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Another Reason for Alliums

June 26th, 2012

As if you need another reason to grow a wide variety of alliums in the garden beside the deliciousness that they bring to your plate. I plant extra leeks and onions so I can leave some in place to produce blooms. Leeks are the best for this because they’re overwintered. I never harvest all of my leeks because otherwise I’d miss these beautiful flowers and so would the bees.

Onions are biennial so they will bloom the second year. These are leeks that I planted last summer, harvested in fall/winter/spring and left a few for the honeybees.

They’re not quite as showy, as big, or as colorful as globe alliums that you buy as flowering bulbs, but they do offer food for our tables and beauty for our gardens. I certainly appreciate plants that do double duty like this!

Do you ever leave any of your leeks or onions to bloom for beauty and for the bees?

8 Comments to “Another Reason for Alliums”
  1. daisy on June 26, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I haven’t yet had success with leeks, although I love using them in the kitchen. I will remember to leave a few for the bees when I do start them again in the fall. Thanks!

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  2. julie on June 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Beautiful! We’re in Philadelphia so neighbors are very, very close & we have a half-wall between one of ours .. she neighbor hasn’t touched her yard once this year so it’s FULL of weeds & wild onions. I told my boyfriend to sit tight, that in a few weeks it would be full of great little flowers. Sure enough, it is ! So he’s stopped grumbling about the “weed patch” next door – for now. :)

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  3. Jennelle on June 26, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Alluim blooms are some of my very favorite. So pretty! My mom’s garlic bed always has some of the most stunning blooms in her garden.

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  4. Rick on June 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I’ve never thought to do that. I might have to give that a try this year. We have some extra onions growing around this year, I’ll have to let a few flower. Thanks for the tip!!

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  5. risa on June 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

    We prefer the blossoms to any other part. I deadhead most of the crop of elephant garlic but leave about ten to blossom (they grow seven feet tall, and visitors are blown away looking at them). These flower heads I bring in, one by one over the season (and even freeze a few). Hold over the soup pot, sald bowl, or dough-in-progress with scissors, and give it a little haircut. Yum!

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    • Susy on June 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      I’ve been wanting to plant some elephant garlic, I’ll have to make sure to leave a few to flower when they do – 7 foot tall blossoms would be GREAT!

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  6. Maybelline on June 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    My garlic chives are perennial and do bloom regularly. Some onions do get left behind due to inferior field work (me).

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  7. itchbay on June 26, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    All the time. I have some garlic in pots too. I love the flowers. They last such a long time, and the bees really love them. I’ve even gotten seeds off them! I haven’t tried to grow them, but I’d be curious to know how they turn out.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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