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Mountain Gardening: A Tiki-inspired Container Garden

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Build a tropical garden in a container using Canna lillies, begonias, and solar tiki lamps and to enjoy the tropical island feeling both day and night.

potted lights

My Denver xeriscape is more than 3,000 miles from the sandy beaches of Waikiki, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the tropics in my own backyard. That was my thinking when I decided to turn my $100 Garden Challenge into a solar planter, like one featured in the spring issue of Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine.

Instead of filling the container with ornamental grass, I chose a Tropicanna Canna Lily (Canna var. 'Phasion') for its beautiful multicolored leaves and tangerine-orange flowers, and mixed it with mounds of brilliant-orange-red begonias (Begonia semperflorens).

The result brings island living a bit closer to my Western garden.

A container-grown canna lily will grow to about 4 feet tall and can stay outside year-round in Zones 7 - 11. For cold-weather zones the plant can be removed from the container and stored in a cool, dry place over winter.

Want to add some aloha attitude to your life? Here's how:

Lowe's Materials List

  • 1 set of solar tiki torch lights
  • 1 14-inch Green Marlee planter
  • 1 3-quart Tropicanna canna lily
  • 4 6-packs begonias
  • 1 32-quart MiracleGro potting mix
  • 1 12-inch clear saucer
potted plant

1. Remove the drain plug from the container.

2. Add a thin layer of rocks for drainage.

3. Fill the container about three-quarters full with potting soil.

4. Remove the canna lily from its container and spread out the roots.

5. Place the plant in the center of the container and tamp down the soil.

6. Add more planting soil to within 2 inches of the container lip.

7. Plant begonias tightly together. Water well.

8. Insert the tiki torches into the soil.

finished pot

Locate the island container to an area where the solar torches get six to eight hours of sun a day. Then wait for dusk to sit back, watch the flickering lights, and sip a refreshing Mai Tai. Don't forget the paper umbrella.

See more Mountain Gardening Articles.