From chives to ornamental allium, the onion family is blooming. If you have the space, Star of Persia (Allium christophii) has basket-ball sized heads of starry lavender flowers hovering a foot above the ground on incongruously slim stems. I grow dozens of the taller, slimmer allium that can easily be squeezed in between shrubs and lilies; Deepest purple A. 'Sensation' and the slightly paler later blooming A. 'Globemaster' are in full bloom at the moment; the effect is heavenly. White allium are less showy, more ethereal; I love the ghostly Allium 'Mount Everest' (below) flowering at Useless Bay Coffee Company along 2nd street in Langley.
Whether white or purple blooming, these taller allium have long-lasting flower heads a little bigger than a baseball. They lend height and dimension to the garden even after the flowers fade; gardeners have been known to spray paint faded allium heads to continue the show into summer. Allium are dependably perennial, returning to bloom every May. The flowers seem to get a little smaller every year (maybe I need to fertilize more?) which is incentive to plant at least a dozen more every fall.
Plant fat, flowering onion bulbs in autumn in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. In early spring, they throw up strappy leaves, then in April a three foot tall stalk shoots up, soon to be topped off with flower balls. The leaves wither down unattractively - the only criticism I can think of - but you won't notice because your garden will be filled with these gorgeous, bee-attracting, flower globes.
Allium 'Sensation' in a rare bee-free moment
Allium 'Sensation' and 'Globemaster' blooming with coppery carex, Spirea 'Magic Carpet' and fragrant orange wallflowers (Erysimum 'Apricot Twist').
Allium 'Mount Everest' in the edible street-side garden at Useless Bay Coffee Company in Langley