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Gladiolus: Lost Forever?

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Page 4 of Gladiolus: Lost?
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G. dalenii, PARROT GLAD, 1830

The first African glad in US gardens, this vivid orange, green, and yellow wildling was eventually crowded aside by new hybrids. But it lingered in old Southern gardens, waiting to be rediscovered by savvy 21st-century gardeners. “The most desirable,” Bridgeman wrote in 1837. “It blossoms freely, and the colors are exquisitely beautiful.” As usual, our supply this spring is VERY limited. Formerly G. psittacinus and G. natalensis, zones 3b-7b, 4 feet tall, from Louisiana. Last offered in 2015. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SILVER DOLLAR, 1962

“It’s like a string of pearls,” says our usually matter-of-fact Maine grower of this pure white classic – “the ideal wedding glad.” 4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2007. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SNOW PRINCESS, 1939

Now that ‘White Friendship’ and ‘White Goddess’ have gone commercially extinct, we’re happier than ever to have this snowy-white Depression-era beauty with its intriguing pink anthers. One of the oldest traditional glads we’ve ever offered, it was a florists’ favorite for decades and long praised as “sturdy,” “stately,” and “exquisite.” 4½ feet tall, from Maine. Last offered in 2019. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SPIC AND SPAN, 1946

This luscious coral glad is named for the popular household cleanser that dates back to Depression days. It’s the top blue-ribbon winning glad of all time and a personal favorite of our good customer and celebrated Atlanta garden designer, Ryan Gainey. 4 feet, Holland. Last offered in spring 2016. Unfortunately ‘Spic and Span’ seems to have gone “commercially extinct,” although you may find impostors sold elsewhere. We’ll continue searching for true stock, and announce any success in our newsletter. Please keep your fingers crossed!


SPRING MAID, 1961

As dewy fresh as spring itself, and very early blooming, this small-to-medium flowered, lightly ruffled glad is a soft, almost silvery yellow. Combine it with pink roses, blue salvia, and a hosta leaf or two for a cool, refreshing summer bouquet. 3-4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2019. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SUNBONNET SUE, 1967

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. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SUNSET SKY, 1965

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 in 2019. 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.


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