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Garden Topics: Expanding the Horizons of Your Early Spring Garden

Horizons of Your Early Spring Garden - Reillys Summer Seat FarmEven in a garden packed with plants, there's always room to add bulbs for early spring color, but please look beyond the common and consider adding Alliums to your garden.

These out-of-the-ordinary bulbs tend to have a globe-like bloom shape with distinctive purple or white blooms. They contrast perfectly with many other late-spring blooming perennials.

As a bonus, the leaves of late-spring alliums disappear quickly. You'll want to pair them with bushy companions so you won't have gaps in your garden when their foliage disappears. A preferred partner for alliums, especially the tall, white-flower cultivars, is culinary sage. In spring, the alliums pop up easily through the bushy sage clumps, creating a dreamy scene of white clouds hovering over the undulating silver-green mounds. Hostas, daylilies and medium-size ornamental grasses such as fountain grass also make ideal companions for alliums, providing a follow-up display of handsome foliage and flowers for interest later in summer.

Alliums look exotic, but they don't demand any special care to thrive. In fact, care for these easy bulbs is anything but fussy. They need full sun in spring, but once the leaves die off, the amount of sun doesn't matter; that makes them an ideal addition to gardens that are shaded by deciduous trees in summer. (Fall is the time to plant Allium bulbs)

And there are more reasons to give these easy care bulbs a try:

  1. Many alliums keep their starburst form even after the flowers fade, drying in place and lasting for weeks or even months. Leave them in the garden as long as their companions hold them up, or collect and display them indoors or out. We find they are a perfect addition to Christmas arrangements when sprayed with white, silver or gold paint spray paint.
  2. Animals seldom bother allium flowers or bulbs, and the plants aren’t bothered by insect pests or diseases either.


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