Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is one of my favorite garden perennials – it’s delicate white flowers herald a unique fragrance which I always associate with the first days of summer.  The scent is sweet, although not overbearing like that of honeysuckle or wisteria.

Lily of the Valley

A woodland species, lily of the valley is not actually a lily but a member of the asparagus family, and is considered to be poisonous to pets and people. 

It flowers in June here in Canada, although in other countries earlier in the spring.   In France, May 1 is considered Lily of the Valley day, where vendors set up their stalls in the streets to sell bundles brought in from the countryside.    

Lily of the Valley - Janice MacLeod book

from A Paris Year – by Janice MacLeod

Lily of the Valley - Janice MacLeod book

from A Paris Year – by Janice MacLeod

I inherited my now thriving patch from a free clump given to me by a fellow gardener. 

Lily of the Valley

No social distancing here….

Warning – it is an invasive species, spread through underground rhizomes, something I always appreciate in my garden where so much withers and dies, usually from neglect.   A hardy plant, it can take care of itself, although it prefers a shady spot.

Often a favorite of bridal bouquets, like Kate Middleton’s, even a spray or two adds a delicate touch of white.

Lily of the Valley - Kate Middleton

I like to put a few springs in a bud vase and perfume my rooms. Lily of the ValleyWhile the smell may only last a few days, you can recapture the mood with scented products.   I remember wearing a fragrance by Coty called Muguet-des-bois, many years ago.   

Lily of the Valley Coty - Muguet des bois2)

Scented hand soaps are nice too – especially as we’re washing our hands so frequently – a little dose of springtime year round!

Lily of the Valley

In the language of flowers, lily of the valley means the return of happiness, perhaps a signal of sunnier days ahead. 

PS.   The third week of May, this beautiful blue flower bloomed right in front of my lily of the valley. 

Blue flower near Lily of the Valley

I don’t know what it is and don’t even remember planting it – possibly it was from the horticultural sale two years ago — but it’s unfortunate they didn’t bloom at the same time, as blue and white is always a lovely color combination.   It’s nice to know that even in this time of COVID monotony, the garden can still hold surprises.  

PS:  Speaking of old and new, I’m still on the old editor.  When I decline, not now, it allows me to continue with the old, but I’m not sure if this is a permanent thing or if I haven’t been switched yet?   Is anyone else still using the old?   I would have thought they would have migrated everyone by now?  

  

 

34 thoughts on “Lily of the Valley

  1. Ally Bean says:

    I like your lily of the valley photos. They are delicate little flowers that go unnoticed around here. Didn’t know it was part of the asparagus family.

    I’m still using the classic WP editor. It is to be available until January 2022. When it goes, I may go with it. The new block editor gets poor reviews and I’m in no mood to deal it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Ally! But to use classic WP do you have to decline each time you post, or is there a place where you can stay with it once and for all? I should email the Happiness Engineer I spoke with a month ago, but I’m too lazy. That’s my problem too….I know I could learn it, but I’m not in the mood to right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. brilliantviewpoint says:

    Beautiful – I love Lily of the Valley too. Such a dainty flower. I am still on OLD editor. Tried new one, but I couldn’t write my post quickly as their is a learning curve with anything new. So, will stay with Classic until I must move to the Block editor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Dainty! That’s the exact word I was looking for! I’m surprised that WP hasn’t made us all move yet, as I only found one person who has switched and she switched last year voluntarily?

      Liked by 1 person

      • brilliantviewpoint says:

        I don’t think it is bad, I just think it is different. Look at Apple/Outlook, etc., they are constantly making us change whether we want to or not. There is that learning curve. I am lazy and just want to quickly log in and write my post, that’s why I haven’t switched over — I tried and could not find things. I might give it another go. PUSH myself technologically! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dave says:

    Beautiful, delicate flowers. They remind me of small bells the way they hang upside down in your first couple of photos. Love the “return of happiness” translation and the light blue variety. I don’t think we could grow these at elevation here in Colorado (+7,500 ft.) but regardless I’m a fan now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I’m not sure what the blue flower is yet Dave, but it looks like bells too! I’ve sent the picture to a horticultural expert I know. Not sure re the elevation issue either, but it seems to grow in wooded areas? It’s pretty anyway, and most importantly takes care of itself!

      Like

  4. Jo Shafer says:

    Hi, Joni! Last things first: I, too, have been declining with the “not now” option for the new editor, so I’m still with the old. Suits me just fine. I’m not sure what the other system would be like for me.

    About fragrance: I didn’t realize that Yardley now offers Lily of the Valley. I grew up with the old-fashioned Lavender my sweet Grandmama always used, mostly the soaps and powder. Yardley also offers soap in an oatmeal-almond scent. I’ll look for Yardley’s Lily of the Valley products at Amazon since I cannot shop at my favorite boutiques.

    My gardens are my “escape hatch” in early mornings (especially the herb garden) and later in the evenings after supper, to sit on the courtyard surrounded by ferns and geraniums.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Jo! I snapped the Yardley products at my local drugstore/pharmacy. They also had the Yardley lavender lineup, but I found the Yardley lily one too sweet. I liked Crabtree and Evelyn’s Lily of the Valley but it’s discontinued now. Usually I just check Winners for my liquid soaps but I haven’t been in months, even though it is now open again I haven’t been brave enough to go! I haven’t bought a single thing for the garden this year, no flowers at all, just $8 worth of veggies, most of which I tore out today as there was a nest of baby rabbits in the middle of it, and I didn’t like the idea of them sharing my lettuce! It’s the first year in decades I haven’t bought any geraniums for my pots!

      Like

    • annieasksyou says:

      Hi.
      Love the lilies. Interesting to know they’re in the asparagus family but are poisonous to people and pets.

      I’m still in Classic—glad to hear we have time before it goes. Yes, I must decline their kind invitation to be the new kid on the Block each time.

      Good to see you’re upright—hopefully pain-free!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Ha! New kid on the block – I like that! Yes, I am able to sit now at the computer and am pain-free again, and being very careful not to lift anything!

        Like

  5. ruthsoaper says:

    We have a big patch of Lily of the Valley growing in the woods at the farm. I suspect they started there because the neighbor throws her yard waste in the wood line there. (There is also some daffodils there) It’s invasive for sure – the patch is getting bigger very quickly. I’ll have to walk by now and see if it is blossoming. So happy to see your post – hopefully you won’t be forced to switch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Ruth – my back is much better and I can sit in front of the computer comfortably now. Your lily of the valley might be done already as mine bloomed early June, but I couldn’t think of anything to blog about this week so I used some pictures I had taken then. Your own woodland garden sounds lovely! I have not found one person, other than Linda who is on the new editor and she switched last year voluntarily.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Anne says:

    I am definitely sticking with the old WP! I write my posts in MSWord and paste them in – tried the Block format and found it so difficult to insert my photographs and cannot help thinking “why try to fix what ain’t broke”? I have really enjoyed reading about Lily of the Valley – my late Mother loved its scent in soaps especially. Thank you for the sweet memories evoked by your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Anne! I sometimes will compose a rough draft in Word and wondered how that would work with the blocks. Hopefully I’ll never have to find out!

      Like

  7. indianeskitchen says:

    Wow did you teach me something new! I never knew they belonged to the asparagus family and that they were poisonous! But I did know they are VERY invasive. I try killing them off every year and they just keep coming back!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Linda Schaub says:

    Joni- the Lily of the Valley look so pretty and delicate here, but don’t be fooled as they are hardy, just like Snow-in-the-Mountain. Both of these hardy flowers came from my neighbor and not as a “gift” but because they encroached from their yard, through the fence. The Lily of the Valley was many years ago and my father got rid of it after the neighbor moved – she had planted them on the property line and they encroached over here, over there … everywhere. So got rid of that and then Marge moved in and planted Snow-in-the-Mountain – it is bad as it is mostly leaves and right now has some stalks with frilly flowers shooting out of the leaves. I left the frilly stuff for Homer (if he shows up again). I remember the cologne and also wore it for a time – there was that and and Heaven Scent were big around the same time. A friend of Carol’s sent me some Oxalis which you know the name as shamrocks, since you’re Irish. She lives in North Carolina and they grow year around and Betty Jean says they are very invasive. But here in Michigan, they have to be treated like an annual and taken into the house to overwinter inside.. I don’t know about bringing them (3 pots) into the house with bugs (I have enough angst with ants). She mailed them, all different leaf types and blossom types and they are like tiny bulbs. I planted them in pots last weekend and this morning I saw someone was in the dirt. and had dug holes – hopefully it didn’t chow down on the bulbs too Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I don’t think my patch will spread much more as there’s no place really for it to go, as it’s in a border near the house and the grass is in front of it. I remember Heaven Sent too! Good luck with the shamrocks, but no to overwintering in the house!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        The original homeowner next door had the Lily of the Valley all along the side of her house where I have the garden with the mulch now- about three feet wide. And Marge had the Snow-in-the-Mountain and she also had Mint for her husband as he liked iced tea. Both of those came through the fence and this is now in a lava rock garden, so pretty amazing it pushed through the heavy liner, but it is invasive. So will the shamrock plants, but Betty Jean’s grow year-round. The squirrels have already dug holes in the dirt in the three pots where the I put the shamrock bulbs. Did some Miracle-Gro Bloom Booster on everything last week. Was going to do a little more when I came home today thinking to fertilize them again to take advantage of the rain, but they are calling for almost two inches of rain this evening/overnight, and that might be wasteful. Hope you are not getting this severe weather we have again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I am hearing the farmers are already in dire straits and no way is their corn going to be knee-high by Fourth of July. The weather is beyond strange – we got a torrential rain twice, once around 11:00-12:00 hour and then again overnight. We got some more rain this afternoon, but not like last night. That soaker from Tuesday helped a little too.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. J P says:

    These bring back memories of my last home, a small bungalow where beds of these lined two shady sides of the house. They thrived where they were and looked very nice.

    I am still on classic too, and keep opting out of Block. I figure the longer I wait, the more bugs they will fix.

    Liked by 1 person

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