Lily of the valley, ‘convallaria majalis‘
“Lily of the Valley” have clusters of small white, bell-shaped flowers that hang from a dainty stalk. There may be 10 – 12 flowers on each stalk flowers. They bloom in May here in Michigan, and are sometimes called “May Bells”. Besides being gorgeous, they have an incredible, sweet fragrance. I do love this old-fashioned, hardy perennial.
I was given just a few plants from my daughter’s garden bed many years ago. I dug a hole in an area with mostly shade and a bit of filtered sunlight, planted it and have done nothing since; other than enjoy it’s beauty … and watch it spread!
Our Lily of the Valley has thrived and multiplied into a large area with many stands. Some people consider it invasive, but we haven’t experienced that. If it gets into an area that we don’t prefer we just pull it out. We’ve found it o be very manageable. It’s considered a ground cover, even though it’s not low to the ground and creeping. It is compact, fills in tightly and keeps weed growth down. The first year planted it may have been watered a few times when we had dry spells, other than that this no-maintenance beauty survives completely on rain water, year after year.
The base of the tree above, with western sun providing filtered evening light, has been a great mostly-shady location for Lily of the Valley, Impatiens and Hosta to thrive. Sadly, between the deer and ground hog, by mid-summer the leaves of these Hosta plants and the Impatiens’ blooms are eaten every year, but not the Lily. They apparently know that it’s toxic to them.
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett