As you think about what bulbs to add to your garden this fall, don’t forget about buying some alliums.
Their common name is wild onion, which does not do their beauty justice, though they do belong to the onion family. They come in many sizes but the large ones are the most eye catching. The most popular are the lollipop-shaped ones, such as ‘Purple Sensation’.
Plant alliums so they grow high above a bed of nepeta or hardy geraniums. ‘Globemaster’ is wonderful, as it has deep purple globe-shaped heads on long stalks.
Allium cristophii (Star of Persia), which produces airy balls of six pointed stars that hold their form as the silvery mauve flower heads fade, is a winner.
There are varieties that love sun and some that enjoy shade, but none will grow where it is excessively wet.
Allium ‘Spider’ is a new hybrid that has deep purple fireworks of flowers.
Plant some tiny ones, too, in the front of a bed, and always space the large ones so their heads do not touch. Add some fertilizer to each hole, as they will become long-term residents in your garden.
Deer and rabbits leave alliums alone. They look appropriate in formal as well as cottage gardens and most varieties are well-behaved citizens across many years.