I first wanted to grow them because I saw them everywhere in my reading on English gardens. In the UK, they are considered a garden staple apparently, and after growing them I can see why. They add cottage-charm to a boarder, looking good from their sprouting up in late May until they are cut down at the end of July. Their round, reddish-purple heads last for weeks. And best of all, they bloom while the garden is rebounding, after the old roses and before the high summer flowers have started (like purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea).
|Photo from the Driveway Garden in June 2008|
This year, Allium sphaerocephalon with Geranium 'Rozanne', both blooming above a carpet of Sedum 'Acre'.
They seem to come back quite well in well-drained, sunny areas. They are in the onion family, so the odor keeps animal pests away. But after four years, they are finally starting to look a bit thin. I will want to replant some this year if I want to keep them playing their role.
|Photo from Driveway Garden in July 2009|
One garden editing thought: They do lean as the heads bloom larger. Next time, I think I will plant them more in the middle of the boarder instead of the front. Though I love their see-through quality at the front in early summer, they rather flop later. Better to have some other plants to lean on.
Read more about the Driveway Garden in July:
Asiatic Lily 'Rosella’s Dream'
oh... and the pitiful flower