Saturday, August 09, 2008


I was mad about gladioli for a couple of months in 2006 and couldn't wait for the spikes to bloom. I did get gorgeous flowers off one variety that was pictured a deep red on the pack, only their colors seemed faded when the blooms finally came, sort of melon red. Overall they proved to be a disappointment: high winds broke the foliage and the flower heads, unstaked (we were in South Africa then) tended to break and rot in the wet earth.

Still, we gather the corms at first frost and plant them back out in spring. This year I was surprised to find little gladioli shooting out of the earth where a lone corm had been planted the other spring. It was the cormels, forgotten in the ground. They had survived the winter, a testament to warming temperatures in this part of the world. Weeding, I put them back. What a waste otherwise.

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