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  • Writer's picturePaul Lewis

Very rarely do you see any flowers from plants sown in the same year, four, five at most.

It's in their second year that the majority will flower, they will be given a third year to check for other attributes, like self propagation, hardiness and sometimes they even grow taller.

But in 2020 I exceeded the amount of crosses I usually make and subsequently now have rows and rows of Gladioli all ready to surprise and disappoint me.

This year I have borrowed some land nearby in Calbourne, as I had so many and I need to give my soil a rest for a couple of years. They are all planted in raised beds with each respected cross labelled and planted in rows. I'll spray for thrips when they have their fourth leaf and that's all the attention they'll get now, roll on the flower spikes.

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  • Writer's picturePaul Lewis

The Bride is a very early cross from the 1800's, Gladioli tristis x Gladiolus cardinalis, it's semi hardy, but growing well outside in the South of England. this ones inside for pollen removal. A couple of years ago I put some tristis pollen back to it and lo and behold this is todays offering. You can see the tristis in it.

Although it's not a stunner and lacking in scent and bud count, it has hardiness and a lovely strong stem. Work in progress as they say. By the time you read this, the pollen will have been removed and drying!

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  • Writer's picturePaul Lewis

Despite the snow flurries, my unheated greenhouse is full of Gladioli and the scent these beauties produce. My blue colour form of G carinatus is probably my favourite, but could possibly be usurped by recently added corms to the collection. I also have other colour variations of G carinatus on order that are blue/grey and yellow, currently on there way here from South Africa.

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