My Donegal Garden – May 2020

My poor plants have endured a long drought and a storm this past month, but happily they are still standing.

Views Across The Garden

Despite the lack of rain, there has been a huge spurt in growth:

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In last month’s garden post I focused on Tulips and and shade loving plants. This month includes more information on Aquilegia and Alliums – two of my cottage garden favourites.


Aquilegia are adored by bees, and always remind me of the beautifully illustrated fairy books of my childhood by Cicely Mary Barker.

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Aquilegia are also known as Columbine or Granny’s Bonnets – a very fitting name for their bonnet like blooms.

They come in a variety of colour combinations both single and mixed:


Aquilegia self seed and can become invasive, but I love to see them planted in drifts, or adorning gravel paths, creating a nice relaxed planting scheme.

I also like to dry the seed heads, and share them with other gardeners.


Wild Garlic

The first of the Allium family to flower in my garden is wild garlic. It enjoys a shady spot under my purple Elder tree.

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Wild garlic blooms for several months early in the year. It is edible, and the leaves taste wonderful in a number of dishes, including this homemade gnocchi with wild garlic blitzed in olive oil:


Allium Purple Sensation

I have a growing collection of Allium “Purple Sensation.”

It adds interest among Aquilegia, Roses and other flowers. I particularly like the contrast with the orange hues of Euphorbia “Fireglow.”

Allium Globemaster

Globemaster is a larger purple species, which looks spectacular both in bloom and when dried.

Allium cristophii

Allium cristophii is still emerging among my Roses and Aquilegia. It’s little star shaped flowers will provide ongoing interest:

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Allium neapolitanum

Meanwhile, the gentle white flowers of Allium neapolitanum relax beside my wildlife pond, which is sadly lacking water:


Allium Moly

Allium Moly is yet to flower in the bright border, but it will provide glorious yellow hues next to the magenta of it’s neighbour Geranium psilostemon, and the lime green of Alchemilla mollis:


Allium Nectaroscordum siculum

Finally, Allium Nectaroscordum siculum’s gentle tones tower along the edges of my front garden.


Growing Allium

Allium bulbs are drought tolerant and can be planted in late summer into autumn. They enjoy full sun and good drainage.

Pollinating insects love them.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like my regular monthly gardening posts.

Happy Gardening.

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.



  1. Thanks you for sharing. I love the alliums. Remind me of mum. The last she bequeathed us and they remain my favs. And aquilegas were always the ears-back plant after my brother named then decades ago…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Geoff. I forgot to include my poor chives. They are upset. Yes, plants are a lovely way to remember our loved ones. I have planted lots of roses dedicated to my mum and sister. Dad is remembered with Livingstone daisies.


  2. I love the colours Brigid
    My garden is looking very good due to lockdown
    Can imagine you sitting in the sunshine relaxing and soaking up the beauty of your garden

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your garden is an oasis really. So beautiful ever little corner a new discovery. I once went for a walk on a walking trail, wild garlic everywhere. Is your garden filled with the fragrance of garlic?

    I did a post on my garden – my postage stamp . It is still full of weeds.

    I did another post call peanuts. I decided to put out water and nuts for the birds and squirrels. But Mr or Mrs squirrel just planted them in my lawn and beds. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your garden is lovely, you have lots of plants and the flowers are wonderful, they make the bees happy for sure! I was just in my garden and I realized the roses have holes and brown spots on their leaves. It made me sad! I need to figure out what is going on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Elizabeth. I am so glad to see happy bees. Your roses might have a fungal infection. I feed mine three times a year starting in spring with a slow release granular rose food. It seems to strengthen them against pests and diseases. I have used seaweed and homemade compost in the past but the ready made rose food works best so far. I hope your roses heal soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have a beautiful garden, Brigid, despite the weather. I love columbine and mine are mostly gone now. No allium in my garden, yet. We’ve been dealing with endless rain and therefore…. slugs galore. But hopefully, that will pass soon. Happy Gardening.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That gnocchi with the wild garlic sounds delicious, I love garlic I use it in mostly every dish I make :). your garden looks so lovely love the purple and pink colors of your beautiful flowers. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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