Alliums of Lurie Garden – and a Giveaway!
Did you know that 2016 has been declared the Year of the Allium by the National Garden Bureau? I didn’t either, until I was contacted by someone working with the online retailer Longfield Gardens (that’s Longfield, not Longwood).
Thinking of Alliums makes me think of Lurie Garden, my favorite public garden in the Chicago area. The plantings at Lurie were designed by the Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf.
In his book Designing with Plants, Oudolf appreciates Alliums for their shape: buttons and globes made up of “concentrated clusters of flowers tightly packed”. Alliums can be “points of concentrated color” as seen above against the large leaves of Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).
Oudolf also says that Alliums stand out against masses of fine stems.
I like how these Allium atropurpureum make distinct points against the masses of color created by swathes of Salvia and Monarda bradburiana.
Allium with Blue Star (Amsonia tabernaemontana).
Alliums can also be effective planted in masses. They contrast nicely with daisy-type flowers like these Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea).
Alliums with Calamint (Calamintha nepeta). In Designing with Plants, Oudolf singles out Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ for its “spectacular spherical shape, which stand for some time as seedheads after the flowers have finished.”
‘Mount Everest’ is a white Allium very similar to ‘Purple Sensation’.
Alliums like ‘Purple Sensation’ are useful also for keeping the garden colorful during the transition from late spring to early summer.
Does this make you wish for some Alliums of your very own? Well, you’re in luck.
The nice folks at Longfield Gardens have provided a $50 gift certificate for the purchase of Allium bulbs. (The giveaway is only open to persons in the United States excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.)
To win the Allium gift certificate, just write a comment on this post. Do you have a favorite Allium? How do you use Alliums in your garden? Is your garden without Alliums, and if so, why on earth is that the case? The winner will be picked at random.
Oh, and did I mention that rabbits and other Spawn of Satan do not eat Alliums?