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Remembering Lily of the Valley

(36 Posts)
Bigred18 Tue 06-Oct-20 03:30:55

I remember these and the beautiful perfume from my days living in England. My local florist here in Sydney recently had some for sale - $14.99 for one flower! I'd have loved to buy but not at that price, but I did have a long sniff.

CanadianGran Tue 06-Oct-20 03:38:29

I have it in my garden; it is one of my favourites for spring. I'm not sure of your garden climate zone, but can you order some plants for your garden? That way you can enjoy the sweet scent every year.

They make such nice posies. I use a champagne flute as a small vase. Beautiful.

BlueBelle Tue 06-Oct-20 04:08:46

I have a whole garden ful in the front of my house a beautiful looking flower a beautiful perfume BUT all parts highly poisonous
First the bluebells take over my garden and as they die the lilies of the valley start arriving

TwiceAsNice Tue 06-Oct-20 06:33:18

I didn’t realise lily of the valley was poisonous I had some in my wedding bouquet they do have a beautiful scent.

BlueBelle Tue 06-Oct-20 06:40:47

‘All parts of the plant are potentially poisonous, including the red berries which may be attractive to children. If ingested, the plant can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and irregular heart beats’.

Grandmabatty Tue 06-Oct-20 07:37:23

I was given some by a neighbour for a new bed. They haven't flowered yet so maybe next year. I love the scent. I'm another one who didn't know they were poisonous. Thank you for the information.

NanKate Tue 06-Oct-20 07:38:43

I know talcum is not fashionable now but I often buy one smelling of lily of the valley. Maybe you can buy some in Australia.

MamaCaz Tue 06-Oct-20 08:02:52

I love Lily of the valley, but not in my garden!

Some managed to establish itself in my garden a few years ago (no idea where it came from).
At first, I was really pleased, but within a couple of years it had become an uncontrollable weed, growing between the paving, amongst the roots of shrubs, and spreading out into the lawn - everywhere.

I decided it had to go, but my goodness, it took some doing.

Maybe I should have removed all the other plants instead, and set up a business selling the Lily of the Valley! grin

fiorentina51 Tue 06-Oct-20 08:39:08

An elderly friend gave me a large clump to plant in my garden 40 years ago. I split it in half and gave half to my neighbour next door. Hers flourished whilst mine all died.
My friend died 20 years ago and so did my neighbour a few months later. Her house was empty for 6 months prior to sale so my husband kindly nipped over the fence and dug up 6 plants for me to put in our garden.
They have spread like wildfire I'm pleased to say as I love to see them in the spring and they are a nice reminder of my dear friend.
Good job we rescued a few as our new neighbours spread tarmac over the area where they grew to allow for extra parking.

Liz46 Tue 06-Oct-20 08:41:37

It will probably come through the tarmac!

Ellianne Tue 06-Oct-20 08:45:49

They love Lily of the Valley in France and have a festival day named after it. I used to get handed sprigs of it at the end of a supermarket shop and in a restaurant on May 1st. (Just the ladies, of course.) Lovely fragrance.

Grandma70s Tue 06-Oct-20 08:50:19

My father gave my mother a bunch of lily of the valley every May 1st. I think this is a French tradition. The French for lily of the valley is muguet, which seems an ugly word for a beautiful flower and scent.

There was a Dior perfume I used for years that had that scent - either Miss Dior or Diorissimo, can’t remember now. Lovely.

Grandma70s Tue 06-Oct-20 08:52:09

Ellianne - crossed posts on similar theme!

JuliaM Tue 06-Oct-20 09:07:57

This is a plant that simply refuses to grow in our Clay type of soil, even after numerous efforts have been made to add various composts and grit to aid drainage. My late father could grow it easily under the shade of his fruit trees, but never in full Sun, and without any problem of it spreading like a weed!
In fact, it took almost 25years to grow a decent sized bed of the stuff!
Quite a few of the local Garden centres sell a range of natural floral fragrances and Toiletries Including Lily of the Valley in their gift shop. Bronley used to produce one, as did the National Trust gift shop, and English Lavender outlets.

annodomini Tue 06-Oct-20 09:11:28

I've always loved lily of the valley. It grew profusely in my granny's garden and is one of the scents of my childhood. I wanted to have it in my bridal bouquet but it doesn't grow in Kenya sad. I've tried to grow it in every garden I've had in England and it just doesn't like me. I thought it would flourish in my present garden, in a shaded spot, but still no luck. Help!

Ellianne Tue 06-Oct-20 09:15:12

Beautiful wedding bouquet.

Callistemon Tue 06-Oct-20 09:15:19

I remember lily of the valley growing in a small bed under the front window when I was a child. It would sometimes disappear and appear in next door's garden then reappear in ours the following year.
Mum would pick it and we often had a small vase of it indoors. It does smell lovely.
I haven't managed to grow it in any of my own gardens.

Thank you for telling me it's poisonous, Bluebelle, I won't try growing it again as we have dog visitors..

sodapop Tue 06-Oct-20 09:19:40

Yes its a french tradition to give a small posy of Lily of the valley to friends and neighbours on May 1st. .
My mother also had it in her wedding bouquet.

trustgone4sure Tue 06-Oct-20 09:28:44

Lily of the valley was my mothers favourite flower,sadly she isn`t with us anymore and she would always tell us not to touch it as it is poisonous.

Maggiemaybe Tue 06-Oct-20 10:22:57

Interesting to hear that it’s poisonous, I didn’t know that. When we came to look at this house before we bought it, the communal area stretching the length of the street had lily of the valley all along it in the back border. It smelt divine and looked beautiful. By the time we moved in one of the bossier neighbours had grubbed it all up because it was “taking over”. I was upset at the time (as were others on the street) and we did try to grow it again recently without success, but it sounds like Bossy Boots did us a favour! I’ve had to issue dire warnings to the grandsons this year about the foxgloves, that’s enough to cope with!

maydonoz Tue 06-Oct-20 10:45:44

I also love this flower and it was part of my wedding bouquet forty three years ago. I also love the perfume and use it when I can but also didn't realise the flower was poisonous, we learn something new every day!

lucyanne Tue 06-Oct-20 11:04:55

White and pink Lily of the valley are one of my favorite flowers and happy memories of childhood. There perfume fantastic. I love to pick a bunch for a table decoration. They grow in any type of soil from sandy to clay if planted only 1/8" deep and love dappled shade.
I like the way they travel around the garden. Old shoots do not re flower they send new shoots out each year.
Bigred18 look for Lily of the Valley in someone's garden and ask for a root. They can also be propagated by seed flowering in the 2nd year.

As for being poisonous to dogs most plants and bulbs are, so we wouldn't have gardens or take dogs into woods if they are not trained or on a lead and frightened of them being poisoned!
All lily, Oleander, rhubarb leaves, Hydrangea, Daffodils, Bluebells, Amaryllis, Ivy, apple seeds, Cyclamen, yew etc. can cause problems if eaten by dogs. As can chocolate! Check out plants.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 06-Oct-20 11:09:07

I adore lily of the valley but I simply can’t get it established in my garden it drives me mad!!

Gwenisgreat1 Tue 06-Oct-20 11:12:03

I love lily of the valley, such a beautiful delicate perfume. Unfortunately my gardener who happens to be DH cannot stand the stuff.
Years ago I used to wear the perfume muguet des bois. One day I arrived at the office to be met by a stench. I asked the lady I worked with what it was, she told me 'I got your favourite perfume, Mugget of Boys" - she'd drenched herself in it. Kind of put me off wearing it again.

Liz46 Tue 06-Oct-20 11:13:07

I ripped it up because it was rampant and was straying into our neighbour's garden but bits of it still appear.