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What do you underplant your Aliums with

ightenighten Posts: 184

I have made last year the classic mistake of planting Aliums on masse but forgetting to underplant them with anything. So I'm now faced with 30 or 40 lovely heads appearing and all the leaves dying back - its an odd and not particularly pretty sight.  Im thinking wallflowers on masse next year of one colour or something but is there a cheap and cheerful annual I could stick in this year.



  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    Depends on your colour schemes but anything really 

    Cosmos, calendula, rudbeckia, even grasses?  The choice is endless

    Personally I use perennials, sedum, lavender and verbascums or even Alchemilla mollis,  all of which have a later growth rate. Coincidentally,  you should use this idea with Aquilegias tooimage 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,178

    I bung them in groups of 3 or 5 or 7 between perennials like geraniums, geums, astrantia and also near roses because they help repel aphids.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,249

    I'd go lavender... plant small now, they'll look better than bare earth and will have presence by the end of summer. They look great en masse IMO. You don't need to plant very closely (2 feet apart or even a bit more?) so should be fairly economical if you can find cheap stock. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,061


  • ClaireAClaireA Posts: 81

    I've just finished planting what im calling my "allium border" ; image giganteum, christophiI, globemaster, purple sensation, nectascordum, under planted with repeat planting of;

    astrantia major claret, salvia caradonna, salvia ostfriesland, geranium johnsons blue, geranium orion, peony buckeye belle, stipa gigantea (ok not under planting but in my head they'll look fabulous dancing through them......or in a few years they will!) rosa reine des violettes, euphorbia goldener term, alchemilla and loads of bronze fennel to try to tie it all together, along with 9 large allium sculptures!!

    I need some patience though coz its a big border and they are all littlies that need to grow on, but in 2-3 years hopefully will b ok! 

    Id say go with wateva you like best!!!!

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    Sounds amazing ClaireA, just be sure to look after those littlies as many many molluscs will come from miles around to dine on the succulent vegetation image u til it's big enough to shirk off attacks 

  • ClaireAClaireA Posts: 81

    Thanks wintersong fingers crossed! image It's part of my evening ritual!! Feed horses, put chucks to bed, shut greenhouse, spray garlic on hostas and my littlies, brandish torch around on snail patrol, put few I find in tray for chickens breakfast......good job I don't have neighbours they'd think I was nuts!!!. Plus I use nemaslug, and have a ludicrously friendly blackbird mum and her offspring that live in that part of the garden which helps I think!! 

  • ightenighten Posts: 184

    Thanks. Some great ideas.. I like the idea of some prarie type planting and grasses as this border connects to the fields though I am slightly worried the horses will also enjoy some exotic grasses to much. They seem to ignore the Aliums - must be the onion smell.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,252

    I'd agree with obelixx and W'song and Claire - perennials would be the best solution and will give your alliums support too. Geraniums are great for exactly that purpose, and give plenty of flower power when the alliums fade. I use them as well as Phormiums, Hebes and Hellebores, and a few other bits and pieces. If you're keen to use annuals for this year I expect there will be plenty in GCs just now as well as supermarkets etc. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ightenighten Posts: 184

    Yes I do intend to use perennials or grasses Fairy.. I was just looking for an instant solution for this season as well. But good suggestion as actually you have just made me realise I have masses of Geranium Magnificum "Rosemoor" in beds on top of the stone walls that surround the woods. I wonder if I could split it at this time as its just started putting on a growing spurt.

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