Australia: Gladioli gardeners make the most of pandemic gardening boom

Nestled between dry paddocks in South Australia's southeast, an oasis of colorful gladioli flowers, photographed from the air, blooms under the scorching summer sun. Gladioli are perennial flowers that blossom during the summer.

They grow from a corm, which is similar to a bulb, and are known for their sword-like leaves and funnel-shaped flowers. If they look familiar, it might be because 'gladdies' are also a favorite of Aussie icon Dame Edna Everage. 

These rows of striking blooms near Bordertown are no accident. They've been grown by a local family for more than 50 years.

The Ridgway family started growing gladioli in 1969. Ted Ridgway planted the flowers, looking for a way to diversify the family business after wheat quotas to limit production were introduced. He was 18 years old and had left school the year before. 

"Being an entrepreneurial sort of person, I thought maybe I could get into some horticultural thing," he said. "I put my entire life savings of $600 into the business and bought some cardboard boxes of bulbs that fit into the back of my old man's station wagon and brought them home." 

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