It’s a Dr. Seuss World: Adding Wit, Whimsey, & Wisdom to Your Garden and Life
Every morning en route to meet my carpool ride to my last gig, I passed a bottle brush tree. And every morning I was reminded, it’s a Dr. Seuss world, and we’re just living in it. Even before “going green” was really a thing, Dr. Seuss showed us the way through story.
“I am the Lorax.
I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”
“Unless someone like you cares a
whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.
What better way to bring a little rhyme and wonder to your garden than to grow a few plants that look straight out of Seuss’s storied lands? One of my favorites is the allium. There are over 700 types of alliums in the world, and while onions, shallots, and garlic are part of this family, many of the ornamental varietals look straight out of a Seuss story book.
As Gardener’s Supply Company notes, in the late 1800s, “Russian botanists began collecting some of the spectacular alliums from Central Asia and introducing them to avid horticulturists through the Imperial Botanical Garden in St. Petersburg. … It didn’t take long for the consummate plant hunters, the British, to get wind of this ‘new’ family of garden-worthy plants. Their expeditions yielded many more interesting alliums varieties.”
Alliums will grow well in any well-drained soil, and thrive in full sun. And the best time to plant them is in the fall, so get ready to add one plant, two plants, three fish, blue fish — sorry, it’s so easy to get sucked into Seuss — to your garden. Now is a good time to check with your local nursery about buying bulbs in time to plant, and order online if they are not readily available.
A few of my favorites to add a little Seuss whimsey to your yard? The Everlasting allium, the Purple Sensation, and the Ozawa allium, which might help bring back the bees, who love this flower.
You know who else loves this flower? Martha. Watch her video of planting bulbs in the fall for a late spring bloom and gorgeous flowers into summer. Martha makes her own compost. (Of course she does.) But you can purchase that, as well as the bone meal to prep the soil.
While you plant, keep in mind a little wisdom from the doctor:
“You’ll get mixed up,
of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with
many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great
tact and remember that
Life’s A Great Balancing Act.
“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
“Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
~ Oh, The Places You’ll Go
What’s your favorite allium, and/or Dr. Seuss book / quote? Tell us in the comments, or over on Twitter @RebeccaSnavely@TheCityFarm
Photo Credit: Bottle Brush – Art.com, Purple Sensation – Iam9.eu, and Ozawa – Arrowhead Alpines; Everlasting Allium – Gardener’s Supply