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Lily of the Valley

Convallaria majus

How can such a tiny flower give off such a tremendous scent? Tiny lily of the valley sends up its lovely little sprays of bell-like white or pale pink flowers each spring. Allow it to spread a little (which it does, so much that it can be a problem) and it will perfume the whole area with its distinctive scent. It also makes adorable, tiny bouquets. It makes a good groundcover in small areas.

Lily of the valley prefers shade and moist soil. In sunny or dry conditions, its leaves will brown. It can easily become invasive, so it's smart to put it in an area where it will be difficult to spread too far, such as a blocked in by a driveway or sidewalk.


Part Sun, Shade



Under 6 inches


6-12 inches wide

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Perennial geranium
One of the longest bloomers in the garden, hardy geranium bears little flowers for months at a time. It produces jewel-tone, saucer-shape flowers and mounds of handsome, lobed foliage. It needs full sun, but otherwise it is a tough and reliable plant, thriving in a wide assortment of soils. Many of the best are hybrids. Perennial geraniums may form large colonies.
For a fall show, plant leadwort. Its gentian-blue late-season flowers often continue to bloom even as the foliage turns brilliant red-orange in fall, making an outstanding autumn display.This plant is also sometimes called plumbago, but it's different from shrubby tropical plumbago. Use it as a groundcover that spreads well when in conditions it likes -- dry sites in full sun to partial shade.
This plant hardly grown 40 years ago is now one of the most commonly grown garden plants. But hosta has earned its spot in the hearts of gardeners -- it's among the easiest plants to grow, as long as you have some shade and ample rainfall.Hostas vary from tiny plants suitable for troughs or rock gardens to massive 4-foot clumps with heart-shape leaves almost 2 feet long that can be puckered, wavy-edged, white or green variegated, blue-gray, chartreuse, emerald-edged -- the variations are virtually endless. Hostas in new sizes and touting new foliage features seem to appear each year. This tough, shade-loving perennial, also known as plaintain lily, blooms with white or purplish lavender funnel-shape or flared flowers in summer. Some are intensely fragrant. Hostas are a favorite of slug and deer.

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