Allium Obsession: The Charted Growth of a Favorite Onion
Alliums are showing up all over the city this month – those Dr. Seuss-like blooms that perch on bare stems. They’re a member of the onion genus and their graphic form makes them a dramatic spring and summer bloom. (See an earlier post for an image of them in one of our garden designs.)
Last year, I got Allium-obsessed. I ordered all the varieties from my favorite catalog, planted them in a willing recipient’s yard (thanks Grandma), and photographed their growth from bulb to bloom.
Bloom times, color, size, height and shape vary with the variety. To illustrate all the differences, I set up an Allium lab in the studio kitchen.
These are the early bloomers which you’re likely to see in gardens now.
After a week or so, I had a whole new group in bloom, which I added in front of the first.
Later, I added blooms from the mid-late bloom group.
And for the finale, the late-bloomers, which include my favorite – the spiny one in the foreground called Allium shubertii, sometimes known as “the firework flower”.