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A Bad Rap

I have been growing glads now for 55 years. The one thing that bothers me the most is when I hear people calling glads a funeral flower. In the 60s and 70s glads were the #1 cut flower, not roses, mums, Lilies or carnations . I see just as many Roses, Mums, Carnations and Lilies at funerals then I see glads. So why don’t we call them funeral flowers? I know of no other flower that has as many colors as glads. Iris have  lots of colors but not as many. Glads have five different floret sizes from 100 to 500 . Some only an inch and a half across, some up to 6”. There are greens , blues, tri-tones two –tones, violet, smokies, black reds ,plus a whole lot more. I like roses but a lot of times they don’t open fully when cut. Native glads will open to the last bud, and will last over a week.  Glads have a smaller size called miniatures that are excellent for patinas, bud vases, arrangements or smaller centerpieces. They can also be used for corsages or boutonnieres. Then we have the giant  500s that can measure 6’ across in floret size. Plus the 300 and 400 size. There are numerous glad shows all over the country where you can enter in 20 something categories for cash awards or rosettes. Not to mention they are excellent for roadside stands and farmers markets to sell along with your vegetables or whatever else you have .Another great hobby is breeding glads  to create new ones , maybe you could be the first person to create a true black glad . I love just cutting them and bringing bouquets into the house to put in a vase . We now have a few glads that are mildly scented and we are working on bringing more scent into glads. As we know working in the garden is one of the best exercises you can do for your body and mind.  I'm tired of hearing the stigma of funeral flowers, lets learn to appreciate all the color and multiple uses we have for gladiolas. Consider joining a glad society to learn more about growing and exhibiting these beautiful flowers or just having a nice backyard plot that you can enjoy. Dues are very reasonable and all the information can be found in seasonal bulletins that are put out four times a year or just going to meetings and hearing speakers, plus the auctions or banquets where you can purchase  your own corms. It’s a great hobby that does not require a big expense, just a little time and patience on your part. So don’t piss me off  anymore by calling one of the most beautiful flowers on the planet funeral flowers. Lets learn to appreciate the beauty of the flower.  

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