Great Garlic and Gorgeous Alliums – Plant in Fall, Enjoy Right Now
So far, no summer for us in Maine – and not much in the Hudson Valley, either. But that won’t stop autumn from arriving in about 5 minutes. Time to get the fall bulb list together and I’m not just talking tulips (and daffodils, crocus, muscari, scilla …)
Not by a long shot. After all the spring beauties are done there’s a whole new round of effortless delight, thanks to the alliums. Ornamental types shine in June – especially in weather like this on account of they’re rainproof – and of course there’s garlic: scapes right now, mature bulbs in mid to late July.
Walking through the garden these last days I see I don’t have enough
aka the Star of Persia ( let’s hear it for liberation in Persia!) and because for some reason I only have one clump of
aka Nectaroscordum siculum ssp bulgaricum (anyone ever hear of a common name?), I don’t have nearly enough to cut for
Yes, those are garlic scapes in there, escaped from the kitchen to show off for a minute, something they do very well by themselves.
That said, my favorite solo act really IS best solo, though shown here with a Star of Persia just for comparison.
Don’t worry about cutting garlic scapes, btw; removing them doesn’t make any difference one way or the other. Just be sure to leave a few to make topsets for spring planting, about which more shortly.
For now a scape storage tip: they last more or less forever if you ignore the picture above and keep them in a very shallow layer of water, with only the stem bases immersed. If you put them in the usual full vase, the stems rot after a fairly short time.
I buy most of my bulbs in bulk because it costs less and concentrates the mind. As a general rule it’s nicer to have lots of one thing than lots of little dits and bits, no matter how colorful they may be.