Spray-painted alliums add punch to the summer garden. Photo: Jana Last, Flickr
The genus Allium offers a host of plants of interest to gardens. First, such edibles as onions, garlic, leeks and chives, then summer and fall blooming perennials like A.‘Millenium’, A. senescens ‘Blue Eddy’ and A. thunbergii ‘Ozawa’.
However, the most widely grown ornemental allies are fall-planted, late-spring or early-summer flowering bulbs, including a whole host of tall alliums bearing beautiful balls of blooms on a straight stem, like A. giganteum, A. ‘Purple Sensation’, A. ‘Globemaster’, A. ‘Mount Everest’ and many, many more.
Drying on the Spot
It’s the latter that are of interest here: the tall drumstick alliums. As the flowers fade (by then, the leaves are long gone), they leave upright stalks of dried flowers slowly turning into seed capsules, dried flowers you can harvest for indoor decoration … or leave standing in the garden for the summer.
I just leave them where they stand: wheat-coloured balls of beauty that last until winter.
Paint Them for Extra Color
However, the latest trend is spray paint drumstick alliums in bright colors for added punch.
I’ve seen people do this on the spot, directly in the garden, but then you tend to get spray paint on nearby plants. It’s therefore best to harvest them and spray them indoors, in a workshop or in a garage. You can then put them outside again, inserting the solid stalks into the ground. Spray paint helps preserve them, so you can then bring them back indoors in the fall as a winter decoration, then put them outdoors again the next summer.
Spray painting alliums: never thought you’d be doing that, did you?