The rounded expressive inflorescences-heads of the allium resemble miniature balloons and create the feeling of a real holiday in the garden. In order to prolong the joyful atmosphere, as well as attract many insects to the garden, who love to collect nectar from bright inflorescences, whole flower beds can be created from blooming onions. Well-planned "allaria" will delight the florist from spring to late summer, and in order to achieve stable decorativeness, it is necessary to take into account all the features of this culture: choose the right place, ensure the right planting and pick up reliable companions.Alaria
When to plant allium?
Closer to the fall, more and more colorful packaging with bulbs of amazing allium varieties, which are difficult to resist, begins to appear on the shelves of garden shops. Gardeners have a reasonable question: when to plant allium?
The planting time of decorative bows is really very important not to miss, because this period is quite short. First of all, to choose the best time for planting bulbs in the flower garden, you need to turn to a long-term weather forecast, since the main condition for a successful wintering of allium is the successful rooting of the bulbs before freezing temperatures.
But at the same time, there is no need to hurry in this matter either, since if weather forecasters promise a long and warm autumn, plantings can sprout prematurely and leave in the winter weakened. And severe frosts without snow in such a case will lead to the inevitable death of sprouts.
Therefore, although the recommended time for landing allium is from the end of September to the end of October, first of all, it is worth paying attention to the weather. Usually, a signal for the onion planting is the beginning of an intense leaf fall when the daily temperature is set at +10 degrees.The place for the allaria should, first of all, be sunny, without stagnation of water and not too windy.
Choose a place to plant decorative bows
Decorative bows reveal all their original beauty only when conditions are created in the flower garden that are close to those familiar to plants in the wild. And, as you know, most types of onions live in the mountains or on dry plains, so the place for the allaria should first of all be sunny, not humid (without stagnation of water) and preferably not too windy to avoid lodging of shoots of tall varieties.
If stagnation of spring water happens in your garden, then in this case the allaria should be planted in a raised place. Regarding the mechanical composition and soil fertility: light and moderately fertile soils will be best for onions.
Allium does not belong to demanding crops that require special soil preparation, and onions will grow successfully in most garden plots. The exception is only very acidic soil, which it is desirable to deoxidize beforehand, as well as heavy loam, requiring additional application of sand.
How to plant allium?
Unfortunately, in the middle lane, many species of allium do not grow at all or grow in mass very slowly, so it is better to plant the bulbs in groups and arrange them quite close to each other so that the flower garden looks spectacular in the first year.
Usually, the allium does not need soaking or any other pre-treatment, but if you find signs of diseases (rot, stains, etc.) on the planting material, it is better to first withstand the bulbs in a fungicide solution (for example, "Maxim").
The planting process itself is simple - to place a group of alliums in the flower garden, you need to dig a small hole, the depth of which will be three bulbs heights. At the same time, less winter-hardy varieties are best planted as deep as possible. On too poor soils, compost or complex mineral fertilizer is added to the hole, and on too heavy soils - sand or vermiculite.
If the weather is dry, it is better to shed planting pits with water to facilitate the process of rooting of the bulbs. Top planting can be mulched with peat or mowed grass, and heat-loving varieties for reliability, it is advisable to additionally cover with spruce branches or straw.Decorative Globemaster Bow. Bow of Christophe (Allium cristophii). Decorative bow Mount Everest.
Types and varieties of decorative bows
In total, about 130 species of allium are present in the culture, and such an abundance makes it possible to compensate for the short flowering period if species and varieties are planted taking into account the timing of the appearance of flowering heads. So, a parade of decorative bows open: onion Roseum, Nectaroscrodum, Karatavsky, Ostrovsky and Unifoliumthat begin to bloom from early to mid-May.
At the end of May and beginning of June, the relay goes to the alliums: Purple Sensation, black bow and chives. And in June and early July, arrows begin to blossom in the flower garden bow of Moth, bow of blue, Schubert, Christoph, dark magenta and varieties: Mount Everest, Gladiator, Globemaster, other.
In July-August, the latest varieties complete the performance: hybrid Cameleon, bow-headed, slime and pretty onion (depending on the microclimate of the site, as well as weather conditions, the indicated dates may vary).
At the same time, it is not always worth rushing to cut off faded onion heads, because the original spheres even look dried structurally and can serve as living mini-sculptures in the flower garden.
Read more about the types and varieties of decorative onions in our article.
It is important to know that some types of allium belong to ephemeroids, which implies a short period of life, because immediately after flowering, the aboveground part of the plants dies and there is no trace of them in the flower garden. Therefore, it is better to think in advance which flowers will take their place in the allaria.Onion Moth (Allium moly). Decorative black bow (Allium nigrum). Onion is dark purple (Allium atropurpureum).
Do I need to dig up a decorative bow after flowering?
Another important question that often arises when growing allium: is it necessary to dig out decorative onions annually, as is done with varietal tulips? There is no definite answer in this case, since this may depend on several external factors, as well as on the personal decision of the gardener.
Of course, most modern varieties of onions will benefit if, after flowering and dying leaves, their bulbs are stored in a dry room with a temperature of + 18 ... +20 degrees until the fall. But when dry and hot summers are given out, this technique may not be required.
Many gardeners consider such a procedure rather troublesome and prefer to update the planting as necessary, using new planting material. In any case, on light sandy loamy soils without digging, alliums will safely last much longer than on heavy wet loam.
Annual digging tips mainly relate to modern western hybrids with large bulbs such as Globemaster, Purple Sensation, Mount Everest and other, as well as Central Asian species: Christoph's bow and Schubert's bow. Small onions it is required to dig out much less often. And the rhizome varieties of allium (chives and onion slime), the leaves of which remain green throughout the season, you only need to periodically divide as the curtain grows, like ordinary perennials.Christoph's onion after flowering.
Design allaria and best partners for bows
The biological characteristics of this plant are such that the flowering period of most decorative onions is short, and the leaves die off quite quickly (in some species they begin to turn yellow even during flowering). Based on this, you need to understand that it is unlikely to be possible to use a solo onion planting. And in the “correct” allaria, although allium predominates, other ornamental plants are necessarily present that support the architectonics and the elegant look of the flower garden throughout the season.
So how do you pick up reliable onion companions? Firstly, partner plants must maintain the structure of the entire composition and literally always “stay in shape”, that is, have dense, branched curtains throughout the season. As you might have guessed, the best candidates for this role will be low decorative shrubs.
Deciduous and evergreen shrubs in Alaria
Of the deciduous representatives of this group, first of all, pay attention to the numerous varieties japanese spirea. The bushes of this dwarf shrub are both completely crumbs - about 15 centimeters, and relatively high up to 60 centimeters, so they can be used in joint plantings with different types of onions, the varieties of which also vary in height.
In addition, the spirea lends itself perfectly to haircut and will not hide from the eyes of the ensemble soloists, whose elegant balls will rise above the dense pillows of bright dense foliage. By the way, the palette of Japanese spirea varieties seems to be specially selected to harmonize with the lilac inflorescences of alliums, because in most cases its leaf blades are yellow (Golden princess, Golden carpet, Candlelight)yellow red (Magic Carpet, Goldflame) or emerald green (Japanese Dwarf, Little Princess, Anthony Waterer).
In the middle of summer, allaria will add colors to the semi-umbrellas of pinkish, purple and raspberry blossoms of blooming spirea. At the same time, the presence of this shrub in the flower garden ensures that the allaria will always be interesting and attractive, because the foliage of Japanese spires has the ability to change color during the season.
In April, when many onions have not yet bloomed, this is the brightest shrub of the garden with dazzling bright young leaves, and in the fall, after the alliums finish flowering, the crimson and orangeish autumn color of the spire takes over the baton.
A similar color scheme and the spherical shape of the bush are undersized barberry tunberg, while the golden color of the foliage can be found in varieties such as Tiny Gold, Bonanza Gold andGolden divineat varieties Admiration or Atropurpurea nana - bright red or purple, and a tiny variety Kobold, reminiscent of boxwood, will create a dense thick green pillow at the foot of the bows.
Low-growing varieties can become an equally successful partner for allium weigelssuch as a popular cultivar Minor black with broad dark purple leaves. If over time the weigel bushes grow too large, their size can also be successfully controlled by cutting.
But the dwarf mock Gnome with the help of scissors, you can independently give a spherical shape, although this variety of mock-up will not bloom. Well, and of course, it’s hard not to invite representatives of an extensive group of dwarf conifers to the avenue.
A wonderful evergreen pedestal for blooming alliums will serve as emerald "nests" dwarf spruce Nidiformis or bluish herringbone Waldbrunn. Oh oh thujah and there is nothing to say, because their spherical shape is unconditionally combined with the fluffy heads of allium. Low spherical varieties of thuja, which are easy to find in nurseries - this is primarily: Danica, Hoseri, Tiny Tim - they are with green needles. Globosa Aurea, Golden Tuffet - yellow coniferous representatives of the group.
Since flowering bows mainly set the vertical in the flower garden, creeping shapes will easily take on the horizontal role junipers, such as the Wiltonii, Green Carpet, Golden Carpetwhich will create bright spectacular spots of bluish, blue and yellow colors in the flower garden.
Onion-slicker, or Onion drooping (Allium nutans) on a flower bed with a spirea.
Note: if you are planning an annual digging of allium, do not plant the bulbs close to the bushes so as not to damage their root system.
Perennials in Alaria
Perennials will not be superfluous in the allaria. The best companions for onions will be soil protectors who will help close the voids between the loose plantings of onions, but will not compete with allium for the main role in the flower garden. Therefore, perennials adjacent to the onion must either support the violet-purple color scheme of the allaria, or have white, yellow or orange inflorescences, and not be too high.
An equally important criterion that must be taken into account when selecting neighbors for onions is also the relative drought tolerance of plants, since alliums react negatively to excessive watering. Fully meet these requirements catnip, hyssop, sage, lavender, veronica, coreopsis whorled other.
Recently, when compiling an allaria, it has become fashionable to use decorative cereals. And this approach is fully justified, since the linear leaves of cereals well mask the dying foliage of onions, similar in shape to it, and the original panicles will bring the quiet charm of natural plantings into the flower garden.