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Allium - Flowering Onion

Every spring this delightful Allium appears adjacent to my side door. The spectacular display of Allium is a welcome sign of summer and Allium bloom from May to July. The blooms on this bulb are long lasting and the common name is Flowering Onion. Their giant ball heads which usually attain a height of approximately four feet are simply stunning. The botanical name of the plant pictured below is A. giganteum.

Allium Giganteum

Allium is available in different sizes. The giant Allium at the side of my house is sphere like and comprised of tightly packed blooms. The color is mauve and they bloom in June. Allium can be purchased in smaller sizes attaining a height of only six to twelve inches. There are many variations of Allium.

The bulb in the image below is a great little plant for the rockery and the botanical name is A. ostrowskianum. This bulb attains a height of approximately six inches and bears pink flowers which grow in flat clusters.

Allium ostrowskianum

Allium thrives in full sun and planting occurs in September or October. You may divide clumps if the Allium is over-crowding your garden. I strongly recommend planting Allium bulbs this fall as you will be delighted with the magnificent blooms. Allium colors include white, yellow, mauve, purple, lilac, pink and blue.

This is a gardening tip I would like to share with you regarding bulbs. Although beautiful while flowering they become dry and rather unattractive when fading. The leaves must be left intact as they provide food for the upcoming year. To conceal the Allium leaves after flowering grow other perennials in the same bed which will thrive when the bulb is spent. The image below depicts my Hydrangea leaves beginning to flourish as the Allium is close to completing the bloom period.

Allium ostrowskianum

The Hydrangea leaves coupled with the Lamium toward the front of the garden bed enable the spent leaves of the Allium to nestle under new growth thus eliminating the desire to chop off Allium leaves which are required for the following year. The secret to perfect gardens is a succession of bloom from spring to fall. This requires planning, research, proper plant choices and variation of color, texture and height.

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