All the right mauves


For about three weeks our parterre is garnished with a sea of intense purple balls of flower. They belong to Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ and are truly purple and sensational. This year they are the best they have ever been.

One of the reasons why they look so good is that they are a tall, strong growing allium that thrives on our clay soil and I love them. They require nothing from me other than planting the bulbs in autumn and they are beautiful and that, after all, is the ultimate aim of any garden flower.

We also have growing on our parterre Allium ‘cristophii’ which works so well with ‘Purple Sensation’. And the most dramatic of all the alliums we grow here – Allium ‘Schubertii’ with huge exploding flowerheads the size of a melon. It dries very easily and stays in shape in the border for ages or as I like to do – collect them to put in vases in the house where they last for months. So you see – it does pay to know your alliums.

All the right mauves

At this time of year I make sure I take time to walk round the garden, often open-mouthed with astonishment at the sheer beauty of it all. Every year, every month, every day I am more amazed and more delighted. I have thousands of photographs, have kept a diary since I first came here and have a memory that can recall practically every blade of grass of this garden. I often before going to sleep lie in bed, close my eyes and slowly walk through it. But reality is ten times better.