Big Leaves, Big Drama

Big leaves hog center stage in Chanticleer’s August garden. Add a dash of hard sun and you can almost hear the photosynthetic pulse of these tropical giants. As much as I adore lotus blooms, their lingering seed pods have all the personality. Like articulated shower heads, they twist their twiggy necks to gape at their neighbors.

Canna ‘Tropicanna’ is as common as you get but it still grabs me when backlit. And it absolutely floors me when the light also wraps gently from the side.

And the Red Banana, Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelli’, is made even more gorgeous when the shadows of a nearby fine-leafed tropical play over the bright green and orange bands. What this late summer foliar exuberance needs now is a soundtrack of sprinklers, crickets and ice cream trucks.

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