Monday, November 30, 2009


'Hayward' what can I say? It is beautiful. Definately an upright bush. It hasn't grown as fast as some others, but sometimes that is a good thing. There are a few others that grow a bit slow and all of these would make great long term container bushes and/or bonsai. Especially since, for bonsai, you don't want something that grows fast and puts out huge new shoots. But don't make you decision against it yet, it could just be the conditions it has been growing in. The flower is worth it though, don't you think?

Sunday, November 29, 2009


'Harlequin' is a delightful tiny purple flowered upright fuchsia. This isn't the best photo, I hope you can see the red marbling in the skirt. It has a bit of a fine growth habit and I believe it suffered from being transplanted into too large a container right in the middle of a heat wave, because it has lagged behind the others purchased at the same time. But now that the weather has cooled off, it is growing very rapidly. So it was filling it's container with roots all of this time and is now ready to get going! I know I keep saying this, but it is true, I am looking forward to seeing this one as a larger bush. Sometimes, what appears to be fine and delicate, turns out to be huge and sturdy. F. magellanica is a good example of what appears to be thin little branches turning into a bush almost large enough to be called a tree. And it can put out new branches that grow up to six feet in one year, like the canes of a rose bush! So we will see if this one can do the same.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hanna Blue

'Hanna Blue' is a cute little compact bush with lots of these little dark blue flowers. One of those which would be good in a container for years, without concern that it would outgrow it. It is a new one in my collection, so we will see how well it does during this winter. It did just fine out in the full summer sun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gypsy Prince

'Gypsy Prince' is a sturdy upright with big double blossoms. The flower buds look like big red Christmas Ornaments. This close-up though, shows a busy bee collecting pollen this November. It is not a fast growing bush, but one with a definate upright growth pattern if given enough sun. New starts head straight for the sky! And the branches are strong enough to handle lots of flowers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grace McCarthy

'Grace McCarthy' is one of those which could be either a hanging basket or a mounding upright. Of course, I am growing it as an upright. I am posting two photos as an example of how conditions can have such a large impact on the size and color of the flowers fuchsias produce, that they can almost be mistaken for two different cultivars. The photo below is of a bush grown in the shade. It isn't the best photo, but you can tell how much larger and darker the flowers are than the recent close up above. Which was grown out in the full sun and the heat. The flowers are smaller and lighter. But they are both 'Grace McCarthy.' Th one above was made from a cutting from the one below.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gordon's China Rose

'Gordon's China Rose' is a compact bush with small double blossoms about half the size of most doubles. I like the pink veining in the lighter pink corollas. This is one of the winter hardy upright fuchsias. So I am hoping it will also prove to be a winter bloomer like many of my others. Here it is almost Thanks-giving, and I've got color everywhere! When I post 'Gypsy Prince,' you'll see a photo I just took of these big red flower buds that look like Christmas ornaments to me ;-) I am thinking one of the photos might be good for Christmas cards this year.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


'Glitters' has an interesting shape to the petals in it's corolla. And it has a very definate upright growth pattern. I mention this often because there are varieties which can go either way, upright or hanging (aka lax). Even some which are obviously uprights, are sometimes dense and bushy with allot of sideways growth occuring at the same time. Whereas others shoot straight upwards without a doubt! Glitters is one of those. The bamboo stake was a temporay necessity for this one because it had been in too much shade and had not grown the nice upright trunk it was capable of growing once it had been moved into a sunnier location.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Garden News

'Garden News' is a double pink with peachy tones that won me over from my blue favorites. It is a compact bush which can easily reach four feet with proper pruning. Full sun will encourage lots of blooms, but it definately needs good soil to cope with the heat. I have four in containers ranging from 5 gallon to 15 gallon. All out in the full sun. The one that was damaged in this summers heat wave was the oldest and largest one in the 15 gallon container because I hadn't used a quality potting mix for it. It is recovering well though.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Galfrey Lye

'Galfrey Lye' is one of those that I bought and believed for a long time was a mistake. It was stringy with thin branches. So I stuck it in a far corner. I liked the little white and ruby flowers, but it wasn't until it grew up into my cherry trees that I realized how beautiful it could be.

All it needed was some pruning to grow a strong trunk. Which is now has as a four foot high bush without the need for cherry branches to support bunches of these little delights. But those branches that did grow up into the cherry trees get to stay there, for reasons I am sure you can see.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Foxgrove Wood

'Foxgrove Wood' is always covered with masses of these cute little blossoms. It is a sturdy bush with somewhat fine branches, so it needs pruning to keep it's form. This one has a place of honor right inside the front gate! Need I say more?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Duke of Wellington

'Duke of Wellington' is doing well so far. Not a fast grower compared to some. I know I say this often, since more than half of my collection were just 2" starts this spring and summer, but I am looking forward to see a full sized bush of these beautiful blooms. In almost every instance, I was purchasing "blind." All I knew was I was buying upright fuchsias with names that were not in the list of ones I already had :-). Even when they had printed labels with descriptions, it is almost impossible to guess at what the flower is going to look like. Fortunately, the digital age is making it easier to find out what to expect, so much easier!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Duchess of Albany

'Duchess of Albany' is absolutely breathtaking at a full bush in bloom. What can I say? Mine is about two years old now and is huge. It puts out big long thick branches like 'Cardinal' does, but even thicker. You may have noticed that I changed my profile photo to a vase of fuchsias sitting on my fence. That is because they make great cut flowers.

Something most people might not ever think of because most people think of hanging baskets when they think of fuchsias. But many fuchsias can put out grow to rival any rose bush! And the flowers last just as long in a vase as roses do.

Next spring, I will also show my fuchsias as cut flower arrangements. Especially the 'Duchess of Albany.'

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dollar Princess

'Dollar Princess' is a cute little double blossom on a compact bush. The branches are a bit thin, but it grows well and they are strong enough to support allot of these cuties. This little troopers claim to fame is that it is both heat and cold hardy! So don't let the little leaves and thin branches fool you. It was still just a month or so from being a 2" start when I took this photo, better ones are on their way.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Delta's Parade

'Delta's Parade' like it's close relative 'Delta's Groom,' is almost always in bloom here in zone 9. The flowers are small doubles and the bush needs some assistance via proper pruning, to acquire an upright form, but it is certainly worth the effort. I can't take the credit for this wonderful photo. My friend Robert took the photo with a much better camera than mine. When one thinks of fuchsias, these are not the colors that come to mind. Aren't they wonderful though?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Delta's Groom

'Delta's Groom' is a purple paradise! Black carmine! Especially when they first open. This bush has been in bloom continuously for the last two years. Despite the fact that I never remove the berries, as one is told to do to keep them in bloom. I have never found that to be necessary on any of my fuchsias. And despite the cold weather in the winter, this one and it's close relative 'Delta's Parade,' always have at least a few blossoms on them and usually allot of blossoms!

Of the two, 'Delta's Groom' is the larger more upright bush and is one of my larger specimens. Right out front with my other favorites.

Friday, November 13, 2009


'Cunning' makes you wonder. It is a delightful little flower, but why is it cunning?? This one has a decidedly upright growth pattern and is a vigorous little bush. Not one of the faster growing ones, but doing very well. The "skirt" is a bit different. Kinda crinkly. But hmm, who named this 'Cunning.'

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cover Girl

'Cover Girl' is one of the newer varieties in my collection. And I am sure she is going to be another favorite! She has the perfect combination. Simple flower, very upright form, and a blue skirt!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coquet Bell

'Coquet Bell' has a ruffled edge to it's "skirt" that adds a flair to this blue tinged blossom. It was one of my heat champions this summer and has been covered with blossoms almost all year long. So many flowers, it is hard to just walk by it on the way to the others. The color blue always demands my attention. It doesn't grow very tall and it doesn't grow very fast, but I certainly consider it worthy of the wait. The bush you see in the second photo is two years old. It almost died in it's first year, because it was in the ground and the gophers got to it. So perhaps by next year it will prove me wrong and grow taller.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Convention 2004

'Convention 2004' would look allot better had I not transplanted it right before our summer heat wave. I should have waited until it was bigger and the heat wave had passed. So this is another example of a fuchsia which was not performing well, but it is my fault, not the fuchsias. Fortunately, it did bloom though, and I was able to snap this photo. It has improved remarkably since then, with the shorter cooler days. Once I have posted a sample photo for each fuchsia in the collection, I will begin the sequence again, but with all of them as bushes, not just close ups of the flowers. So you can look forward to a photo of a much bigger, more robust bush of these beautiful double blossoms. Of course, if you can't wait for that, you can always visit the website where I have posted photos of every fuchsia which has gotten big enough to be called a bush ;-). This one isn't there yet, but I have high hopes for it.

Monday, November 9, 2009


'Coachman' is going to be one of my most favorite upright fuchsias. Because of it's much denser growth habit than Chang. And because it is orange, like Chang. I know, crazy huh!? Because blue is my favorite color and here I am collecting orange fuchsias!

But orange and blue are complimentary colors that go so well together :-)

And I do have lots of other colors, as you will see.

Coachman is growing very well. A bit low, but strong. So I am going to need to prune it into a more upward form. This one would make a great sculptured hedge like they do with junipers and other dense evergreens. You know, when they cut and clip them into all of those shapes? Like cheerleaders with pompoms. Like topiaries. Ah! Fuchsias as topiaries! Interesting possibilities.....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cloverdale Star

'Cloverdale Star' is one more good example of how fuchsias change colors remarkably as the flowers open. It is the blue tinge to the skirt of this simple blossom that I like the most. The color is called "wisteria blue." But it is a fleeting blue, as you can see from the photo below. When fully open, they are pink. This little bush is a compact grower which I am sure will get much bigger and the trunk matures. I am looking forward to the show it is going to put on when it is big enough to be covered in both the new and the mature blossoms at once!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chiquita Maria

'Chiquita Maria' is a beautiful well rounded bush growing under my nectarine tree. So it doesn't get as much sun as most of my fuchsias. Yet it is always in bloom. It does get some full late afternoon sun. And allot of full sun once the trees lose their leaves. I have made some smaller ones from it and they are doing just fine out in the full sun. I've had this variety for several years now, so I know it is also capable of surviving short freezes.

There is one quality about fuchsias I have been meaning to mention, snails don't like them!!! Snails and slugs will chew up everything around them, but I have never had any damage to any of my fuchsias from snails or slugs. And here on the central coast of California, snails and slugs are a year round problem!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Charlie Girl

'Charlie Girl' is a compact upright bush which weathered this late summers heat wave without a hint of burn. It was amazing, because I'd of thought big fluffy double blossoms would be the most prone to damage from the same heat that fried my roses. I'd like to repeat though, that often, whether or not a fuchsia or any other plant is able to deal with scorching weather without damage, is co-dependent on how healthy it's root system is. So quality of soil, nutrients, and water can be a decisive factor independent of the plants individual abilities to withstand extremes in weather. I am really looking forward to seeing how big this one can get.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


'Chang' is one of the first varieties of upright fuchsia I went looking for years ago when I decided to seriously begin adding varieties to my tiny collection at the time. It was always one of my favorites for several reasons. The first one being, of course, that it was an upright. Secondly, that is had the simple single blossoms I prefer. And thirdly because fushsias with orange coloring were a bit more unusual than most. It has a bad reputation in some books as being difficult to grow. And that is what I was expecting. Now I have to wonder what those people were doing wrong. Because I have found it to be a vigirous upright growing much faster than all of the others around it, except for Mood Indigo, Billie Green, and Burgundian. Then I thought perhaps they were refering to a difficulty in propagation. But there again, I haven't experienced any problems. In terms of the weather, it is another heat champion. What remains to be seen is if it is cold hardy. As it is supposed to be. When viewing the second photo, remember it was a 2" start when I bought it in May of this year. And I have used it to make cuttings four times already by now. I am certain it is going to be a much bigger bush than the 1.5 feet listed at one source.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Celia Smedley

'Celia Smedley' makes you wonder who she was, that someone would honor her by naming a flower after her! So many flowers, of all kinds, are named for individuals. My favorites are not the ones named after famous people, but people like Celia. Maybe she is or was famous. Have you ever heard of her? How about Ted Sweetman? You'll be seeing him later :-)

This one is proving to be a vigirous upright bush with large simple blossoms. I think this is going to be a big bush. At least in my zone it will. In zones where it needs to deal with freezing, one source has it listed as only reaching two feet.

It has been my experience though, that these sources are all in zones where it normally freezes. One of my goals is to eventually be able to provide information on heights and growing conditions for areas where there may be some freezing, but not usually enough to cause damage or restrict the height of upright fuchsia bushes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Carmen Maria

'Carmen Maria' is a cute and simple pink fuchsia with a definite upright growth pattern. I like the flare the corolla has to it. A perfect example of why some of us think of the corolla as the "skirt" on the these "dancing ballerinas." Can't you see a dancer spinning with her skirt flaring outward? This bush would make a nice contrast next to some of the more colorful varieties. In the Fuchsia Forum at, we've been talking about companion plants for upright fuchsia bushes. Something simple, yet more colorful, like a mix of little violas, would be perfect at the base of this bush. Or maybe even some purple violets.

Monday, November 2, 2009


'Cardinal' is my shining example of what you can grow from just a cuttings in about a year!! I have written about this fuchsia here before. But back then, I knew him as the amazing Larry. In April of 2008 I was searching for Jerusalem Artichokes. I found someone selling them on CrarigsList and was given directions to drive way out into the foothills southeast of Aptos and Corralitos. I was literally told to take the first dirt road to the right after going over an little old bridge. When I got to that dirt road, I saw weeds almost as tall as the group of men I saw standing in them. Just as I was deciding this could be a mistake, Larry and his wife came walking out of the weeds and led me back to a nice little garden. As Larry was filling my order for Jerusalem Artichoke tubers, I looked around and was amazed to see this huge red fuchsia bush next to their trailer. I asked for a cutting and he was happy to let me take a large one. Other than the Fuchsia magellanicas, I have never seen a fuchsia bush grow so fast AND bloom the entire time! Yes, there are ones that will get much bigger, but they don't have large blossoms and they usually don't bloom until they are large established bushes or trees.
So 'Cardinal' get two photos! The second one is a recent one. Bear in mind that I cut this one evey couple of weeks for propagation and it is in a container, otherwise it would probably be at least twice this size by now.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cambridge Louis

'Cambridge Louis' is going to be a compact bush covered with lots of these cute little flowers. The summer heat wave slowed it down a bit. When a plant is grown in full sun, it will grow more compact than it otherwise would. And sometimes this also causes the growth to appear to slow down. This one probably would have benefited from being transplanted sooner, so it would have had time to adjust. But it is doing very well now. The cool full sunshine of November enables upright fuchsias in the full sun to put out allot of growth and produse masses of flowers. Many of them will continue to bloom right through the winter. Much slower of course, but here in zone 9, I can expect to have color year round on many of my fuchsia bushes. My fellow fuchsia collectors at are reporting the same in our new Fushsia Forum there. Even in zones as cold as zone 6! Until there is danger of freezing, these guys will keep at it!
This photo was taken a month after being transplanted from a 2" start and before being transplanted into a 5 gallon container in the full sun. So the next time you see it, he will be quite a bit larger.