SUNBONNET SUE, 1967        Rarest
Named for the traditional quilt pattern of little girls in over-sized bonnets, this pastel glad is a warm apricot-buff with a sprinkling of freckles in its golden throat. Customers at our local Farmers Market loved it as a cutflower, and it’s even better when you grow your own! Small-flowered, 3-4 feet, from Maine. Last offered spring of 2018. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
SUNSET SKY, 1965        Rarest
One of the smallest-flowered glads we grow, this ruffled beauty is a soft lemon yellow, deeper in the center and paling to almost white towards the edges which are richly suffused with glowing orange. Early blooming, strong growing, small-flowered, 3 feet tall, from Maine. Last offered spring of 2018. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
TOP BRASS, 1960        
Simple can be sublime, and though we love ruffled and patterned glads, it’s hard to beat the fresh-faced, baby-smooth look of classics like ‘Top Brass’. Whether it reminds you of a sunny day at the beach, a lemon meringue pie, or the clear, thrilling notes of a trumpet fanfare, this luminous yellow glad is something special. 4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2008. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
TOWHEAD, 1960        
Like a flaxen-haired pre-schooler, this cute little glad with flowers no bigger than ‘Atom’ is the epitome of summer’s sunny, carefree days. Its pale blond petals deepen to gold in the center, it’s famously vigorous, and we’re happy that we once again have a small supply we can share with you. Small-flowered, 3-4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2015. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
TRUE LOVE, 1969        
A richer pink than ‘Friendship,’ this rare beauty won the “unqualified endorsement” of Carl Fischer – the greatest gladiolus breeder of the 20th century – for its “trimly tailored” spikes, “ethereal” color, and “exquisite ruffling.” In the garden it’s exceptionally vigorous and sturdy, and in bouquets it’s stunning. 4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2016. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
VENETIE, 1941        
As romantic as its namesake (Venetie is Dutch for Venice), this rare survivor from the 1940s evokes a midnight masked ball. Look closely and you’ll see that its unusual, almost smoky orange is brushed at the lips with shadows of burgundy, and — adding to its mysterious allure — its petals sparkle as if dusted with tiny diamonds. 4 feet, from Holland. Last offered in spring 2010. Although it has gone “commercially extinct” in the Netherlands, we hope to offer it again someday. Stay tuned via our email newsletter.
VIOLET QUEEN, 1959        Rarest
A rich, full-bodied purple, this vintage glad adds a deep note of counterpoint to gardens and bouquets. White strokes on the lower petals – pollen guides for bees – make it all the more elegant. 4 feet, from Maine. Last offered spring of 2018. We plan to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
WHITE FRIENDSHIP, 1959        
“Lemon-hearted ‘White Friendship’ has never been surpassed,” says garden super-star Ann Lovejoy who recommends combining it with golden feverfew and blue morning glories. It’s one of the 20th-century’s finest glads, vigorous, lightly ruffled, and radiant. 3-4 feet, from Holland. Last offered in spring 2014, and we’re sad to say it has gone commercially extinct.
WHITE GODDESS, 1948        
This luminous beauty is one of very few glads from the 1940s still grown in Dutch bulb fields today, a reflection of its outstanding quality. Its ruffled florets recall that famous movie scene where Marilyn Monroe’s white skirt suddenly billows up all around her — a timeless classic. 4 feet, from Holland. Last offered in spring 2014. Unfortunately it has now gone commercially extinct.
WITCH DOCTOR, 1964        
‘Witch Doctor’ is well named. It’s an intense, eerie blend of firelight and smoke — and blood? — with mottling so dark that it almost looks charred. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you dare to try it, we bet you’ll never forget it. Small-flowered, 3-4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
Page 5 of Gladiolus: Lost?
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