It’s not a remarkable plant… an annoyance to many. It’s even in my “Invasive species of Wisconsin” book. But when Lily of the Valley blooms, I just can’t seem to say goodbye to having it in my garden. It has a delicate stem of flowers, and a sweet fragrance that fills the room. An heirloom plant, that reminds me of the many generations that have walked the ground before me. Lily of the Valley can be found in almost every old neighborhood I’ve been in throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.
It’s easy to see why, because once you’ve got this plant… well there’s a reason it’s on the invasive species list. It’s only real attribute is the bloom. By late summer, the leaves start looking brown and by fall it’s a mess of ugly leaves. Lily of the Valley is always better in an area that’s contained. At my old house it was in a 1′ section between the house and a small sidewalk. The perfect spot because it couldn’t go anywhere. After a few years I learned to just cover it with mulch in the fall to keep the bed looking clean.
At our new house, we found it growing in an over-grown grassy area full of other “invasives.” My daughter, Lily, noticed it when it started blooming and exclaimed her love for it. We giggled as we plucked the stems, because she is indeed “Lily of the Valley”, as we now live on Twin Valley Rd.
Lily of the Valley’s Bouquet with Dame’s Rocket and Goutweed.
Our favorite Lily
Lily of the Valley Sketch