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The retro look of gladiolus flowers is popular once again. These easy-to-grow bulbs bring a lot to the garden party, including a huge color palette, vertical interest, and bloom times that harmonize well with summer's most colorful perennials. Plus, they're a versatile cut flower, and the ruffled single florets can even be plucked off the stem and arranged in vases and bowls. Plant gladiolus bulbs in well-drained soil either at the back of the flower border or thickly enough so they'll self support as the foliage grows. The perfumed Abyssinian gladiola is a rare plant that deserves a place by the back door or front porch.
In colder climates, gardeners can store the corms in a frost-free place for winter and replant them again in spring.