Awed by Allium: The Starring Ingredient of a Stunning Bouquet
April 18th, 2016
Jan Roozen of Choice Bulb Farms is a good friend and brilliant (not to mention charming) flower farmer.
I’ve known Jan through the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market where he is a member who grows a beautiful variety of flowers.
The selection from Jan and Ritva Roozen’s farm in Skagit Valley north of Seattle features specialty spring and summer bulbs.
Their alliums are some of the best I’ve seen — when I can, I come home with an armload of dramatic blooms and arrange with them.
Jan literally grows 15 varieties of Alliums — can you believe that? Here is the list — click on each cultivar name to see its unique form, color and stature.
Home floral designers can find Jan at the Choice Bulb stall every Saturday at the University District Farmers’ Market and every Sunday at the Ballard Farmers’ Market, both in Seattle.
Fresh-from-the-field, these flowers inspired me to make a summer bouquet a few years ago. I hope you enjoy this textural design in shades of apricot, cream, lemon, lavender and bluish purple and get ready to grow your own alliums (and companions like eremurus and dahlias) in the cutting garden.
Here is how the design came together, step-by-step:
The last step: Enjoy! Remember to change the vase water every day or so to keep it fresh. And it’s a good idea to trim the bottom of the stems when you change the water to extend the life of the flowers.
Did you know that the National Gardening Bureau declared 2016 as the Year of the Allium? Each year the NGB selects one annual, one perennial, one bulb crop and one edible as its “Year of” winner for home gardeners. Category winners are chosen for popularity and other attributes: easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse, and versatile.
Most allium flowers have a long, leafless stalk topped with a globe-like bloom that’s made up of a cluster of individual florets. Like exclamation points, alliums stand out from other plants, adding emphasis and excitement wherever they’re grown. Those are just a few of the reasons to love this perfect cutting garden bloom.
WIN A $50 BULB SHOPPING SPREE: Longfield Gardens, a Slow Flowers Sponsor, asked me to share my passion for Alliums and as a thank you, one reader who comments below will win a $50 gift card to shop for his or her own allium bulbs.
Please join the contest and post your comment below. Tell me how you use ornamental alliums in the garden — containers, beds or borders; or in floral arranging.
We’ll draw randomly from all those who comment here and announce one winner on Monday, April 25th at 5 p.m. Pacific. If you post allium pics on Instagram, use #yearoftheallium, okay?!
And here are few more of my favorite arrangements with Allium ~ from the pages of Slow Flowers:
Slow Flowers Week 19 — read full “recipe” and variety list here
Slow Flowers Week 23 — read full “recipe” and variety list here
Here are some other blogs to check out ~ read what they say about the Year of the Allium:
Garden in a City
Longfield Gardens: “See how a garden designer puts alliums to work”
Longfield Gardens Article: “Bountiful Blooms”
Thinking outside the Boxwood