Garden Surprise: Lily of the Valley

I'm always so surprised when I find plants in my garden that aren't weeds. Especially plants that I didn't plant. These tiny little lily of the valley popped up again way way back in the shadiest parts of the yard. A few are popping up underneath hostas. I don't even find weeds in the dense shade underneath hosts. They've also popped up underneath the arborvitae where there's nothing but a bunch of dead leaves. 
 These tiny little flowers are so delicate and beautiful. They smell great, too. So what's not to love?
 Well, just like striking foxglove, they're highly poisonous. Have you ever read a list of poisonous plants like this one or this one? Hydrangeas? Really? It makes you wonder why you don't hear of more deaths by plant. 
I've heard some parents say it's better to have your kids see this stuff up close so they know not to eat it instead of coming across it in someone else's garden. I'm not sure about that, but I haven't pulled up the lily of the valley or the foxglove just yet. I'll just keep repeating myself over and over again all spring and summer, "don't put anything in your mouth unless you ask me first!" I'll do that until I either relax a little or decide it's not worth the worry and pull up the plants. 

How do you feel about growing potentially harmful plants in your garden? Is it worth the risk or not? 

p.s. I've linked up to my first ever link party at Fishtail Cottage Garden Party


Julie Marie said…
Hello Vanessa... and thank you so much for your visit... love love love your Lily of the Valley... they are my birth month flower (May)... and since I am half French, I love their name in French as well... "Muguet"... glad my info about drying herbs helped you... honestly, they are the simplest thing in the world to dry, just do as I posted, and you can't go wrong!... about the poisonous plants... I plant them all anyway... seems like everything in the world is "bad" for us these days... just use common sense is what I always say... and if children are being watched when they are small (as they should be!)... then they would not have a chance to put them in their mouths... happy gardening!... xoxo Julie Marie
Unknown said…
Be careful what you wish for, Vanessa. My garden is overrun with lily of the valley. I just love them anyways.
Vanessa said…
Thanks Julie. That's good advice. Glad to know you plant it all anyway! It seems half the stuff I love is considered deadly! Everything sounds better in French doesn't it?
Vanessa said…
Wow! Your garden must smell really good!
Such a delicate and beautiful flower! A friend just gave me some and I am so excited. I raised 4 children with poisonous plants everywhere (and berries). Educating them from the beginning is best. I just included them in 'nature' walks and asked them to tell me if this or that plant was poisonous or not. They loved learning and once they understood how 'smart' they were, the rest was easy. xoxo
Vanessa said…
Oh that's good! I'll give them a little quiz this afternoon. Thanks Karen.
Stacy said…
What beautiful volunteers you have in your garden! I say keep them if your kids are past the stage of putting everything in their mouths. I only worry about ornamental berries. My little guy thinks they are real berries when we are out and about but I have to tell him not to eat holly berries.
Vanessa said…
Thanks Stacy. Yes, the berries worry me too. My kids are just discovering how good fresh picked veggies and fruit taste and I worry that they'll be a little too adventurous. Always something to worry about!
yay - so glad you linked up!!! love the fragrance of the Lily of the Valley...I have bunnies, chickens, dogs and kids - nature tells the animals to not eat it, I tell my kids never to eat anything in the garden because they'll get bugs in their mouth (that seems to do the trick) lol xoxo, tracie
Vanessa said…
Now there's a solution! I love all these great answers about dealing with poisonous plants!

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