All set for what? One day of eating and drinking our own body weight in eggnog and Brazil nuts? It will take weeks to remove the extra pounds I've put on!
Being my last blog of the year, I thought I would reflect on the year gone by and have a little look forward at what’s to come in 2009.
New cultivars to the collection include Canna 'Alba Rosea Grandiflora', C. 'Breuil', C. 'Commandant Rivière', C. 'Guayaquilla', C. 'François Crozy', C. 'Cannes' and C. 'Capricieux'. There are others, but my memory is not as good as it was and I don't have our records near me while I write this. As usual, we are delighted by the new finds and we look forward to sharing these treasures next year.
Unfortunately, we again seem to have had too much weather, not only here in England but Canna enthusiasts around the world have reported that they were suffering changes in their normal weather patterns.
Growing tropical plants in the UK requires a tremendous amount of hard physical work, and when we have summers such as the last two years, then we do not get much enjoyment for all that work. If this weather pattern continues, so we will scale down our collection accordingly, so that we can see some return for our hard work, after all, it is only a hobby!
This summer we also followed Bernard Yorkes advice and experimented with seaweed fertilizer as a supplementary feed for the Cannas. We are now totally converted and will continue using a liquid feed at weekly intervals during the main growing periods, and after long periods of poor light, as it actually improves the quality of existing foliage as well as stimulating excellent new leaves.
Nowhere have we seen listed the "perfect" mineral combinations for Cannas. We intend to experiment with that this year and see if we can formulate the perfect Canna feed. It may take several years before we can be sure that we have it right, as weather also has a high effect on Canna growth.
More and more historical information became available in 2008, as the web tries to satisfy an insatiable quest for more knowledge. I suspect 2009 will make even more knowledge accessible to us enthusiasts, and I look forward to the Canna community resolving more of the many Canna riddles still not solved.
In 2009, we have decided that we will be trying to garden in an almost 100% organic manner, but if we need a chemical to save a Canna disaster then we will use it.
Finally, Margaret and I would like to wish all of our Canna friends a Happy New Year in 2009.