Partners for Purple Allium

Pick a plant partner that blooms at the same time as allium aflatunenense 'Purple Sensation' and you'll probably have a winning combination.

Purple allium rises above bright pink creeping phlox and soft cottage pinks. Spires of salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' surround the allium globes. Shades of purple and pink are great partners, but almost any color looks good with 'Purple Sensation'.

The short perennial, achillea lewisii 'King Edward' is a pale yellow that will soon be in full bloom at the feet of more of the alliums in my garden.

My California poppies are beginning to bloom, so now I'm thinking about sprinkling seeds around the alliums this November. I'm very pleased with the 'White Linen' that is a white-yellow beauty and about half the height of the 'Purple Sensation'.

This is my second year with alliums and I'm pleased with the results. My only disappointment—no fault of the alliums—is that the tips of the foliage scorched during our extremely hot spring days where temperatures hit 90° F with no significant rain for weeks.

Still, the globes are beautiful and purple. After the purple flowers are gone, the green globes are even very interesting and I leave those in the garden. Alliums can also be used as cut flowers, but I am enjoying them in the garden this year. As they multiple in years to come, I'll be more likely to use them for cut flowers.

Allium 'Purple Sensation' is rated for zones 4-9 and bloom time will be earlier in the warmer zones. Fall planting is recommended, so plan ahead.

There will be more to this allium story—I also added allium christophii as well as allium sphaerocephalon for this year!

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.


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