Monday, August 10, 2015

My garden

My garden is in Montreal. It is a fair sized garden and I’ve had it since 1992. Most of the work I do in the garden involves weeding and cleaning, however; I have never had the leisure to bring it up to par with my dear neighbor’s garden where he grows cherished flowers and now has planted a pear tree. I have always had to keep my garden looking the least presentable on the run. I’m pleased to be able to say though, throughout the years we entertained guests, had summer evening dinners or just basked in the sun in my garden. In the winters we measured Montreal’s snowfall by the fence.

I also planted a few things over the years, one of them being allium. I do not remember what kind of allium mine are because it’s been a while since I planted them and I didn’t pay attention at the time. I believe they are Allium hollandicum and this kind of allium is native to Iran and Kyrgyzstan.   A. hollandicum is widely cultivated especially in the Northern Hemisphere.

Allium hollandicum, common names Persian onion or Purple Sensation, is a favored plant of gardeners because of its large spherical umbels that grow up to 25 cm in diameter. In its umbels many short stalked flowers spread from a common point and form a perfect circle.

A. hollandicum is a bulb-forming perennial with scapes which means smooth stems with no nodes, leaves or branches. The scapes can grow up to 90 cm tall. Its flat leaves are at the very bottom of the scapes and these can be up to 60 cm long.

Allium is placed in the family Amaryllidaceae. The onion genus Allium includes, besides the onion, garlic, chives, scallion, and the leek. The generic name Allium is the Latin word for garlic. Since this allium is not native to Holland I don’t know why it was given the specific name hollandicum.


It is a great gift to have a garden and to work outdoors. One of the biggest pleasures of having a garden I must say, is to be able gather what you can and bring them inside to be placed in vases. It feels like reaping your produce. By mid-spring A. hollandicum flowers are in full bloom. They dry up by mid-July but still make an interesting addition to a bouquet.



  1. Hi Beste - the alliums are wonderful balls of flowerheads aren't they - be they onions, chives etc ... always colourful balls - oniony smelling - but that's ok ... sends one food searching! Love the garden - your garden is yours ... and you are nurturing it in the way you know how and are able to do. Looks warm and welcoming, as well as a sunny summer spot ... also the snow - it's good for the ground giving nutrients ... lovely photos - cheers Hilary

  2. Hello Hilary. The snow photo was taken a few years back. Recent winters were decidedly shorter with less snow. On the other hand, February 2015 was the coldest in 115 years. They say, all those contrasts are typical manifestations of a global warming trend.
    Thank you for the encouraging thoughts about the garden. Salut, Beste

  3. If I could garden, I think it would be nice to be able to plant only the most local flowers one could find...and bee-friendly ones, of course! But first I need to change my black thumb to a green one :-)

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    1. You only need to pay close attention to the basic needs of the plants.
      I have bee balm that the bees love. There is also snowberry in the garden that attracts the bees:-)

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