Notes from Up North

Although we're not the northernmost supplier of gladiolus in the Western Hemisphere, we're pretty far up there! With that in mind, the annual letter which appears in our catalog is called "Notes from Up North." Generally we convince Paul to write it while Elisabeth and the rest of the Cates Family Glads team work on inventory and creating the price list. It's our way of keeping in touch with our loyal customer base.

January 2010

We've never had a summer like the summer of 2009. It rained and rained, and rained some more, coming very close to the biblical 40 days and 40 nights of rain. One florist asked, "What's your son Chris doing these days?" "Oh, he's building an ark, and collecting animals two by two!" We learned that you can do a lot of weeding in the rain. Actually, one type of weed simply shriveled and died (drowned?).

I worried about the bulb harvest. Would the rain encourage fungal infections? Well, our field is well-drained, and glads are tough and, amazingly, we harvested the healthiest bulb crop ever.

We're having fun, building up marketable stock of some of the great old-timers. Really rare ones in this year's list include Frisky (AA) 63, Gypsy Jewels 72, and King David 51. Our 2 new introductions, Papageno and Sunny Sunday, should be worthwhile additions to their color classes.

2010 will see the 70th anniversary of our Maine Gladiolus Society. We are planning a commemorative edition of our MGS yearbook, with articles from each of the 7 decades. For $3, you can receive our 2010 yearbook and a 2010 membership in the Maine Gladiolus Society.

You will notice a change in the format of our 2010 catalog. New listings are followed by heirloom glads, 25 years or older. Finally comes the listing of all varieties introduced after 1985.

We wish all of you good glads in 2010. As for us, we hope for enough moisture, but lots of sun!

Previous Letters

2009: "This growing season was too little of this, too much of that..." [READ MORE]
2008: "We moved our glads to new ground in 2007..." [READ MORE]
2007: "Another wet summer meant planting between the raindrops..." [READ MORE]
2006: "That was a stunning picture of the new All-American glad..." [READ MORE]
2005: "Shortly after the Albany convention I received a call..." [READ MORE]
2001: "We feel a strong sense of loyalty to old-time glads..." [READ MORE]
2000: "This year I resolved to follow Botran directions exactly..." [READ MORE]
1997: "If you're selling glads commercially, color becomes your focus..." [READ MORE]
1996: "It always seemed to me to be a minor scandal..." [READ MORE]