Visit to Cannifer Nursery Bisley Green and lunch

Visit to Canna Trials at Lincluden Nursery
Sunday August 26th

Lincluden Nursery, The Cedars, Shaftsbury Road, Bisley, Surrey GU24 9EN

The wettest day of the summer, bank holiday Sunday, saw Farnham Humanists visiting the nursery owned and run by Farnham Humanist committee member Keith Hayward and his wife Christine. The nursery was open to the public for their annual Canna Trials. Previous years included cannas from growers around the world; this year all 148 varieties shown were grown in the nursery.

Trial cannas are grouped by size: tall, medium and short; colours: red orange, pink, yellow, white, variegated. They were planted out on 1st June, and despite the dry, hot summer, the vast majority are in full flower. The nursery’s Janis Raubiska is responsible for the trial, and delighted in sharing his knowledge as he showed us round.

One section showed natural species of canna whose modesty contrasted with the blazing flowers, and striking foliage of modern cultivars, showing just what plant breeders can do. Also exhibited were specimen cannas grown in pots which had helped the nursery achieve a Gold Medal at the 2018 Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

We learned that cannas are tolerant of any soil as long as it is rich in nutrients, can survive being dry or waterlogged, and are very susceptible to frost; also that they suffer from spider mites, and canna virus. I also learned how to get the polythene over the largest poly-tunnels. Tip: choose a very calm day.

The Nursery also hosts a start-up company Hart Exotics which sells other exotic plants. In their poly-tunnel Keith and Christine laid on a lunch of sandwiches, fruit, wine and beer, which we consumed surrounded by exotic flowers and foliage and in an atmosphere pervaded with the heavy scent of ginger lilies (Hedychium).

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