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Gladiolus 

I have so much love for these beautiful blooms! Last year, they gave me hope when most of many of my blooms didn't make it past the seedling stage due to massive spring flooding. When it was all tallied, we grew around 1,000 gladioli last season. Thank goodness I succession plant these beauties; I don't know what I would have done if they all came on at once! By planting them every couple of weeks I had blooms until frost last year.

Gladioli are native to South Africa and grow best were they receive full sun. They also grow three to four feet tall and require some sort of staking or corralling to stay upright. If you don't provide some sort of support for them, they will fall over or produce curvy stems. It is best to harvest them in the early morning or the evening once the first couple of blossoms are just opening.

One of my favorite things about gladioli is that the blossoms continue opening after harvesting, giving glads a long vase life! They're also one of my favorite line flowers to use in designs to create movement and rhythm.

In this design, I used the glad and a few zinnias to create rhythm. Rhythm is a Principle of Design that creates a dominant visual path through a design. It is acheived by the use of gradiation and repetition in a linear direction. When you look at this design your eye starts on the left side with the tip of the glad and a zinnia then travels along the path of red flowers finally coming to a rest on the last glad bloom on the right. It's movement reminds me of a ballerina leaping across a stage during a performance. How about you? What does it remind you of?

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*All flowers and floral designs will vary due to seasonal availability. The growing season is May through October.