Monday, August 29, 2016

A Trio of Late Summer Alliums

Allium 'Summer Pink'

Allium Millenium

Allium 'August Confection'

Allium 'August Confection' in the landscape

     Since moving to my new garden I have become quite interested in some of the smaller, late summer flowering alliums.  I believe I had grown some of these in my old garden, but they kind of got lost there--it was a much bigger garden than my present one, and it had generally wetter and shadier conditions than I have here.  I acquired 2 of these last summer from Far Reaches, 'August Confection' and 'Summer Pink', and I planted them in the driest part of my garden.  So far I have been quite impressed with how well they have handled drought conditions, and with how good they look with everything I have planted them with.  Their foliage is a nice clean green or bluish green,  and it compliments the flowers very nicely.  That is something you can't say about many alliums!
     Anyway, in my reading about plants I had come across glowing descriptions of another allium, Allium 'Millenium', and it sounded pretty good, so this spring I ordered three plants of this one from High Country Gardens.  So, while I don't have a long experience with growing this allium, I can report that it seems to grow very similarly to the other two, and its flowers seem to be larger than those of the other two and they seem to last longer.  This makes it a winner in my book, and I plan to order more of Allium 'Millenium' in the spring.  'Millenium' is now widely grown by many of the national mail order nurseries, so it is widely available, as a google search will reveal.
     I should point out that all three of these alliums come from the allium king, Mark McDonough.  You can read a little something about him in this 2007 article from Horticulture.  As that article notes, there are many late summer and fall blooming alliums, and most gardeners do not seem to be aware of their existence.  I myself would like to learn more about this group of alliums, and would like to grow more of them.  They certainly do provide a punch of color to a late summer dry garden, when there is often not much going on.

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