I was planning to follow up the two previous pollination articles with several articles relating to hand-pollination. However, that will have to wait a day or so, as other events have intervened.
As regular bloggers will be aware, last season we suffered a terrible growing year, where we had hardly any worthwhile light during the summer floods, and just enough in the late summer and Autumn (Fall) to start recovering. As a result we had bad foliage on almost every one of our Cannas. The symptoms of stress due to lack of light and Canna virus are identical, as the Canna has a limited vocabulary!
After talking this over, we came to the conclusion that we should not sell any rhizomes last winter, as we had no idea whether they had virus or not. We still went ahead and produced a catalogue of the Collection, but clearly stating that there would be no mail-order sales.
However, we also had the plants from last year that we knew were not affected by virus. These we planned to pot up and sell as growing plants this summer. Over the winter we cleaned and packed about 1,000 rhizomes of these plants. However, during bad weather the electricity supply was cut overnight, and we lost to frost nearly all of the rhizomes we had in our store.
As a result, we have nothing left to sell at present, and all we are left with is the stock plants of the collection, that we are still growing on. We hope that by August we should know what is affected by virus and which is clear, and therefore saleable in the future.