This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info: guerinw@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alliums, lots of alliums!

Last week I asked you dear readers to submit photos and information about Alliums that might grow in your gardens. It's a huge genus with many garden-worthy species and cultivars. My personal attempts to grow them and get to know them ended in disaster -- I'm not organized in my record-keeping, I don't have much space or sunlight, and I started growing them from seed via seed-exchanges without a lot of rhyme or reason. It ended as a jumbled mess in my garden and in my brain.

But I (and you readers) have hit pay-dirt. A grower on the northwest part of town sent in a treasure trove of pictures and information that is enough to make any gardener salivate. These are not pictures from catalogs, these are pictures from her garden. I thank her deeply, and herewith share it all with you. All comments are hers, except where noted . . .

Allium multibulbosum:
compact spheres of white florets with green eyes, in bloom now

Allium moly Jeannine, an improved selection (this one will do well in some shade -- ed. note), in bloom now

Allium cowanii: a smallish species with glistening white flowers, in bloom now!

Allium cernuum in bud: graceful little goose necks; it does self seed but it is a lovely little pink allium so it is welcome in my garden. Native.

Allium atropurpureum: two inch umbels of maroon-purple florets. In flower now, but note that we are early this year because of the warm winter.

Allium schubertii: loose florets of varying lengths; I have had no seedlings show up in 10 years.

Allium karataviense: my least favorite among the alliums; stocky, dull-looking overgrown and dandelion-like (ed. note: I think it's fine in my rock garden, but I see her point)

Allium aflatunense. The deeper colored one is 'Purple Sensation.' Lovely as mass plantings and long-lasting as a cut flower. They do seed around freely, so unless you are trying to naturalize them, you simply dead-head them.

Allium maximowiczii "Alba": this is an alpine form of the species. Great in a trough due to its small size.

I have forgotten the name of this one. Light purple somewhat glistening florets. The florets form a dome-shaped half-globe rather than a full globe. A little shorter than A. aflatunense and blooming about a weed later.

More Alliums to come soon. Stay tuned!

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