Tuesday, 30 December 2008
The Landlady's Earrings
I've always had a sneaky regard for Fuchsias. There are so many types of them, not all to my taste I might add but numerous all the same and over the centuries literally thousands of cultivars have been developed. Leo B. Boullemier, former President of the British Fuchsia Society recorded and detailed some 10,000 in his world wide acknowledged Check List of Species, Hydrids and Cultivars of the Genus Fuchsia, but for me I think it is hard to beat the Triphylla types with their characteristic clusters of slim tubular flowers.
Pictured is a Fuchsia 'Thalia' taken in October '07. There are three plants growing in the tub, all taken as cuttings from a friend in that Spring. As you can see, they all grew really well and now I'm hooked on this cultivar.
They are notoriously difficult to overwinter but luckily I got them through to Spring '08 after housing them in a frost free unheated room through the worst months grabbing every opportunity to 'air' them during mild spells. I kept the compost just moist and would bring them outside during the day if the temperatures would allow. The occasional spray with Bordeaux Mix kept mould/mildew away and other than that it was fingers crossed.
Come March I re-potted them with multipurpose compost and started a feeding programme using a universal feed initially at half strength. I have to say that in all honesty I didn't feel confident that they would do well. They were practically defoliated, not much more than several 'stick like' things in need of a light prune to give them any shape. However, I persevered and they flourished. I was chuffed to bits.
Anyway, the reason for this Fuchsia snippet is that today has been mild and this afternoon I ran around opening windows and doors diligently transporting pots of various overwintering tender plants to benefit from sunlight and fresh air. But those Fuchsia 'Thalia' really must get through. They're beautiful, not all dangly and blousy like that Landlady's earrings.