Those of you with lots-o-sun and an eye for color are going to LOVE this combination! For my first “3×3 Garden”, I’ve chosen three plants that are sure to “light up” your garden spot or container. This trio consists of canna and calla lilies. These two types of plants go together as well as peanut butter goes with jelly, cookies with milk, and cheese with wine. 🙂 Not only are they all in bloom approximately at the same time in mid-summer, they also complement each other in height and texture. The three amazing plants in the following gardens are the Lucifer Dwarf Canna, the Flame Calla Lily, and the California Gold Calla Lily. Allow me to introduce you to each of their great qualities:
A smaller version of its cousins (hence the name “dwarf”), the Lucifer is a perfect option for smaller scale areas as well as containers. It tops out at about 36″ tall and spreads as a normal canna would with lush foliage abounding. Its deep red petals are each edged with a thin margin of golden yellow. The rhizomes should be planted just under the soil surface as not to receive too much moisture. And yes, you guessed it, they LOVE direct, warm sun!
The Flame Calla is a perfect complement to the Lucifer Dwarf Canna both in its color and height. Its petals glow with a warm orange color, offering just small hints of yellow. As with most other garden-grown calla lilies, it grows approximately 10-16″ tall which makes it perfect for fitting around the Lucifer in a pot or in front of it in a garden. The rhizomes of calla lilies should be planted not much deeper than the cannas and, while they will tolerate a little more shade, are just as sun-loving.
Again, a great partner for the Lucifer Canna! The brilliant golden yellow of the blooms on this 10-16″ tall calla really help to bring out the yellow on the petal margins of the Lucifer Canna. Like the Flame Calla, it fits perfectly in height next to the Lucifer and also adds a bit more of a finer texture to the garden and container.
So now that we’re familiar with these 3 fabulous plants, let’s look at how we can use them!
Garden Layout #1: Round Planter or Container
This is the perfect combination for that medium- to large-sized pot on your front step or back patio/deck. I recommend using a pot at least 24″ in diameter for the amount of plants in this collection. If the pot is standing in the open (not against a structure), place the (4) canna rhizomes in the center, leaving approx. 6-8″ between each. Be sure to just cover them each with soil and not plant too deep. If the container is located against a wall or other structure, you may want to place these taller-growing plants more toward the back of the container in the center. Then alternate the location of each of the (6) calla lily rhizomes so that the orange mixes with the yellow around the canna rhizomes. These should be spaced approx. 6″ apart. Once these are in place, feel free to fill in with your favorite yellow, orange, and red sun-loving annuals along the container margin or add some trailing plants to soften the edges of the container! *Note: Have two pots to mirror each other? Simply double the quantity of each bulbs and mirror the design in the second pot. Have 2 pots smaller than 24″ in diameter? Use only half in each!
Garden Layout #2: Mailbox/Lamppost/Statue Garden Bed
Obviously, the location of your “structure” may differ than the diagram I’ve provided, but this should give you the general idea. To soften the look of the post, plant the (4) canna rhizomes evenly spaced (approx. 10-12″ apart) around the base just under the soil surface. Then lay out the (6) callas, again alternating between colors in front of the cannas or all around them, depending on the location of the post, leaving at least 6″ between each one. These callas will look best if planted using a diagonal pattern rather than a straight line as shown in the diagram.
Garden Layout #3: Rectangular Garden Bed
This is a great application for beds which border more upright aspects of the landscape, such as the side of a house/shed or along a fence or tree line. You’ll want to place the canna rhizomes in the back, spacing them approximately 10-12″ apart. Then plant the callas, again alternating between colors, approximately 6-8″ apart in front of the cannas. Just as in the mailbox garden bed, I would recommend planting these more on a diagonal than in a straight line for a more natural, full look.
So there you have it! The first entry in my 3×3 Garden Plan Series. Hopefully this helped to familiarize you with three spring-planted bulbs you may or may not have known much about before and also gave you some ideas on how you might use them in your landscape. Don’t have a lot of sun? Not to worry! The 3×3 Garden next week will be specially designed for you shade dwellers! Oh, and one more thing: for those of you who may be interested in trying this combo at your own home, Holland Bulb Farms has made it easy to do so! You can purchase this combination of plants for a specially discounted price in one easy click right here. Each garden combo I feature will be added in this category for easy access for all of my readers as each new post appears! Nice of them, isn’t it?? 😉
With hands in the dirt and head in the clouds,