August 9, 2009

Mini Glads are like Salt Water Taffy

Silly, I know, but sometimes I can't resist the common , (but still rarely seen outside of farmers markets) Mini Gladiolus. Mini glads are my junk food in the summer. A secret indulgence of mine, and when ever I see a bunch at a farmers market, or at a Gladiolus show, they remind me of why I am so fascinated with flowers. Even wierder, to me, they remind me Salt Water Taffy. Yeah, I know. But here is why:

When I was very young, my family would spend a couple of weeks at the beach. The ocean is only a one hour drive from our home, and Cape Cod and the coast of Maine, is an hour and a half. After playing on the beach, and swimming in the ice cold Atlantic, I can remember going for a walk on the board walk, and possibly get fried clams. Sometimes we would be allowed to go into a candy store and choose a pound of freshly pulled, Salt Water Taffy. There would be 20 or 30 flavors, and each would have a different color combination. Pink with a burgundy spot, light yellow with a teal green center, or red and white striped, lavender, green and yellow, I could never make up my mind which one was prettier, so I would pick one of each, never actually thinking of what flavor they were. See......Salt Water Taffy.....mini glads.....get it?

Love them or hate them, mini glads will always appear in my plant windows during August. Their colors are odd combinations, but somehow they work when mixed together in a 'carny way'. Sure, gladiolus that are not a rare species form might be a little too circusy for some of us hortiphiles, but on an August afternoon, I think they are perfectly sweet and appropriate. LIke taffy.

A SNOWBERRY CLEARWING Hummingbird Moth ( Hemaris diffinis) sipping nectar on a Verbena blossom.


  1. Glads were my first exposure to "exotic" flowers. My grandmother always had a row of them in the huge vegetable garden we had. I have not had them for a number of years but next year I want to plant a row in her memory...

  2. Congrats on your new mag. Bobby Ward sent me your link. I look forward to seeing more. Helen


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