Last spring in a fit of March madness, I ordered a whole variety of bulbs. Now at the end of summer, it's time to assess. The bulbs proved to be a mixed lot - many didn't live up to my expectations. The golden cannas, however, have been beautiful.
But, the gladiolas have surprised and delighted me the most. They were thrown in by the bulb company as a bonus. I wouldn't have ordered them on my own.
My father has raised gladiolas for years, planting them in long neat rows. He reduced his bulb inventory several years ago, and I didn't take any. He always soaks his bulbs in some kind of magic mixture before planting them, which intimidated me.
Anyway, I received these bonus gladiola bulbs (and there were a lot of them!) and didn't quite know what to do with them. I ended up tucking them in all over the place. I didn't plant some of them deep enough and had quite a few plants growing at 45 degree angles to the ground! That didn't stop them from blooming, though.
The gladiola got its name from its distinctive leaves. The Latin word "gladius" means sword. Sometimes they are also called "sword lilies." I think their early bud stage also looks like a sword.
Even though some of my flowers grew with a strange curvature as a result of their sideways growing status, I am still enjoying them. Every single one. Both outside in the flower beds, and inside as cut flowers. And the nice thing is that they don't all bloom at once. They seem to bloom in a certain sequence by color. The salmon colored ones were first, then red and lavender, and finally white. More than any other flowers I've raised, these are the best for flower arrangements.
I'm going to have to talk to my dad , the glad pro, about preserving them for next year. I'm hooked! Our new puppy, Lizzie (another end of summer surprise) likes them, too!
Here's a fun flag to help us transition to fall, which is almost here!
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