We’ve just had our first little bit of rain in weeks. The garden has been desperately dry, with small cracks appearing in the ground in the worst areas. So this rain is a huge relief!
At the same time, we’ve had the sunniest May here since records began in 1929. Wonderful for sitting out in and giving us lots of flowers everywhere, but making it even harder to keep up with watering.
Many plants have suffered in the heat, but a few have coped well. One of the best has been Allium christophii, which seems quite unbothered by drought. As long as it gets lots of sunshine and has well-drained soil, it’s happy.
The allium leaves become yellowed and dead-looking by the time the flowers open. These can to be hidden by planting the bulbs with something that they can grow up through.
When the allium flowers are over, there are the lovely dry seed heads to give an interesting display for the rest of the summer. You may find seedlings if you leave the heads – or you can just cut the heads and bring them indoors to display. (Allium christophii will also multiply by bulb offsets.)
One big bonus of growing alliums is that they’re highly attractive to bees. I’m trying to increase the number of good plants for pollinators and other insects in my garden, so these really earn their place.
These alliums are well settled in my garden. I have two areas where there are spreading clumps of them and it’s a delight to see the flowers increasing every year. They’re so pretty that I won’t mind if they get a bit invasive. That just means that there will be more for me to photograph!