May 26, 2015

A Lot of Amazing Alliums

Globe alliums have been the stars of the backyard garden for the past couple of weeks.  Above you see 'Purple Caila' in front of violet 'Caesar's Brother' Siberian iris, with 'Globemaster' at back right.  I thought PC was going to be more blue-violet, but it has turned out to be exactly the same color as 'Globemaster.'   The leaves are different, though.

This is the same area from a slightly different angle so you can see the 'Totally Tangerine' geum at right.  I am loving how the rosy-orange flowers contrast with the mauve alliums and violet irises.

Bees large and small love allium, and I have read that butterflies will feed from them as well, though we haven't seen any flutters landing on our alliums.  If you look closely, you can see a little bee at the right of the globe above.  It has been enjoyable to sit on warm afternoons and watch dozens of bees coming and going.

This photo illustrates how the 'Globemaster' foliage turns rosy-pink before dying back.  Its foliage makes a nice color echo of the rosy new foliage of the 'William Shakespeare' rose at left.

Here is a wider view of the northwest corner of the backyard.  The 'Royal Raindrops' crabapple trees have completely finished blooming and their leaves have darkened to their summer maroon color, which makes a nice backdrop for the mauve alliums and violet irises.

I couldn't resist sharing one more shot of the area, this time facing northeast.  At left the 'Pagan Purple' delphiniums are budding and will make a dramatic backdrop in coming weeks for the crimson 'William Shakespeare' roses at the front of the bed.

'Ambassador' alliums are the last to bloom and have the deepest color of the alliums in my yard.  At their base, spikes of 'Caradonna' salvia are in full bloom.  My husband helped me complete some major restructuring of the back part (actually the area out of view to the right of this shot) of this flower bed yesterday.  He moved the last of the tree peonies away from the reach of the sprinklers, as the moisture on the leaves was causing regular Botrytis die-back.  The drip system will be a better choice for watering them.  He also helped me divide the CB Siberian iris and add a couple more clumps behind the alliums.  I have realized I need to repeat the same plants many times to make this large area cohesive.  Two or three of one type of plant is not enough - I often need a dozen.

In the east garden the 'Gladiator' alliums are finishing up their bloom cycle, while a few 'Globemaster' and 'Purple Sensation' alliums are still going strong.  The 'Early Emperor' alliums at the northeast corner of the yard are completely finished and have been cut down to the ground.  With 'Early Emperor' starting last month and 'Ambassador' continuing for the next couple of weeks, I have enjoyed two months of alliums in the garden.

This final shot shows a few white 'Mount Everest' alliums in front of the unknown white clematis climbing up one of the crabapple trees.  Violet columbines surround the base of the tree.  We are in the heaviest season of bloom for the garden, with roses starting to open along with many other perennials.  I have many more photos to share in coming weeks.


  1. Do your alliums self seed as much as mine? It is fun to move plants here and there! They say alliums will help keep deer, etc. Away!

    1. SG, I know that Globemaster won't reseed because it's sterile, but I'm not sure about the others. Last spring was my first time to have alliums bloom, so I'm still a newbie! I don't want a lot of random seedlings, though, so I hope to keep up with deadheading before they drop seeds.

  2. Bellissimo uso degli allium! Che colore l'iris siberiano!

  3. Absolutely beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing all of your garden bounty, successes, and less successful efforts. I have been following your blog for over a year now and love it. I look most mornings while I'm having my coffee and content myself with old posts when there is nothing new.

    Your backyard garden is making amazing progress!!

    Look forward to your upcoming photos!!


    1. Linda, thanks so much for your encouraging words. I also love to look out at the garden over breakfast :-) It's fun to remember how much the backyard has changed in the past two years, despite the ups and downs. And it will be so much better in 5 or 20 years when the tree and shrubs are mature!

  4. Love thee alliums. And your pics are really great. They look amazing in your garden. I have a few of the larger purple ones. I'm a fairly new gardener (just a couple of years - not sure why it took 40 years for me to discover how much I love it). I'm so glad you wrote about the geums. I've never heard of them, but they are so pretty! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Margaret, so glad you finally discovered the joy of gardening! Yes, Totally Tangerine geum is a wonderful plant. It is sterile, so it doesn't waste energy making seeds and blooms off and on until frost. I have divided mine already despite only having them for a couple of years. I haven't grown many other geums, but I'm a big fan of this one.


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