Monday, August 25, 2008


I've always loved glads. Well, that's not exactly true. When I was in my wild garden phase glads were definitely "out". But then I realized that every time I went to the farmers market I would stop and linger at the vendors selling flowers. Their big buckets of gladiola spears were so beautiful, took me back to the my Grandmas' flower gardens and the Wisconsin State Fair, where gladiolas stood solitary in coke bottles waiting judgement. Well I passed judgement on glads, too gaudy, too funerial , for the modernn naturalist gardening style I was developing. But then I got a client who wanted a garden full of nostalgia and color. So I planted great clumps of glads. Showy and floppy they took center stage and disappointed. The colors are dynamic but staking is necessary. So I stopped planting glads.
At least for a while. Then I started trying shorter ones like this one which is a part of the Glamini series . This one was labeled 'Christopoher' , but looks more like 'Tom' to me. They do flop a bit but that color is priceless.

The glads I really am loving are the species glads. This one Gladiolus x gandavensis 'Boone' I bought at the old Heronswood a few years back. I leave it in the ground here and it multiplies , never flops and always gets visitors' attention. I couldn't be gladder.

Except when I'm sad.
Like now. Our 30 foot long row of glads for cutting at the farm have all succumbed to thrips and fungal problems, that's the kind of summer we're having.
A cabbage summer.