Tag Archives: allium

Purple Sensation Allium

Last year, a fellow blogger (Jason at gardeninacity) wrote a post about his beautiful spring alliums. I have to admit, I was jealous of those amazing flowers in his garden. I’ve grown edible chives (Allium schoenoprasum) for years, but they are nothing compared to these other garden alliums.

Alliums like Purple Sensation, with its the 4-5″ diameter purple globes rising on sturdy 24″ to 30″ high stems, would certainly add drama to any garden! For some reason I thought they’d be hard to grow, but it couldn’t have been easier.

With prefect timing, Groupon had a special last fall on Purple Sensation Alliums that seemed like a really good deal. Groupon is not normally my go to place for gardening plants, but I thought buying bulbs from them was pretty safe.

I planted them around the yard last fall using my lightly used, but handy bulb planter.  I am not a fan of bulb planting, but this step planter really made it easy. Allium bulbs can only be planted in the fall and at a depth of about 6″.  As a bonus, they are rabbit and deer resistant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This spring some new, very large plants started sprouting around my yard. I had forgotten exactly where they were planted, so it was such a surprise when they began coming up.

Then these beautiful huge purple puffballs started to emerge.

All around the yard these purple globes emerged.

I hope they spread because they are just too fun to have in my yard. And because they are deer resistant, I’m going to add them to my cabin garden as well!

Allium bulbs aren’t always easy to find in your local garden center.  If you can’t find them, they can be found online in the fall at places like Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, White Flower Farm, Bluestone Perennials, and apparently Groupon.

 

 

Summer Sunday Visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden

This past weekend, we had the pleasure of having my husband’s cousin visit from Australia.  In trying to decide what to do, we tossed around heading downtown (hmm, Lollapalooza weekend), heading to Brookfield Zoo, Morton Arboretum or maybe even up north to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  Much to my surprise, it turns out he’s quite the garden fan himself, so off we all went to the Botanic Gardens.

It’s been quite a while since we had been to the CBG, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I was more than pleasantly surprised and it was well worth the drive!  I loved seeing the different gardens, plant grouping ideas and especially seeing it through Australian eyes.  We spent the day comparing growing notes and found many similarities, but of course lots of differences given the much warmer weather where he lives.

Here’s just a little bit of what we saw–

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Pretty sun garden. I’ve only used Lantana in pots and love the display as a planted annual. I’m trying to figure out how to grow my own from seeds or cuttings, but in zone 5 it doesn’t look very easy.

Chicago Botanical Gardens

I think it’s time for some Allium in the spring and summer garden.  While this is labelled Allium nigrum, according to CBG’s “What’s In Bloom 8/1/15” this would be the summer blooming Allium “Millennium”.

Chicago Botanical Gardens

This is a beautiful Physic Garden, a garden filled with plants of medicinal value. Reminds me of my first science fair project, a research project on the medicinal value of local native plants. I got second place to a model of an eye.

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria “Royal Purple”). I need to find someplace for this interesting shrub/small tree. Seems to be manageable with pruning, and the color and form are so interesting.

We went through the model railroad exhibit.  It was a fun trip across the country, with all the models (except the trains) made from nature. 
Chicago Botanical Gardens

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Then came the vegetable gardens…

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Looks more like a decorative border, than an edible border.

Chicago Botanical Gardens

I’ve toyed with the idea of building cold frames over my raised beds to extend the season. These were filled with fennel, which apparently are not friendly garden inhabitants. Most other plants will not grow well next to them, and if grown near dill will cross pollinate and will alter the flavor of both.

Chicago Botanical Gardens

A great example of a vertical garden.

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Tomatoes and onions. Their tomatoes look about as messy as mine.

Chicago Botanical Garden

I’m always looking for new ways to trellis and contain my tomatoes. I like the zig-zag idea for a narrow garden space. Seems pretty easy to handle the twine.

Then the storms moved in and we couldn’t go in the butterfly house.  Got a rain-check so we’ll be back!

Chicago Botanical Gardens

Have you been to a local botanical garden lately?  Where is your favorite?