Thursday, May 21, 2009

Onions and grape-ade


The delicately beautiful blooms of the iris are deceptive. There are few plants in my garden as tough as the tall bearded iris. The white iris Immortality is the first to bloom. Last year the black iris Superstition bloomed at almost the same time for a wonderful color contrast.

I can count on iris to do their thing every year with no help or coddling from the gardener. In fact they are so self sufficient I force them to endure conditions they shouldn't have to put up with. In some areas of my garden they are rediculously overcrowded. They get no supplemental water even in times of drought nor are they fertilized or fed. They do well in a naturalized area and hold their own against the grasses and tree roots. They are never harmed by late spring freezes but severe rain storms occasionally make the bloom stalks tilt at crazy angles. The downside is a very short bloom time but the spiky foliage alone is not unattractive. Most of my iris have a delicious grape-ade fragrance.

This year allium (a member of the onion family) "Purple Sensation" is blooming at the same time as the Immortality iris. I find these tall purple orbs on the end of a slender stick a little difficult to incorporate with other plants. The color is nice on these alliums but they would look much better at half the height. "Purple Sensation" does reseed and many clumps of grass like young folliage are scattered through my garden. It will probably take these seedlings three or four years to reach maturity and bloom. Purple Sensation blooms for about two weeks but I allow the interesting seed headto remain for months.

(The sun just rising behind the a group of iris and allium.)


Another allium planted in my garden for the first time in the fall of 2008. This is Allium karataviense a very low growing plant for the front of the border. The leaves are interesting and attractive in the early spring. Later three inch oval blooms nestle down low in the leaf cup. I hadn't seen karataviense widely available and reasonably priced until last fall. There is also a wine and pale lavender colored variation that make an interesting addition to the garden. See Tina's "IN THE GARDEN" post for more info and photos on alliums.



Above white blooms and below pale lavender. My plants were purchased as "Ivory Queen" but obviously are not.

After doing some additional research I learned these allium do reseed freely. Since it takes several years for seed to produce a flowering bulb most people will probably want to just purchase mature bulbs and not expect much from seedlings.





Wildlife Rumors by Miss B



This breaking headline just in from our reporter Miss B.

Trouble in the local monarchy. Monday one of the young princess bees, tired of waiting for the Queen to die, gathered her loyal followers and left the hive. The old queen was sorry to see her subjects leave but made no attempt to stop them. This is not the first uprising in this hive. Over more than 20-years many such defections have occurred.



Hundreds of servants gathered round the new queen on a flimsy tree limb while scouts were sent outside the realm to seek a suitable location for a new hive.



Best of luck your majesty as you and your followers under take this perilous journey.
May you find your Camelot.

Long live the Queen.

28 comments:

Dawn said...

Goodness! What a beautiful kitty, I mean, reporter and she is not frightened by the bees?
Allium is really pretty and when your digging near it. The onion smell will let you know your too close!

JC said...

Wow ... to get the shot of the bees .. great kitty cat reporter !!!

Kathleen said...

Oh Marnie, that's another fascinating story by Miss B. She's really on top of her "game." Best of luck to the new bee colony ~ we sure need them to thrive & prosper.
Love the alliums with the iris. I think it's a stunning combination. I'd like to find karataviense to add to my collection. I couldn't agree with you more on iris being so tough. They are "abused" in my garden as well and still they bloom beautifully. We have to appreciate that, don't we?

Rosey Pollen said...

I would have to agree with Kathleen, Iris are some tough beauties! I keep meaning to add more allium so my garden. Thanks for great post and great pictures of cute kitty and flowers.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Dawn, I hadn't noticed the onion smell so guess I didn't hit any bulbs.

JC, thank you. I'll tell B she did good.

Kathleen, you're right. Bees are so vulnerable when they swarm. I hope they succeed too. We do need them. I picked up the karataviense at Menards so they should be easy to find this fall.

Marnie

perennialgardener said...

Those White Irises look lovely combined with Purple Sensation Alliums. Wow, that is a swarm of bees, Miss B is a brave reporter to get that close to the action. Thanks for keeping us informed...;)

Gail said...

I think a hive swarming would be a fantastic sight! Ms B you were so lucky and Marnie, thanks for capturing the shot!

The iris and allium are a perfect combination! I am going to add more allium if I remember to order them.

Gail

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Racquel, honey bees are the gentlest creatures. They never bother anyone unless hurt or attacked.

Hi Gail, it looked like a raccoon hanging on a tree limb. That's how large the swarm is. A couple years ago I was mowing the lawn when they swarmed. I blundered right into them and never got stung.

Marnie

BeadedTail said...

Beautiful photos of the iris and allium! And wonderful reporting from Miss B! That's quite a swarm of bees!

Sweet Repose said...

Wow, is that hive on your property, how lucky, I long to have another hive. I got 25 pounds of honey the first year I had my hive...yummmm...

Boy did I just go through a rainstorm in Coal Valley, Ill., then again as I drove back home, same storm twice in one day, oh lucky me, can't tell ya if you'll get it but, it was a gully washer...

My peonies are not out yet either, I think I'd rather have it warm earlier in the spring and take my chances with the blooms.

Love the allium...my entire house is ringed with purple iris, it is stunning right now and you're right, I do nothing to them except spread them all over my yard.

Later...s

Rambling Woods said...

My iris flowers are just blooming and I am learning so much here Marnie and I have to say 'wow' on the swarm...Ms. Kitty is great..
Michelle From Rambling Woods

Susie said...

I think your grape allium is beautiful. Looks good with the white iris.

That's a neat picture of the bees. Wow!

sweet bay said...

Impressive shot of the bees! Immortality and Purple Sensation are beautiful together.

Naturegirl said...

Very interesting about your Queen bee! What a photo! I've not ever seen anything like it!!! WOW!
Wow..also to the purple Alliums! I took photos of a patch last night and am determined to plant some in my garden.
Happy gardening to you!

Teresa said...

I love the allium and iris photo at the top. They look quite elegant together. I bought a karataviense last spring, I saw it peeping up about a month ago and a week later it appeared to have been lunch for some slugs or snails. I have hope for the tall purple ones which are still strappy leaves and no stalk at the momen.

Chicago Garden said...

I'm so jealous of your Allium karataviense. I bought some a few years ago that were suppose to be Allium k. but they turned out to be something different and kinda generic. Yours look awesome.

MrBrownThumb @ Chicago Garden

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Marnie, I too love alliums. I'd never seen those sweet Allium karataviense (how did I miss them in Tina's blog?), but they're very cute. James and Fiona warn Miss B to stay away from those bees!

Sherri said...

The iris and allium are beautiful! I love Miss B's story on the bees! She is a wonderful reporter!

troutbirder said...

What a great combination and your tribute to the lowly iris is right on!!!

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Allium is a very interesting plant. I'm one of those people who would buy the plant.
I must have white iris...stunning !

tina said...

Sorry I am so late Marnie. I've been so preoccupied lately. I have those 'Ivory Queen' too! I simply love them. They seem like tulips at first. The alliums with irises-I think they go together so well. The white with the purple is outstanding! What a swarm!

Jean Tuthill said...

The Iris and Allium are beautiful. I love the white Iris. I also love the short white allium. I so wish I had more room to garden. I need acres, so many plants and I want them all. The bees are amazing and so is Miss B.

Q said...

WOW! I just love the photo of the bees! I am crazy for the bees so this was extra wonderful!
Sherry

Connie said...

Love that allium/Iris combo!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
Spectacular combo of your irises and alliums ... you couldn't have planned it more perfectly! I really like the white of that iris, it's so clean and crisp and contrasts so well with the purple of the globe alliums. Our purple globes have already bloomed, but we are letting them go to seed too, because we're starting to see some of the babies bloom this year. We started with 3 in one area and we're now up to 5 this year....

Another really nice thing about alliums is that they're really beneficial plants to have in the garden because over time they leach sulfur naturally into the soil, which is the best protection against powdery mildew infections in plants prone to that (like Monarda). That's why we first planted them, plus we like the striking purple globes when they appear. Even the lowly chives provide this protection and have pretty blooms all of their own as well as providing a nice herb for the kitchen!

Carol said...

I have just found your swarm... are they wild honey bees? Isn't it a marvel?! I just had a swarm posted too... we are so lucky to witness this ritual. Great to know they are thriving in our habitats at least and hopefully making a true recovery. Love your text too. (I have wild honey bees living in an old rock maple next to the farmhouse for many years now.) Beautiful shot! I also love the post on the old fashioned shrubs which I so agree with you about their loveliness and low maintenance. The fragrance of the bridal veil is quite wonderful too. A Red Headed Woodpecker!!! Lucky you! Lovely Photos all about...Great Site!

ChrisND said...

I love the tall alliums...we have a couple by the front door that make a nice impression.

I have plans of adding irises to the front garden to help guard against grass -- grape-ade scent sounds very nice!

sa said...

AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,a片,AV女優,聊天室,情色,性愛