The Orange Tip

Tag: Allium

Early Seed Heads

It often feels strange to be collecting seed heads so early into summer; an activity more commonly associated with autumn. However, it’s the early setting biennials that very often have the showiest form once in seed, especially in the long border.

There is, therefore, a good argument for leaving them in place; providing a new element of form and, it could also be suggested, colour to the planting. On a recent trip to Sissinghurst gardens in Sussex, I was struck by the wash of silvery-grey resulting from large, spent Christophii Alliums running through the borders. The same also at Great Dixter (one element of planting design they do appear to agree on).

I have decided to collect my seedheads instead this year for the duel purpose of propagation and (very) early Christmas-season preparation. For the opium poppies now is the time for selecting and storing seed; before they spread themselves far beyond reasonable management and control. And for the alliums, the current dry run has rendered them stiff and easily pulled; so best to seize them before the rains come. As they inevitably will.




Dried and Hanging Around

Slow Growing

A Few Early-Flowerers

Summer Sun

Promising Signs


A relief to see the tips of the species daffodils, tulips and alliums popping up through the picking beds, right where they should be! It’s always a little unnerving after a late Autumn planting and long Winter’s waiting to see if the bulbs made it through. So many worrying potentials such as squirrels, rot and frost. It’s satisfying when the lines come up roughly straight too..