Tuesday, May 01, 2018

It Starts Small

I find that long before the peonies burst forth in huge lacy circles and long before roses open their silky petals, the smallest of flowers bloom to welcome all the little pollinators.  The sweat bees, the tiniest of blue butterflies and even the little spiders all welcome those tiny flowers at your feet.

A corner of my garden has been planted with Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis).  This little flowering plant is very popular.  The fragrance is so strong that it compels you to fall to the ground and place your face close to the little bells.  Mine are pinkish instead of the traditional white.

They are highly poisonous but I do see big bumble bees visiting the bells.  Like so many of the tiniest flowers, they last only a few weeks.  It came from Europe where it grows in the nooks in valleys.  The fall it has red berries that are also poisonous.

The bells have a surface that looks waxy.  They grow close to the ground and spread easily after a year or two and may need to be controlled, but I do not find it badly invasive.  Mine like the partial shade that they get under the tulip tree at the end of the flower bed.  The little bulbs can be forced indoors for fragrance and then planted outside when they are done blooming.  Maybe next year I will dig some up and bring a pot of them inside!

Post a Comment