An Allium You Can Plant Anytime: Summer Beauty

Summer Beauty alllium and purple coneflowerA drift of Summer Beauty alliums harmonizes with a clump of echinacea. Photo by Jill Selinger. Taken from The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden Copyright 2014 by Roy Diblik. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Upon seeing globe alliums for the first time, many a gardener will say, “Gotta have some of those in my garden.” And then she learns that globe alliums are bulbs — and must be planted in fall.

Sadly, it’s too late for this year, but put it on the list for fall: “Buy allium bulbs. Lots of them.” In the meantime, there is a way you can get alliums this year. Consider a lavender-flowered variety called Summer Beauty, which blooms later in the summer. It’s not as showy and tall as the fall-planted bulbs. However, it has arching green foliage that looks great all season. What’s more, the seed-heads hold up into the fall as the foliage ages gracefully to gold and yellow.

Summer Beauty Allium

allium in a border landscapeSummer Beauty is a no-nonsense plant that finds a home in most of my garden designs. If your garden center doesn’t carry it, ask them to order it. This plant is a winner! Summer Beauty also makes the list of favorites from garden designer and nurseryman Roy Diblik, author of the Know Maintenance Perennial Garden.

In a blog post, he wrote, “I like Allium angulosum ‘Summer Beauty’ so much I have to be careful not to overuse it. In early April, its foliage gives substance to the garden. Round lilac flowers bloom from late June into late July. I don’t deadhead it because in early fall, the flowering stems turn reddish-yellow, contrasting with the rich green foliage.”

Even if you have a brown thumb, you can successfully grow Everlasting Alliums. They’re hardy everywhere and always in bloom.

If you’re looking for more globes for your perennial garden, consider these similar plants:

  • Echinops: Globe thistle blooms blue in summer.
  • Agapanthus: Tender lilies of the Nile are showy, tropical plants that can be overwintered indoors in cold climates.
  • Eryngium: Also known as sea holly, this spiky plant tolerates dry conditions.
Eryngium Yarrow Plants GrowingSteely blue eryngium (Sea Holly) contrasts beautifully with bright yellow yarrow.

Last updated: 03/18/2024