allium-summer-beauty

A drift of Summer Beauty alliums harmonizes with a clump of echinacea. Photo by Jill Selinger. Taken from The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden© Copyright 2014 by Roy Diblik. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Upon seeing globe alliums for the first time, many a gardener will say, “Gotta have some of those in my garden.” And then she learns that globe alliums are bulbs — and must be planted in fall.

Sadly, it’s too late for this year, but put it on the list for fall: “Buy allium bulbs. Lots of them.” In the meantime, there is a way you can get alliums this year. Consider a lavender-flowered variety called Summer Beauty, which blooms later in the summer. It’s not as showy and tall as the fall-planted bulbs. However, it has arching green foliage that looks great all season. What’s more, the seed-heads hold up into the fall as the foliage ages gracefully to gold and yellow.

Summer Beauty is a no-nonsense plant that finds a home in most of my garden designs. If your garden center doesn’t carry it, ask them to order it. This plant is a winner! Summer Beauty also makes the list of favorites from garden designer and nurseryman Roy Diblik, author of the Know Maintenance Perennial Garden.

In a blog post, he wrote, “I like Allium angulosum ‘Summer Beauty’ so much I have to be careful not to overuse it. In early April, its foliage gives substance to the garden. Round lilac flowers bloom from late June into late July. I don’t deadhead it because in early fall, the flowering stems turn reddish-yellow, contrasting with the rich green foliage.”

everlasting

Even if you have a brown thumb, you can successfully grow Everlasting Alliums. They’re hardy everywhere and always in bloom.

If you’re looking for more globes for your perennial garden, consider these similar plants:

  • Echinops: Globe thistle blooms blue in summer.
  • Agapanthus: Tender lilies of the Nile are showy, tropical plants that can be overwintered indoors in cold climates.
  • Eryngium: Also known as sea holly, this spiky plant tolerates dry conditions.
David plants alliums in gardens throughout northwestern Vermont.