Friday, 1 October 2010

Gladiolus Byzantinus



Gladiolus communis subsp byzantinus or Sword lily is really unlike many of the more gardenesque varieties usually associated with the genus. A striking magenta, in 'meadowy' situations it makes a real impact and looks quite at home.

I've just planted a hundred and twenty bulbs of this 'hardy' gladioli in an area of the field where I let the grass grow long.

I'm really unsure as to how rustic a plant this is. For example, reading the gladiolus section of a well known UK bulb supplier, it's described as "one of the most enduring and easily grown plants" whilst others suggest lifting the corms except in the mildest areas and yet I've found further information from the States stating they're hardy to zone 6! I reckon Dahlias are hardy to zone 6 if you bury the tubers deep enough. Surely that's the key. If they freeze, they thaw to mush.

Time to plant is another conflicting one. Again, a well respected UK bulb supplier lists the corms under Autumn bulbs to flower in the Spring, however another refuses to despatch until late February for early Spring planting. Who knows?



Well, the reality is they're all planted, complete as of today, October one.

Making the holes was much easier with the pointed end of a pick axe! It's difficult getting through the grass 'mat' with a trowel. Ido SO hope they come up next May.

Top photograph courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

16 comments:

  1. Perhaps I should point out that I cut back all the long grass prior to planting. You can see it appears brown (where the wheelbarrow is) in the photograph as the light has only just started to reach the ground.

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  2. Rob, Your place is so beautiful! I love the photo and I assumed you had cut the grass (meadow) before planting. I would have trouble lifting that axe! That area should be quite stunning with the whimsical blooms. Good luck! Love your grasses . . . well the whole setting in the background. ;>)

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  3. Lovely glads - stunning colour. Have you ever tried the scented Abyssinian ones?

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  4. Ah just googled the Abyssinian types. Another one with a more natural, almost wildflower bloom. Thanks

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  6. Rob, the photo of blossoms amidst the grasses is quite lovely, but I also love the shot of the wheelbarrow, trencher and gloves. Very nice! (PS: removed, but reposted as my eyesight failed me, the "shovel" was actually the trencher.) ;)

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  7. I love your comment "oh, well, the reality is they are all planted...." A true gardener!

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  8. Beautiful in the long grass. I wouldn't try them here, though.

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  9. Mine are pretty hardy Rob. 120 bulbs - wow that will look so good.

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  10. I do hope they prosper for you. I think they will be stunning.

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  11. That is such a worthwhile endeavor, to plant these glads in grass. I always seem to end up with a pale strain of this glad and not the true brilliant magenta. Looking forward to photos next summer.

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  12. They're going to look fabulous! Good job I've not planted them here though - they'd have drowned with the deluge of rain we've had in the last 24 hours! :(

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  13. Now they should be a splendid sight come next year Rob ~ I hope you do a follow up post. I planted some in pots last autumn but I think that the cold winter polished them off - either that or the pesky squirrels. Will be having another go though. Have also ordered galdiolus 'The Bride' for the allotment.

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  14. The color combo is stunning, Rob. Although I have never grown these beauties, I do enjoy the look, especially in large masses where I often see them planted like you did, in fields of grass. Good luck. We are enjoying a marvelous gift of awesome fall weather. Do hope you are too :)

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  15. I bet it will look absolutely beautiful come next year!

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  16. rob, johanna here from middle georgia. these glads are found along the ditch or in the woods here...i believed they were "wild" but i
    think they are escapees from long gone houses and gardens.
    i have gathered a nice bed from
    nosing around in the woods, near
    old farms and foundations.
    they are beautiful at the edge of grassy yard, spreading into the
    variegated lamium groundcover.
    very hardy here-zone 7

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