This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
A correspondent of the Country Gentleman prepares supports for his flowers as follows: "I take inch boards and slit them up into strips 1 inch square and 30 inches long. These are planed and cornered nearly 8 square, and sharpened at one end, tapering them back 6 inches that they may set firmly in the soil. Then I eat slats in the upper end ¾ inch deep and 3/8 wide. Three stakes are used to a row, one at each end and one in the middle. The slats in the stakes point across the bed over the row. In these slats are placed either a coarse wire or thin strips of wood cut from builder's lath, 4 feet long, and dressed to closely fit into the slats. The sharp corner edges are dressed off to prevent the flower stems chafing in high winds. After the frame is set, each end corner is pierced with a brad-awl and a small nail or wooden pin inserted. When wire is used, each end is turned to form a small eye through which the nail or pin passes. If the bulbs are planted so that the eyes which form a line across the bulb are in line with the row, the flower stems may be very evenly distributed and tied along this horizontal bar and give a very pleasing effect, at least so it seemed to us last season.
"The gladiolus should be so planted that the dwarf varieties are not mingled with the tall growing kinds, and the early separated from the late. Of course this will suggest frames of different heights to accommodate different habits".