Sunday, September 13, 2009

Time to plant muguet des bois

I know it’s hard to think about spring; summer has just ended and autumn has already arrived in some parts of the world. But I wanted to remind everyone that this is the time to plant muguet des bois. If you remember on May 1, I posted about May Day when sprigs of Lily of the Valley are exchanged or given as tokens of friendship.

I have a small patch in my garden where the fragrant muguet des bois grows so every May Day I am able to snip sprigs, place them in tiny glass vases, and give them to my friends. I purchased my small glass vase, pictured here, at Target (sorry, they're not available online so there is no link). But you are just as likely to find something at IKEA, a craft store, or yard sale. Any container that is just a few inches high with a narrow neck will be perfect for holding a few sprigs of the fragrant flower.

Would you like to enjoy and share your own muguet des bois next May Day? If so, you'll need to plant now. If you don’t have a place in your garden, you can grow Lily of the Valley in a container, and, if you can’t wait until spring you can even force them indoors during the cold winter months. Just a note that the plants can be toxic for pets and small children if ingested, so take care where you plant. Click here for excellent information about ordering, planting, and forcing Lily of the Valley bulbs.

Bonne chance!


  1. How embarrassing, I didn't know that. I love them. They were in the garden outside my bedroom window when I was growing up.

    I think the French tradition is charming and like you bring out my tiny vases to hold them.

    I'll get some next weekend.

    Merci, merci,

  2. I tried to find bulbs at my garden center yesterday, but no luck! I will intensify my efforts in the coming days.

  3. I found a place that sells the bulbs for what seems to be a reasonable rate, PLUS if you sign up for their email newsletter, they instantly send you a $10 code for your first order (no minimum purchase). I'm going in!

  4. Shoot. I forgot to give the URL:

  5. So you are going to plant them? You will be so happy come spring!!

  6. Yes, I'm going to plant them indoors, then transplant them outside after they're "spent." I'm so glad you mentioned muguet. I mean to do this EVERY year and forget.

    And you, are you planting?

  7. P.S. The first apartment my husband and I had together had in the backyard a massive border of hostas, with clusters of muguet des bois around the trunk of a massive oak tree. I would pick just a few stems, and their perfume would fill our 900 sf apartment. Incroyable.

  8. M, I believe it. These tiny flowers are so fragrant, especially in a small indoor space.

  9. It's 2014. Just found you. Hope you are still blogging. I'm another Francophile who just was given a pot of sprouting lily of the valley plants from my sister Anne, who remembers them fro our growing-up garden. Good memories! And now I've found your blog! Marguerite