially if you keep it well mulched to mimic the woodlands it loves. And to keep an even soil temperature and moisture level, which it also loves.
So once you find a happy spot for it to settle in – you will never be without it.
Because it is robust, hardy and very long lived once established.
No gardener should be without it
So many gardeners treasure clumps of Lily-of-the-Valley that came from their Grandmother’s garden. And many clumps have been living for decades in Grandma’s old wash trough.
Cutting a bunch of Lily-of-the-Valley for a vase indoors, or better still a gift for a dear friend, is one of life’s great treats.
Growing: Convallaria majalis
– Height with flowers: 15-20cm.
– Width: Spreads to form a dense clump to approx 30cm. diameter. But old clumps in established gardens can form carpets. It is very long lived.
– Position: Loves to clump up in the shade underneath trees and shrubs. So plant in shaded conditions from Deep Shade to Dappled Light and Woodland conditions.
– Fragrance: What can you say – sublime!
Hardy & easy to grow in the right spot
– Soil: Our fragrant one loves to grow in heavy, retentive soil. So it enjoys heavy clay, clay based or loam soils. And it just laps up mulch and compost.
I am afraid gardeners with sandy soils will do better keeping it in a tub.
– Water-wise: Lily-of-the-Valley has an undeserved reputation for being thirsty. It is not, especially when planted in the heavy and well mulched soil it likes so much. Once established it is a water-wise plant. And thrives on neglect.
– Frost: Lily-of-the-Valley is extremely frost hardy.
Because it can tolerate severe frosts down to -30C.
– Growth: Long lived Perennial that forms dense clumps by underground rhizomes.
– Care: Can thrive on total neglect, once established in it’s spot.
No gardener should be without it
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees are just like us. They CANNOT RESIST the wonderfully sweet scented flowers in spring. Also loved by a host of other useful pollinating insects.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Oh bliss – they won’t touch it with a bargepole.
– Beware: All parts of the plant are poisonous. But fortunately it is not attractive to grazing.
– Origin: Native to the woodlands of Europe.
– Myths & legends: Few flowers have gathered so many stories, or is as widely known and loved. But some of the most popular stories relate to the symbolic meanings of Lily-of-the-Valley.
It has always symbolized chastity, purity of love, humility, and sweetness in many cultures.
Lily-of-the-Valley denoted “return of happiness” in the Victorian “Language of Flowers”.
So it became very popular for wedding bouquets (the lovely scent did not hurt the bride on her special day either).
While in biblical stories, the Lily-of-the-Valley is said to have sprouted where Mary’s tears fell after her son was crucified. So it is sometimes known by the common name “Mary’s Tears”.