Filling the farm stands and grocery stores now are the much maligned Gladioli. These are one of those flowers that only appear In the late summer season. Most are only grown for cutting. I can’t remember seeing glads in anyone’s garden.
The come in a huge array of colors and bi-color combinations and are arresting for their strong linear shape. In fact their name, Gladioli, come from the Latin gladius, which means sword, and at one time, they used to be called sword flower.
For years flower arrangers and florists alike have used these dramatic flowers in baskets and in fan shaped displays. They still turn up on the internet as floral designs for funerals. Those who have heard Mrs. Newport’s rap song “No Glads, No Glads” are sure never to use them in a flower show!
One day for fun, I bought two mixed bouquets from a New York state farm stand. Taking just a few colors, I made a somewhat tradition arrangement in an ikebana container. I say “somewhat” because the container is a little tall in proportion for a traditional design.
Separating them by color once again, I used their sword-like forms to create a horizontal line and then, completely over turning the rules of any unity, added a very different green center of fascinating textures. Can’t you hear the comment now? “The design is divided”!!! Yup but fun for home use.
The last color group to shine were the yellows. One stem is placed underwater in the vase with a few of the dark purple mini carnations around its stem. Two more sunny glads were put on top and the whole oasis (resting on the opening of the glass vase) was covered with more of the purple carnations. Complementary colors in the most everyday of materials. “No glads, no glads!” … you had to be there!