Napa woman turns calla lilies into colorful masterpieces

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, an annual spring art project is blooming right now. It puts a whole new meaning to the phrase "gilding the lily."

Does a calla lily bloom this way naturally? Nope. Not until Ginger Harness of Napa gets her spray cans on them.

RELATED: 'The Bulb Guy' opens his backyard filled with thousands of flowers to the public

In a neighborhood where spring is busting out all over, here she comes again -- but it is not graffiti.

"At the peak of the season, I painted 250 at a time," said Ginger Harness, who views every white calla lily as a canvas. "The paint is environmentally safe. It doesn't hurt the plant or the bees on the plant."

"You have been asked about this before?

"I have."

For 25 years.

What began with one lily plant that belonged to her mother has become a collection stretching 100 yards. It's been a natural evolution for this woman who loves painting watercolors of flowers.

"I like flowers because they change. One day it looks like this and then the next it looks like something different."

"You give it a hand?"

"I help it along."

Within a month, that entire alley outside will fill with painted calla lilies, and crowds of people coming to see them. With that news, we offer an one note of warning.

"What if they come with scissors?" we asked.

"I would chase them away."

If Ginger sounds a bit worried, she has every right to be that way. Five years ago, someone visited in the middle of the night and cut off all of her plants. "No need to talk about that. It wasn't good," said Ginger.

On Tuesday, she entertained school children and neighbors, all while masking plants and combining colors. It's sure sign of spring on what they unofficially call Calla Lily Alley in Napa.

Now you know why.

"I am remodeling the insects' homes," said Ginger.


Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.