So glad about summer bulbs

Gladiolus murielae in the North Garden

If this had been a “normal” summer (is there any such thing?) by now we would probably be feeling beat by the heat. The gardens might have started to look sun scorched, faded, and dusty — IF we hadn’t planned ahead to prevent that from happening. We always plan — and then plant — for a succession of color that will carry the gardens through the heat but I think because last winter was so endlessly long and bitterly cold, Gail was more determined than ever to add a hit of springtime freshness to the late summer garden. (We were so worried that the pendulum would swing towards a blistering hot summer, never imagining that we’d get to enjoy such a pleasant opposite instead.) Our summer bulb order, placed way back at the end of January with the seed and plant orders, was big. And I, for one, am pretty gladiolus about that now.

Of all the summer bulbs we potted up and planted, which included dahlias (of course), Orienpet lilies, and crocosmia, the glads are definitely my favorites. Maybe especially fragrant Gladiolus murielae a.k.a. acidanthera pictured (above) with the sculpture Memory of Fibonacci by George Sherwood in the background. We planted 100 of those in the North Garden in root pouches, which should make them extra-easy to lift for winter storage. Before blooming, they sent up fresh green blades just when the garden was wanting that stiff structure. By now they have been blooming for weeks and haven’t needed any encouragement whatsoever to keep standing up straight. Love that. Gladiolus ‘Green Star‘ has been in the North Garden for years. I’ll take a hardy glad any day even if it is wicked top-heavy. Fingers crossed for G. dalenii ‘Boone’ and ‘Carolina Primrose’ (both from Old House Gardens). ‘Mirella’ (Brent and Becky’s Bulbs) is a primulinus type too but isn’t listed as hardy below Zone 7. No matter. They’re easy as pie to overwinter in cool, dry darkness down cellar. Click on pictures below for a better view or mouse over for captions.

Gladiolus 'Caribbean' and Helenium autumnale 'Can Can'Gladiolus 'Lucky Star' in the Cutting GardenGladiolus 'Boone' in bloom 7-22-14Gladiolus 'Mirella' in the Rose GardenCrocosmia 'George Davison' and Kalimeris incisa 'Blue Star'Lilium 'Altari' and G. murielae in the North Garden

Did you plant any summer bulbs this year? What are your favorites?

2 thoughts on “So glad about summer bulbs

  1. Kris, I have a surplus of Gladiola daleni bulbs that I’d love to share with you and Gail. I saved seed last year, which was sown and germinated well, plus my planted bulbs have multiplied quickly. The color range is apricot , typical of ‘Boone’, and a soft canary yellow. They have wintered over well for the past 6 years, except for one pocket last winter. Wish that the Gladiola papilio ‘Ruby’, 3′ tall with ruby pink blossoms, would produce more offsets.

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