LILY OF THE VALLEY
Lily of the Valley must be one of the best loved plants of all time. (Or Convallaria majalis to give it it’s correct botanical name).
Scent and memory are intertwined. So every waft of that beautiful perfume brings a smile and memories of my gardening Grandmother.
The dainty, pristine white bells also make delightful posies for vases indoors. And they bring that intoxicating scent with them.
Dainty bells with an intoxicating perfume
Convallaria majalis is a woodland plant, and loves creeping about under trees and shrubs, particularly in deciduous shade which mimics it’s native habitat.
Its low habit makes it ideal for growing as a ground cover plant in shaded spots.
Where it gradually spreads to form dense clumps of lush, green foliage.
Treasure for shade
Fair to say that Lily of the Valley either loves you or hates you. It is with you enthusiastically, or it is not there at all.
So if you love Lily of the Valley then make sure you give it the conditions it likes – Shade; lots of leaf litter and mulch; and some water in the spring and summer when it is in busy growth. It loves winter frost.
It is a good idea when planting mature Lily of the Valley plants, to dig some aged animal manure, blood and bone and some complete fertiliser, into the hole before planting. This will give it the tucker needed to make all that scent.
Make a tub of perfume
Lily of the Valley is also very happy in a shaded pot or tub, so you can grow it like / where you grow your mint, and it will fill the tub densely with those delightful little bells and huge perfume.
Then you can move it close to you when it is in bloom, and sniff frequently.
And rabbits and deer wont touch it
SEED SOWING ADVICE:
Sow Convallaria majalis Lily of the Valley seeds at any time of the year.
They depend on having several months of chilling to break their natural dormancy.
So you can sow them indoors in a punnet of good quality seed raising mix, and moisten well.
Then wrap the moist sown punnet in cling-film, and leave in the fridge (not freezer) for 3 months of “pretend winter”.
Before bringing out to a cool, well-lit but shaded position.
Germination will then start after some 2 months. But do not discard the punnet as the seeds will naturally be erratic in their germination rate. Some will come more quickly than others.
Or you can let nature take its course.
Keep the sown seed punnet moist in a cool shade house or shady corner over winter. And let the seeds germinate with the spring.
Do not use any artificial heat in an attempt to germinate them as it may simply disrupt their germination mechanism causing them to enter even deeper dormancy.
SEED COUNT: 3 seeds per pack (seed is scarce)