Heirloom Bulbs & Garden History  •  Living Treasure from the Past


December 2019

Dec
19
2019

Small-Flowered Glads are “Summer Tulips”
Says UK Head Gardener

dainty ‘Elvira,’ 1956

If you still aren’t convinced that glads belong in your garden, here’s a bit of advice from head gardener Tom Brown of the celebrated West Dean Gardens in Sussex.

It can be “tricky to associate most gladiolus with other garden flowers,” Brown writes in the August 2019 Gardens Illustrated, because “the exotic blooms scream for attention and dominate their companions.”

But small-flowered glads are “the exception to this rule.” Brown explains that he uses “these little flowers in clumps throughout my herbaceous borders, providing a colorful pick-me-up through the latter part of the season. I’ve started to view them as a summer tulip. Plant them around 100 days before you want them to flower and enjoy a burst of color when much of the garden is tired from the summer heat.”

‘Atom’ is our customers’ favorite small-flowered glad, and one of the cheapest. (You could easily pay more for a latte than you will for five ‘Atom’.) Others include dainty pink ‘Elvira’ along with two which are newly returned to our website and – as always – in short supply: luminous Green Lace’ and apricot-freckled ‘Starface’.

Although we hope to have more glads to offer in January, if you want ‘Green Lace’ or ‘Starface’ it’s probably best if you to order them now – remembering that you can always add to your order later.

Dec
13
2019

“Tall Drink of Water” – ‘Autumn Minaret’ Daylily

Andrew Keys – author of Why Grow That When You Can Grow This? – had high praise for our towering ‘Autumn Minaret’ in the August 2018 issue of Fine Gardening.

After describing it as a “superstar” that “sends up rockets of flowers,” he goes on to say that “daylilies always make reliable summer bloomers, and this cultivar sends up fragrant scapes of those voluptuous flowers from late summer well into fall. If that’s not enough, each one tops out up to a whopping six feet and sports yellow petals with an orange eye.”

“This tall drink of water makes the perfect companion for meadow plants in full sun, ” Keys adds. “Though daylilies will bloom in shade, more sun equals more flowers, and ‘Autumn Minaret’ is no exception.”

Introduced by A.B. Stout in 1951, ‘Autumn Minaret’ is always in high demand and sure to sell out early. Even though we’ve already set a limit of three on it, if you want this willowy beauty we suggest take a break from your holiday shopping and order it now.

Dec
5
2019

2624-Year-Old Bald Cypress
Discovered in North Carolina Swamp

Now that’s an historic plant!

According to scientists from the University of Arkansas, a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) growing in North Carolina is 2624 years old, making it the oldest living thing east of the Rocky Mountains and one of the oldest trees in the world.

And it isn’t alone. “There are hundreds of 1,000-year-old trees throughout the Black River swamp forest,” says scientist David Stahle who used core samples and radiocarbon to date the cypresses. “We think there are older trees out there still.”

Awe-inspiring in their own right, these ancient trees also offer a precipitation record in their tree rings that Stahle calls “amazingly accurate and detailed.” Along with modern droughts, the rings document “the severe multi-year droughts of 1587-1589 associated with the disappearance of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, and the drought of 1606-1612 concurrent with the hardships suffered during the early years of the Jamestown Colony.”

To read more or watch a short video about these remarkable heirlooms, visit newsweek.com/2624-tree-north-carolina-swamp-oldest-planet-1421844.