Monday, 20 September 2010

Alliums - Flowering Onions

'Purple Sensation'


Three of my favourite Alliums. These are the ones I'm currently growing in my garden. I also have a drumstick Allium, but neglected to take a photo this year. Silly me!
I'm always on the lookout for more of these beautiful bulbs and will plant a few more varieties this fall. I love the fact that they're deer resistant, which is pretty important here where I live, and to many other gardeners too, I suspect!
Alliums are one of my favourite plants to grow for many reasons. They tolerate poor garden soil, and establish themselves very easily. Once that's done, they'll naturalize well, too!
Allium is the latin name for garlic, and they're part of the onion family.
There are so many varieties, shapes, colours and sizes of Alliums available now. Purple Sensation grows to about 3 feet. Karataviense is a great one for the front of a border since it only grows to about 12 inches, and has a nice big flower head. Caeruleum, which is also sometimes called the blue drumstick, grows 2 to 3 feet tall and is a lovely soft blue colour.
Alliums look great in the garden. The showy globe shape makes an excellent cut flower, and will dry well, too, however, I've never had the heart to cut them when they look so nice growing in the garden.
I've saved the seeds from all of the ones you see here, and now is the time of year to plant them. They're easy to grow from seed, but will take a few years before they get to the point of flowering. But that's okay. I'm a patient gardener!
These hardy bulbs will tolerate my zone 4 (Canada) or zone 3 (USDA) Garden, but they do prefer a mostly sunny location. A rule of thumb when planting bulbs is to dig them in about 3 times the depth of the bulb. Very easy, and nature does the rest!
Like most bulbs, after flowering, the foliage needs to die back naturally. This is when the bulb takes in it's nutrients and food for next year's growth.
Happy Gardening!


Blu said...

I love Alliums, so pretty!

Wall Flower Studio said...

Me too, Blu! I also like the fact that the deer don't like them! ; )

Kellie Dobbie said...

Wow! I didn't realize Alliums looked this great! And also the fact that they are easy to grow even on poor soil.

Wall Flower Studio said...

Hi Kellie,
Thanks for commenting! It's much appreciated.
I love any flower that will tolerate poor soil. Alliums especially look great en masse! :)

Janet at New Moon Glass said...

Ahh..just what I need...something else to plant in my garden! I like all three...

Wall Flower Studio said...

I suggest planting all three in your garden, Janet! Saves the stress having to choose! That's likely the reason I don't go to garden centres as often as I'd like. ; )
Thanks for stopping by!