April 30, 2010

Sparkling Star of Persia

In the shadows before nightfall, the amethyst orbs of Star of Persia twinkle like planets against the purple foliage sky of loropetalum and the constellation of blue scabiosa stars.

Everything looks different in the sunshine as Star of Persia (allium christophii) and the companions revert to their daytime colors. Not a focal point, but an accent—the softball-sized flowers add a hint of sparkle to the garden.

These are first year bulbs, planted in the autumn of 2009. Tucked in tightly among the foliage of daylilies, scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue', a burgundy loropetalum and perennial creeping heliotrope—the alliums were easy to squeeze into my existing gardens. The short stature makes it easy to obscure the stems and foliage of the alliums.

Star of Persia is suitable for zones 4a-8b in full sun, well-drained locations. This allium is deer and rabbit resistant.

For over a week now, I've been watching the allium blooms start out compact and slowly expand to the full size orbs. The color is difficult to describe and even more difficult to photograph as the light changes the bloom to cool amethyst, silver, lavender or burgundy.

I'm not even sure if I like my companion color choices with the shades of blue and lavender. I planted the alliums with the scabiosa and heliotrope for a similar bloom time and was going for a monochromatic color scheme.

In hindsight, I believe shades of pink blooms will be better color companions. A bit of tweaking to do for color when I move the bulbs this fall—but I do like the sparkling Star of Persia.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks/copyrights/patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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