One of the principles that I am applying to my new gardening project concerns budget. I am going to try to develop a garden as economically as possible.
I am not going to take the absolutist route of growing everything from seeds, cutting or divisions, although I will do that to some extent.
But I am going to try to avoid paying top prices for the plants I buy in.
So, for example, yesterday I planted up some Cannas.
I love Cannas and have used them plenty of times in gardens I have created, but they can be expensive. For example this Canna Black Velvet from Gardening Express here in the UK, costs £17.99 for a plant supplied in a 2-3 litre pot.
In the past, I have purchased from Hart Canna. These people hold the National Collection of Canna and are true plants people – incredibly helpful, thorough and knowledgeable. Their plants are probably better value, with a single rhizome costing around £12.
Given these prices, I was therefore fascinated to see the Canna pictured above in the Poundland shop in Princes Street Edinburgh, priced at, appropriately enough, £1 per rhizome. (For our International readers, Poundland is a bargain basement store that sells all sorts of household items at very low prices).
Anyway at £1 each I couldn’t resist, so I bought 5 of them and yesterday planted them in pots to start them off under cover.
As you can see below, they were viable specimens with several growing points. They were also fairly large, which means they should be able to produce decent plants this year.
But, of course, what you don’t get with these kinds of bargain plants is any kind of provenance.
There is no proper name or description given – the label on the bag simply says “Canna Red”. So there is no know which cultivar this is or what it will be like as it grows.
It is not even clear what colour the leaves will be and, as you’ll probably know, Canna foliage can be red, green or variegated.
In contrast, growers like Hart Canna are meticulous in supplying specific named cultivars and describing them accurately and thoroughly in their product literature. They will also be careful to ensure they supply disease free specimens, which again can’t be guaranteed with these bargain Canna.
Nevertheless, they are certainly worth experimenting with at the price. So I will update this post as they (hopefully) grow.
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