Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The Summer Giant



“Hello Possums” and here is the birth flower for August

Gladioli. Tall giants of the summer border. Love them or hate them? They do of course, bring thoughts of Dame Edna Everage to mind (hence the “hello possums” at the start). Whether that is good or bad I will leave to your personal thoughts.
Like them or not, they can be a beautiful sight, in so many bright and glowing colours. A bit of an eye-catcher at the back of the summer border. They are considered to be symbols of strength, integrity and faithfulness, and I like this one, of never giving up, of being indomitable! Couldn’t we all use ‘indomitable’ at times?



Which colour do you favour? The choice you make or, the colour you receive if you get given a bunch as a gift, can speak volumes. Not only does the bloom have it’s message, but the colour does too.

Red for love and passion.
Happiness, joy, love and friendship may be the message of a yellow bloom.
White for innocence, purity and spirituality too. Beautiful in a display for a wedding.
Motherly love or unconditional love, compassion, gentleness and feminine energy comes from the pink hues.
One of my personal favourites is the deep and intense purple you can get in this flower. Grace, mystery, royalty are all associated with the purple. A stand out colour if you need one!

The name gladiolus comes from the shape of it’s leaves. Very lance or sword-like. Long, strong and quite sharp to the edge, so a very apt name indeed.

There is a school of thought that the Gladiolus is the lily of the fields mentioned within the Bible. These flowers grew wild in the region. Tough blooms for tough places.

Spiritually the Gladiolus is referred to as a ladder to Heaven ~ likely due to it’s manner of growth, from the bottom upwards, in it’s tall and lofty way. The China it’s believed that it can help a loved one who has passed to find their way to the heavens.

This bold, and considered to be old-fashioned flower, is also useful on the healing front too. This bit particularly is of interest to me. Don’t you just learn something new everyday? We all know or have heard of the healing of herbs and that some flowers are edible but they can heal too, and not just by us using them visually.

It can apparently be used to treat cold and bowel problems such a diarrhoea and constipation (yuk) and bring about regularity in that particular department. Powdered roots of the English and European Gladiolus have been powdered in the past and used to make poultices for wounds and it’s said it will also draw out those tricky thorns and splinters you can get when out gardening your patch. Be warned though, the roots can be poisonous. Probably not advisable to do this unless you have good knowledge and understanding. Interesting though! I’d rather be able to use all these natural goodies than some of the stuff churned out by pharmaceutical companies and doctors surgeries! I bet I’m not alone in that. I do wonder how many ‘accidents’ occurred in times gone by through the testing and using of our garden plants. There must have been quite a degree in trial and error!

So, if your birthday is this month, this is your flower. I hope you therefore are one who loves the Gladioli, but if not, perhaps finding out more about it will help that to shift a bit. It’s time this month now to raise aloft your bunch of “gladdies” as Dame Edna says, or at least to think about planting some next year. You know, they may be considered old-fashioned but I think dear Dame Edna does much good for the humble Gladiolus. Plant some, treat yourself to a bunch in your favourite colour. August is the month to do so. Enjoy xx

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