Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is It Time To Think About Autumn Planting?

Doesn't this look do-able (Art Institute Garden)

Yes, it is!

If I don't imagine, plan and order while ideas are fresh in my mind I'll forget.

Luckily the bulb catalogs have begun to arrive!

First on the list of I must order are the alliums!
Alliums in the Art Institute Garden

Aren't they gorgeous. They add a needed vertical element to most garden.

They were in every public garden we visited in Chicago.


Don't you love those big globe shapes floating above this garden bed? Ginkgo Community Garden (go here)

I don't even mind the messy, half dead looking foliage!
Hiding them among the big leaves of hosta would be perfect.
But, hosta aren't happy here.
Drat!
We'll just have to live with them!

These beauties were everywhere we went....in every garden.
I can easily imagine the big white globes peeking up over (click photos to enlarge) PPPP~Phlox pilosa (earlier this spring) and
Penstemon X (also this spring).
They might actually bloom at the same time!
Wouldn't that be cool!
The dark purple allium would be perfect.


They would also work well in the Susans bed with the Lost Name day lilies.
They are just now beginning to bloom.


Imagine the purple and white alliums sited among these two early bloomers!
(Note to self...take long shots to remember where to plant!)
Can you see the Susans readying in the wings?

But, I have to be realistic!
It's early June, in the Middle South, the fireflies have arrived and now the day lilies are blooming.
It's summer! There is no way the alliums will be blooming at the same time.
Too bad!
I have a number of really lovely day lilies
that would look lovely with the white and purple globes!

I noticed that Target was selling faux allium flower heads.
Maybe, I can plant them among the day lilies!
Does anyone know if there is an allium that will bloom this late in the Middle South?
Or, am I going to have to faux it!


As if!

Gail

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. Luther Burbank

45 comments:

  1. Gail girl ! That is too funny, because I was thinking the same thing .. Autumn planting in general but specifically alliums because one of our neighbors down the street, has some beautiful ones in their rockgarden lining their drive way.
    I am thinking daffs .. squill .. iris and alliums .. must look at my catalogs !!
    Thanks for reminding me because you get a percentage off by ordering early : ) haha

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  2. Faux alliums---ha!!!! I love it! You could have them slyly poking up everywhere, sort of a recurring theme joke. I may have to start looking for them...

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  3. Gail -- I grew my first alliums this year (planted in October). My 'Purple Sensation' first photo was April 27, at the same time as my KO roses and Encore Azaleas, scabiosa, Dutch irises, Spanish bluebells and lady banks rose. I'm in zone 7b. A few days later, they were complete orbs of purple and gorgeous. The foliage leaves died quickly and weren't that bad, but I my plan is for the perennial geraniums planted with them to cover the lower parts. After the purple is gone, they are FUN green, perfect orbs for another month. Does that help?

    Cameron

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  4. I too was taken with the allium at the art institute gardens and all over Chicago, really. I have a few including some cool yellow ones. I just ordered 3 prairie smokes... :)

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  5. Joy, After seeing all the alliums in Chicago and thinking how delicious they looked....I sure wanted a few! The catalogs arrived within days of Spring Fling! Alliums and species tulips are high on my list...but there are more!

    gail

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  6. OFB, I needed a few things from Target anyway, I am going to get them...and name them. How do you like the Our Friend Ben Alliums?

    Gail

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  7. Cameron, I have Purple Sensation, too. They were blooming with the peonies here...but you've reminded me how much I love them and to also consider the green and brown bulb heads as part of the overall picture! Gail

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  8. Monica, Yipee on the Prairie Smoke. They ought to love your garden...I am pushing it here! More alliums is a good thing, too. gail

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  9. Seeing everyones photos has made me want Alliums too. I guess we know what everyone will be posting pictures of next year. :-)--Randy

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  10. Good morning Gail. Gotta love those alliums. So easy and fun for sure. I have 'Drumstick' alliums. While not in bloom now, the 100 or so I planted two years ago, are all up and have buds now. They start blooming later this month. They would work with daylilies and Susans I think. The flower stays around a long time and is a dark purple. See if they'll work for you.

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  11. Avoid the faux! I like real plants. Maybe some yellow irises to go with the purple alliums? We could probably make quite a list of plants for your to purchase!

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  12. Gail, Unsure if this would work for you but I know that at least here in Toronto, some of the larger headed alliums bloom later than the 'Purple Sensation', so might pair up with your daylilies.

    For instance, I have and love A. christophii -- with their large open globes of metallic-lilac flowers. They're a bit shorter than the tall drumstick varieties it sounds like you fell in love with in Chicago. But they have their own charms.

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  13. I hope you find alliums that suit your area. I have a terrible time growing them. They bloom marvelously one year and then never reappear. Hmmmmmm Good luck with them. If you find one that will do well in your garden maybe it will work in mine. Here's hoping.

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  14. Hi Gail, I think the alliums would look wonderful over the PPPP! A. Giganteum is my favorite, perhaps White Giant with Globemaster! I have such a long list of bulbs to buy, actually it's not a real list, because then I would surely buy more than I want or need. I'm trying a new approach where I try to confirm my need for the plants before purchasing, it includes leaving the items in the shopping cart, going away and then remembering the plants I really want, usually there are many thing I totally forget!

    BTW, you totally planted a seed in my head, I am having a craving for roses and clematis intertwined, I even picked out Queen of Holland and Iceberg rose for partial shade! Uh, oh, I can't make up my mind, since I know the rabbits are out to get anything I plant!

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  15. Alliums are great and there are several flowering in my garden at the mo. You can buy alliums that flower early or late. Here those big globe-y ones flower in June and the daylilies are starting to flower at the same time here too.

    Perhaps you should consider emigrating to the Netherlands to make your garden dream come true? ;-)

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  16. Hi Gail, as Tina suggested maybe the drumstick alliums would bloom at the right time. You never can tell from the catalog description so I usually drive around town or visit a park with nice gardens to see what's blooming and when. The Purple Sensations look good with peonies and iris because they don't tower over them.
    Marnie

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  17. The drumstick allium blooms much later than the globe and while it is small, it is a burgundy beauty and looks great en masse. We are all thinking of drifts aren't we!

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  18. Just cannot believe you posted this subject today. I was making mental notes just last evening about fall planting!!!

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  19. I meant to add, I saw my first fire flies this week too! They remind me of 4th of July fireworks. It's Summer!

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  20. Informative post. Made me think it may be time to start thinking about Fall planting. It will be here before we know it.

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  21. Hi Gail, how funny! I want to see those faux alliums in your garden! While the larger purple sensation and christophii, even schuberti flower earlier, like the others have said, the drumsticks have not really even shown color yet. Now about those tall white ones, they certainly are just what is needed in the beds you showed, maybe the Regale lilies could be squeezed in, the bloom time is right. Or the oriental Casa Blanca, an even later bloom time. Remember, be flexible. :-)
    Frances

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  22. I do think alliums would look great in those two beds you showed. I never see alliums down here which means either they don't do well here or folks just haven't tried them. Probably the former. But if you DO find some that work for you, maybe I'll give that kind a try as well.

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  23. Hi Gail.....my Alliums (stargazer) have just come into bloom. Of course I am not sure when they will bloom in your area. I also have day lillies in bloom.....and they do look lovely together....

    I have Allium drumsticks in another bed.....they are nowhere near blooming yet, will be at least another month. Although they are a smaller bloom, they would look gorgeous amongst your other blooms. They are a most striking colour and an absolute favourite with bumble bees.....

    I love alliums....I even have the yellow variety (can't remember the name though).....

    Decisions, decisions.....the joy of gardening.....

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  24. Gail, your photos are gorgeous as always.

    I'm already thinking of fall ordering/ planting too. I have a bed that needs 5 (count 'em 5!) Piedmont Azaleas.

    Hmmm, interesting question about the timing of Alliums. My culinary Alliums are just now blooming, and the Garlic Chives haven't yet started.

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  25. Love the Lost Name lily, sweet color. As for the Allium blooming through the summer.....Fine Gardening had an article in the spring about planting Allium varities so that you have Allium blooms all through the season. How cool is that?

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  26. Isn't it just lovely to plan for a new flower bed!

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  27. I can see the allium standing perfectly tall throughout your garden, poking its big head up among all of your blooming phlox. Wish I could grow them down here. Have fun planning your fall garden :)

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  28. I think the Alliums look best planted behind Daylilies, as the Daylily foliage hides the hideousness of the Allium foliage, then the Daylilies take over after the Alliums fade. I'm going to move my 'Purple Sensation' Alliums to the back garden so I can have that combination.

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  29. Argh! I'm still barely into proper spring and you're talking about autumn planting? Yikes! I'm not putting anything in this fall except a few new tulips to replace those that are spent. Or so I say, now...

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  30. Gail, the purple and white alliums were striking in all the gardens we visited. They are something I have negelected planting. :( Need to remedy that. Your no name lilies are beautiful, especially the pink one. As for fall planting-you go right ahead. I am still trying to get rid of weeds from spring!

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  31. Ditto what MMG said--she and I saw that combo at Chicago Botanic Garden and it looked great! It can work even if you go with Purple Sensation and it blooms before the daylilies, (per MMG's explanation), or if you go with the drumsticks they'll bloom together (or close together). Good luck!

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  32. i think you should definitely try the white and purple alliums. i have planted a few things finally that should be blooming come fall. wouldn't it be nice to have something blooming always.

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  33. You had me worried there, Gail, with your title--I'm still not done with spring planting! But yes, I have made a note of the alliums; in fact, I've pictured them on my next blog post, too. I have a feeling they are going to be popping up in every Spring Flinger's garden next year:)

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  34. My alliums did not bloom this year. I saw the foliage come up but no blooms. I am wondering if a snail ate off the bloom stock?
    Guess I have to wait now till next year to see if they are alive or dead.
    Good time to start planning next year!!!

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  35. Nope, but the daylily foliage will hide the alliums ugly dying leaves. Also, the alliums will add color while we wait for our daylilies. Buy some, buy some. I love the purple bestest.~~Dee

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  36. Those alliums were a delight, weren't they? I wish I'd seen that Art Institute garden. I guess I have to go back to Chicago!

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  37. I got my first fall bulb catalogs last Friday and placed my first order the same day! I've had a list going. Thank goodness they don't charge your card until they ship because I'm still recovering from spring plant purchases! More alliums were on my order too. There are so many great varieties.

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  38. Every time I see photos of these amazing blooms I am tempted to add some to my garden. Finding the right place IS an issue, but I could probably find at least one spot! They are so pretty...almost surreal!

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  39. Alliums are calling my name too Gail, after seeing them all over the place in the city. I've never tried them, don't know how well they'd do here with not much sun, but I'm always up for a little experimentation in the garden. I hope you find the perfect alliums that will bloom at the perfect time for your garden!

    Glad you got a chance to the Art Institute garden - Monica, MBT, and I were there Sunday afternoon. It's been a long time since I've been there, and it was just as lovely as I remember.

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  40. I've also been thinking that allium bulbs must be planted here in the fall! I'm thinking about hiding them under my daylilies, because I assume that the foliage will be unsightly when they are done blooming. Am I right? But they won't get enough sun under there! Any thoughts to share? I love daffodils, but really hate the dying foliage. I just didn't plant them under any perrenials like I should have. I actually took the time to braid it last night, and it looks pretty good.

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  41. I totally fell in love with ornamental Alliums poking around English gardens last year -- they were everywhere.

    Why the heck aren't we growing them, too, I thought?

    I've added a few and they've been nice (but I do think that our humid and hot summer climate isn't totally favorable, alas!) And even our warmish springs hasten the decline of the flowers.

    But they're great while they last! And that's what it's about after all.

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  42. They would work well tucked amongst the daylillies. Drumstick Alliums are blooming now in my garden along with Stella. :)

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  43. Gail, you are so right about the needed vertical element in a garden and alliums are a delightful must! Mine shine in my back garden under redbuds, surrounded by colorful neighbors ... wildflowers (celedine poppies, wild geraniums) ferns, exbury azalia and daylily foliage that hides their waning leaves). You'll love them!

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  44. Hi Gail, You'll love alliums! I have a few different varieties and they're all fun. One new one I planted last Fall is now blooming. I hope next year that it's sturdier! It's called "Hair," I think. It's a riot!

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  45. Excellent post, Gail! I love alliums and each picture was like a gift for me, thank you! As for the fall.... is it time? already?

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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