Another short post with tips on planting a favorite long-blooming bulb…
Yep, the tulips were toppled. The onions now reign supreme over the garden kingdom.
The rabbits and deer find Allium just plain yucky.
Yet tulips are a tasty treat. I do love my tulips, but Allium is the queen in the May garden for me. Allium requires minimal effort and tolerates poor conditions. Any plant that lives in horrible clay soil and can even be planted upside down and bloom next spring, is a great plant for just about any gardener.
Onion is easily integrated with perennials to become part of the sequence of bloom to last through most of the months of the year. Even dry they persist and add interest. For tips on what to plant with Allium and the varieties in my garden, see the post Gardening With Allium. Some great ideas from my garden and a few famous gardens.
Bulbs that multiply like Allium do need room where they won’t impede on well-behaved plants. Determine how tall the perennial foliage gets, and put tall bulbs behind tall perennials, so the bulb foliage can brown without being unsightly. The large Allium leaves are really unsightly, going yellow before the plant even is in full flower.
Place Allium in the back of a border and have your perennials or low shrubs like boxwood to cover its dying foliage. You can see I have done this in my garden. The iris and lilies cover up the Allium foliage and the boxwood keep all tidy. I have more designer tips on doing this coming up. Just consider the time of bloom, the height of the flowering bulb and the height of the perennial. (A designer will sneak bulbs in to the back of the planting hole when digging in a perennial. The perennial planted in front of the bulbs will hide the dying bulb foliage as I mentioned.) Remember this one.
Allium comes in oval, spherical, or globular flower shapes all blooming on tall stems. The rounded shape of their bloom makes them great partners for interesting garden combinations.
The chives are always an onion to welcome since used in cooking. The Allium is a very versatile, design-worthy plant. They make great additions to dried arrangements too.
See my upcoming post, Lush Gardens of June Can Leave Gaps in the Garden. I will tell you how designers avoid these gaps.