I am excited to share that The National Garden Bureau has chosen the allium as the bulb of the year! They pick one annual, one perennial, one bulb crop and one edible to be celebrated and featured annually. The selection is based upon versatility, adaptability, growing ability and popularity. The allium is an easy-to-grow ornamental bulb that adds a bit of whimsy to every garden. In honor of the special festivities surrounding this chosen flower, I have an exciting announcement. I’ve teamed up with NGB and Longfield Gardens along with some other talented gardeners for a fabulous giveaway! Continue reading this post to learn how to enter to win a $50 gift card to help beautify your very own garden!
Ever since I was a little girl, I have shared a fascination for alliums with my father. He isn't big on gardening and can't tell the difference between pansies and petunias, but there is something about this flower that he loves. We've always shared that feeling that there is just a magical factor about their brilliant blooms. Each year, I strive to plant more allium bulbs to wow my dad. I love the look of happiness and the sweet smile I see appear on his face when he gets to enjoy the alliums blooming. That same smile appears on my face too! What amazes me is how flowers you plant can continue to bloom year after year bringing back the wonderful memories time and time again. It's truly something money can't buy.
Perhaps you have edible crops in your own backyard. If so, this flower may look very similar to something you already grow! Allium is actually the Latin word for garlic. The ornamental allium is a genus of flowering plant in the same family as edible onions, garlic and chives. Many people are familiar with the pastel purple flowers these bulbs produce. Alliums also come in white, yellow, blue and pink. Each variety can vary in height anywhere from 12 to 36" tall. These Dr. Seuss style bulbs are extremely hardy and deer resistant. While a plethora of garden critters may feast upon your coveted tulip and daffodils, these bulbs will be left alone. The scent that these ornamental onions give off isn't appealing to animals. They don’t have trouble with disease and aren’t bothered by common garden pests. These are like gardening gold to the pollinators! Butterflies, bees and beneficial garden insects are attracted to these ethereal blooms. If you've ever dreamt of growing a plant that looks just like flowering fireworks, this is the plant for you! Most varieties can be grown in zones 3-9 depending on what species you select. This fascinating flower begins blooming in late spring to early summer. There are also different types of alliums that can flower from late summer to fall. With a little research, you could have different varieties of alliums blooming all season long!
More About Alliums
Alliums make wonderful cut flowers. They have an undeniable charm, and those balloon like blooms are a great conversation piece. Learn how to make a beautiful bouquet with them in this helpful post The Starring Ingredient of a Stunning Bouquet by Slow Flowers with Debra Prinzing. In her post, she shares a step-by-step guide on how to take fresh-from-the-field flowers and put them into a jaw dropping arrangement.
Nick McCullough of Thinking Outside the Boxwood shares an allium garden design for bountiful blooms. He not only teaches you how to implement the design, but also adds tips for planting and maintenance. You will instantly fall in love with this garden plan. With these easy instructions, your garden will be enchanting in no time!
This stunning flower truly has magnetism about it. Jason Kay of Garden In A City writes about Lurie Garden, a public garden, and how they incorporate alliums in their playful designs. He shares photographs filled with inspiration that you can incorporate in your very own garden.
Robin Horton of Urban Gardens invites us to read about the history of alliums and shares some helpful facts. She also mentions some unique allium literature, illustrations and guides. You can also learn how alliums are incorporated in cityscapes. Come with her and visually tour public gardens like The Getty Center Gardens!
My Favorite Varieties
There are over 700 different types of alliums to choose. With such a wide selection, here is a condensed version of my top 5 varieties. Each variety is available for purchase at Longfield-Gardens.com
Purple Sensation: This is one of the most easily recognizable allium varieties.
-A rich violet color with sparkles of blue and pink
-It is affordable with long-lasting blooms
-They boast round, 4 to 5" globes with 24 to 30" stems
-Does best in sun
-Blooms in late spring
How To Grow
Most alliums are planted during the fall right before the ground freezes. Once you have chosen your variety, dig a hole 8" deep and make sure to loosen the soil around where you will place your bulb. I like to give my bulbs a pre-drink and snack before the final watering. Moisten the soil, add your fertilizer, then place the bulb in the hole. If possible, add new soil over your bulb and gently pat down once bulb is completely covered. Now you can give your bulb one more drink of water. Don't forget to mark the spot you planted them so you won't forget next spring! Try not to plant your bulbs in an area that stays soggy. These bulbs prefer rich, well-drained soil. Time to sit back and wait until next season's spectacular show!
Gift Card Giveaway
I'm excited to share that as part of the year of the allium celebrations, one lucky reader will be winning a 50 dollar gift card to Longfield Gardens! Enhance your garden with some new, top of the line bulbs! They have an impressive selection of bulbs to choose from. Don’t forget to pick out some amazing allium bulbs!
To Enter: All you have to do is comment on this blog post and you will automatically be entered. It's that easy! Do you have a favorite variety of allium? Planning on planting some this year? I'd love to hear all about it in the comment section below.
Extra Entries: Want extra entries? Follow and share on social media using the form below! Who doesn't love more ways to win?
About: Contest will run from April 22nd to April 30th at midnight ET. A winner will be picked at random from the comments below. That winner will be announced Sunday, May 1st at 6 p.m ET. Must reside in the US to enter. Wishing you all good luck!
I hope you give growing alliums a try! These flowers are so unique and transform any garden into a wonderland. Do you have a flower or plant that is near and dear to your heart? I'm already so excited to plant more of these in the fall. I'm thinking of adding the Globemaster variety and surprising my dad next spring! If I add a new kind of allium each year, my garden will put on one striking and spectacular show! Join in on the fun and share your allium pictures on social media using the hashtags #yearoftheallium as well as #longfieldgardens.
For further reading, Longfield Gardens provides some helpful information on their website. Please click the links below.
Disclaimer: Longfield Gardens was kind enough to provide one of my readers with a $50 gift card. They also provided me with some of the images used in this post. I was not paid or compensated to write this article and all opinions are my own. I only promote companies I enjoy and products I use in my own garden!