Of The Valley – Convallaria
Flowers white in June
For flowering the Lily of the Valley in the open
ground, the amateur requires neither pots nor
glass, “retarded” or “frozen”
The best way to begin a bed is to persuade some
friend to let you fork up some slumps from his
well-filled border, and to transfer them at once
to your own ground.
Failing this source, but strong clumps off a respectable
nurseryman – not imported crowns.
The soil must be made thoroughly good and rich,
but not rank, with leaf-mould and old manure;
the site should be rather shaded than otherwise;
the north side of the wall is better than the
Years ago a plot of Lily of the Valley used to
bloom finely every Summer Term in a dank-looking
area under the walls of the Clarendon Building
at Oxford; the moral is evident, but the plants
probably had close individual attention.
If the bed in the open garden thrives, the crowns
will in three or four years time grow into too
close a mass; they must then be forked up, and
the best pieces replanted in a fresh position.
November is the best time for such reconstitutions.
After the flowering is over, the beds should not
be left to look after themselves; weeds must be
carefully got out (no easy matter, as the hoe
cannot be used in an established plantation) and
waterings, plain or with liquid manure, will help
the crowns to make vigorous growth and store up
energy for the next season’s display.
In autumn the dead leafage should be carefully
pulled away, and a light top-dressing of leaf-mould
and old hot-bed manure scattered amongst the crowns.
See also : Convallaria