September 2nd, 2007
Delights of Garlic Chives

Allium tuberosum

In one of Pam’s recent Tales from the Microbial Laboratory she posted some gorgeous photos of the bug life on her garlic chives (Allium tuberosum). I’ve noticed that mine have been buzzing with bees for a couple of weeks. (What a nasty honey that must make!) But it wasn’t until I saw her photographs that I was inspired to take camera in hand.

The bees were plentiful but camera shy. In all my shots all I got was a blur. Still, as Pam showed me, there is an amazing diversity in the creatures attracted to garlic chives. I’ll add more photos as I take them.

Allium tuberosum

Allium tuberosum

Allium tuberosum

One of the things I love about garden blogging is comparing notes with other gardeners near and far. I had all this beauty in my garden but wouldn’t have given it a careful look if Pam hadn’t shown me what she saw in her garden.

by M Sinclair Stevens

9 Responses to post “Delights of Garlic Chives”

  1. From Annie in Austin:

    Okay, M – you and Pam have convinced me to let my garlic chives out of captivity. I’d been warned about their takeover tendencies so often that mine are in a container surrounded by concrete so no seedlings could form. Maybe the sprouts would be worth it since they bring so much action into your garden!

    Nice photos, too.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Like many alliums, they do have a tendency to take over. They both seed (something your containers won’t stop) and can be divided like any bulb/rhizome. They have been more beautiful than ever this year because of all our rain. Last year they were small and ratty. — M

  2. From Pam/Digging:

    Great “bug” pics. And the flowers themselves look cool and dainty. What conditions do they favor here in Austin?

    They are pretty undemanding. The garlic chives came with my garden and I haven’t managed to kill them yet. They don’t require full sun but I notice that the ones that get at least half a day of sun flower better. I don’t feed them or divide them or do anything with them. Obviously they’d like a little more water than we get in an average year–this year the flowering stems are really tall. Most of the year they have strappy green leaves. They do look awful right after a freeze when they die back. But clean out the dead leaves and very soon new ones will sprout in the spring. I have plenty to share if you want some. They flower only about two weeks of the year, though. — mss

  3. From Diana - Austin:

    What beautiful photos you captured of garden friends! And I smiled when you said you’d been inspired by Pam’s photos — I love the inspiration I get from all the gardening blogs, from planting to photo ideas. I tried to photograph a huge bumblebee while I was in Indiana, but my camera just didn’t have the right stuff to get it in focus that close up – wish I’d had my husband’s fancy Nikon with me … all your great photos, and Pam’s new camera, make me want one, too.

    Thanks. I’m hoping for a new camera too. My Coolpix 4300 doesn’t do well at all if the light levels are low. And it’s very slow to “snap” the picture. I took quite a few blurry photos before I got three or four printable shots. — mss

  4. From Steve Mudge:

    Wow, beautiful photos!

    Thanks! — mss

  5. From firefly maine:

    Great photos. I’ll have to head over to Digging to see Pam’s shots.

    I don’t have garlic chives, but I have seen a lot of different butterflies, caterpillars, moths, and bees and finally got some photos of them, so I’ll try to post them sometime this week.

    Actually it was Pam in South Carolina from Tales from the Microbial Laboratory who inspired me this time. — mss

  6. From Pam:

    How fun! I’m glad that you took a closer look. I was noticing more creatures in mine today, but I had a pitchfork in hand (hauling mulch) instead of a camera. I didn’t see a single grasshopper on mine though – interesting!

    Thanks for the idea! I thought your photos were fantastic. — mss

  7. From Ki:

    Really wonderful pictures of insects and especially of the moth and even more so of the close up of its antennae. Your old camera did you proud. If garlic chives draw so many insects, I’ll have to see if I can get some!

  8. From Angelina:

    Those are amazing pictures. I love inspecting the bug life in the garden. My camera refuses to take the kind of macro shots I want though. What is that first one-is it a wasp or a moth?

    I don’t know my insects very well. I have a difficult time identifying even common ones. I should study up on that. I have trouble seeing the insects (and many spiders) without the help of the camera. My son used to have one of those boxes with a magnifying glass for observing live insects but I don’t know where it is. –mss

  9. From Annie in Austin:

    My camera won’t take good photos of small insects either – or at least I can’t make it. So there’s a poor photo of an interesting insect on my response blog, Annie’s Addendum. It’s here:

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Very nice. Maybe we’ll start a “What’s-bugging-your-chives Day. Probably no competition with Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, or even Flip a Rock Day but it’s a start. — mss