The Midas Touch


I found this seedhead of Allium schubertii buried under dying tulip foliage many months ago and brought it indoors to dry on the tiny cast iron radiator of my tiny office, where it has been hanging out ever since, waiting for its moment of glory.


The warmth from the tealight rises and sets the whirligig spinning, its angels and shepherds ceaselessly circling the baby Jesus in his manger.

When you have an enormous spray can of gold paint, suddenly everything you own is in danger of death by gilding. Pretty plants – beware of this can of gold.


These Café-au-Lait dahlias died beautifully in a jug on my bedside table. I dried them likewise on a radiator, and gave them a dusting of gold, along with some graceful crocosmia seedheads.

The man in the Marchmont Hardware Store also had silver paint for sale… it is important to support local businesses, so I bought a can of that too.


Not all the ivy got a coating. Green ivy is one of my favourite Christmas decorations.


In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, and I do recommend visiting her page to see her vase and links to all the other vases made by garden bloggers around the world today.



25 thoughts on “The Midas Touch

  1. Seedheads of Allium schubertii, once dried, will last for ever. We have a vase of them in our conservatory that must be several years old now and they never fail to get people asking what they are. In the end we just take orders and provide them with seed heads in the following autumn!

  2. Gosh – they are pretty amazing as they are, but with the gold spray they are stunning – you may well have triggered a boom in gold/silver spray paint purchases with ths post, Joanna!

  3. How pretty! I’ve never thought of using crocosmia seedheads, they do look good.
    But once you start spraying there is no end of fun. Have you tried layering? You can get a rich effect with gold over flat crimson or emerald, and a frosty look with silver over white.
    Do not try bringing ivy indoors in your grandmother’s house.

    1. You have to be careful because once you have sprayed one thing gold, you start looking around for other things to vandalise with your can… garden gate, front door, sofa, husband, dinner plates… Our flat would look like Saddam Hussein’s Palace if I didn’t manage to curtail my enthusiasm in good time. I haven’t tried layering… it sounds like the kind of faff that causes dinner to be served at 10pm. Granny is far too superstitious.

  4. This is such a lovely post, Joanna. That seed head is beautiful! I think I might have to get some spray paint myself! Perfect for the allium as well as the other bits and bobs. Lovely!

  5. I’ve seen lots of people painting their Alliums bright bloomy colors and then leaving them around the garden for a pop of flower-like color. This is the first gold treatment I know of and I must say I like it, a lot. The silver is nice too, of course.

  6. You’re dangerous with spray paint! Allium schubertii is without a doubt the best flower to dry. I’m very tempted to buy some bulbs, currently available through my favorite mail order nursery, just for the hope of getting some dried flower stalks.

  7. It’s very good that you are supporting local business and gilding as you go. Few things cannot be improved with gold spray paint. It all looks wonderful but then so does the green ivy. Wonderful photographs, I need to take more lessons.

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