Monday November 24, 2014

Road trip planned


Some very dear friends gifted us with a beautiful fuschia plant: it is pink and white and looks absolutely delicious, like strawberries and cream! We want to be sure to care for it properly, so I wanted to do a little research on fushcias and see what they like best.

If you and I were gardeners 400 years ago, we would have been delighted to hear about the discovery of this beautiful plant on the island hat we now know as the Dominican Republic. It was discovered by Charles Palmier, a French botanist and monk who was making his third voyage to this exotic part of the world.  The plant was named after a German botanist, Leonhart Fuchs. I read that the spelling of this plant is actually “fuchsia”, but because of the way we pronounce it, the spelling is “fuschia”.

There are over 100 species of fuschia, growing from South America all the way down to New Zealand. Within the family there are deciduous and evergreen types of fuschia. The fuschias are known to all of us by their breathtaking blooms that resemble small chandeliers, with four outward-reaching petals and a teardrop shaped bloom that hangs downward. The colors range from pinks and purples to white and pink or red combinations.

I read with envy that the fuschia is a popular, easy-care garden shrub in some parts of the world (not here!), and has even been known to grow wild in some areas of Scotland! Imagine that! Because we do not live in those temperate zones, our enjoyment of the fuschia is restricted to loving them as a container plant.  

Fuschias will make great additions to our containers or as a hanging plant. The plants will bloom profusely until fall, and will attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Fuschias enjoy living in full to partial shade, and while they like humidity, they do not like dry heat. I read that if we do have dry heat (with such a cool spring, do we even remember what dry heat is like?) we should mist our fuschias. And here’s another bonus: they do not have to be deadheaded, although they will produce more blossoms if we take the time to remove the spent blooms. They like moist soil with good drainage, and they enjoy having some fertilizer on a regular basis.

In the fall, we could try to bring our fuschias in, but one article I read said that there is minimal success with this for most of us because the air in our homes is too dry over the winter. But if you are lucky enough to have a sunroom or a greenhouse, it might work perfectly well for you.

I also read that while they look very pretty all on their own, they look lovely teamed up with angel wing begonias or oxalis in a container. So this is definitely a plant that we will be able to enjoy all summer long!

The Hort Society is planning a one day road trip to see the gardens at Government House on Saturday, June 14.  We will be going by bus, with a stop at Fox Greenhouses on the way home. You are welcome to join us! For more information please call Liz at (306) 782-2830.

I’d like to remind members of the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society that the next meeting is on Wednesday, June 18, and it is our Annual Pot Luck Supper. We’ll have a tour of a beautiful yard, with supper and a meeting to follow. Bring your lawn chairs. This meeting is for members (and their significant other) only. For more information please call Liz.

Thank you to everyone who helped with the plant sale last week and thank you to everyone who supported the sale — we always appreciate your support, and we always look forward to chatting with the many gardeners who stop by.  Have a great week!



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