Lily of the Valley - Convallaria majalis
As its name might imply, Lily of the Valley plants tend to prefer partially shady locations such as you might find in a valley. In nature, Lily of the Valley can often be found in shady wooded areas that experience warm summers. In the garden, this perennial with sweet-smelling flowers will grow in zones 2-9. They grow from rhizomes, meaning that they will die back in the autumn and regrow again in the spring. Lily of the Valley are extremely easy to grow, often requiring little more than moist soil and some shade to reach their full potential. Desert dwellers shouldn't feel left out, however. While Lily of the Valley does prefer a damp soil, they can adapt to a dryer location. If you want to grow your Lily of the Valley with less water, it's a good idea to taper watering off slowly so that it has time to get used to less moisture. If you want to grow Lily of the Valley in full shade, this is also something that can be done by watering less frequently than you would do in a shady location. Lily of the Valley flowers are bell-shaped and are usually white in color. However, there are some varieties with pink or cream colored flowers. The flowers grow on a stalk that reaches 8 or 9 inches in height. The individual plants grow to be about 8 to 10 inches across and around 7 to 10 inches in height. When grown close to one another, a bed of Lily of the Valley plants can resemble a veritable green carpet. For more variety when Lily of the Valley isn't actively flowering, mix a variety that has all-green leaves with a variety that has variegated leaves with green and white stripes.