Gladiolus

Sword Lily

These are not the easily obtainable hybrids—you can find those elsewhere. The beauty of our native South African selections comes from the handsome sword-shaped leaves and spikes of unfussy, often flaring blooms.

Belonging to the Iridaceae family, Gladioli have long been associated with strength of character, and we think its strongly upright, yet graceful presence can fashion an intriguing see-through veil for any border. Place them in a well drained site and, after the bloom is over, support strong corm development by reducing water and trimming the stems to just beneath the lowest flowers. Provide winter protection in colder areas.

You can almost feel the heat as floriferous spikes sizzle with colorful intensity while stiff, ribbed Crocosmia-like blades stand in composed relief. Three white patches daringly dash across the lower petals, illuminating vividly hued cardinal-red flowers.

Seeking out moist niches, sometimes under waterfalls in its indigenous Drakensberg Mountains, this vigorous temptress tolerates summer water, makes an excellent garden plant for warmer climates and can be grown in a favored patio container where winters are cold.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 2-1/4' high x 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

<i>Gladiolus dalenii</i>

Reminiscent of Halloween candy corn colors and nearly in time for that high-spirited tradition, this South African’s 3 ft. tall flowering spires deliver an alluring display. Grounded by straplike blades reaching up to 2 ft., the ample, well spaced blooms feature pendant, hooded orange petals glowing with yellow throats.

Full of vigor, easy-to-maintain and actively growing in summer, Gladiolus dalenii should receive adequate water throughout the season.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

<i>Gladiolus oppositiflorus</i> ssp. <i>salmoneus</i>

Native to the grassy cliffs of the Drakensberg Mountains, this high altitude Gladiolus possesses a robust hardiness that defies the exquisite beauty of its flowers.

Ruffled in pretty salmon-pink colors, the showy, 4 in. flared blooms exhibit dark pink-streaked lower petals, and are openly arranged on long slender stems above grassy blades. Appreciative of summer moisture, this lovely bulb flourishes in ordinary garden soil.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Gladiolus papilio</i>

Emerging from a swordlike cluster of light green leaves, the arching bronzy stems host numerous slender green and mauve buds, which open into funnel-shaped blossoms distinguished by a soft gray and dusty purple hue on the outside. A subtle gift inside awaits your glance: mothlike markings of maroon and gold decorate the lower milky colored petal segments.

Let a drift of these delicacies accompany Galtonia viridiflora and Kniphofia linearifolia and enjoy their quiet elegance.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 3-1/2' high x 12" & spreading wide.

Hardy to zone 7.

So dainty and exquisite, this South African native is one of our favorite spring blooming bulbs. Rising from a stand of tall, rushlike narrow leaves, each flowering wand produces a trio of upturned, creamy yellow, tubular blossoms. Stippled with bronze and green, the large and lovely, flared flowers give off a sweet almond scent. For an untamed look, plant amidst grasses such as Sesleria and Miscanthus ‘Little Kitten’ or for contrasting foliage try Euphorbia ‘Blue Haze’.

Blooms April – May.

Size: 3' 0" – 12" high x 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

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Saturdays at 2 p…MORE

Saturday Strolls & Plant Chats 2018!


Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Achillea 'Hella Glashoff'

Amazing Achilleas, Invigorate your summer plantings!

Amazing Achilleas…. These sturdy, dependable perennials produce small indivdual blooms that populate broad, flat flower heads, lending welcome horizontal elements to any garden bed. Ideal for bouquets, fresh or dried, the long-lasting blossoms range in color from alabaster to soft yellow and gold, as well as terracotta, pink and sassy red. Cut back their flowers in midsummer and enjoy a fall encore! Spicy scented, attractive fern-like green or gray-tinged foliage cloaks their strong straight stems. Slowly spreading and somewhat drought tolerant, Yarrow seem to thrive on neglect. They can handle low soil fertility plus coastal wind and salt spray. Be sure to check out our diverse on-line Achillea selections!

Invigorate your summer plantings.… A few simple maintenance techniques will help plants appear fresh throughout the upcoming dog days of summer. The addition of a chipped bark mulch or well-rotted compost, applied as a top-dressing, not only reduces water requirements, but generally makes it easier for plants to maintain perky looking leaves and vigorous habits. A July or early August trimming of long-blooming perennials, such as Nepetas and most Geraniums ensures myriad flowers that will keep on coming ‘til the first frost. Featured in this newsletter, you’ll find the fabulous plants that caught my eye as Boobah and I took our morning walk through the nursery and adjacent display borders this past week. Hopefully, you’ll have room to ensconce several of them in a well-traveled spot. Happy Digging!

Digging Dog's August 2018 Newsletter Link

For a peek at some past newsletters, please visit the following links:

Digging Dog's Late July 2018 Newsletter Link Digging Dog's July 2018 Newsletter Link Digging Dog's June 2018 Newsletter Link
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