Friday, June 21, 2019


Lily of the Valley

Another soggy morning here at the flower farm after another 2.4" of rain over the past 30 hours. This time the Winooski River did not come over the banks but the ground is wet just the same. I just dug 50 holes for sunflowers which I have postponed planting for as long as I dare wait. I am hoping that the wet soil and a couple 80 degree days coming this Sunday and Monday might push them along. I plant hills of the giant flower types just as attention getters but plant the Pro-Cut series in different colors for cut flowers. I always buy my seed from Johnnys in Maine but the way spring has been in the East this Spring, it might still take more than great seed to get nice flowers.

I am writing a quick note this morning after having the fourth person stop here in three days asking for Lily of the Valley. When I was a kid I remember my Dad picking bouquets for my mother as soon as they bloomed. She loved the fragrance and loved to have little vases here and there around the house. When we moved to Vermont in the early 50s I remember my Dad shoveled clumps into cardboard boxes and brought them along. They are probably still doing well up on Church Hill Road in Woodstock where we lived.

My point in writing about them today is to remind everyone that Lily of the Valley (Muguet de Bois), is in the top 5 list of poisonous plants in the east. They have beautiful little white or pink bells and wonderful fragrance, but they are poisonous and will cause spontaneous trouble leading to death. On top of that, they are on the invasive list in many states and over a short time will take over your gardens. People use them as a ground cover but I ask that you consider the less favorable attributes before planting them. Please. If you have children, think again about growing them.

Writing from Vermont Flower Farm where summer is welcomed but a few days of warmer weather would be nice. Come visit us at 2263 US 2, Marshfield Vermont. We are here 7 days a week through October.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener