And Now, the Onion Patch

Remember that song, “I’m a Lonely Little Petunia in the Onion Patch”? That Judy said everybody knew? Well, I asked people at my office and not a single one had heard of it, though they did think it was pretty catchy. Be that as it may, let me now tell you about our onion patch.


Actually, we’re talking just about the summer onion patch – in May we have a different patch (patches, actually) made up of Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ and ‘Globemaster’. In July and August, however, we’ve got another two species blooming.

Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ with Nodding Onion, not yet blooming, along the edge of the bed towards the left.

The first to bloom is A. lusitanicum ‘Summer Beauty’. This European native has really nice foliage – upright, grassy, and deep green.


The flowers are like lavender-colored puff balls. They look reall good in drifts.


DSC_0853I first saw this Allium planted in masses at the Lurie Garden. I immediately knew I had to have some. Fortunately, in the last couple of years it has become much easier to find at garden centers.

Nodding Onion

Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum) starts blooming after ‘Summer Beauty’ has peaked, which works out nicely. This is a native North American wildflower. The foliage is more lax, and the lavender-pink or white flowers are not as full as ‘Summer Beauty’. However, I think it’s still a very attractive plant.


Nodding Onion

Both of these Alliums are incredibly popular with pollinators. Give them sun and well-drained soil and they will thrive with minimal attention.

That’s all for now.

26 Comments on “And Now, the Onion Patch

  1. I can see I must look for Allium Summer Beauty. What a nice colour. They look really good, when planted as many as you have.

  2. My allium got greedy and started taking over the patch, so this year the blooms will disappear as soon as they start to fade. No self-seeding allowed.

  3. Very pretty they are, and now that dratted tune is going through my head once again. 😉

  4. Sorry, don’t know that song…but when reading the words thought of “I’m a little tea kettle” and now that won’t go away. Here there were huge allium plants-very tall, very white and early summer bloomers. Yours remind me of chives, which we once planted, got rambunkshus and ran amok…and still do.

  5. I’ll get some ornamental onions in the ground one of these days – they are so beautiful! Right now, however, it’s all about the kind that you don’t want to flower!

  6. Well, I don’t recognize a lot of the songs those young whippersnappers listen to either…so there.

  7. Hello Jason, I’m afraid I’ve never heard of that song either, I’ve asked a couple of people too and they just looked at me strangely. There are many alliums available now but I only have my favourite, Christophii. Despite being a European native, I don’t remember seeing “Summer Beauty” in the Garden Centres here.

  8. I might try alliums this year, they look nice in a bunch…I know that song too…you’ve got to wonder who ever thought up those words…!

  9. I’ve never heard of the song either… I love those ‘Summer Beauty’ alliums! I don’t think I’ve seen those before. You have such a nice patch of them! I just bought a couple nodding onions for the garden. How awesome to have alliums that bloom later in the season!

  10. I’ve been meaning to plant those tall Alliums, yours look gorgeous. Interesting idea to base posts on songs about flowers … another golden oldie I love is Tiptoe through the Tulips, if you have tulips in your garden.

  11. Thanks for identifying something else that has a small but significant representation in my front yard! So funny, I didn’t plant it but Art did and I’m still figuring everything out after all this time. 🙂

  12. Alliums do really well for you Jason; although many books suggest them for dry gardens I think they benefit from a nice damp soil. Do you grow drumstick Alliums, they’re the only ones that are really successful here.

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