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Hardiness Zone Map


Gladiolus

Sword Lily

These are not the easily obtainable hybrids—you can find those elsewhere. The beauty of our native South African selections comes from the handsome sword-shaped leaves and spikes of unfussy, often flaring blooms.

Belonging to the Iridaceae family, Gladioli have long been associated with strength of character, and we think its strongly upright, yet graceful presence can fashion an intriguing see-through veil for any border. Place them in a well drained site and, after the bloom is over, support strong corm development by reducing water and trimming the stems to just beneath the lowest flowers. Provide winter protection in colder areas.

You can almost feel the heat as floriferous spikes sizzle with colorful intensity while stiff, ribbed Crocosmia-like blades stand in composed relief. Three white patches daringly dash across the lower petals, illuminating vividly hued cardinal-red flowers.

Seeking out moist niches, sometimes under waterfalls in its indigenous Drakensberg Mountains, this vigorous temptress tolerates summer water, makes an excellent garden plant for warmer climates and can be grown in a favored patio container where winters are cold.

Blooms June–August.

Size: 2-1/4' high x 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

<i>Gladiolus dalenii</i>

Reminiscent of Halloween candy corn colors and nearly in time for that high-spirited tradition, this South Africanís 3 ft. tall flowering spires deliver an alluring display. Grounded by straplike blades reaching up to 2 ft., the ample, well spaced blooms feature pendant, hooded orange petals glowing with yellow throats.

Full of vigor, easy-to-maintain and actively growing in summer, Gladiolus dalenii should receive adequate water throughout the season.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 2' 0" – 3' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

<i>Gladiolus oppositiflorus</i> ssp. <i>salmoneus</i>

Native to the grassy cliffs of the Drakensberg Mountains, this high altitude Gladiolus possesses a robust hardiness that defies the exquisite beauty of its flowers.

Ruffled in pretty salmon-pink colors, the showy, 4 in. flared blooms exhibit dark pink-streaked lower petals, and are openly arranged on long slender stems above grassy blades. Appreciative of summer moisture, this lovely bulb flourishes in ordinary garden soil.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 10" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Gladiolus papilio</i>

Emerging from a swordlike cluster of light green leaves, the arching bronzy stems host numerous slender green and mauve buds, which open into funnel-shaped blossoms distinguished by a soft gray and dusty purple hue on the outside. A subtle gift inside awaits your glance: mothlike markings of maroon and gold decorate the lower milky colored petal segments.

Let a drift of these delicacies accompany Galtonia viridiflora and Kniphofia linearifolia and enjoy their quiet elegance.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 3-1/2' high x 12" & spreading wide.

Hardy to zone 7.

So dainty and exquisite, this South African native is one of our favorite spring blooming bulbs. Rising from a stand of tall, rushlike narrow leaves, each flowering wand produces a trio of upturned, creamy yellow, tubular blossoms. Stippled with bronze and green, the large and lovely, flared flowers give off a sweet almond scent. For an untamed look, plant amidst grasses such as Sesleria and Miscanthus ‘Little Kitten’ or for contrasting foliage try Euphorbia ‘Blue Haze’.

Blooms April – May.

Size: 3' 0" – 12" high x 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 8.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Our featured plant: Calluna vulgaris ‘Firefly’

A sprightly spring prelude, Fetching February flowers and foliage!

Shrubs for a sprightly spring prelude...

The dainty late winter blossoms of the following deciduous shrubs are a hopeful signal that spring is around the corner. Corylopsis pauciflora offers dangling fragrant primrose-yellow blooms amid graceful branches, while the Flowering Currant produces long-lasting richly colored flowers followed by bird-friendly berries. 

In the realm of evergreen shrubs, Calluna vulgaris ‘Firefly’ celebrates some of the most vibrant brick-red foliage among the species. Dusted in blue, The Dwarf Port Orford Cedar’s finely dissected gray-green needle-like leaves sculpt a dense slow-growing mound of artfully cascading branches. Both shrubs furnish a deer-resistant small-statured year-round presence that appreciates adequately moist, somewhat acidic niches.

Fetching February flowers and foliage...

While the blooms of Teucrium, Correa and many Hellebores open in January, they're still dressing up our garden in February. A handful of Brunnera flowers peek out by the middle of the month against a backdrop of welcome unfurling foliage. Of course, once the dazzling pendulous Corydalis flowers appear they tend to steal the show. We hope you'll be smitten by at least one or perhaps many of the plants that we featured in this newsletter.

All of us plant wranglers at the nursery, along with Boobah, our wee greeter and self-appointed nursery manager, and shy kitty, Parker, wish you countless happy hours digging in a garden of your own! 

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