Nobody ought to ever have to buy more than one pot of garlic chives. Even if you wanted an entire lot filled with them (which would certainly be striking in August when they set blooms) you could have that based upon divisions from one four inch pot in the space of just a few seasons.
Garlic chive clumps are easy to divide, every flower stalk sets a head full of seed with a high germination rate, and they don't seem particularly fussy about their growing conditions.
I plan to put that to the ultimate test.
I had a gap in a front bed, in plain and constant line of sight from the front door, and it has been bugging me for months. I had a planter there before which I moved once summertime arrived because it was blocking the sprinkler for that bed. Summer is not a great time to start a new plant anywhere, so I figured I would let the gap ride a while, knowing the perfect plant to fill in that spot would come to me.
But like I said - this gap was part of my front porch view, and guys, I like that view. I view that view, dozens of times a day through the glass in our door and often, once the temperatures ease a bit, I find that view conducive to sitting with a glass of iced tea or chilled white wine, as I contemplate the goodness of life. So that gap nagged at me. It wanted me to fill it sooner rather than later, but with what?
Oho! Garlic chives! Of course! A nice clump of strappy bright green leaves with the occasional spires of white blooms thrown up overhead in the heat of August, when little else is in bloom.
So I grabbed my favorite shovel, now dubbed "the wire killer" by The Hub after a few nasty run-ins with sprinkler wires, dug out a clump of garlic chives that were absolutely superfluous, and moved them out front. Gap, meet your filler!
Then I had what just might turn out to be a slightly genius idea. I'm always impressed with symbiotic plant combinations where one plant offers some benefit to the other. Nature often does that effortlessly and I find that when I copy what Nature is up to, I often get great results.
The "ultimate test" nature of this pairing comes into play because it is August, and this particular corner of the mailbox planter does not get one drop of supplemental water. Ever. The rain lilies and opuntia established there survive because they are natives, and do just fine with whatever the Texas weather hands them. In fact there is very little other than rocks and sandy soil under those lilies. The stonework for the retaining wall is cracked, and when it rains, the water flows right through that corner and down the drive.