Audacious Alliums



While working at the garden centre, I was often asked “What’s that plant on a long stalk with a ball on top that looks like fireworks?”  Well, that’s an ornamental onion.  Then I usually heard “A what?” Ornamental onions or alliums are one of the lesser known bulbs but they are an invaluable addition to the garden.  Carefree and elegant, they can be as delicate as the lovely blue drumstick allium only 1 – 2′ across to the spectacular firework blossoms of the giant alliums, up to 10″ in diameter and  to 4′ tall.  The leaves are generally low growing so even the big guys do not take up a lot of space in the garden and they can be scattered about and tucked in between your perennials and shrubs for late spring/early summer bloom.  The bulbs are available in the fall along with more familiar tulips and daffodils and you will find the largest selection through mail order and online catalogues like Vesey’s.  They will multiply year after year and are sure to be a showstopper in your garden.  Don’t be surprised if someone knocks on your door asking “what’s that plant?”!

Bees love them too!

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