Allium christophii flowers

A Slow Start and Gradual Change

The cold weather in May has slowed down the development and flowering of our garden for June. Normally there would be plenty of flowers here, including these alliums (Allium christophii) that I photographed last year.

There aren’t even as many of the alliums as there were in the few years before. Last year there were a good number of them in the bed where the picture below was taken. This year there are only a few in the same place.

I know that other gardeners find that Allium christophii doesn’t always come back but I don’t know why…is it because the bulbs became diseased, were in soil that was too poor, or had they just reached the end of their lifespan? (The plants had a sunny and well-drained site which seemed to suit them.)

Allium christophii flower buds opening
Allium christophii flower buds opening

Luckily I have another patch of Allium christophii which has done much better. This is an older area that I had planted as a gravel garden and here the plants have multiplied over the years. Ironically, the way the alliums had spread in this area made me worry that they would take over the other, newer border too. (And that’s still possible because there are plenty of allium seedlings in both areas.)

The unpredictability of gardening and the way things change from year to year is one of the things that keeps it interesting for me. (How boring would it be if the plants always stayed the same year after year!) There are always new things to learn and different ideas to try out. And there are always surprises around the corner!

I’m glad that I do have the older patch of alliums that are doing well because I would hate to be without their little purple stars. The bees love them too, which makes them important for my future plans for the garden. I think I will try to move some of those tiny allium seedlings to another area. Then I can just leave them there to grow and develop into new bulbs. Hopefully, in a few years I’ll be surprised by a whole new batch of these lovely flowers.

Allium christophii

25 thoughts on “A Slow Start and Gradual Change

    1. Thank you Liz! I have a thing about coloured glass and photographing flowers gives me an excuse for having lots of little bottles, vases, even things like old ink bottles, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Just one that’s close by (an ‘antique’ shop but lots of odds and ends there) but they were a popular thing in the wider area pre-pandemic. Most claim to sell antiques but it’s really vintage or just second-hand. I imagine a few may have closed last year.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments, Indira! I’m no expert though! I do read a lot but really I’m very much a learner gardener and I do make lots of mistakes!!

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    1. I don’t know how long they last, but I do have one patch that has seeded itself and expanded over many years. The newer area was terribly dry last year, so maybe that affected the bulbs’ ability to build themselves up again after flowering.

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      1. I’m doing something similar here – lots of things are getting too big for their neighbours. I seem to spend lots of my time keeping the peace between plants, LOL!

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  1. Well, as I’ve often said to myself, every mistake is an opportunity to learn something new. As for your composition, I like colored glass, too, and your vase is a perfect complement. The flower itself reminded me of our Southern Swamp Lily. In fact, a little research showed that the alliums used to be in the lily family, until the taxonomists decided to move them, so the resemblance makes sense.

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  2. Alliums are lovely. We have a couple but they are not quite as beautiful as yours. I agree that having things the same every year would be boring. But…having more would be better than having fewer. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Love this purple flower! It is amazing all the different kind of flowers you are growing – and they all look gorgeous! And this variety looks so interesting. Beautiful photography too as usual.

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    1. Thanks Syd! The alliums are very easy – just need a sunny and well-drained spot. The garden varies from year to year – not everything survives the winter and we do have some annuals too. Covid has made us all the more interested in making the most of the garden – hubby enjoys it too now. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. That’s so nice! I have always envied the gardens in England. Even John Adams back in the late 1700’s took a tour of various English gardens with Thomas Jefferson – can you imagine that trip! I know your garden is going to look great when you finish it up!

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      2. I think that the rainfall helps a lot in England – keeps things very green. (But we can have problems here with drought in summer.) I’d love to tour round as many gardens as possible – what a great way that would be to spend retirement… ๐Ÿ™‚

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