May 02, 2011


The garden is turning into an explosion of alliums at the moment. I had quite a few last year, but in september I got this hunger for ribbons or rivers of them snaking through the borders, glamming up the garden in May and working different looks as they mingle in various places with bronze fennel, lime- green nigella foliage and Queen of the Night tulips. How they would look in these combinations has been floating through my imagination all winter, and it is fabulous to be enjoying them a few weeks earlier than normal.

I particularly love how they look in soft, slanting evening light.

I was hoping they would pick out the pinky-purple glints in the fennel, and I am delighted that they do it just as I'd envisioned.

Planting bulbs en masse really does create a wonderful sense of movement, as the eye bobs from one to the other.

I like the more sultry mix with Tulipa Queen of the Night, which is right up there in my favourite ever tulip, so effortlessly elegant and classic.

So if you do nothing else in your garden this autumn, will you dig in a purple river of allium bulbs, (most of these are Allium 'purple sensation'), into an area that gets lots of sun, and be dazzled this time next year? If you are not keen on purple, there are white varieties. They also last over a week in a vase incase you were wondering!

And very occassionally have a bad hair day. Bless!

If you would like an armful of alliums, you know where to come. xx


  1. Hello lovely Belinda,

    I have some alliums in our garden but I've been thinking that I'd love some more. They do definitely add a certain something to the look. They seem to inject a touch of formality into my other fairly informal cottage-style look.

    I love the combinations you think up, you gardening genius, you!


  2. These are really beautiful! I love the pairing with fluffy fennel, and your Queen of the Night tulips too. You must be really proud of these Belinda.

  3. Belinda..I love alliums and if I was nearer I would be dropping by to purchase some alliums and just sit in your garden as it is fan-tas-tic! I thought I was doing great with 6 stems!Love it love it love it..Sinead x

  4. Beautiful with the fennel! They are one of my faves - although this year they are about a month too early for the wedding I was planning to use them on. But that does mean I get to leave quite a lot of them growing, which is a lovely treat. (The seedheads will be used for Xmas decs, so I don't have to feel guilty about not using them either - result!) x

  5. Absolutely utterly fabulous. I had been thinking today that I hadn't planted nearly enough alliums last year and now that I have seen this I will have to revise my numbers upwards yet again. Just beautiful. I am delighted to have found your lovely blog and intrigued to see that you are building a garden much as I am, though in a very different place!

  6. I would definitely love a river of Allium next year. How do they stand up to wind, my garden is quite windy? I love your companion planting it looks delightful. Love Linda x

  7. How well the alliums and fennel go together... your garden is a dream. Abby x

  8. You guys are so appreciative, thanks for the allium love!! Linda, they stand up suprisingly well to wind, my garden is very exposed, they might lean a little bit, but none of mine have ever fallen over.

  9. Will you please STOP adding flowers to my planting list? I cannot afford any more! Well, maybe these... xo

  10. Beautiful...especially combined with the Queen of the Night tulips! I am more in love with your garden with every post...

  11. Ah you and the Raven are clearly of one mind when it comes to alliums tulips and bud vases!
    Your planting scheme looks magnifique. I have a "black border" which is stuffed full of alliums and queen of the night along with lovely black aquilegia, self seeding for England!

    Have a lovely week Belinda,

    Sarah x

  12. Love the sea of alliums in your beautiful garden...the black tulips and fennel are a great combination with the purple pom poms.
    Julie x
    Thanks for the history of the flag!

  13. WOW! I really like the feathery, soft fennel with those gorgeous lollipop alliums and the darkness of the tulips. Fantastic combo, Belinda. The impact is so much greater planting in swathes as you have and no doubt there will be countless beds of them round the country next year!
    K x

  14. GORGEOUS, love the alliums and the tulips, I planted 500 tulips in part of our garden last year, things look much better in groups don't they?
    Love Helen x

  15. Belinda they are absolutely stunning and what a wonderful combination. So good when these things work out - LOVE Queen of the Night tulips too.

  16. So pretty - I wish I had the space.

    Nina x

  17. Visiting your blog and gazing deeply into your glorious pictures is the next best thing to being able to wander silently around your exceedingly beautiful garden. We don't get alliums in SA (not available), yet they are so lovely, I wonder why not! You have worked hard to produce the gorgeous blooms you now enjoying. The colour combinations are striking!

  18. Thanks to you all for sharing the allium love!! x