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Sadly, because of some very hungry voles/moles, we have had massive crop failure on our Byzantine gladioli. It will be several seasons before we recover. We appreciate your patience!
One of the best performers in April is the true heirloom Byzantine gladiolus (Gladiolus byzantinus). Many colorful, large blooming imitators tend to "fall over" in normal gardens and require more maintenance than most are willing to give. However, the Byzantine gladiolus remains at a proportionate level, delighting the garden with a striking magenta color rarely found in other bulbs. Even old clumps bloom quite readily, but if desired, this rapid multiplying bulb can quickly be divided and spread to border large areas of fence lines or gardens. It thrives in all kinds of Southern soil types and regions, and is another bulb that can be used to spruce up ditches and other hard to garden areas. Great color and texture combinations can be made with the lanceolate foliage and long inflorescence of blooms.
My brother helped me dig some of our first Byzantine gladioli from a small town in East Texas. We dug in red clay and had to fight for each bulb. Many were left behind and the sight continues to look beautiful even today, but after our dig we went to a local gas station to wash up. The red dirt with water looked more like the color of blood, and by this point we looked like suspicious characters as we were tired, dirty, and covered in this dirt/water combination. Nobody said anything though, and we soon had the bulbs at their new home on the farm. We now have several growers across the South also growing these bulbs for us, as the gophers on our farm found them to be particularly delicious.