Lilium ‘Night Flyer’ in the late afternoon sun was an impressive sight – nearly black flowers revealing the deepest, richest reds and licks of orange flame. Lilium ‘Night Flyer’ in the early morning after the night’s rain, lit by the soft-box of the clouds, was something else again; black petals reflecting white, droplets of water like garnet beads, and anthers like moist chocolate orange eclairs.
As I type this bit of preamble, the swallows are screeching overhead, a fat wood pigeon is hoo-hooing insistently -if melodically – and a blackbird is trilling away like a happy milkman. It’s been very sunny, very warm, and our garden’s bobbing asteroid-belt of alliums is winking out, globe-by-starry globe, their purple colour desaturating and their flowers giving way to bulbous seed capsules that resemble little green pumpkins. It’s been quite a show, and the ending of it means the garden is moving towards a hotter, racier palette. Fireworks to follow!
From plump, incipient buds to gas-jets to these glorious metallic starbursts, which in close-up, have all the intergalactic weirdness of a pulp science-fiction jungle planet. Our garden is now brimming with dozens of these pale purple grapefruit-sized sputniks. Alliums are where my affection for b-movies and plant-life collide!
A few posts back I shared these images of the alliums in my garden on the cusp of bursting their buds. There should have been a whole series of audible pops when they finally did their thing, releasing seemingly impossible numbers of tiny purple ‘flames’, destined to open up to form hemispheres of stars. In truth, it’s difficult to stop photographing them so apologies in advance!