Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ornamental onions and a soap box rant about puppy mills

Some onions are pretty enough to plant in the flower bed. Chives for example are very attractive when blooming. I like their tubular, bluish leaves even after bloom is finished. My onion chives have pale lavender blooms and garlic chives bloom in white.

Garlic looks a lot like chives. I planted one garlic bulb about 4 years ago and now have a nice little patch.

Most of my allium flower in mid spring.

Allium Purple Sensation is not edible but it certainly is attractive.

The unusual allium karataviense. The best thing about this allium is the foliage.

A. karataviense are very low to the ground. They aren't particular about soil except that it drain well. In my garden, allium has no pests or disease.

Another Purple Sensation beginning to bloom. PS seeds freely, the seedlings look like grass. It takes at least three years from seed to bloom.

Wednesday morning the Associated press broke a truly heartrending story about the death and suffering of puppies in puppy mills. This topic always disgusts me. Seems that the USDA inspectors who are charged with protecting the welfare of animals in puppy mills haven't been doing their jobs. They've been ignoring violations, waiving fines, allowing repeat offenses, and turning a blind eye to neglect and cruelty. The result has been the death of several hundred puppies in various kennels around the country. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack admits to these charges and promises to make some big changes. Right, isn't that what they always say? We can all be absolutely certain that nothing will change and that these helpless animals will continue to suffer and die.

If you have a little extra time, I would urge you to write to your congressman and demand the Dept. of Agriculture do a better job of protecting companion animals. If you are thinking of getting an animal, please adopt from a rescue organization. Don't buy from a pet shop, breeder or kennel. There are already far too many dogs in need of homes, none of us want to encourage breeding for profit.