137-Yr-Previous Cannas – FineGardening

137-Year-Old Cannas - FineGardening

Today we are in Gothenburg, Nebraska, visiting Kristi Kreuscher’s garden.

These cannas originally come from Germany. My husband’s great-great-grandparents brought Cannas with them when they emigrated from Germany in 1883. They planted them on either side of their driveway on their farm near DeWitt, Nebraska, and everyone enjoyed them. The family has expanded it over the past 137 years. About 10 years ago my father-in-law asked me if I would like some of the family cannas. I wasn’t even aware of its meaning and history until then, even though I’d been in the family for over 20 years. I told him I would have “a few” so he gave me 13 onions. They reproduce quite well as we store 30 to 35 boxes of them every fall and have given away hundreds of onions in recent years.

Row of CannasWe plant the bulbs in two rows in a 75-foot strip in front of our house. This means cutting them off and then digging them every year after freezing to store in our garage as they are tropical (zones 7-10). My sister-in-law lives in Tampa, so she never has to dig her cannas. The judge at our fair told me that we really created our own hybrid because we replanted our own canna bulbs every year. Two years ago I received a “Best of Show” award for my canna flower at the fair.

Raised bedThe third picture shows our “rock garden” with an artificial rock that covers our well. It contains a wide variety of grasses, lilies, geraniums, irises, daylilies, and many other flowers. The tallest plant in the back on the right is a blue false indigo (Baptisia australis, zones 3–10) that produces shoots of purple flowers in spring. The seed pods turn dark brown in autumn.

Spider weedThe other tall plant is a blue spider weed, also known as the Trinity flower (Tradescantia, zones 4–9). I really like growing perennial flowers.

Peonies in a vaseMost of the irises and peonies in my flower beds came from my grandmother’s beds. I planted some of them in cemeteries when the original ones that they planted years ago stopped growing.

small blue stemThis picture shows our decorative windmill and part of the native lawn around our house (mainly small blue stem, Schizachyrium scoparium, zones 3–9). We recently added a strip of wildflowers made up of coreopsis, rudbeckia, daisies, partridge, asters, and more.

Good hope star flowerOne unique flower that I received from a friend is the Star of Good Hope (Ornithogalum saundersiae, zones 7-10). These grow to 4 to 6 feet tall and clear those amazing flowers. In Nebraska, of course, they have to be dug up every fall.

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