Survival of the fittest

Another mainstay of the summer border here are the hardy Fuchsias. They usually start flowering at the beginning of June and carry on through until the first frosts in October, they certainly earn their keep.Most winters ,the top woody growth survives to sprout in the spring and these stems start flowering early followed by new growth from the base. Last winter was exeptional and they were all killed down to soil level. For quite some time I thought that I had lost them all, but then suddenly, in late spring, small shoots emerged and they are now flowering happily, albeit on smaller plants – at least they have survived!

Fuchsia magallanica alba is being trained up the trellis in the front garden,which will hopefully disguise the huge 400 gallon water butt.An old lady in the next village gave me a cutting of this many years ago, she had it trained up the gable end of her bungalow – it looked fantastic – a wall of icicles !! When she died, the new people cut it down, such a shame. I don’t think mine will ever reach these proportions, I think I will be happy if mine gets to be 8ft tall

Fuchsia Whiteknights Blush is a larger flowered pale pink one which was bred at Reading University. Our daughter studied there and lived on Whiteknights campus for her first year – had to have it didn’t I!! With us it forms a super bush about 4ft tall.

Fuchsia magellanica Genii is lovely and worthy of garden space on account of its beautiful yellow foliage which contrasts with the flowers and other plants in the border.

My latest hardy fuchsia is Delta Sarah- or it was bought in bud as such. I thought it should be a single flower but this one has huge blowsy double ones. It remains to be seen if it will survive next winter- must take some cuttings just in case.

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