Lily of the Valley Bulbs
Lily of the Valley or “Fairy Bells” are a quintessential english plant.
Lily of the Valley or “Fairy Bells” is an intrinsically English plant, which spreads to cover woodland floors. These perfumed hardy perennials have delicately arched, nodding heads of small, bell-shaped flowers May-June, followed by red berries shortly after. Flowers have many layers of meaning for people throughout history, which tie in with its time of flowering and religious associations. May’s official flower is the lily of the valley and this association comes, in part, from the traditional lore that nightingales won’t sing until the lily of the valley blooms each May.
Their unique shape led them to be called “fairy bells” in Celtic cultures, and it was believed that only fairies could hear them ringing. It is occasionally known as glovewort, due to its use in treating sore or chapped hands. It also makes a good natural dye, changing cloth to either yellow or green, depending on which season the leaves are gathered. It is considered a symbol of purity and humility, sweetness, and renewed happiness! Richly scented, bell-shaped white flowers. Ht. 23cm.
Naturalising bulbs is growing enormously in popularity, and the range of varieties that people are trying is broadening. You may think of ‘naturalising’ as growing bulbs in the lawn, but it’s equally applicable to growing them in a way where you leave them to their own devises to spread and seed themselves under trees or shrubs or in a woodland setting.
- Lily of the Valley or “Fairy Bells” are a quintessential english plant.
- Naturalising bulbs is growing in popularity & “Fairy Bells” Bulbs are one of the most popular.
- The official flower of May, these flowers are truly perfect in flower beds & flower borders.
Looking after your Lily of the Valley Bulbs
Lily of the Valley requires watering regularly throughout the growing season until it is well established. Plant in a rich, well-drained soil, for optimum results grow in a sunny spot or partially shaded area of your garden. Be careful if you are growing Lily of the Valley in pots as they tend to have extensive root systems so choose a large pot and make sure it has plenty of drainage holes.
Aftercare - Easy:False
Aftercare - Moderate:False
Aftercare - High:False
Likes Acidic Soil:False
Beds & Borders:True
Partial or Full Shade:True
Plant your bulbs at least twice as deep as their height. So, a bulb that is 5cm tall will do best planted at a depth of 10cm. The exception being tulip bulbs which need a depth of about 20cm. This will prevent them for getting slugged and will encourage flowering year after year.
Plant bulbs in ordinary plastic pots that will in turn fit inside your more attractive containers. Then, when they’ve finished flowering they can be removed, leaving the container ready for summer planting.
When planting in fairly deep containers, try layering your bulbs. Start by placing the largest bulbs at the bottom, add a layer of compost and then the next sized bulbs. Repeat until you have the placed the smallest bulbs at the top, covered with a layer of compost.
Bulbs don’t like having damp bottoms (does anyone?) so make sure containers have plenty of drainage holes. When planting direct choose a well-drained spot where the soil is rich with hummus.
When planting direct go for a natural look as opposed to planting in rows. The best way of achieving this is by gently rolling a handful of bulbs over the soil and plant where they land.
If planting in a lawn remember that bulb foliage needs to be left to die down naturally. This will delay your lawn mowing activity so choose a spot where a clump of longer grass mixed with dying bulb foliage won’t look too bad. Alternatively, go ahead and mow, replacing the bulbs in the autumn.
Allowing bulbs to self-seed beneath trees and amongst shrubs means they will naturalise into drifts of stunning colour.
To avoid digging the bulbs up by accident or worse, spearing them with a fork, mark where they are planted.
Make planting easy by using a bulb planting tool. Both long and short handled versions are available. The added bonus being that the correct planting depths are clearly marked.