The Big Five
For Allium, or the decorative onion as we also call it, the most frequent question we get is “Which Alliums do you recommend?” and I often say “I love the ones with a big smile, all of them!”. Joking of course, but it is a well meant answer, too. When it comes to the big ones, you could start with ‘Purple Sensation’ in early May, shortly after this with A. christophii or the white giant ‘Mount Everest’. In June the real Allium spectacle starts with ‘Globemaster’, followed shortly by an even more intense purple spheres of Allium ‘Ambassador’. And so it continues until about August, with ‘Summer Drummer’ closing the color festival with its superb long lasting blooms. Bellow I picked a couple that I personally think you should try out in your garden this fall:
‘Globemaster’ is a true winner I would say, simply because it blooms and blooms and blooms weeks long, sometimes 2 months straight. Its huge spheres start at shy 15 cm in diameter and can evolve into impressive over 30 cm globes, every day opening new flowers, on 1 m high and sturdy stems.
The name says it all, Allium ‘Giganteum is just super, how we say it in Dutch. It can reach a height of well above 1,5 m and it’s one of the later bloomers. A heirloom variety that deserves a place in every garden due to its rustic look, impressive height, everlasting blooming time and even if it’s hot outside for days and days, this garden jewel won’t mind it at all!
‘Mount Everest’ is perfect in any garden corner, especially on a darker background due to its white flowers. Just like Giganteum, Mount Everest can get really tall. The bonus: it’s one of the first to bloom, just in perfect time to prolong your spring flowering season.
‘Ambassador’ is a newer hybrid, a daughter of Giganteum actually and it has the most perfect and well-shaped spheres. The color is of a more intense purple and the bees just love it. It gets easily above 1 m tall and it grows problem free in any garden.
And last but not least, Allium ’Summer Drummer’ is just the last one from the giants to close the flowering season. Depending on how the summer goes, this allium often starts blooming only in July, when most alliums are long gone, so it is perfect if you want to extend the blooming time of this magnificent plant.
Beyond these Big Five, we have some more alliums that you can plan for your garden. These are really easy to grow plants and will do well in any garden or terrace. They also grow problem free in any plant combinations, can do well in some dapple shade, but prefers the sun, the more sun the better.
On this note, I wish you a lovely Sunday and I hope I could help you choose some flower bulbs for your garden.
See you next week.
Carlos van der Veek