Glad About You

Photo: Netherlands Flower Bulb Info

I’m not a florist, but I wanted to spend a little time this spring getting to know my flowery friends a little better.  After a quick stop to the Produce Junction in Darby, PA, I walked home with a 10-stem bunch of my newest playmates.

Reader, let me introduce you to Gladiolus communis, affectionately known in my family as the “Sword Lily” (which IS one of its proper nicknames, but also because my fiance is a theatre fight choreographer and he just loved the idea of a sword/flower).  My MOH pointed out that glads are frequently used as funeral flowers, but then again so are carnations, lilies, and roses, so I wouldn’t be deterred from using them in your wedding decor if you fall in love with them!

11 AM: Purchased glads from store.  As suggested by my copy of Cecilia Heffernan Flowers A to Z, I bought stems whose flowers were slowly coming to life from the bottom up.  Like a skilled striptease artist, these flowers inch away their leafy stockings veeeeery slowly.

Noon o’clock: Arrived home – trimmed the stems, cleaned the vase, and arranged the flowers.  The pale purple blooms look awesome peeking out from my green glass apothecary jar but I must buy 20 stems next time.  These towering flowers splay out a little too much when the mouth of the vase is too wide.

3 PM: Blooms are maybe 30% open.  You definitely wouldn’t want to buy these flowers unopened if you needed them assoonaspossible.

Blooms are now 50% open and boy were they thirsty last night.  Top off the vase with a little filtered water before heading out to work.

6PM: The glads appear to be at 60% open, but the still-green tops are a nice accent.  I think if they open up too much more they’ll stop looking so laid back and fancy free and just might topple over.

Something o’clock
(I admit, I’ve gone a little lax about documenting the time): Topped off the water again and headed out.  Noticed that some of the leave-sheaths are beginning to brown.

Later o’clock: I really should do something about those flowers.  They need some looking after…


Removed the flowers from their vase.  Time to trim the bottom 2 inches off the stems, clean and sanitize the vase, and remove dead or dying flowers.  Luckily, there really aren’t that many although some are beginning to wilt.  Hopefully this water-renewal will help!

Looking good, ladies!  Even though the flowers are beginning to show their age, the clean water and vase give the arrangement a fresh-faced makeover.

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