PINK PERFECTION: (Right) Cannas in all their splendour in Warsaw and (inset) in close-up.
NOT LONG home from a holiday in Poland, I have to confess I wasn't exactly knocked out by the quality and colour of its public gardens.
Yes, the Poles revere their trees and I loved the way the countryside was dotted randomly with trees of many species, creating a beautiful patchwork of green shades.
Flowers, though, were not that memorable, though this display of pink cannas caught my eye in a park in the Polish capital Warsaw.
Unlike conventional cannas which can top 4ft, these crowd-stoppers are barely half that size — and that surprised me.
Back home, I checked through the catalogues and discovered a dwarf strain listed by J Parker.
The pink hybrid, called Perkeo, closely resembled the massed display in Poland and is a shade that's less familiar among these half-hardy perennials from tropical America, that usually flaunt red, orange or yellow blooms.
For even more variety, you can buy four other dwarfs from Parkers — red President, yellow Louis Cottin, speckled yellow Picasso and red edged yellow Lucifer. Treat yourself to two of each and Parkers will charge you half price, a very tempting £9.35 for ten plants.
Cannas relish life in the sun and, in our part of the world, can be left alfresco all year, provided some protection is offered — such as straw or fleece — in bitterly cold winter weather. The rhizomes can be cut in sections if you need to increase your display or give some away.
● To order cannas or request a Parkers catalogue call 0161 8481100 or click jparkers.co.uk