Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Glad All Over

Horizontal Glad
The recent much needed rain has caused the usual late summer havoc in my garden, runner beans have fallen over on to the courgettes who must be wondering who turned the lights out, but won't be prevented from growing at a rate of knots even in the dark under the beans. Tall perennials have lurched alarmingly to the side under the weight of both themselves and the additional water, so I will have to set aside some time to go out and resurect some staking and reinforcements as soon as I can. Of course if I had done the job properly in the first place none of this would have happened, - I knew all the time that the first heavy rain would topple those swaying runner bean plants! The wigwam style beans are fine, it's just the ones in a long, insufficiently supported line that are suffering the effects of Gardener's Procrastination Syndrome - or That'll Do For Now, I'll Be Back Later To Finish. Lucky for me that I have about ten times more beans than two normal human beings can be expected to consume, even with the help of willing friends and neighbours. Next year I'll do better, honest I will..

Vertical Glad

The up-side of all the falling over is the unexpected increase in the supply of cut flowers for the house. Fortunately for me most late summer perennials seem to be quite self supporting, things like Rudbeckias, and Heleniums and so on, are rarely affected by bad weather unless it's really extreme, but if you have and of the tall Gladioli they will keel over without support in rain and wind. There are three solutions to this, (four if you count not growing them at all James), you can either be a Proper Gardener like Toby and Alan,(and my son James) and put in support canes early in the season, but see above under Gardener's Procrastination Syndrome. Or you could grow the smaller, more fashionable varieties which require no staking, like Galadiolus nana. Or, like me, you can plant them where you think they will be reasonably protected, hope for the best and use the ones that blow over for the house. I have to point out here  of course, for those of you who have your image to think of, that Glads are deeply deeply unfashionable, and you can only grow them if you're still wearing the same clothes you wore twenty years ago in the hope that they will eventually come back into fashion, or maybe you could grow them ironically, perhaps with three flying ducks on the fence behind them. I'm thinking I could develop this into a whole new style - "The Ironic Gardener", book and TV series to follow.

I only have a few glads, and only white ones, I think the variety is White Prosperity, butI really like them and I think I will get some more for next year. People used to dig up glads after they had flowered, like dahlias, and replant the following spring, but mine have been in the same place for several years and have survived even the hard winter we had last year, so like Dame Edna, and old ladies everywhere they are clearly tougher than they look and will soldier on regardless of whether you like them or not.


  1. I know how it must be for you, rain is welcome for making a good crop but does little to aid a tidy upright garden.

  2. Dear Kathy, Isn't this always the way? The maxim of marry in haste and repent at leisure is so fitting, sadly, for so much in life! Good luck, is all I can say!

  3. I would say, be glad for the rain, you can never put in an order for how much though. LOL

    It shouldn't take too long straightening everything up. I would love to have that problem, but anything that even resembles a garden has dried up, here.

  4. It sounds so wonderful to be where the garden is it is too hot but all of our minds are on what to start for fall!

  5. Sorry your rain caused havoc but as you say you needed it. We are bone dry hear and the lawn looks like a fire has blown over it. I am watering the veg and flowers but the lawn has to take its chances. Diane

  6. I love Glads I have a special vase just for putting them in! Its great you have grown your own to decorate you home. I think I shall grow more cut flowers than veg next year. At least the rainfall saves on having to do any watering

  7. Dear Cottage Gardener,
    thank you for your post! It reminded me that I wanted to write on links and stakes too, because we also had a heavy storm and now tons of water pouring down - and a lot of plants have fallen to the sides - though I hope they will be upright again. And you are right: I seldom cut a lot of garden flowers for vases (buy them at the market) - but after these heavy showers I have to - so I see the bright side of it.

  8. kathy,
    cant you just feel that winter is just a stone's throw away.....summer is over

  9. Hey Mum! People will think I'm a plant snob! Which I guess there's some truth in (I think all gardeners have got a bit of that in them) Anyway Gladioli you'll be shocked to hear, are not on my banned list...far from it I actually rather like them especially the white ones. It's only the really garish ones I can't handle.
    Cracking lunch yesterday ;-) x

  10. The cold days are coming! And my garden will say byebye to me. LOL. I love my tomatoes and peppers! Anyway, rain is helpful. However, every time it rains, you need to tidy up your garden again. But everything is fine after that. You do not need to do some watering.

  11. Rain is really better than total heat. Over rain are just simple to solve but total heat is not really easy especially when the soil is already cracked up.



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