Move over tulips, sayonara daffodils because when it comes to spring it is all about alliums! Dominating vases and gardens as far as the eye can see, alliums are nature’s glorious globes!
I love the power flowers have to transport you to another place. One look at an allium and I am immediately sitting in my parents garden with a cup of tea in my hand and the sun on my face.
Alliums belong to the onion family. The clue to this is in their less glamorous alternate name ‘the ornamental onion’. You’ll notice when you snip their stems that you’ll get a faint onion-y aroma. While their cousins onion and garlic make our food taste nicer all year round, ornamental onions give us their all in a much shorter time span. However, seeing them in bloom is just as much a feast for the eyes as garlic & onion are a feast for our taste buds.
Little tip – If you’re not a fan of the slight onion-y aroma they give off then just make sure you change your vase water regularly and that’ll stop it becoming noticeable. Alliums love water so it’s no bad thing to keep them topped up.
These big, round flower heads of ornamental alliums are irresistible. There’s just something so unexpected and playful about them. They have the ability to really jazz up any bunch.
As if that’s not enough, here’s yet another reason to love alliums: their seed heads! Like any good thing, alliums will eventually fade and lose their colour, but what remains is still impressive.
Long live the allium
Here are some ways to make the most of these amazing alliums after they have fulfilled their vase life purpose.
- Take them out of the bunch and leave them to dry in a vase. They will look fab and last for years.
- Another option is to let the seed heads dry completely and then paint them. Last year I dried some Gladiator (type of allium) seed heads and then spray painted them gold and silver – the ultimate Christmas decoration. Of course this also looks super all year round. Dried alliums, not just for Christmas.
Use their seeds:
- Take them out of the bunch and leave to dry for 2-3 weeks
- Pop the heads upside down in a paper bag and shake ‘em. You will be left with a bag of seeds.
- In late April or early May, scatter them in your garden or put 20-30 seeds in a pot. Then, watch them grow! By next spring you’ll have some lovely alliums of your own!
There really isn’t much an allium can’t do. They will cast a floral spell over you and once you go allium you really can’t turn back. They are coming up in our boxes soon so make sure you don’t miss out on these glorious globes. If you’re not a customer yet then this is the perfect time to join.