Plant Profile: Allium sphaerocephalon

photo: Allium Sphaerocephalon
June 2, 2002 Austin Texas zone 8

photo: Allium Sphaerocephalon
June 5, 2002 Austin Texas zone 8

photo: Allium Sphaerocephalon
June 5, 2002 Austin Texas zone 8

photo: Allium Sphaerocephalon
June 11, 2002. As the drumsticks fully open they develop the shape that gave them their name.

June 5th, 2002
Allium sphaerocephalon

The drumstick onions take forever to unfurl. I’m always disappointed in the beginning and then end up being won over by their odd charms.

From the catalog description: Deep pink-reddish flowers. Height 32 inches. Late spring flowering. Plant 6 inches deep and 3 inches apart.

Zanthan Gardens History

Planted the ornamental drumstick onions that I purchased from Dutch Gardens.

Sprouted. (About 1 week).

Rapidly attained a height of 10 to 12 inches with dark, straight, narrow leaves. They have a much neater habit than the A. neapolitanum and for that reason, I prefer them in the meadow. However, they weren’t supposed to bloom until late summer or fall. I was hoping they would replace the larkspur, But they are up before the larkspur and I might have to pull any larkspur I planted there so that it doesn’t compete and overshadow them.

First flowers. On stems 30 to 36 inches tall. They tease for a long time in bud, then lose a papery case around the flowers and turn a lovely reddish-purple from the top down. They are very strange-looking and I like them.

This year the first flowers began well after all the spring annuals had faded. Supplemental watering has lengthened the bloom period and resulted in larger flower heads.

Dig up one clump that was weedy and divide and replant it. The leaves are about 8 inches long and the roots are well-established, but they didn’t seem to mind the transplanting very much.

A Garden from a Hundred Packets of Seed
James Fenton
Farrar, Straus and Giroux. New York. 2001

June 4th, 2002
A Garden From A Hundred Packets of Seed

Just as I’m beginning to take garden planning more seriously, just as I’m installing more hardscaping and thinking about garden bones, just as I go in search of a shrubbery, I pick up this little book which says, more or less, “Forget design. It’s about the flowers.”

This book is not so much about gardening as it is about the game of lists. If your garden was a blank slate, if you could plant anything you wanted to grow (but only if you grew it from seed), what would you plant?

I’m not sure I can even come up with a 100 plants to grow from seed at this point in my gardening career. I’m not very good at raising things from seed. But, I’ll have a go at making a list of my own. Why don’t you add a comment and tell me what you would grow.
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The problem with borrowed views is that you have no control over them.

June 3rd, 2002
Borrowed Views

Any gardener with a small garden learns to borrow visual elements in the landscape beyond the garden’s borders. When I look up from my desk, the path through the meadow leads my eye to the trunk of a huge live oak tree in the yard behind mine, and to the screen of mixed green shrubbery beyond. In front of the chainlink fence, I’ve planted a mix of flowering shrubs that disguises the boundaray rather than a hedge that would call attention to it. This creates an illusion that the back yard is twice as deep as it is. The neighbor has a old stucco outbuilding that complements the scene.
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Four days after we received an inch of rain, the rainlilies open.

June 1st, 2002

Photo Gallery Rainlilies