Saturday, October 20, 2012

Garden Gladiolus

One of my favourite flowers when I was a child was Gladiolus.  Tall spires of ruffled flowers in all the colours of the rainbow.  They are about as outrageous a flower as I can think of.  All frills and ruffles and shocking bright colours.


I considered putting some of these flowers in my garden last year but declined.  I have lost my interest in overly bright flowers over the years and thought they might be overwhelming in my garden.  I have been trying to aim for a muted colour in the flower garden with tones of purple, pink and blue. 

But this year a funny thing happened.  Gladiolus came looking for me.  It started when an exchange of seeds became a gift of bulbs.  


My world of gladiolus started to expand.  Jennifer @ Three Dogs in a Garden introduced me to Orchid Gladiolus (Gladiolus acidanthera).  This is not a gladiola like any I have ever seen.  Delicate white blooms with maroon centers arched over blades of grass like foliage.


In late August these delicate blooms nodded gentle heads in the breeze.


I was smitten.

That was not the last of it though.  Purchasing a few last perennials for the flower bed in late July I was gifted with free bulbs at the nursery. 

Glamini Gladiola 'Christopher'
I can't say no to free plants.

So home I came with bags of corms, in brilliant shades of pink and chartreuse.  Since it was so late in the year they did not bloom as early as they normally would.  These Laguna glamini gladiolas are only just now gracing my flower bed.

Laguna Gladiolas
Glamini gladiolas are completely new to me too.  They are a dwarf variety of gladiolas, bred to be shorter than regular glads so they can be grown in pots and not as prone to tipping in high winds.

The smaller stems were the perfect size for bouquets
Where the orchid gladiolas are all grace and poise, the glaminis are just as outrageous as their larger cousins.  The foliage is stiff and swordlike, the spikes tall and the flowers are a sight to behold.  Despite my thoughts on overly bright blooms, I was swayed.  Has there ever been a flower that I could turn away?


The gladiolas will stay and the garden will be full of bursts of bright colour.  Not designed as I originally anticipated but lovely just the same.



20 comments:

  1. Your space is large enough to let bursts of colour flaunt their glory. And one fine day, you'll claim another bed and plan afresh. We have tiny delicate species gladioli, mine are in pots, but over the years they have been overwhelmed by garden thugs, and I by bigger garden issues.

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    1. Diana, another bed needs to come sooner than later! My love of trying any plant new to me can cause some serious crowding and funny combinations in the couple of beds that I have.

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  2. You will have to dig them up won't you? That is what I don't like about glads. I can't leave them in the ground during winter. They are such a beautiful flower though.

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    1. Lisa, yes they do require digging up in my climate. However, I dig up dahlias as well so a few more bulbs to pull out doesn't really bother me. They're much smaller size than the dahlias as well so easier to find space for. I understand a lot of people don't like the work of them though. One reason my mother in later years quit growing glads.

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  3. I, too, am a long-time fan of gladiolas. My father loved them, each year when they were in season, he would bring home an extravagant colorful bouquet for my mother. I've never grown them, but when I'm in Maine in late summer and fall, I often stop to buy some at roadside stands. The orchid gladiolus is new to me; it looks like a wonderful plant to grow. -Jean

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    1. Jean, there is nothing quite as astounding as a bouquet of gladiolas is there? Very big and bright. I really liked the orchid glads as their foliage is similar to a Siberian Iris and they blend well into the existing plants.

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  4. I love glads, and always try to have a big bunch of them in vases during the summer.

    Maybe we will be organized enough next summer to plant some...

    Your's are beautiful.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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    1. Jen, I think glads are just made for vases. Nothing bigger and splashier to get that wow factor. It makes me think I should plant some just for bouquets.

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  5. Hello Marguerite girl !
    I went through stages like that with glads myself .. and I am curious about the "Glaminis" in a pot they would look cute I think. I have grown the orchid kind before but they were called something else.
    Next year I am focusing more on herbs grown in and between my roses in the hot sun strip .. the strong fragrance helps keep down the bug population and they love the heat and drought so they flourish ..
    My rosemary .. I dry it .. I can't be bothered by bringing the plant in because I don't have enough sunlight for it in the house .. in fact I can say I have no houseplants at the moment .. too much trouble ! LOL
    Joy

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    1. Joy, I wonder if that's the issue for me - not enough sun for the rosemary inside. I can never seem to get it right but I'll try again this year. I do love fresh rosemary for cooking.

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  6. I have always liked the traditional big bold gladiolas if used right as an accent. But I did not know about the other types that are more graceful or smaller, and really interesting. Thanks for introducing us to these beautiful varieties! I'm glad they found their way into your garden despite other plans on your part : )

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    1. Laurrie, good point that the traditional glads make a great accent. I'm going to play with these smaller ones next year in different parts of the garden and try and figure out the best way of using them.

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  7. I really like the glads too. I used to have them in my garden until they started to multiply like crazy. I needed less prolific varieties I think. My favorite were the lime green ones.

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    1. I had no idea they multiplied!! Thanks Donna, that's good to know. I really like the limey green ones I got too. Such a great colour.

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  8. Glads were some of the first plants I ever grew. I loved how easy they were. Great confidence builders! I really love those orchid glads. What beauties!

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    1. Tammy, that was bulbs for me. Tulips, daffodils, squill - they were a total no brainer and as you say, good confidence builders.

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  9. Those glads are so gorgeous..you take the best pictures! I love them but it's the digging up that keeps me from planting them, but perhaps after we retire in P.E.I. Imagine having so many blooms this late in the year, we are supposed to have some snow on the weekend..One plant I must have when we move will be hollyhocks, hope they do well on the island...happy gardening Lannie

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    1. Lannie, I had terrible trouble with hollyhocks here but I know other people grow them just fine. I'll bet you do great. I was shocked too at the amount of blooms I have going despite the cold. Amazing how some of those flowers just won't give up.

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  10. I am happy you liked the orchid glads. They bloom at a time of year when so many things are on the way out.
    I think I have come around to liking traditional glads. I bought some smaller pink ones recently and they were just lovely sitting in my kitchen. Glamini gladiolas sound like an interesting variety to think about for next year.

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  11. I had tried glads in Virginia a number of times, but I think the voles got them. Since coming here I have three different kinds of glads, the Orchid Glad like yours, the florist type, and byzantine glad as well. You should check those out, pretty!!! Magenta colored.

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