A record number of 15,000 pom-pom headed alliums are in bloom at Arundel Castle, with magnificent bursts of purple, white, and amethyst hues.
This year’s Allium Extravaganza is the most spectacular to date, featuring more than ten varieties of the unusual flowers.
Alliums rise above beds of lavender in a unique array, inspiring the castle’s green-fingered visitors to try something new.
Alliums are part of the humble onion family, but these elaborate blooms tower over other varieties throughout the garden. Who would expect such glory from an onion?
Visitors strolling through the walled gardens at Arundel Castle will be dazzled by the diversity of the amazing alliums. Some of the most exciting flowers include the large Gladiators, in a stunning shade of rose-purple, and the starry Purple Rain blossoms, which perfectly complement the traditional English borders.
The creamy white Mount Blanc and Mount Everest break up the sea of purple with their statuesque star-shaped flowers.
Smaller varieties such as Purple Sensation and Cowanii bring an extra punch of pizazz and a charming contrast to the garden, whilst the late-blooming Summer Drummers, tower up to five feet high!
Martin Duncan, head gardener at Arundel Castle, said: “My favourite allium would have to be the Christophii, also called the Star of Persia, because of its huge round head in a beautiful, amethyst colour.
“It’s a stunning specimen even before it blossoms and still has beauty as its flower wilts away. I’m really looking forward to welcoming visitors to the castle gardens for this year’s Allium Extravaganza. My team has worked hard to make this the biggest and most glorious display of alliums we have ever showcased.”
Martin’s advice is to plant these perennials in early autumn and preferably in the earth where they flourish.
If planted in pots, it is best to accompany them with lavender or a similar plant, so as to disguise the untidy allium leaves.
The castle gardens, the design of which was conceived by the Duchess of Norfolk, are open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday and on Bank Holiday Mondays and Mondays in August. Tickets to the Allium Extravaganza start from £11 for children and £13 for adults. Family tickets for two adults and up to three children are available for £51.
For more information regarding the gardens and all the events taking place at the castle please visit www.arundelcastle.org
A season pass for the gardens is £35 and can be purchased from the castle ticket office. Private guided tours of the gardens can also be arranged in advance by contacting the castle on 01903 882 173 extension 230.