November is the month traditionally for firework displays, hot dogs and gathering around a huge fire to celebrate, but sadly this will be yet another event affected this year by the virus restrictions.
The word ‘Firework’ is used to describe several varieties of plants, either for their colour or their form, including a hosta, the grass Pennisetum, a Begonia and Solidago, but there is one other plant that reminds me of a firework, and that is the allium. The sculptural head consisting of hundreds of tiny individual little flowers look like a firework as it explodes.
Alliums are one of my favorite bulbs and now is the perfect time of year to plant a selection in your borders. There are several varieties to choose from, plant bulbs in free draining fertile soil and in sun or partial shade, and depending on the variety, they will grow to between 10 and 24 inches tall.
‘Purple Sensation’ is one of my favourite varieties, but others to look out for include Allium Schubertii which really does look like a firework mid burst, showering its tiny ‘sparks’ of flowers from spoke like stems into the air. Then there is Allium Cristophii with its large head of silver-violet spheres 8 inches in diameter that make a real statement. Mixing a selection of bulb varieties in your borders will make for a stunning display next May and June and will provide plenty of interest for both you and the pollinating insects.
There are varieties of Allium that have white flowers, Mount Everest is one. This variety has grapefruit sized flower heads on a tall glossy green stem which are 36 inches tall. These planted against a dark back drop will provide impact and illuminate your border on those early summer evenings. Plant these bulbs about 12 inches apart to allow them space to shine.
Talking of fireworks of another kind – how do you find working in your own garden with your husband, wife or partner? I was listening to Gardeners’ Question Time on the radio the other day and the panel were discussing how they prefer to garden alone to avoid risking falling out with a loved one. I myself know of some husband and wife teams that whilst they love each other dearly, have their own area of the garden and do not stray into one another’s patch!
The programme was very funny to listen to and I could identify some of myself in the what the panel had to say! Sticking with this theme, recently I have had two enquiries from prospective clients who have asked for help with their own garden plans saying, “my husband and me just don’t see eye to eye in the garden”. This is one of benefits of enlisting the help of a professional garden designer who has the skills to offer suggestions, listen to different ideas and points of view and to come up with some common ground that will keep both parties happy and allow harmony to be restored.
When I first visit my clients at the initial consultation, I have a questionnaire that we complete together that covers all aspects of the proposed garden design project from materials to plants to how the garden is going to be used and is the perfect way for me to get to know my clients requirements.
Until next time