Report From PIA – December 29
About 35 years ago I was first introduced to Irene Galdston, the mother of a good friend. She learned that I was interested in plants, so she offered me a “walking onion” from her Long Island garden. “If people could live on onions alone,” she said, “this one would feed the planet.”
Walking onions (Allium cepa var. proliferum) form their bulbs on top of a stem which bends under the weight of these offspring, and the bulblets end up rooting a few inches away from the parent plant. They can be used like chives, but I love them because they are so comical. Every time we moved over the past 35 years I took some of those walking onions with me to our new properties, and today they grow just outside of my kitchen door.
Over the years, whenever I’ve been amused that these onions have popped up in another location in my perennial and herb gardens, I’ve thought of Irene and her comment about how they could feed millions. Irene died today, but she’ll always be present in my gardens.