The gardens at Arundel Castle in West Sussex are blooming with 10,000 pom-pom headed Alliums, some reaching heights of over five feet for the annual Allium Extravaganza.
The beautiful purple display stretches across the gardens, around the rill pond in the Collector Earl’s Garden and into the Cut Flower Garden. The number of Allium varieties on display has been increased this year, to include Hair which has a wispy cobweb type head, Christophii with huge flower heads, Gladiator with stunning violet-blue flowers and the tallest of them all, Summer Drummer.
The Herbaceous Borders are flourishing with pastel shades including the Camassia Cusickii, or Cussick’s Camas with tall conical spires of baby blue flowers.
Head Gardener Martin Duncan explains: “Our impressive display of Alliums comes hot on the heels of our annual Tulip Festival, offering visitors a brand new show of spectacular colour this spring. Another mild winter has brought about early blooms in the gardens and we urge visitors to come and see them before mid-June to enjoy the Alliums at their absolute best.”
Joining this year’s bumper crop of Alliums are florist’s favourite Dutch Iris flowers in the Cut Flower Garden featuring varieties such as Blue Magic, Oriental Beauty, Purple Sensation and White Excelsior.
Complementing the tall flower theme, the Echium has become a talking point in Arundel Castle’s artistic Stumpery. With striking spear-like leaves, the 12-13 foot tall flowers tower above the Stumpery’s upturned tree roots adding yet another dimension to this striking section of the Walled Gardens.
The Castle gardens are open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday-Sundays, Mondays in August and Bank Holiday Mondays. Admission prices start from £9 or a season ticket for unlimited* access to the gardens is just £30 a year. Further information on the Castle and its 2015 event calendar can be found at www.arundelcastle.org
Report and picture contributed by Flo Powell, Midnight Communications.