The Garden Community for Garden Lovers



Alliums seem to be the ideal plant to create a wow factor between the early spring flowers of snowdrops, daffodils and tulips and the herbaceous perennials which rarely appear in quantity until June. I always think of my garden having lots of layers – ground hugging plants up to about 12 inches, snowdrops, anemone blanda, arabis, aubretia etc. Above that the mostly herbaceous perennials and taller bulbs and things like iris which demand space and light for their rhizomes as well as the flowers. Then shrubs and trees and not forgetting climbers for walls fences and pergolas. I have a large bed of Red Hot Pokers which can look a bit dull until the flowers appear. Last year I had the opportunity to buy lots of allium bulbs at vastly reduced prices. It was past recommended planting times so having thought of places to put them I went mad. Unfortunately the weather went mad at the same time and I did not get the majority of my bargains in at the end of 2009 and was still struggling to find weather windows to plant the others well in to 2010. The first of them have started to bloom and when I came home from a break away it was to find two giant stalks with mauve pompoms on top right outside the kitchen window. More heads were starting to burst in the red hot poker border and there are lots still to come. I save my packets and information labels and scan them in to my computer. I think I planted over 125 bulbs. I show you first the packet photos then the actual home grown version.
1. Gladiator. Planted in sgnb
Flowers May/June/July. H120/140cm. Plant D 10/15cm x 15/30cm apart.

2. Aflatunense planted under pergola 8.12.09
Flowers May/June, H 75cm Plant D15cm x 15cm apart.

3. Purple Sensation Planted under pergola 8.12.09
Flowers June/July. H 80/90cm Plant D10cm x 15cm apart

4. Albopilosum Christophii Planted under pergola 8.12.09
Flowers May /June. H 40-60cm Plant D10/15cm x 15cm apart.

5. Atropurpureum
Flowers June. H 70cm. Plant D10cm x 30cm apart

6. Caeruleum planted north of rhp
Flowers June. H40cm. Plant D10cm x 15cm apart

7. Sphaerocephalon Drumstick Alliums
Flowers June /July. H60cm. Plant D10cm x 10cm apart.

8. Giganteum His Excellence.
Flowers June/July. H120cm. Plant D20cm x 20cm apart

9. Mars planted end of rhp
Flowers May/June. H120cm. Plant D20cm x 25cm apart

10. Ostrowskianum Rosy Bells.
Flowers May/June. H25cm. plant D5cm x 5cm apart

11. Stipitatum Mount Everest. planted under pergola 8.12.09
Flowers May/June. H100cm. Plant D20cm x 20 cm apart

24 5 10 Gladiator.

Close up of Gladiator head showing all the small flowers that go in to making the flower ball

These alliums (5 bulbs) were planted 3 seasons ago and they have increased to 20 now. There is a nice succession here with the blue muscari and orange tulips then the mauve alliums. I have pulled out as much of the muscari as possible as I consider it an invasive weed. However there is nothing quite like it for a splash of spring blue.

In the Red Hot Poker bed west side of the pergola. The alliums,welsh poppies and linaria make a pretty picture. You can see the allium leaves dying back.

More blog posts by scotsgran

Previous post: Chaenomeles

Next post: Approximate Plant Hardiness zones in UK.



I love alliums too their heads are like little star bursts!

25 May, 2010


Thank you they are lovely. I have lots more to load but thought I would try it with the first one first to ensure I was loading properly. Some of them are very expensive at £2.99 each but getting them so cheaply I reckon they had to be my best buy of 2009.

25 May, 2010


i love the alliums i got hree for three pound at harrogate as it was last day and they are small but lovely,scotsgran,do you pull them up or leave them in all year,mine didnt come with instructions

25 May, 2010


I adore alliums and as you say, they are wonderful colour for filling in the spring-summer gap!!

25 May, 2010


Its so lovely to come home after being away and to find the garden has taken care of itself and flowered for your arrival!!! Lovely

25 May, 2010


I like them aswell.

25 May, 2010


I love them too most of mine are out now but the blue ones have yet to open

25 May, 2010


Thanks everybody this is a work in progress. I keep trying to catch up but there is so much to do or maybe I am just slowing up too much. Ladybug I will leave them in because they will spread, I hope. Actually someone asked if their alliums were allright because the leaves were dying although they were flowering, a member said that was okay because that is what happens. Thank goodness for Goy members and their great experience. The leaves, on those pictured above, are dying off so they will not interfere with other plants coming along behind them. I should have a pic of (5) I planted in my daughters garden 3 years ago. They have increased well (see third photo above).

25 May, 2010


I've never grown them. I think I'll try now. I didn't know they spread.

25 May, 2010


thanks scotsgran,i think its the light purple ones i got,great that they spread and i was worried when the leaves died off,chris

26 May, 2010


alliums are lovely plants. They get up above other plants in my busy border and make a good show of themselves. They don't seem to burrow deep as do some bulbs. If one pops up where not wanted its easy to remove it.and put it where you want it to be but they can pop up in strange places that look funny, like through a rose bush or up through a tree peony. Usually I leave them to get on with it.

28 May, 2010

Add a comment

Recent posts by scotsgran

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 May, 2007

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Apr, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Feb, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    8 Apr, 2010