Gardening: Be inspired by other gardens, says Dawn Hinsley
I was reading an online interview with Diarmuid Gavin the other day – readers with a good memory will recall I’ve interviewed him for this column before – and he was talking about his five favourite plants.
On the list were alliums (common name: ornamental onion).
Just like most gardening enthusiasts, one thing I really enjoy doing is visiting other people’s gardens – either public or private during open events for charity – and taking a look around for inspiration.
Alliums (above, right) are plants which feature over and over again in all kinds of outdoor spaces and they really are stunning.
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It’s something I’d like to introduce to my own garden, which is still lacking a hydrangea – another ‘must buy’ on the list.
Alliums are recognisable for their blooms which grow in large showy ball shapes made up of masses of tiny flowers – often on tall stems. They are in the bulb family and flower spring to mid-summer.
If, like me, you have a courtyard garden or limited space and need to grow your plants in pots and containers, alliums will need deep pots. Bulbs should be planted in early autumn – so a good time to start planning/thinking about this is now – and planted around four times the diameter of the bulb.
Tall varieties also need to be quite spaced out (check the planting instructions on the bulbs you buy) so smaller alliums might work better for you if you’re gardening within a compact plot.
Although the flowers are beautiful, leaves can sometimes look messy and some experts advise planting something around or in front of them to hide this.
A lot of growers leave the seed heads on for extra interest through autumn. They are also a great cutting plant.
In other local news, the Lincoln and District Fuchsia and Geranium Society has been in touch to tell me all about their pending 26th annual show.
Organisers are promising an event they hope will be the biggest yet with plant sales, tombola, an annual draw and experts on hand to discuss all things fuchsia (above, left) and geranium – successes or problems.
My own fuchsias have had quite a slow start this year – probably due to my replanting hardy varieties into bigger containers this spring. But now they are flowering, their beauty is bringing an exquisiteness to my garden.
The Annual Fuchsia and Geranium Show will be held at the North Kesteven Sports Centre on Sunday, August 25 (2pm-4.45pm).
Find me on Twitter @TheDawnGardener