Blue alliums

Click on images (most of them, anyway) for larger view.

blue allium

I had to step away from the screen at work this afternoon. I don’t do it enough, but I took a quick spin through Minns Garden — a lovely garden right outside the Plant Science building at Cornell University. I was moving faster than a stroll and paying more attention in my head to what needed doing back in the office than what was going on in the garden. I actually got three steps beyond these alliums before doing a double-take and going back for a second look.

blue alliums

Unfortunately, no tag. So I can’t give you a variety name. There were some other interesting alliums on the other side of the garden, too:

yellow alliumyellow allium

More midsummer highlights in Minns: Anemones. Boy I’d grow a lot of these if it weren’t for the deer.

yellow alliumyellow allium

And the potted bananas, which are getting huge. (They’ve overwintered a few winters in the greenhouse. But I’m not sure there’s room for them this year.)

potted bananas

OK. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering about the technique on those alliums. Cut a small hole in the center of a paper plate and a slit connecting the hole with the edge. Slip it around the stem of the allium to catch the drips. Shake the can well and spray. At least that’s what this year’s garden tenders told me they did.

Print Friendly

12 thoughts on “Blue alliums”

  1. Hank:

    That’s my point. Is this ‘OK’? Without the paint, I think most folks would find these seedheads ugly and deadhead them. The red and yellow are a little bit subtle. The blue is outrageous. But I kind of like it. I think. But I’m not sure I’d actually do it.

  2. OMG. That’s what’s been happening to my Anemones. Why didn’t I think of that?

    The Allium seedheads are too cool. I’m definitely going to try it. Seems like a good idea for anything you’re trying to save seed of but the seed heads just don’t look that good in the garden. I’ll let you know next year if the paint affects seed viability.

  3. Those bananas are so beautiful that I sure hope they find a place indoors this year. I have spray-painted dried seedheads and such for use in the house (crambe maritima seedsprays look like coral to me) but never really thought about how fun it would be to do so in the garden. It will be interesting to see whether Mary Ann sees any effects from sprouting the seeds of painted plants this year. (If it reduces seeding, could it be used as a fun control for otherwise too-vigorous thugs maybe? Hmm.)

  4. That is a sure way to get a true blue in the garden! What fun! Come on Hank, let’s give this a try! These alliums would go with your blue painting! I have always liked the way the seedheads look even without the paint but with the paint, WOWZER! The anemone is lovely.

  5. No allium here, so no spray paint fun… unless I come up with an Austin plant to use.

    Craig, did you see today’s NYTimes Home section? Ann Raver listed a couple of deer sprays that I hadn’t heard of before – and one seems to work even though it smells good to humans. If I were still dealing with them it would be on my shopping list.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. Annie:

    I did read Anne’s article. But I’ll admit that I skimmed over the deer spray paragraphs.

    I’ve basically resolved myself that there are deer in my neighborhood and I need to grow (mostly) plants they don’t like to eat. There really is a pretty big pallette of plants out there. Heck, if the deer pressure got heavy enough, I could just plant a whole garden of digitalis and castor beans.

    I can grow some plants they do like to eat in certain places, knowing full well they’ll be discovered someday and I’ll pay the price. I can grow a few inside the veggie garden fence if I really fall in love with something.

    I don’t want to mess with the sprays. We get enough rain to wash it off and it would need reapplying often. Research up this way also shows that under heavy browsing pressure, deer get acclimated to the sprays. So you need to rotate the different kinds to keep them away. I suppose that after awhile they’d get acclimated to them all and I’d lose the arms race.

    And it’s not going to get any better, I don’t think. We’re close enough to town that there’s not much hunting. The housing density is still pretty low, but growing fast. There’s lots of ‘edge-effect’ that the deer like. Fewer loose dogs — though coyotes are moving in and there have been reports of a mountain lion. (I suspect feral cat.)

  7. How weird, about the paint. I don’t think I like that – they’re striking, but it becomes like all of those funky carnation colors you see at the florists. Ugh.

  8. I now have deer after 22 years on my land – sigh. I like your philosophy and will follow it myself. Give away hostas. Move sedum to a less accessible spot. Etc.
    Now about spraying – I LOVE it and have sprayed the sedum Autumn Joy in my hell strip to great effect. That is, those otherwise brown dead flowers are lovely colors all winter long and some neighbors even think it’s natural. What the hell.

  9. By the 1950s the citizens in the US enjoyed manufacturers,
    credit, automobiles, processed and packaged foods plus much more
    and much more plastic products. If you’d like to learn what are the power companies, the green builders, along with other so-called green thinkers aren’t hinting wouldn’t that
    be worth a short while of their time to get out.
    You can find out much more about how this renewable energy system works at my weblink below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *