by Connie Oswald Stofko
Tiny yet powerfully fragrant, the lily of the valley (also called May bells) is a favorite for spring gardens.
It is the flower for birthdays in May and symbolizes sweetness, purity and return of happiness.
The scientific name for the plant is Convallaria Majalis.
Lily of the valley is easy to grow. It is a perennial, so it comes back every year.
It spreads and keeps its green leaves all summer long, so it can be used as a ground cover. The plants spread by sending out runners, so it can take over a wide area.
I have decided I want to keep my lily of the valley more contained, so I dug a hole and set an old flower box in the hole. Then I replanted the lily of the valley inside the flower box. (See photo above.)
My lily of the valley is just beginning to bloom now. Because this time of the year can be cool and rainy, don’t plant lily of the valley in a spot where you’d have to put on hip waders and cross a muddy expanse of yard just to get a glimpse of them. Instead, select a spot where you’ll be sure to encounter them, such as along a sidewalk.
Lily of the valley does well in full sun or part shade. Do you have a tree that hasn’t completely leafed out yet? Consider lily of the valley for underneath the branches of that tree.
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