Planting out your alliums

Alliums are one of the easiest bulbs to grow. Their spectacular globular flowers are one of the joys of early summer in the garden and their impressive seed heads persist until the autumn for further interest. With planning you can have alliums in flower from early May until mid-summer ranging from diminutive, white, Allium Cowanii (30cm) to the statuesque Allium Summer Drummer (1.5m).  The majority of alliums come in all shades of purple, violet and mauve. You can buy the bulbs in autumn from garden centres or from a specialist bulb nursery. They are relatively cheap to buy, great for pollinators, make great cut flowers and are long lived – what’s not to love!  Grainne Jakobson, owner of the garden at Woodend House, Cumbria, shows us that it’s never too early to plant out your alliums:

Grainne’s top tips when planting alliums:

  • Avoid heavy, damp soil. As a precaution add lots of grit to the planting hole.
  • They look best planted en mass and if you plant them deep enough will become a permanent feature in your garden.
  • Alliums have very tatty leaves as they grow so they are best placed behind or in the middle of herbaceous plants such as hardy geraniums, nautia, and grasses etc. which will grow up around the alliums and hide them. Don’t be tempted to remove these leaves as they are needed to feed the plant for next year.
  • Allium Purple Sensation would be a good choice to begin with as they are very easy to grow.
  • In subsequent years a general, organic, potash rich fertilizer can be sprinkled around them to improve flowering.


More about Grainne’s garden

Woodend House in Egremont, Cumbria is an interesting garden tucked away in a small hamlet. Meandering gravel paths lead around the garden with imaginative, colourful planting. Take a look around a productive, organic potager, wildlife pond, mini spring and summer meadows and a pretty summer house. Designed to be beautiful throughout the year and wildlife friendly. Grainne opens in September so we’re really hopeful that you’ll be able to visit this year! Click here for details

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