Jackie Currie and her National Collection of Alliums

Jackie Currie and her National Collection of Allium Species and Cultivars

Jackie Currie with her National Collection of Allium Species and Cultivars, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Garden designer Jackie Currie, runs Euphorbia Design with her business partner, Lorraine Cooke.  Together they design and revitalise gardens in the Surrey area.  Jackie enjoys growing many plants, but her real passion is for Alliums.  She’s utterly devoted to this genus of plants, so much so, that Jackie’s garden and allotments are packed full and beautifully planted with thousands of Alliums.  From early spring until late summer, Jackie enjoys a sea of Allium flowers, in glorious shades of white, pink, purple, red, blue, and yellow!

Alliums at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!

Jackie Currie, pictured with her business partner Lorraine Cooke, her husband, and two Chelsea Pensioners, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

An Allium specialist; Jackie holds a National Collection of Allium species and cultivars.  Jackie has used her design skills to create exhibits at the RHS Chelsea and RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Shows, where Alliums were showcased at every stage of growth: from bulb to plant, flower to seed head.

Jackie Currie’s Allium exhibit showcased the lifecycle of the Allium, featuring Allium seed heads, seeds, bulbs, plants, buds, and flowers.
Jackie Currie sharing a joke with two Chelsea Pensioners. Jackie is pictured with her National Collection of Allium Species and Cultivars, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.
Jackie Currie’s Allium exhibit, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, showcases the life of an Allium. Visitors can enjoy Alliums from seeds and bulbs, to plants, flowers, and seed heads.
Allium cristophii seed heads, pictured on Jackie Currie’s award winning Allium exhibit, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Allium species and cultivars

Alliums produce beautiful flowers that are popular with bees, butterflies, and pollinating insects.
Depending on the species or cultivar, Allium flowers can be purple, pink, red, yellow, blue, or green.
Allium nevskianum produces large globular flower heads, made up of many dark red and white star-shaped flowers.
Allium ‘Caméléon’ flowers open in a dusky pink tone. The flowers fade to ivory as they age, but they keep hold of their pink veining.
Allium ‘Miami’ grows up to 1m (3.2ft) tall. Plants flower in late spring and early summertime.
Allium lemmonii was named after the American Botanist, John Gill Lemmon.

Tips for growing Alliums

Jackie is always keen to impress that there are two types of Alliums.  There are the Allium cultivars where you plant the bulbs and leave them in the ground – you don’t need to do anything else – these Alliums will come back and flower again, year after year.

While other Alliums require a summer rest.  These Alliums need to be lifted and treated to a period of hot, dry conditions – inside a glasshouse is ideal – to induce these types of Alliums to flower again – in subsequent years.

Jackie is keen to share her knowledge of this beguiling group of plants and help gardeners fall in love with Alliums and find the Allium cultivars that are best suited to the conditions in their gardens.  She’s currently in the process of writing a book, which has the working title of Alliums: The Gardener’s Guide.

Jackie Currie with her National Collection of Allium Species and Cultivars, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Do you have land available in the Chiddingfold area of Surrey?

Jackie has a garden and an allotment, but she desperately needs more space to grow her National Collection of Alliums.  If you’ve got an area of garden, some land, or a field, in the Chiddingfold area, that you’d be happy to lease or sell to Jackie, do please contact her. (Update: Hooray!  A lovely reader read my column and offered Jackie the chance to use their land.)

Jackie Currie pictured with two Chelsea Pensioners, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.
Allium neapolitanum Cowanii Group flowers in late spring and early summer, producing these very pretty umbels of white, star shaped flowers.dried

I love growing Alliums!  They’re great plants to grow for bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects.  There’s an Allium for every situation, some Alliums favour light, sandy soil, while other Alliums are happier in heavier soils.

Allium lemmonii thrives in dry clay soils. This Allium is a native plant of the Western areas of the United States of America

Buy Surrey grown Allium bulbs

Autumn is the ideal time to plant Allium bulbs.  If you’d like to purchase some of Jackie Currie’s Surrey grown Allium bulbs, visit www.euphorbia-design.co.uk where you’ll find information about what Allium bulbs are available.

Allium cernuum, pictured on Jackie Currie’s Allium exhibit, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

Alliums that flourish in containers and will re-flower every year

If you’re keen to plant an Allium container this autumn, Allium nutans, Allium angulosum, Allium cernuum, Allium senescens, and chives – Allium schoenoprasum, all make great container plants, which will come back and re-flower, year after year.

Allium cernuum ‘White Dwarf’, pictured on Jackie Currie’s Allium exhibit, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Chives, also known by their botanical name of Allium schoenoprasum, make great container plants.
Allium nutans ‘Esmee’, pictured on Jackie Currie’s Allium exhibit, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Allium senescens ‘Meise’, pictured on Jackie Currie’s Allium exhibit, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Allium cernuum ‘White Max’, pictured on Jackie Currie’s Allium exhibit, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.
Allium nutans flowers fade to produce these gorgeous seed heads.

For more gardening advice for September, please click here.

This article was first published in the September 2019 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.

Other articles that may interest you…………….

For tips and ideas on how to grow a bumper harvest of garlic, elephant garlic, and wild garlic, please click here.

To see photographs of the gardens, plants, and nurseries, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.

To see Jackie Currie’s Alliums on display at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, please click here.

To read about the Welcome to Yorkshire Garden that was inspired by the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, that Mark Gregory designed for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.

To read about the fragrances of the new roses launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, please click here.

To see photographs of the top twenty shortlisted plants, including the finalists and the winner of the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year Competition, please click here.

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