A Pot Full of Cannas
A by John Richmond
Images and text © John Richmond, 2006
All Rights Reserved
Until recently, I'd not grown Canna lilies. I'd seen them in summer bedding, dotted around to give height to two-dimensional schemes, and in large herbaceous plantings in some of the stately house gardens I've visited. I'd also seen them as single stemmed, late summer flowers at fairly high prices in garden centres.
Three things put me off. It was obvious that to produce an effective show, a good-sized group rather than a single plant was needed. Since high prices are charged for plants with just a single flowering stem, to buy a large sized group would be expensive. I wasn't sure I could get plants through the winter and restarted into growth with only a cold frame in my current garden. The investment might only produce one year's results. Additionally, I garden on quite heavy soil with a good population of slugs and snails. From experience with hostas I could well end up with some very tatty plants unless I grew Cannas in pots.
About the Author John Richmond is a keen gardener who lives and works in the South West of England. He has a scientific background as a professional ecologist. He has written occasional articles for gardening and other magazines in Britain since 1984, specializing in garden wildlife issues and hardy plants. Correspondence from other gardeners is always welcome.