Contemporary or classic, cannas add a golden touch to any garden design
If you’ve ever thought “I wish my mother or father hadn’t thrown out that great outfit or cool surfboard” then you’ll instantly understand the current fuss about cannas. Of course some people won’t appreciate their retro cred but these are the same people who are always surprised that something can come back into fashion.
Why cannas ever went out of fashion is a bit of a mystery because they are such a dependable plant — and in these gardening days that counts for a lot. They cope with inundation or drought and do it without looking beaten. And since landscapers recently re-discovered them, cannas are reminding us that they’re also very tolerant of compaction; you know the sort of rock hard soil that develops underfoot when you take the same route across the lawn to the back shed, day after day.
Of course, when something comes back into fashion it always comes back with a current day twist and in this case it’s about position. Gone are the days when a canna was limited to the back of the garden bed, smack against the fence. Oh no. These plants are too gorgeous to tuck away as infill planting — besides, planted against a fence you’d never see the late afternoon sun shining through all that fabulous foliage. In saying this, we’re talking about the best of the lot – Tropicanna Gold – which have that astonishing striped foliage. Yes the flowers are gorgeous, but it’s probably fair to say it’s those broad, spectacular leaves which have earned them high praise.
Keep an eye out and you’ll see them around. And pay attention to where they’ve been planted. They’re adaptable to say the least, filling many a gardener or landscape designer’s problem spot – beautifully.
ANTHONY TESSELAAR PLANTS