Saturday, 29 November 2014

"April showers bring May flowers" English proverb. (Bulbs)

I have always tried to have something of interest in the garden all the year round. Opening your garden on a specific date certainly concentrates the mind on what 'should' be in flower and looking good at that time of year.

Alliums have long been a favourite, with Purple Sensation, as you can see from the header photo, always providing a good show during May - June.

A.Purple Sensation with Euphorbia palustris.

I have planted Euphorbia palustris as a companion to Purple Sensation after reading Carol Klein recommending it. I was a little concerned how well it would grow in our conditions (free draining soil under the shade of mature trees), You can see from the photograph, so far it is thriving.

A. Mount Everest.

Allium Mount Everest is planted in the White and Green garden. Although the cost of the bulbs prohibits planting on such a grand scale as with Purple Sensation.
I have planted a few extra in the garden this year and in a bowl with Lychnis coronaria alba, one of my favourite self sowers along with the red form.

Allium christophii creates a sparkly addition to any border.

Allium kartaviense is a dwarf variety with lovely long lasting metallic coloured leaves.
I first saw this one at Ivy Croft in Herefordshire, growing in their alpine scree. Ours are planted in bowls in the front of the house (South) alongside the alpine boxes.

Allium kartaviense. copyright Avon Bulbs.
A new one for this year is Allium Red Mohican. It was one of my treats from Harrogate autumn show. It is available from Jacques Amand.

Allium Red Mohican Copyright Jacques Amand.

Because it is both new and different, the bulbs are £2 each but I have purchased five and they are planted in the old tin bath on the patio so that I can keep an eye on them.  I don't think squirrels eat alliums, better to be safe than sorry!

The majority of Narcissi will be over long before the end of May, the old pheasants eye, poeticus recurvus, is one exception flowering in May. We already have them planted in the garden and I have added some more. I think they are always worth having, both for their beauty and extending the daffodil season.

Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus is a corm that always delivers a splash of magenta in May/June to brighten up the border.

The two raised beds edging the patio are usually planted with Dahlias and Annuals for the summer followed by Tulips and Wallflowers. I know its traditional but it works.

However this year with the garden open at the end of May the Tulips would be past their best.
I have experimented planting Camassia quamash with Siberian Wallflower in the one raised bed, the Camassia 'should' flower May/June.

Camassia quamash.

In the second raised bed I have planted the dependable Allium Purple Sensation with  Siberian Wallflowers.

 I hope the raised beds will look a little more exciting in May, and the bulbs will have read the garden books!

 I purchase the majority of my bulbs from Avon Bulbs in Somerset.

Click on any of the photographs to create a slide show.


  1. Allium Red Mohican has just gone on my wish list, its really lovely, looking forward to seeing how it performs for you.

    1. It is always interesting to have something new and different to look forward to in the garden

  2. I was tempted by A. Red Mohican in a catalogue earlier in the year but did not succumb. You've got me wishing I had now. There's always next year and by then you'll have posted about them and I can have the added benefit of your review to help me make up my mind.
    Great to read you are planning ahead for your May opening Brian. I'm not sure I could guarantee very much up here.


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