Would you like to plant that delivers the colour of summer bedding without requiring you to renew it year after year? These are the most amazing performers, as they flower right through the summer, unlike the taller varieties. They also don't need stalking or tying up!
Gladioli will grow in any soil and in most aspects as well. It is true to say they will flower better in a good sunny position though. These dwarf varieties grow to a maximum height of only 2 feet.
You can plant them now as soon as the ground dries up. Plant corms twice their depth and add some slow release fertilizer when you're planting. I prefer to plant about 5 corms in each hole. These bulbs are great to fill in where you are missing some colour in your spring flowering shrubs. They look particularly lovely between Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Camellias and Ferns. It is a great idea to stagger your planting, starting now, then some in March and more again in April, and your last planting in May. This will ensure you'll have colour right through to September.
Some of the best varieties are:
Carina (bee friendly)
Charming Beauty (bee friendly)
Albus, Atom (bee friendly)
The taller-growing varieties of Gladiolus are also spectacular but they do need a sheltered place, or the support of a wall to protect them from strong winds. I love growing them between tall shrubs and I don't have to support them as the shrubs act as a support.
Gladioli are a great way to attract bees to your garden. Some of the nicest varieties are:
Cimarosa (pale pink)
Plum Tart (purple)
Blue Frost (blue)
The taller varieties grow to a height of around 4ft, so they really make a statement at the back of a border. Wouldn't they be a lovely addition to cover a concrete wall, maybe ivy as a backdrop too. Then these spectacular flowers are going to bring a real 'wow' effect to your garden.