Flowers are opening fast and furious now. It is getting difficult to keep up.Along the driveway is a narrow bed planted with our beloved muhly grass, Muhlenbergia capillaris. Click here to read about it and see some photos from its bloom time in September. But what about the rest of the year? Not much splash in this very visible area, the view also from the window over the kitchen sink, very important. Last fall the idea emerged while perusing the bulb catalogs that perhaps alliums would be tall enough to grow up through the muhly for some pre-September interest.One hundred Allium hollandicum (aflatunense) ‘Purple Sensation’ were planted along with one hundred Allium sphaerocephalon, drumstick alliums in groups of five to a hole of each in the middle of the grass clumps last fall.The round ball buds have arisen this month, with their grand opening occuring now.Watching the florets unfurl has been a fascinating study.Each one unique and opening at its own pace. Just like human flowers.It seems the Alliums were a good choice for this spot. The muhly is just now starting to grow taller, no competition for showiness. We shall see how the drumstick allium works out.Here are some facts about this fine bulb taken from the Nature Hills Nursery online site. I normally include plant information from not for profits, like arboretums, but this had the best information. My bulbs were not purchased here, however. They came from Van Engelen.
Allium – Purple Sensation Details:
Plant FactsMature Height 26 – 34 inches
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Moisture Average, Well Drained
Mature Form Upright, Spikes
Growth Rate Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun – Partial Sun
Flower Color Purple
Bulb Type Bulb
Bulb Spacing 4 – 5 inches
Planting Depth 5 inches
Flowering Period May
The Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, ‘ Allium aflatunenense’, a fall planted ornamental onion bulb, will produce purple flowers. This flower is sure to turn heads with its 4-inch wide globes of tightly packed pink-purple florets which sit at the top of a tall, thick, bare stem. The low strap-like foliage turns down as the plant blooms, making the spherical cluster of blooms a focal point in your garden. They are great for ornamental value and widely used for both landscape and cut flower purposes. The blooms are pleasantly fragrant and this plant is an easy and prolific addition to the garden. Plant in groups of ten or more for an eye catching focal point. Alliums prefer to be dry during their dormancy.
The Allium Purple Sensation is ideal for containers, mass plantings, borders, and cut flowers. These plants are rabbit, squirrel, and deer resistant. The Purple Sensation has a bloom period of about 3 weeks and they bloom in late spring to early summer.
Have I forgotten to mention lately that the azaleas are blooming? I like the way the Alliums are pointing the way along the gravel path towards them.All of the photos in this post were taken with the older camera, the Canon Powershot A720 IS. The relevance of the shots of oriental poppies, Papaver orientale in this story is to remind us that the pairing of the poppy with the alliums would have been sublime. There was a photo in a post from last year, maybe bloom day? that mentioned how nice these two colors blend as they have the same bloom time. But we planted pink and white astilbes behind the muhley. They are just beginning to send up bloom scapes and will bloom in May. I believe there is room for the poppies to get into the act also. Maybe enlarging the bed into the lawn would be a good idea? Oh, Financier dear, have you noticed how the lawn grass behind the muhly bed simply will not grow well? And look at all the clover that you hate so much. It sure would look nice with another row of your beloved muhly planted instead. Just a little digging, being sure to shake the soil from the lawn clumps, those can go right into the compost to help the veggies grow bigger and better, dearest.