At a time when thoughts are perhaps looking forward to next year’s garden I thought I would promote one of my many ‘favourite plants’ I have in my garden. If you are browsing the plant catalogues perhaps this post may just tempt you to consider growing Alliums. You may need to pour up a coffee for this post. Sorry, I just love to chat about plants and have enjoyed many planting schemes over the years in my garden and those of family and friends.
Christophii, Purple Sensation and Silver Queen shown above, left to right, show why the Allium has become a favourite of many garden designers in show gardens for a number of years now. The globes of flower are great accents of both form and colour. Once plants appear in show gardens they often become fashionable. I have to say though it wasn’t a show garden that got me hooked. It was a visit to the great plantswoman, Beth Chatto’s Garden outside Colchester where I first saw this plant twelve years ago. In fact I found many of her plants and planting schemes very inspiring and would strongly recommend a visit there. She has written a number of books and also has a Nursery!
Christophii was the first allium I grew in my garden. Its globes of star-like flowers are just fantastic as they open and then go to seed. I love to watch them through all the stages. The larger photo above, taken of my front garden, shows a deep charcoal grey pot on the right hand side which has a group planting. This really makes an impact at the gate entrance to my back garden especially with the dark wood stain in the background.
Purple Sensation is the perfect scale of flower for my front garden and looks brilliant in drifts of planting as you can see in the photos above. By the time it changes to seed heads the grasses grow up to meet it and it looks like it is just dancing on top of them. It compliments the grasses so well.
The opening flowers hold so much interest for me too as they all come into flower at slightly different times as you can see with Purple Sensation again in the main photo above. Perhaps as they have a gravel mulch the planting depth could vary and that is how I get this. The smaller photos show the bud of the Christophii and the Drumstick Allium and how it starts green and gets darker until it fully becomes a deep pink colour.
I have given great thought to what photos to show for this post and in all honesty they took some time to find on my PC – I should sort my filing system. However although I have close-up shots with my new camera I felt they and those in the catalogues don’t given anywhere near a good enough feel for this plant as seeing them in a garden setting. So, although some of these photos are old I think they do the trick nicely.
Pale pink with more open globes are a few Alliums at my front door in another much smaller gravel bed with grasses and Euphorbia. They are very delicate as you can see in the photo and bud shown above but I’m afraid I’m not sure what they are – I will need to look up my labels box to see if I have one. The pale blue allium, shown above, was seen growing in my back garden all on its lonely – I must have moved another plant and taken it with it!
Finally, the small photo above showing two Christophii flower heads growing up through the Bowles Golden Sedge grass were the very first Alliums I planted. I planted three and two came up. I moved them with the grass and was left with one which now grows beside the Meconopsis at my back door. I had no idea when I planted these first three bulbs that I would enjoy this plant in my garden for so many years to come. You know, on reading through this post again I think I will get the plant catalogues out myself! Mmm I am thinking on making some changes in my back garden...
All photos above were taken in my garden using a mixture of cameras.