Do these onions really walk like an Egyptian? Read on. This unique, heirloom perennial onion plant (Allium proliferum) serves both an ornamental and edible garden function. Once you have Egyptian walking onions in your garden, you’ll never again have a “we’re out of onions” moment. Your onion supply will be there, faithfully waiting. Yes, the onion bulbs, or bulblets, that grow on the top of its stalk are small, like teeny shallots. Still, they make a great addition to any recipe when you need onions and are out of the big round ones.
Posts Tagged ‘spring’
Early to mid-June is awash in perennials with cool colours, the blues of irises, and purples of alliums and ornamental sages (Salvia). These are all super easy care perennials, and good choices for the beginning gardener with a sunny spot. Irises and sage can be planted any time, but allium grow from bulbs planted in the fall. (Make a note to buy some this fall. They are underused and really should be in every garden.) They make a dramatic statement in the garden after the tulips and pansies fade.
Aurinia, an early-blooming, sun-loving, bright yellow flowering perennial is a winner in early spring. If you have a sunny spot, with rocks or a concrete wall, it’s a perfect fit. It’s at its best when it has something it can spill over. The mass of intense, tiny yellow clusters of flowers softens any sharp edges and creates a glowing, frothy effect. The added bonus is that the flowers are quite heavenly scented. My garden isn’t sunny enough for aurinia, but I’m glad my neighbours grow them in their front gardens, as I love to dip my nose into them when I walk by.
April really has been the cruelest month this year. Our winter simply would not leave, like the dreadful last guest at a party. We’re about a month later than usual in the garden season: Early crocuses are a no-show, and the maple tree’s frothy green flowers—that welcome swath of green in April that’s spring’s true marker—haven’t yet made an appearance. But we can still dive in and get ready to garden. Here are things you can do to kick off your gardening season.
- Start taking house plants outdoors. Philodendrons, pothos, dracena, sanseveria, succulents, etc. Make sure you place them in a shady spot for first few weeks. North side of a house is good. Direct sun outdoors will burn leaves if you make a sudden change from indoor gloom to intense outdoor rays.
- Monitor night-time temperatures, and be ready to cover any house plants you’ve placed outdoors if weather goes below zero, (use a blanket or a duvet, topped with an old shower curtain) or bring back inside overnight. Keeping plants in trays helps with this, until you can safely leave out with no chance of frost.
- Take herbs outdoors, like rosemary you’ve overwintered, again, in the shade.
- Loosen leaf mulch on garden beds, or remove entirely to let sun warm soil. You can add mulch back later on in season when things heat up again.
- Turn on your outdoor tap and attach your garden hose.
- Fertilize your houseplants, or geraniums you’ve overwintered. Use a half strength solution of organic liquid fertilizer, like kelp.
Spring? What Spring? It’s the first day of spring, but you’d never know it. Normally we’d be seeing these little beauties popping up in our gardens, but with the freezing weather we’ve been enduring, our spring bulbs—like the snowdrops—have so far been no shows. Most gardeners, me included, are ready to tear their hair out with the long wait this year for some decent weather and signs of life. I’d even like a rainy day at this point. A warm one, preferably.
But there are signs that spring approaches, even if it’s not exactly on time: the snow is melting, the days are getting longer, and in the meantime, there are activities that can give us a little taste of spring. Visit Canada’s Garden Show, Canada Blooms, (which is on for three more days), for instance. Start some seeds, peruse a few catalogues. It won’t be long now. I’ll be checking every day to see my first snowdrop.