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. If you do grow them in a lawn, just remember to allow plant leaves to die down for at least 6 weeks after they finish flowering.
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.
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.
Orders are despatched promptly by post or parcel carrier. Seasonal items such as plants are sent separately with the estimated delivery times stated against each variety both in our catalogue and on our website.
Small items are sent by Royal Mail and larger items by courier. When ordering large items please provide your phone number so that the courier can contact you if necessary.
Please note that when several items are ordered they may not all be delivered at the same time.
Packet seed only will incur a carriage charge of £2.99.
All other products incur a carriage charge of £4.99.
If your order comprises of a combination of carriage charges then a combined carriage charge of £6.99 will be applied.
Suttons wants to ensure that all of our plants are delivered to you in the best condition for planting. Unfortunately there are some postcodes that take longer to deliver to and therefore we can not guarantee this, so we are sorry to advise that we do not ship live plants to the following areas; HS, IV41-IV56, KW15-KW17, PA34, PA41-48, PA60-PA78, PA80, PH40-PH44, TR21-TR25, ZE1-ZE3.
Non Standard Deliveries
Northern Ireland, Channel islands, Isle of Man & Isles of Scilly & areas of Scotland with postcodes starting AB30 plus, HS, IV1 to IV40 plus, KA27, KA28, KW1 to KW16, PA20 to PA38, PA41 to PA80, PH10-PH40, PH42 to PH50 and ZE: For orders weighing less than 2KG standard carriage charge applies. Where the weight of the large order is 2k to 10kg the carriage charge is £9.99. Where the weight of the order is over 10kg the carriage charge is £14.99.
Republic of Ireland: For orders weighing less than 2kg standard carriage charge applies. Where the weight of the order is 2kg and above the carriage charge is £14.99.
Other EU countries: We can only deliver packet flower and vegetable seed to other EU countries. The carriage is £4.99 per order.
Very Large items
If ordering any large items marked a surcharge of £5 per item will be applied. These items are also not available to areas and postcodes shown under non standard deliveries. We may need to contact you regarding delivery so please provide a contact number with all orders.
Prices include VAT where applicable.
We reserve the right to contact you and advise an additional charge where necessary and are happy to quote for carriage of specific products to more remote areas. Some items may not be available to all areas.
We reserve the right to revise any carriage charges in the event of carrier price increase or other unforeseen circumstances. We will always advise of the carriage charge before payment is taken.
All Suttons products should reach you in perfect condition, just as they left us. If you are dissatisfied in any way with their condition on arrival, please let us know within 14 days. We are only liable for the cost of the goods as quoted on the website plus the cost of delivery if the goods are faulty.
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