Hardy Varieties of Fuchsias


Once established hardy Fuchsias need little maintenance. Growing outdoors they lose their foliage after frost and branches may or may not die back. However in spring they will send up fresh strong growing branches from the base or existing branch frameworks.
A big advantage of growing in the ground is that the unrestricted root run can produce an extremely  floriferous plant.

All the varieties we have selected below have the RHS AGM award.

Hardy Fuchsia Tips

  • Trim them back in late April not after flowering so that the twigs will protect the crowns from frost.
  • Spring pruning allows you to assess how fiercely you want to prune. Hard for a compact bush, gently for a larger shrub.
  • Generally having survived one winter Fuchsias will be successful for many years. All those below have been known to survive 5 years plus in the UK.
  • Give Fuchsias a slow release fertiliser in spring after cutting back. Then an occasional watering if they are very dry is all the other treatment needed.
  • Hardy Fuchsias come in a range of sizes, colours and shapes.

Smaller Hardy Fuchsias 1- 3 Feet Tall

  • Son of Tom Thumb with carmine and red flowers
  • Alice Hoffman with rose and white flowers and bronze tinged leaves.
  • Chillerton Beauty a vigorous grower with pale pink and violet flowers.
  • Conspicua deep red and white eye catching flowers
  • Dollar Prinzessing 18 inches tall with double flowers.
  • Genii with lime -yellow foliage and red stems but late flowering.
  • Heidi Ann less hardy but magnificent
  • Rufus the Red grows 24-30″ tall

Hardy Fuchsias 1- 3 Feet Wide

  • Annabel pink and white flowers on a trailing habit.
  • Empress of Prussia introduced in 1860
  • Garden News double flowers and surprisingly hardy.
  • Phyllis vigorous large leaved abundantly flowering plant
  • Mrs Popple introduced 1899 so it is a survivor.

Other Hardy Fuchsias

  • Hawkshead with white flowers and tall growing 3’plus.
  • Margaret Brown strong growing with smaller flowers.
  • Celia Smedley cream and flame coloured flowers on a strong plant
  • Species Fuchsia magellanica Whiteknights Pearl
  • Fuchsia magellanica ‘Aurea’ has bright golden foliage  with pendants of deep magenta


Books on Fuchsias from Amazon


Winter Gardening

What can gardeners do in winter? The answer lies in the soil! but to old gardeners it is still ‘Beyond our Ken’. I often spent too long polishing my good intentions this includes planning to send my mower for servicing and sharpening’ a shame I do not plan to polish up my other important gardening implements.

Winter Preparations

  • In the spirit of new years resolutions you would expect my garage and shed to be perfect models of tidiness and order
  • Winter prune trees and plan other tree work. Get an arboriculturalist to do the hard and technical work
  • Clear the garage, garden shed and store areas. I have a glory hole where an old coal hole was under some outside stairs. It should be renamed gory hole as the stairs now allow water to penetrate.
  • I still store pots by the score together with sundry bulk items I may or probably wont use again.
  • Use the opportunity for testing my good ideas, bodges and purloined ideas from other gardeners
  • Store garden furniture and frostable item.


Sorry about this post but I have just been clearing out some old drafts – now back into the garden.


Funny Quotes for Gardeners

  • All those weeds – so little thyme
  • My plants are not dead they are just sleeping
  • Gone to pot
  • Gardeners on average eat 50 pork pies a month – first time I’ve been above average on anything
  • Gardeners know all the dirt
  • Summer is set in with all it’s usual severity
  • I am Julian and this my friend sandy
  • I could give up gardening but I’m no quitter
  • Where there’s muck there’s brassicas
  • Before they made Alan Titchmarsh they broke the mould ( groucho Marx)
  • The answer lies in the soil
  • You can’t have everything I mean where would you put it
  • Sweat peas and whirled peas
  • You can’t improve on nature unless you can get it to look at the pictures on seed packets
  • If you want it to rain water your garden
  • To tell a flower from a weed pick it and if it grows again back it is a weed

Organic Tips from America

Our transatlantic cousins still benefit from the Pilgrim fathers gardening knowledge taken to their shores centuries ago. The potato famine of 1845-50 caused Irish farmers to discover the Idaho potato. Now these and other horticultural favours can be returned by this book of organic homespun tips.

Book Cover

On the other hand did we contribute to the Hamburger and KFC? (That is kale, fennel and cauliflower). In return we got a Turkey!


Brambles or Blackberries Is it Just a Name

It is not a question of which name but Brambles and Blackberries should be thought of together as one is the fruit of the other.Looking carefully at this picture you can see young unopened buds at the top center with some flowers that have been pollinated and begun to show nascent green fruitlets which will turn into blackberries when they swell and ripen.

As with many fruit there is much in the breeding and plant selection and I recommend checking the availability of various selections 

Wild Brambles

  • Hedgerows and uncultivated land can become home to robust plants. They are often treated as weeds as for gardeners they have invasive tendencies.
  • Long stems or branches often overflow on to paths and the thorns or spines can catch the unwary.
  • Plants growing in sunshine can provide a large crop of fruit
  • Bramble jelly used to be made from wild collected blackberries.
  • In my opinion they make a good flavoursome crumble or mix well with apples in a fruit tart.
  • Flowers attract a range of bees and wasps which is essential for pollination.


What use are Daylilies?

Hemerocallis also called Daylilies

These are a popular perennial that can grow to 2 – 4 foot depending on variety and location. It dies back in winter only to regenerate with fresh green strappy, arching leaves in spring. The plant forms good clumps which can be split when they get too large.

Daylilies have a profusion of short lived flowers sometimes only lasting a day as the name implies. So many flowers are produced that there is a continual supply and each blossom bear close inspection as well as offering a good all round display. They normally flower from June to August.

  • Daylilies have given a wonderful show this year!
    Hemorocallis is a plant to look out for and to add to your collection.
  • For those who want a colourful display with lush foliage I can recommend Daylilies

Special uses of Daylilies

    • Plant them close to daffodils to help hide the dying foliage.
    • The plants like water so it is possible to use them by streams or in a bog garden using varieties such as Hemerocallis aurantiaca, (orange) Hemerocallis citrina and Hemerocallis minor a dwarf yellow plant with scented flowers.
    • The flowers are edible and can be added to salads or dried for use in soups
    • The latest new introductions will be more expensive when new but if successful will be available more cheaply in seasons to come
    • I grow Hyperion a yellow flower and want to try some bi-coloured plants like Franz Hals or Flore Pleno

Several varieties are shown here but many more can be seen on Google.

Daylily Tips

    • Available in many shades of yellow, gold, orange,red and bronze – try some from your trusted local garden centre.
    • Size of plant varies but choose your plant by the flower, its scent and how it is held above the foliage.
    • The plastic coloured identification label may not be true on some cheap plants.
    • It is OK to buy plants in flower as long as you give them plenty of water when planting and in early growth.
    • Propagation by division is easy and the success rate quite high but I don’t make each division too small.
    • Find out more at the Hemerocallis society


Poppy Parade


Poppies are easy to grow, sometimes too easy  because they self sow all over my garden and despite the delicate petals I thought of them as weeds. So much so that I forgot to photograph any earlier this year but now have captured some pictures of perfectly purple poppies.

These poppies were grown from scattered seed and plants are 4 feet tall and are producing lots of single flowers. If they are in the wrong place they are easy to pull straight out of the ground. The roots can be a foot long and carrot shaped but help to anchor the plant.

This is another poppy that is flowering well in my garden at the moment. I like the double flower for the lush petals but they are less use to bees and other insects. Continue Reading →


Insect Heaven for Your Garden

Virtually no flies on your car windscreen, sterile fields with no hedgerows and a multi-million pound insecticide industry not much heaven for insects. The hope for bugs, flies and little creatures may rest in your garden.

We hear about the need to protect bees due to there essential role in pollination. The contribution plus the complexity and interdependence of all creatures is not fully understood. We should all take care not to cause damage with our ecological footprint.

Insect house

Options For Helping Nature

  • Gardens need insects and bugs so why not treat them to a snug insect house.
  • You can build a multipurpose house from wood, stones and old pipes similar to the one above. Fill gaps with twigs, straw and rotting wood which will provide some food. The insects will make a home in the cracks and crevices that provide winter shelter.
  • A pile of old logs in a quite part of the garden can provide a haven for fungus and beetles.
  • Try growing butterfly friendly nettles and other plants that can act as breeding grounds.
  • Do not be too keen to clean and tidy up – tolerate a bit of leaf litter.
  • The charity Buglife has a guide that shows which plants help which insects and how to grow a mini meadow.
  • Insects around the world are facing an apocalypse as a result of toxins we humans put into the environmentso think about the effect you are going to have and spare a thought for bugs.

Book CoverBee nesting boxes will cater for bees and ladybirds.
Place on a south facing wall for optimum sunlight to help bees and for ladybirds place the nester in a sheltered area near tree branches and vegetation such as nettles.


Lions or Griffins Sculpted in your Garden

high trees 131

I saw this lion at our local garden centre. He was guarding the entrance and looked the ferocious part. But there aere more interesting sculpture displays this summer 2019 in some bigger garden spaces. The Yorkshire sculpture park has a Damien Hirst outdoor sculpture at their current exhibition and Kew Garden is featuring Dale Cilhuli glass sculptures. Newby Hall in North Yorkshire has contemporary sculpture which showcases the best of British in a woodland setting.

Stone Sculpture Pros and Cons

  • Natural stone looks good in the right place. It creates a better effect when local stone is used
  • Stone looks good in the right place. It creates a better effect when local stone is used. Aim to achieve a material that is sympathetic to the area.
  • Reconstituted stone looks good in the show room and for several seasons. For some reason it weathers more rapidly or looks less crisp a couple of winters later.
  • Good stone that has been well carved can be very expensive
  • Stone is heavy and not easy to move around or steal.
  • Sculptures without natural sunlight get more moss and lichen than well lit well located sculptures.
  • Good sculpture can provide both a talking point and a feature or focal point in your garden design.

Sculpture Comments

  • Large scale sculptures work best in larger gardens. It is worth balancing scale as too small a sculpture can get lost from view.
  • White or light stone sculptures should be set against a dark background
  • Small sculptures can be mounted on a plinth for greater effect.
  • Sculptures work well in pairs. Natural items work best in odd numbers
  • Old and valuable stone items should be insured, bolted down or alarmed. Thieves will steal anything!
  • A resin and composite stone sculpture like that below will cost significantly less than a stone sculpture.
  • Cheaper sculptures tend to lose the sharpness of carving or molding.



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