Winter is coming. Eddard Stark would urge you to plant bulbs this weekend.
Winter days are long and dark, my friends. Plant bulbs now and enjoy the beautiful bounty this spring. Today I am honored to have my good friend Phil Friso-Reinke talk about ten beautiful varieties of allium that will thrive in the Midwest.
Be sure to check out his post on chaos gardening, too!
One of my fondest memories as a kid was going to my grandmother’s house to visit. In the small garden around the stairs to her house she had a single Allium 'Globemaster'. Oddly out of place and somewhat random, it always intrigued me, yet I never asked her what it was or why she had only one.
Fast forward 22 years and I see a grouping of them outside a garden center. I ask what they are and how I can get them…setting the stage for my gardening. I put my first three alliums into my garden that year, and now, 12 years later, I have over 300 bulbs in 10 different varieties:
Allium schoenoprasum, commonly known as chives, Allium moly, Allium 'Globemaster', Allium karataviense, Allium oreophilum, Allium tuberosum, Allium sphaerocephalon, Allium 'Hair', Allium 'Mount Everest', and Allium schubertii – by far my most favorite.
Allium schubertii when in full bloom looks like a fireworks display caught at the peak of its explosion. It’s really awesome.
Alliums have become, by far, my most favorite addition to my garden. Being one of my grandmother’s favorites, just seeing them in bloom each year remind me of her and the fun we had when I was a kid and a young adult. For a single flower to conjure up so many cherished memories just makes gardening so much more enjoyable.
Alliums are also quite intriguing because they are made up of both a simplistic and complex design.
Similar to French artist Georges-Pierre Seurat and his pointillism; Alliums look like complete single flowers from afar, but when you get up close to really look at them, they are made up of hundreds of tiny flowers and it continues to astound me that something so complex in nature can look so simple and perfect.
So yes, I enjoy the perfection of my Alliums and they surely satisfy the OCD part of myself that longs for “a place for everything, everything in its place”, but the rest of my garden is setup much more unconventionally.
Click here to learn more about Phil's zen-like approach to gardening.
Phil Friso-Reinke entered college with the intention of being an accountant, but threw that idea to the wind and left with a degree in graphic design. An experimenter at heart, two of his favorite places to get creative are in the kitchen and garden. Watch out! His one-of-a-kind salted caramel cupcakes are killer.
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