By Michelle Mather
One of the suggestions that Cam makes in his book “Thriving During Challenging Times” is that we all need to think about growing at least some of our own food. As the population of the world continues to grow at an alarming rate, the demand and the competition for food will increase and it will be important for all of us to have some idea of how to grow our own!
That’s not to say that we don’t sometimes grow things just for the fun of it. My gladiola garden is a prime example. Gladiolas are beautiful flowers and they provide us with endless joy and beauty while they are in bloom. They are not, however, the easiest flower to grow!
In our growing region, gladiola bulbs are planted early in the spring and must be dug up and stored inside over the winter. It’s just too cold for them to stay in the ground over the winter, although every year we do have a few gladiolas that spring up from bulbs that were accidentally left in the ground. I wouldn’t want to risk my entire gladiola bulb collection though by leaving them in the ground overwinter just in case we had a particularly cold one!
I spent some time today digging up my gladiola bulbs. About 9 years ago, I was given about 20 bulbs. I planted them and when I dug them up, they had multiplied and I suddenly found myself with about 40 bulbs. Each year since then my bulbs have continued to multiply and even though I have given many bulbs away and only purchased 10 new ones this past spring (a colour that I didn’t have), today I found myself digging up almost 600 bulbs!
Right now they are out on the lawn, drying in the sun and the wind, and I’ll put them in boxes and find somewhere cool and dry and dark to store them. Next spring, probably some time around Mother’s Day, I’ll be out in the garden planting them again.
Gladiola flowers may not feed our bodies, but they sure feed our spirits!
(Thanks to my daughter Katie for providing the lovely photos of my gladiola garden. Apparently my gladiolas inspire her too!)