are accommodating and generous plants, needing only sun adequate moisture to thrive.
need loads of humus in the soil and do well in large pots in a sheltered, sunny spot.
But perhaps most stunning are the variegated Cannas
There's a wealth of choice for both containers and borders, from fragrant lilies and dahlias, to cannas
, gladioli, crocosmia and the Californian firecracker, Dichelostemma ida-maia.
This extension of the warm season allows cannas
and other large exotics to put on a show.
Siracusa showed me a dense planting of bronze-leafed, orange-flowered cannas
growing in a side yard and asked me if I wanted one.
With their sumptuous colours and exotic silhouettes, cannas
bring a touch of tropical heat to any garden.
, dahlias and begonias could all be started off indoors but won't go outdoors until May.
Look for the cannas
with the brightest leaves - Durban has purple, pink and orange stripes.
Or if green leaves are your preference, you can choose Cannas
in flaming red or yellow or impetuous pink.
They are too tender to over-winter in the ground in Britain but, in the 1990s their exotic appeal started to be appreciated by amateur gardeners, probably as a result of global warming which has brought cannas
increasingly on to the patio for summer.
Bulbs for colour Summer-flowering bulbs such as lilies, gladioli, dahlias, eucomis and cannas
give the most impact for the least effort.
This week's online offer consists of 10 Dwarf Cannas
for only pounds 8.
Dragon Wing' begonias are recommended as a ground cover under giant birds of paradise (Strelitzia nicholii), ornamental banana trees and cannas
- those summer-flowering rhizomatous plants with irislike flowers in red, pink, yellow, orange and white.
Q I'VE had a fantastic display of cannas
this summer but how do I keep them going for next year?