Saturday, May 2, 2009

Convallaria majilis- Lily of the Valley

For years we had trouble keeping Lily of the Valley alive. Not sure why because it was in the 'perfect place'. It finally died out. We got some of the plain green kind 2 years ago, a 'gift' in a bag of leaves that city brings us to use as mulch. Guess someone had too much and they just threw it away with the leaves. It is planted in almost full sun and is doing extremely well.
What does do well for us, and has for years, are some of the variegated ones. This first one has an edge variegation. and is called Convallaria majilis 'Variegata'. Another of those quite descriptive, but exceedingly unimaginative names. The edge will be more distinct in more sun and more distinct at the beginning of the season. This one spreads rampantly and I always have plenty of it to sell or give away.
The second one we grow is Convallaria majilis 'Albo Striata', this despite the fact that it has yellow/gold stripes and not white. It spreads a little less enthusiastically, but it does spread. You will find a few unvariegated leaves and you just remove them.
Flowers on both are white with that unmistakable Lily of the Valley scent. My favorite perfume back in high school, when I still wore such stuff, as Muguet des Bois, French for lily of the valley. I still like the scent. Enought nostalgia for one morning.
Hopefully the weather will be better for garden guests today than it was yesterday when it was alternately cloudy, rainy, sunny, hot, windy - you name it.

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