Saturday, June 18, 2011


I like to pretend that glads are the cavalry vanguard of the garden army.  As soon as the soil warms they gather for the fight, waiting for the sun to hit the earth. And then they shoot straight up, their long and slender leaves arrowing towards the sky like a sword held aloft. When they draw their stems, waving burgeoning green buds like standards, it serves warning to any interlopers in the garden that they are about to charge. The blooms gallup up the stems, first the lowest flower, and then the next, and so on, until as the first blooms die, the last ones burst to life for one last show of courage.

Last year, I purchased a bag of mixed bulbs from American Meadows. It was my first time ever growing gladiolus and it was love at first sight.

This year, I wanted something really bright and intense to 'hide' the vegetable garden from the sidewalk. I jumbled up two sets of bulbs and planted them in batches of five throughout March and April. VOILA! AMAZING!

Orange Flame

So bright and shiny!
These were on sale at Home Depot, so I figured 'why not'? I thought these were supposed to fade more to yellow, but who cares! They're HUGE and they just glow when the sun hits them.  For a special surprise the flower-seed mix I tossed down over the bulbs put up a huge explosion of baby's breath, giving a wonderful white backsplash to accent them.

Black Walnut

Absolutely spectacular!
These are my absolute favorite so far! Keep in mind that I've got four more varieties waiting to open, and I'll probably say the same about them all. The petals are dark red with almost black stripes on the tips of the satin-like petals. The pictures don't show it, but the texture of the petals is like velvet and the sun makes them glow.