Alliums Galore!

I love it how when one flower starts to die off, another comes along to replace it.

So far this year, at the front of the hospice, we have had primulas followed by crocuses, then daffodils followed by tulips. The tulips were out for at least a month, but have now sadly died back. However, the alliums have shot up and are flowering splendidly. They come back year after year, and never cease to amaze me. They are about 2 ft tall with a large purple ball of flowers at the top. I think that they are Allium ‘Purple Sensation’.

Allium 'Purple Sensation'

Alliums are a genus of plants that include onions, garlic, leeks and chives. In fact, I have some chives at home that have flowered and look like a small version of the above picture. There are many varieties of Allium that have been cultivated for their flowers. Recently, when I was at the Chelsea Flower show, there was a display of just alliums. I was amazed at how many varieties there were. My favourite was fairly short, but with a huge ball of flowers. These flowers weren’t densly packed together, but instead each flower was on the end of a long stalk. I think that they are called Allium ‘schubertii’.

Allium 'schubertii'

Hopefully the Alliums will be in flower for a couple more weeks, before we get a whole load of bedding plants to put in.

The other excitement at the hospice is the arrival of two fish in one of our ponds. They were kindly donated by the wife of a man who had been cared for by the “Hospice at Home” team (who are, incidently, wonderful and do an amazing job of caring for terminally ill patients at home). The fish, named “Fish” and “Chips” by me, were released into the pond a couple of weeks ago.

FishChips

They have now been in their new home for a couple of weeks, and seem to be very happy and settled! Their previous home was only 4 ft long, compared to their new home which is at least 10 times the length. No wonder they’re happy. They have caused a bit of a stir! I regularly bump into patients, relatives and friends, as well as staff, looking for the fish, and getting excited when they manage to locate them.

Thank you Lyn for the gift of fish!

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