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 2011

Hi to our glad friends,

Well, you see, it’s like this: last summer we had some great new ideas for weed control, but -- a key member of the weeding brigade was not available. Thus, some tough choices. In the end we abandoned a “weed heaven” right in the middle of our second field and concentrated on pampering the bulblet crop and our new introductions of old glad varieties. You’ll find some of our best new/old glads in our 2011 listing.

Let’s talk bulb size. So many times, I’ve been asked, “What are better, medium or large corms?” Many say that medium bulbs are healthier, but we find that since we have hosed off all bulbs and then disinfected them by a quick dip in a Lysol solution (a tip we received from a former Maine governor), there’s little difference in the health category.

In many, perhaps most cultivars a healthy, large bulb will give a better bloom than you can get from a medium bulb. Still, both are large enough to do very well in your garden. But, be careful how you experiment with untried weed-control methods… and don’t count your helpers before they are hatched. Or something like that.

We are excited about new and old offerings in our catalog and on our website this year. If you miss a glad not in our 2011 list, ask us. We may still have a limited stock, all washed, dipped, dried, and cleaned.

We really do think of our bulb customers as glad friends, and hope that our bulbs will contribute to your glad success this year.

All the best from us to you!

Previous Letters

2010: "We've never had a summer like the summer of 2009..." [READ MORE]
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]