As more of the new glads come into bloom, I'm reminded of what I've been missing during the years I have ignored these plants. Two blooming this week show really startling color combinations. Above you see 'Flevo Kosmic' and below that is 'Velvet Eyes'. Of the two, 'Flevo Kosmic' is definitely a keeper.
I'm not so sure about 'Velvet Eyes': it's an interesting color but the color pattern on this one reminds me of that of a virus infected tulip. This cultivar is a reminder that glads provide a source of really good purples during the summer; that color combined with their tall stature and elegant bearing makes them tempting candidates for livening up late summer borders.
Impressive as these glads are, I still have my doubts about their role in our gardens. In our climate, the flowers don't last long - when it's really hot they seem to come and go within a day or two. It has long been known that as cut flowers they have the advantage of opening to the last flower in the spike; maybe the best place for them is in a vase.