Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Gladiolus, Sword lily, Corn Lilies, gladioluses, glads, plural: gladioli
South Africa, Tropical Africa, Asia and Mediterranean Europe
There are more than 260 species of Gladiolus with multiple hybrids that are available to the cut flower industry.
Green, white, cream, yellow, red, pink, (or combinations thereof) and most amazingly ink blue
One to two weeks
Faint floral scent
Excellent line flower or cut the spike for smaller individual flowers. The flower breaks up neatly and can be rolled together to create a spectacular composite flower
Look for long stems that are cut cleanly with healthy green leaves. The bottom most flowers should just begin to open and the next few buds should already show their colour. Give the stem a cut and peel away the bottom most leaves. Place the flowers in warm water (with flower food). The top most closed buds will always point to the sky (negative geotropism) this can ruin the line of your design, especially when arranged vertically. Condition the flowers upright if you want the sword shape and snip away the top most buds if you want to keep the closed buds from curving up or condition the flowers leaning to add them at an angle to your design
Build up a design in a shallow container by stacking it by threading the plant material into the teeth of a pin cushion in three levels.
The teeth of a Kenzan (or pin cushion) is rather sharp. Here is a pain free way of pushing down the plant material into the teeth to keep it securely in place.
Gladiolus stems can be cut into sections so that it appears natural and well groomed.
Cut stems of Gladiolus to place in a radiating summer design.
Split and spiral a few gladiolus flowers in a way that the stems remain intact, to spiral in a water filled filled vase for a long lasting composite flower
My fourth design in my demonstration at the BC Floral Art Society meeting