Drumstick alliums with lavender

Andrew clashing with the schemeI have Christopher Lloyd to thank for this colour combination. Many, many years ago I went on a marvelous road trip with Andrew Wilkie and Peppi Taylor down to Christopher Lloyd’s garden at Great Dixter in East Sussex.

His garden was a delight. And as astonishing as I had hoped.  But also much more beautiful than the daring close-ups of colour combinations that he used to espouse.

Here is a shot of Andrew admiring one of the garden beds. And it was here that I saw the purple cirsiums (thistles, really) juxtaposed next to some purple pin cushion flowered scabious.  Cerise pink and pale purple. Okay, I’ll give that a try. drumstick lavender

He was a great fan of mass planting of the pale blue forget-me-not (myosotis) to cover up the unsightly legs of the allium leaves.

Okay, I’ll give that a try too.

So in some previous garden incarnations here in the blasted heat of the south of France I planted thistles and I planted forget-me-nots.

Both died.

drumstick horizMind you, I have plenty of the wild variety of thistle in the steep banks of the terraces. But they are way too prickly to try and transplant.  And the myosotis just doesn’t enjoy the hard winter. And I’m too lazy to sow annually.

So. Andrew again. He bulk orders these wonderful drumstick alliums (allium sphaerocephalon). My what a latin fest we are having today.  And one year I plumped for a few hundred of these tiny bulbs.

The only easy place to plant them was in the bare soil of the new part of the lavender bank.  So in they went.

There are some dotted about the lavenders and that was the look I was trying to emulate. A bobbling of deep purple in among the pale. alliumvetical

And luckily I was up early enough to take the shot. Most of the day the colour is so washed out in the glaring sunlight.

But the garden designers among you are looking hard at the bank and seeing what I see.

I have too many bulbs in the lower part of the bed. I need to add about a thousand more in and among the established lavenders to balance all the colour out.

And that reminds me. I need to do my 2015 bulb order this weekend. Just the thing to do while hiding from the heat and sneaking a look at the Tour de France on the teev.