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I’ve always been a great fan of bulbs, in all their shapes and sizes. I couldn’t get through the winter without snowdrops, and the prospect of daffodils, heralding spring. But right now, in (a rather cold and wet) May, alliums are centre stage.
It took me a while to find the best spot for them. Heavy clay isn’t really ideal, but I’ve been blessed with wonderful allium displays that return year after year.
Their dense pom-pom flower heads, composed of numerous purple ‘stars’, provide an easily accessible source of pollen for bees and hoverflies. If left into into winter, the papery brown seed heads look beautiful when covered in dense frost.
Apart from the addition of extra grit to my heavy soil, keeping my alliums has been easy. Despite frequent bouts of windy weather, they haven’t required any support (larger varieties do sometimes need some help, though) and they’ve needed very little feeding. I just couldn’t imagine being without ornamental alliums. And their close relatives garlic, onion, leeks and chives are a staple in my garden!
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