This summer, members of the Birds & Blooms staff were given the opportunity to test out a variety of plants. Below, Deb Mulvey, copy chief, shares her experience with cannas. Be sure to check out more staff reviews here: coleus & petunias, blue spike and full sun container gardening
Every year I fantasize about making some of the cool plant markers (like the one above) we’ve featured in Birds & Blooms. I always think I’ll remember what I planted, and where, but I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast. In the garden, I need visual cues. But this year, I didn’t need plant markers to remember where I’d planted five fat, healthy Tropicanna canna bulbs. All I had to do was look for the holes.
With five bulbs to play with, I decided to try a variety of locations so I’d know where these lovely tropicals would best thrive next year. Two went into moderate shade in the moist, rich soil of an established garden bed, two more to dappled shade under an evergreen, and the last one into my slam-dunk foolproof spot—a big planter right in the sun, in fresh potting soil fortified with homemade compost.
Friends, it was not to be.
The bulbs under the evergreen were the first to disappear. That wasn’t a huge surprise—critters had dug up the daffodils and tulips I’d planted there a couple years before, too. The bulbs in the garden were next to go. The critters hauled away one bulb, but left the second behind; I’d planted it behind a thorny rose, so I assumed that must have provided some protection. The next day, I found that bulb on the ground, gnawed but with its growing shoots still intact. I replanted it, moving it as close to the rose as possible. The next morning? Another hole, another casualty. About a week later, the critters found the canna in the big planter, too.
Poor little cannas. They never even had a chance.
Have you ever had trouble with critters in your garden?