Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sundays In My City #39 - Gladiola & GIVEAWAY

I'm a happy member of the Sundays In My City Community (SIMC) by Unknown Mami. Wanna join? Click HERE.

This picture was taken on Friday of this week.

For the past eighteen years, a lone gladiola has gotten the better of me-- Some would even say it's kicked my butt.

It's not that I have anything against gladiolas, I don't really, it's just that they are not my favorite flower and not what I had planned for our backyard garden circling the pool. The gladiola was, apparently, a favorite of the gardener we inherited when hubby bought our house.

Back then, I was "just a girlfriend" as the gardener used to refer to me as. That repeated comment, to my face I might add, led to his name-- Heir Gardener. He was a cranky old geezer who used to cuss me out under his breath in German, his native language. He'd been tending the garden for gawd knows how long for the previous home owner and gave me nothing but attitude whenever he saw me.

Why Heir Gardener had it in for me from day one I'll never understand, but I think the straw that finally broke the camel's back and soured our relationship forever-- was when hubby had the pool and deck installed resulting in "his garden" being disturbed and many of his plants, including a ratty looking bonsai tree that he'd babied for years, being removed. And trust me, it was one ugly bonsai.

The pool and deck was a big deal for my then boyfriend who asked me to spearhead the yard makeover. I love to garden and gathered my coveted back issues of Sunset Magazine, scouring the pages for the perfect examples of what the pool area should look like when newly planted.

I didn't want there to be any misunderstanding between Heir Gardner and me so when Beloved and I decided on the dozen plants for the yard, we provided him with a detailed drawing-- a blueprint so to speak, of which plants went where along with magazine photo examples of the look we wanted. Beloved and I both presented the design ideas to Heir Gardener so he knew we meant business. Or maybe not.

He sneered and complained and nearly flat-out fainted when told the bonsai tree was history and needed to be removed, and he hated our flower choices. Heir Gardener was one unhappy camper and stormed out of the meeting with a "whatever" wave of his hand.

A few weeks later, I arrive at the house after work one night to see the yard had been planted-- with absolutely nothing we had discussed. Days later when I asked Heir Gardener what happened to our plan, he assured me that after a season of growth it would look exactly the way I wanted.

I must have been wearing my stupid face that day because I knew better. The reality was he did it his way, not ours.

Steam was coming out of my ears by the time Beloved returned home from the office to see the "planting", and I use that term loosely, because when we received the bill for the "flowers", Heir Gardener had purchased exactly one flat of them-- no where near enough for a yard of our size. Remember, we were starting from scratch and requested twelve different types of plants and flowers!


Fast forward to Beloved feeling sorry for Heir Gardener because he was so old and figured he'd be retiring soon. So, I washed my hands of the project, because as stated, I was "just the girlfriend" back then and moved on.

When spring arrived several months later, up popped four gladiolas which were absolutely not on the original plant list. They stuck out like a sore thumb next to the swimming pool with even Beloved laughing, because what do you do with just four gladiolas and why did the gardener plant them in the first place!

Beloved helped me dig them up and replaced them with a large bunch of tiger lilies-- a flower on our original plant list. Heir Gardener was not amused and we *ahem* parted ways shortly thereafter.

Once again Beloved requested my assistance (begging and pleading was required) and we did the planting ourselves, making countless trips to the nursery, followed by many, many weekends of planting to bring the garden to the state we had desired. We still laugh about the original "one flat" of flowers which were so pathetic I never even took a picture for the scrapbook.

But since that first Spring way back when, every stinking year, I've pulled up that one remaining gladiola. I've stomped on it, chopped it, hacked it, sprayed it and thought I'd rid the garden of it once and for all. But that lone gladiola still sprouts, teasing and taunting me with it's glorious colors.

This winter, when we dug up the garden to repair our sinking pool and deck, I thought-- FINALLY, that damn gladiola will be history. After all, most of the plants were removed, dirt came and went and came again, and finally new planting was complete. No way that gladiola could survive.

Yes way!

It's back in full bloom. So this summer, after years of gardening angst, today I officially surrender. The gladiola wins.

How does your garden grow?
Don't for get to enter my $80 Gift Certificate GIVEAWAY. Leave a comment on this post. And, Click HERE for more chances to win!
Welcome to - Joanna Jenkins


  1. oh my. heir gardner is haunting you through the gladiola for taking out the smiles.

  2. what a funny story. The gardner got you in the end! (or bit you in the butt?)

  3. This is so funny! I'm glad you've got a good sense of humor!

  4. It is pretty but I do understand that it's not necessarily what you envisioned from the start. The gardener thought he had the last laugh. Grouchy dude! He should've got it right the first time!

  5. It is such a pretty gladiola. But you are right it is not is a good place to showcase gladiolas and also the softer flowers look better right there. The grumpy gardener put a hex on the back yard!

  6. I had no idea that gladiola's were so tenacious. What a funny story!

  7. What a great story!! Funny! And I have to say that the gladiola is beautiful...sorry!

  8. You could carefully dig the gladiola up, pack it carefully, and ship it to the United States.....I'd be glad to plant that beauty somewhere in my yard....that lone gladiola.

  9. I think maybe the old gardener has been sneaking in replanting the gladiola just to get back at the "girlfriend". However it has survived, I think you are has won.

  10. You have solved very graciously the dilemma of "should I tell him to get out of here" or "how much longer can I take it." Such a funny post. Especially for me--a fun of gladiolas for ever.

  11. Pardon my vulgarity, but that glad seems like a big bird finger from beyond the grave, courtesy of Herr Gardener. It so doesn't fit.

    If he hadn't have been so nasty, I might have felt a little badly for him, as I know how attached one can get to the plants in one's (or actually, someone else's!) garden, but he sounds so awful I'm not going to.

    PS--I am not a fan of either glads or bonsai trees.

  12. Well you have to admire it's tenacity. We inherited some plant that sprouts pretty little purple flowers. The problem is it dries out in the fall and is the spikiest, messiest, natiest thing to remove. The only reason I do so is because it grows right next to the house, and I don't want dead plant sitting there as a fire hazard. I have pulled. And pulled. And all that happens is more of it grows the next year. I give up. I swear it's related to Kudzu.

  13. Ve have vays to make you keep zee gladiola!

    Too funny. I am glad that the true lady of the house is finally getting the garden she wants. You know there had to be a reason your pool started to slide off your property! LOL

    Have a great week!

  14. that's funny, it's obviously meant to be there!

  15. Wow...that gladiola is not goin' anywhere! I'm guessing you are either going to learn to live in harmony with it or it's going to disappear..roots and all!

    Happy SIMC...

  16. What a funny story! I like the persistence of this plant... Why not just enjoy it - it's pretty! (I think it is Heir Gardener's final revenge! ;-))

  17. What a great story! Love it. Heir gardener. You seriously need to write a book.

    And that glad is gorgeous!

  18. Joanna, I think that the gladiola has won. Heir Gardener maybe needed a girlfriend then he may have been happy. loved the story, now that you decided to go with the flow....just may not be there next year. huga

  19. What a hysterical story! I would STILL be trying to get rid of that gladiola!

  20. What a gardener you had, stubborn I would say...I've met that type of people. They promise > you trust > you get
    - not as promised
    - something totally different
    - you wait and wait and finally give up...
    They tease you until you're tired and let it go...and they are happy - they got what they wanted.
    Have a good week ahead,
    greetings from Casablanca again! :)


  21. Heir Gardener was just a misogynist, nothing personal Joanna {wink}.

    But as for that Gladiola? Reminds me of the time I laughed so hard I peed in an English flower garden and a yellow squash plant sprouted in the very spot. A yellow squash plant that bore vegetables! In a flower garden! Every time it showed up, it was pulled out by the roots - yet it kept appearing.

    In the inimitable words of Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, "Life always finds a way."

  22. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Loved your tale of the gardener and the gladiola!! Looks like the gladiola has taken after the gardener, stubborness I mean..:-)

  23. Oh my goodness what a story. That is one plant I've never grown. But if one miraculously appeared in my garden I'll go with it. haha.

    My great aunt loves glads as she calls them.

    ♥ Joy

  24. Beautiful and also LMAO... I know you have seen pictures of them at my place!!! My mom had them all over too..!! Thank you for coming around JJ and visiting me even though I have been hiding in the back ground. I really appreciate it. xoxodar

  25. That is so funny! I love the way flowers have such a mind of their own.

  26. It is a wise woman who surrenders to the strength and persistence of the gladiola. Perhaps Heir Gardener was the bringing of a life lesson??? Just wondering....

  27. a haunting flower ?
    What a bonsai means to one man might not please the other.

    - Didn't some great oracle say that? oh yeah the oracle Lisleman.

  28. That's some bulb--to keep blooming after all that abuse! I guess you're stuck with it every year--cut it and shove it in a vase!
    What a funny war--garden war!

  29. Dang, that's one gladiator of a gladiola. Maybe I missed this, but do you still have Herr Gardener?

  30. sounds like you have one very stubborn gladiola...if i really wanted to get rid of that i'd probably inject it with bleach or something toxic.

  31. Hahaha, oh this was so funny - I love how you told it. Yes, methinks, after all it's already gone through, the poor flower now deserves to be left alone!

  32. I like its tenacity. I think you should let it stay, as a reminder to stay firm - even with gardeners. (It's also quite pretty.)

  33. Wow! I'm so sorry about your lost battle, but I gotta say, that is ONE persistent gladiola!! Somewhere, Heir Gardener is still laughing!!

    Hi! Just wanted to drop by and and thank you for visiting, commenting on, and following my blog! I really, really appreciate it! I'm following you back! Cheers!!

  34. What a funny and sad story! I can't believe the gall of that man!

    But I do love the gladiolas.

    I could write the same ending part of a post (and Im sure I will) about the bamboo that we just can't kill. Ugh.

  35. It persist just to spite you...ha...funny story!

    I posted the answers to "Life is Good" and once again, many thanks for the award...sorry I was so slow posting but life was calling me.

    Enjoy your pool and garden :)

  36. You know, it's a pretty flower but back in the day you only ever saw them in funeral arrangements. Having been born into my family late in the rotation I attended quite a few funerals as a kid. To this day I associate one with the other. Gladiolus and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" but that came a few decades later.

  37. I share your disdain for glads,
    and as a gardener for hire I started out feeling a little for your guy....

    but no.

    you are a great story teller, and that bloom deserves to do it's thing after all.

  38. Oh, I almost missed this one and I love a good garden story! You had me laughing and actually feeling a bit sorry for that Glad, it just wants its little bit of space and it does appear it has rewarded you with a beautiful bloom. Better a flower than a weed.

  39. I was kind of rooting for the gladiola.

    I have an irrational fear of birds of paradise. I think they are horrid plants and I want them nowhere near me.

  40. Nature always wins, dear heart. ALWAYS.
    Loved this story, being a gardener myself, I have had this happen too many times to not laugh about it.


  41. Your garden is gorgeous!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Enjoy your day!

  42. Your garden is gorgeous!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Enjoy your day!

  43. Thanks for sharing this story. I'm convinced that the glad will represent something else to you, eventually. I hope you share that with us as well!

    tsue1136 at yahoo dot com


    Unknown Mami WON!

    Thanks for entering,

  45. Too funny. I think you're right to surrender though. The Gladiola won fair and square.


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