Monday, May 14, 2012

Alllium Love

Day 115
The Daily DuBrule

Alliums make me smile. Big round globes of purple or white rise up on bare stalks, the perfect orb to contrast with all the daisies and irises and other flowers of June. The flowers are edible. Each floret explodes in your mouth with the taste of mild onions. They are beloved by butterflies and deer don't eat them. Just as the rains of May turn the last of the tulips to mush, in come the Alliums, saving the day. 
'Mt Everest'
Allium schubertii
 There is one Allium that tops them all. A. shubertii is a study in three dimensions. The color is a pale lavender but the florets explode from the center into a giant starburst at different lengths. It is best to plant this bulb where it can be seen against either a neutral ground cover or against bare mulch. Burying it in a bunch of flowers takes away from its effect.

It is very tempting to leave the seed pods on your Alliums after they have finished flowering. Don't do it. As the seed ripens, energy is taken away from the bulbs which reduces the flower buds set up for the following year. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy them for months. Simply cut them off and jam them back in the ground. No one will know, they will give you that architectural orb you crave, and the bulb will be a lot healthier. In the photo above, I studded a pot of pansies with the seed pods of my white Allium 'Mt. Everest'. I later dried them and dragged them back out to put in an arrangement in the fall.

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous! After seeing 'Purple Sensation' this year, I definitely need to have some. I like the shubertii, too... :)