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Saturday, May 26, 2012


1. Gladiolus bulb.

2. Hole for gladiolus bulb.
3. Gladiolus bulb in hole.
4. Tip of gladiolus seeks light.

About five weeks ago, I bought a bag of fifty gladiolus bulbs.  It was a whim, they were on sale, and they represented such great possibility. These showy stems are beautiful when cut and placed in tall vases.  Gladioli are a member of the iris family; if you look closely at their architecture, this fact is easy to pick out.  Their growing season is limited to the warmest days of summer.  This makes sense because they are native to Africa.  Without even reading the instructions on the package, I knew that it would take about three months for them to bloom, so my intention was to get them into the ground as soon as possible. It is suggested that plantings be done in waves, so that the flowers blossom over an extended period of time. 
All my best intentions went by the wayside because of complications due to my health.  The bag, containing the promise of large, extravagant stems of brightly colored flowers, sat unattended and ignored until this morning. 
At six a.m., I decided I would get them all into the ground.  Immediately. Still in my pajamas, I went outside bearing a gardner's pad on which to kneel, my battered, worn gardening gloves and my trowel.
I used Martha Stewart's recommended method of planting bulbs so they do not appear too finicky when they emerge.  I gently tossed the bulbs into the air and let them fall, willy-nilly, where they may.  With just a few adjustments, I buried the bulbs where they landed. The gladiolus bulbs populated a space of about  five feet by twelve feet.  After redistributing the bark mulch, there is very little evidence that I disturbed the earth at all. I still need to saturate the ground with fertilizer to insure the bulbs have a jumpstart on the work they have ahead of them. However, I am relieved that my job is done and a Higher Power is going to take on the next part of the job.  
Pictures will follow!

For information on how to grow gladioli, follow this link.

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