Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Late summer blooms!

Getting ready to BURST with color!
I was so glad this morning to see my gladioli (plural for gladiolus) or glads are starting to bloom!  I know, I'm corny.  I planted these on a whim in late May.  I found the corms (bulb-like structure) on clearance at Walmart and decided to give them a try.  As I've said before, I can't resist plants on clearance.  I truly didn't expect them to do much but to my surprise they are doing quite well!  Something I didn't know (until just now when I googled it) is that, apparently, you have to stake gladioli to keep them from falling over.  That makes sense now.  We had quite the storm last night and some of them are looking a little floppy.  I'll be sure to remember that for next year.
Presently, they are kind of interspersed in my front flower bed.  Next year I plan to create my own separate "cutting garden," so I'll move the bulbs there.  These flowers are perfect for cutting and bringing indoors.

Some interesting facts about gladioli:

  • Of the Iris family, or "iridaceous" (I think that's a cool word)
  • The word "Gladiolus" is Latin for "little sword"
  • Glads are not hardy here in Zone 5, so you plant the corms in mid May and dig them up again in late September, then store them inside until they are ready to plant the following May (ideally a cool garage or refrigerator, just don't freeze them)!
  • During the summer, new corms form under the old corms.  You remove these old corms in the winter and discard
For being such a showy flower, they are relatively low maintenance.  I've practically ignored them since planting (other than some occaisional fertilizing) and they are doing well.  So next spring if you are looking for an easy and elegant flower to add to your garden, maybe try some glads....I bet you'll be glad you did!  (I know I am)! 

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