I have heard that associations of the "First Lady of Australia" often turns some gardeners off growing this wonderful flower, which just shows that they do not have a sense of humor.
Over the years I have come to really like these summer flowering bulbs (or corms) with their swordlike spiky foliage and upright flowers that flowers through the dog days of August, where the roses seem to take a break before the fall flush.
My favorite Gladioli are those with purple or hot Pink flowers like 'Violetta' or 'Plumtart'. They are like other summer flowering bulbs very easy to grow. Just plant the bulbs/corms 6-8 inches deep in the spring when the risk of frost is over. I use them as fillers in mixed borders - planting them in groups of 10-15 corms. I enjoy the elegant foliage in June and July, that looks like a broad leafed ornamental grass, before the swordlike flower stalks appear and begin to bloom in August and September.