Price sticker shock is what happens when unsuspecting gardeners attempt to purchase the impressive Allium bulbs known as Gigantium or Globemaster. The cost per bulb is high. Now, there is an antidote for this trauma. It is the Allium bulb Purple Sensation, a better-priced, better-valued option.
I planted it in my flowerbeds last autumn and the effect in spring, when it came into bloom, was dazzling.
Purple Allium, of any size, flower in shades that are ideal for English-style flower gardens; they will also add depth and richness to hot colored flowerbeds, as one can see above on the cover of Sara Raven's book, The Bold and Brilliant Garden.
The circumference of A. Purple Sensation's flowering sphere [about the size of a tennis ball] is half the size of the larger varieties and its height of three feet places it mid way between A. Gigantium and A. Globemaster. With those technical specs, why pay about $8 to $14 for one giant bulb when 10 Purple Sensation bulbs cost only $10 and give the gardener equally exciting visuals? [Plant Purple Sensation in repeating groups of three or five, or in a serpentine row of five or seven bulbs]. When it flowers, its stately posture and long blooming globes are just as eye catching as their giant cousins.
This affordable variety combines elegant, vertical structure with substantial, rounded forms that, together with its rich coloration, bring exciting novelty to traditional flowerbeds.
Furthermore, after the flowering ball has gone to seed, [image above] it continues to add interesting textural form to the garden until mid-summer, when it begins to look scraggly [an appropriate time to cut it down]. Planting Purple Sensation is akin to thinking outside the proverbial box.
I am not the only gardener that has stumbled across this marvelous substitute. In an attempt to purchase more Purple Sensation for my clients - because they are all clamoring for those purple balls - I discovered that two of the more prominent bulb sellers in Canada, Veseys and Botanus are now sold-out of this popular bulb. In addition, three significant nurseries in the greater Montreal area, as well as three major big box garden centers, are inventory-depleted of this Allium variety. Clearly, more gardeners - than anyone might have guessed - are discovering this very impressive bargain bulb.
Fortunately, by patiently scrolling through Google, I was able to find another online source here in Canada, called Campbell River Garden Centre, located on the west coast, in British Columbia. They are relatively new to online marketing and I contacted them by phone only because of a technical glitch at check - out. Nevertheless, they had the stock I needed and sent it by mail, only minutes after I called in my order. I am delighted that my three-day, anxious hunt for Purple Sensation has finally ended. I am even more relieved that I can now fill my clients flowerbeds with those tall purple balls at a price that will make them happy.