|My favorite color of all my canna lilies, "Apricot Dream"|
When I first started gardening here at Rosehaven Cottage, I was faced with a conundrum. Due to weird drainage issues in the back garden, I decided to work with the problem instead of against it and dug a pond. These drainage issues and the pond created a unique situation... an area with clay soil, boggy conditions and full sun. I went on a hunt for what would grow in these conditions, but found that not many bog plants love full sun... at least the kind of full sun we get around here in the height summer--intense blistering sun and rarely any summer rain.
The cannas LOVED it! They liked have soggy feet and sun-scorched heads. In fact, they began propagating on their own rather quickly through an underground reproduction system similar to rhizome plants like iris. I was very pleased. I have really good luck with bulbs and rhizomes (not so much with seeds) so this seemed to be a good fit.
But I wanted more variety. And I wanted lush looking bright green foliage that looked like it came straight off a tropical island.
|The color of watermelon!|
It was then that I knew I needed to have a canna lily garden with all my favorite varieties I was finding. I didn't want all the colors... just the ones that made me smile the moment I saw their photograph.
|This color also reminds me of ripe juicy melon|
This year is the first year that the canna lilies have really filled in the beds I created and they've put on the tropical color show I'd been envisioning when I ordered them over the internet.
Some grow in large pots that sit directly on the ground with a dripper in each connected to the entire drip-mist system that irrigates my drought-tolerent garden. Some are directly in the ground (with a dripper at the base of each) in a raised bed right next to the deck so when I lean over the railing I am met with an explosion of colors that rivals any crayola box. It amazes me because nothing else really wants to grow there. But the cannas do.
Canna lilies are sensitive to frost so they eventually wither up and turn brown some time in December. I leave the dead foliage on as frost protection until around early March. Then I gently cut it all back to find new green spears emerging from the old foliage. By May or June, I have beautiful green tropical foliage and the beginnings of the bloom that lasts all summer if I continue to deadhead them.
I couldn't be happier with the result. And each year the beds will get fuller and more beautiful because of the canna's propensity to self-propagate.
Not bad considering it all started out because I had a problem spot in the garden.