Paul Cates of Cates Family Glads will give a talk entitled “75 Years With Glads” at Merryspring Nature Center on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at noon.

A member of the lily family, gladiolus offer delicate color and lovely fragrances for those who grow them. And who better to tell all about these perennial bulbs than a man who has been working with them for generations?

Paul Cates’ first corms, commonly called bulbs, were rejects from his uncle’s harvest in the fall of 1935. Those bulbs blossomed beautifully the very next summer and Cates’ was hooked. He tried many new introductions, but preferred to grow the old time varieties. Now his heirloom gladiolus are spread across the country, distributed by Cates Family Glads, and are considered one of the best heirloom collections in the United States.

With some of the most creative glad hybridizing now happening in Eastern Europe, Cates is developing several Russian glads to add to his many American varieties. This year, for the first time ever, the Eastern International Gladiolus Show will be held in Maine with a display at Windsor Fair on Aug. 28.

This program is part of Merryspring’s Summer Tuesday Talk Series, which is co-sponsored by The First and Jaret and Cohn.

Admission to the Tuesday Talks is free to Merryspring members and children. There is a $5 charge for non-members. Merryspring is a member-supported, non-profit nature education center and park located at the end of Conway Road just off Route 1 by the Hannaford shopping plaza in Camden. For more information, call Merryspring at 236-2239 or visit the website at