Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
GREEN WOODPECKER, 1958
A Sputnik-era classic, ‘Green Woodpecker ’ is a stylish 1950s chartreuse with a wine-red splash at the throat. Russel Wright would have loved it! 3-4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2004. Though bulbs are still offered by this name in the mass market, they all are impostors and lack the maroon blotch that’s a defining feature of the true ‘Green Woodpecker’. Can you help us find another source for this treasure?
GREY WING, 1934
One of the oldest and most unusual glads we’ve ever offered, this exotic beauty really is gray – a silvery, smoky, pewtery, pearly, luminous gray that’s both unique and gorgeous. Saved by the Old-Timers Guild of the North American Gladiolus Council. 3-4 feet, from Washington. Last offered in 2004. We lost virtually all of our stock, but we’re slowly increasing it and hope to offer it again.
‘Lavanesque’ takes its name from a popular perfume introduced in the 1950s that ads claimed “speaks for the secret and reckless heart.” But even if you don’t have a reckless heart, we bet you’ll like this romantic glad from the Mad-Men era with its lightly ruffled, not-too-big blossoms of rosy-lavender and cream. 4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2011. We hope to offer it again soon. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
LITTLE MO, 1966
From the psychedelic ’60s, this small-flowered cutie is vivid coral-orange with a scarlet blaze at the throat for added zing. With as many as 22 buds per stem, it was a top show-winner for decades, but we think it’s a lot happier out in the garden where it mingles easily with perennials. 3 feet, from Maine. Last offered web-only in 2007. We may offer it again periodically.
MARY HOUSLEY, 1951
Rosy embers glow in the hearth of this cream-colored gladiolus, recalling the painted-lady patterns of Victorian glads. Antique-plant maven Roy Genders called it “most pretty” and we agree! 4 feet, from Holland. Last offered in 2008. We may offer it again periodically.
G. dalenii, G. psittacinus, G. natalensis
– The first African glad in US gardens, this vivid orange, green, and yellow wildling was soon crowded aside by new hybrids. But it lingered in Southern cottage gardens, and now it’s back to be rediscovered by savvy 21st-century gardeners. “The most desirable,” Bridgeman wrote in 1837. “It blossoms freely, and the colors are exquisitely beautiful.” Last offered in 2011. We hope to offer it again soon. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
PETER PEARS, 1958
Named for a honey-voiced English tenor and pronounced “Peers”, this warm, summery flower is a harmonious orange blending to a golden throat (get it?) with a splash of strawberry. 4’, from Michigan. Last offered in 2006. Widely available elsewhere.
SILVER DOLLAR, 1962
“It’s like a string of pearls,” says our usually matter-of-fact Maine grower of this pure white classic – “the ideal wedding glad.” 4 feet, from Maine. Last offered web-only in 2007. We may offer it again periodically.
SPRING MAID, 1961
As dewy fresh as spring itself, and very early blooming, this small-to-medium flowered, lightly ruffled glad is a soft, almost silvery yellow. Combine it with pink roses, blue salvia, and a hosta leaf or two for a cool, refreshing summer bouquet. 3-4 feet, from Maine. Last offered in 2012. We hope to offer it again soon.
TOP BRASS, 1960
Simple can be sublime, and though we love ruffled and patterned glads, it’s hard to beat the fresh-faced, baby-smooth look of classics like ‘Top Brass’. Whether it reminds you of a sunny day at the beach, a lemon meringue pie, or the clear, thrilling notes of a trumpet fanfare, this luminous yellow glad is something special. 4 feet, from Maine. Last offered web-only in 2008. We may offer it again periodically.
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