Thursday, December 31, 2009


'Not-So-Big' is so well named and so cute. But I think the name refers to the flower and perhaps not so much the bush itself. Because it has such a definite upright growth pattern. I have a feeling it has the potential to be one of the taller bushes. Remember, the magellanicas have very small flowers also and they can become huge bushes. I'll be looking forward to showing you how this one does.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


'Northway' is a relatively small and compact upright bush. Like 'Black Prince' and 'Marin Glow' in it's form. It just occurred to me that the three of them placed nearby each other would be a nice combination, I am going to have to move them in the spring! The description used for 'Northway' doesn't mention orange, but to me, when this bush is covered with these blossoms in the spring and summer, they have a dark orange tinge to them. The weather and the amount of sun a fuchsia gets, can have a dramatic affect on how dark the colors are and even the size of the blossoms. Not enough sun, and the colors will be lighter. Too much sun, and the flowers will be much smaller than normal. 'Northway' is another one of my favorites.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Mum

'My Mum' is one of the new additions to my collection which I have high hopes for. I bet you know the drill by now ;-), it has the simple corolla I prefer and a definite upright form. I also seem to prefer the ones with white sepals. How about you? But this one is still not the one I am looking of my neighbors down the street has had a fuchsia growing against the chain link fence of their front yard for over a decade. It has made it through many a heat wave, winter freezes, and even snow. The colors almost match this one, but not quite. I am going to have to go ask them if they will let me have a few cuttings. Perhaps they will be interested in trading!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mrs. J. D. Fredricks

'Mrs. J. D. Fredricks' is again, one of those I made certain was among the first varieties in my initial collection. It grows into a good sized upright bush covered with these small, single blossoms. Over the years, it develops a strong woody trunk. So it would also be great as a large bonsai or container specimen. Pink is not one of my favorite colors, but this one is an old fashioned charm. This is also one I plan on using in future foral arrangements, as it can put out ample long new shoots every spring.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mood Indigo

'Mood Indigo' is a survival story. I had a large beautiful bush of these growing in the ground. And early last February, I made some cuttings from it. Which is a very good thing, because one spring day all of the blossoms on the bush suddenly wilted. When I went to go see why only this bush, among all the others near it, was in such distress. The bush slowly fell over and I was able to pull the remains of the base of it's trunk out of the ground with ease because a gopher had eaten all of the rest!!

So although slugs and snails are not interested in munching on fuchsias, gophers certainly are!

Those cuttings quickly grew into new bushes and the blooms you see here. This is one of those small double blossoms that I really enjoy. And I really like the color combinations on this one as it opens. It is hard to see in this photo, but the sepals have green tips and the unopened flower buds are almost as interesting as the open flowers. Absolutely one of my all time favorites.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


'Minnesota' is one of the new varieties in my collection I knew I had to have as soon as I first saw a photo of it. The simple small flower with the white and purple just captured my attention. It is proving to be a strong and vigorous upright bush. It is going to put on quite a show next year when it is larger!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mini Rose

'Mini Rose' is another little cute one! And another one of the new additions to my collection which I am so looking forward to seeing grow into bushes next spring. These small leaved and small blossomed upright fuchsias often prove to be the ones that turn into large bushes covered with flowers. Don't forget, once this alphabetical list is complete and the missing ones from my collection are filled in, I will be starting over with photos of them all as bushes. Along with more information on each one. Such as reported heights and weather tolerances. I haven't done this yet, because the information available can sometimes be misleading. For instance, a test garden farther north of this location, is going to have shorter bushes than one farther south. Northern test gardens are usually testing for cold tolerance and southern ones for heat tolerance. I hope to provide a middle ground.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


'Melanie' is a delightful little bush with a dark Aubergine corolla on these simple little blossoms. It is still a bit small and now it is winter, but if I were to take a photo right now, you'd see it is covered in these flowers. And it is the second day of winter! I am sure this is going to be a beatiful bush come spring time.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Martha Brown

'Martha Brown' as you can see from the bee visiting one of it's blossoms, is a small double flowered upright fuchsia. Sometimes the form attributed to a fuchsia flower can be confusing. Most of the time you will only see three forms listed: single, sem-double, and double. But then there are the super tiny flowers on minutiflora and mircophylla, the little flowers on Lycioides and the magellanicas, the really big single flowers on Cardinal, etc. etc.

So just because a flower is listed as a double, doesn't mean it is going to be a huge blossom with lots of petals. And it seems like the real grey area is with the semi-doubles. I don't know how many times I have seen a flower listed as a single, when it obviously has more petals than a single but not as many as most doubles. And a flower listed as a semi-double, which to me, simply looks like a large single.

'Martha Brown' did very well in this summers heat wave and we will see how she does compared to Gordon's China Rose. The two are very similar so far.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Marin Glow

'Marin Glow' is absolutely one of my most favorite fuchsias. It is a slow grower and has a dense compact growth pattern. So it doesn't get very big. But I don't mind! I just love the colors on this flower. The corolla reminds me of the sky after sunset. When there is still just enough light on the horizon to see a rich purplish dark blue. I bet this one would make a great bonsai. It for certain makes a great container plant that doesn't need transplanting or pruning for years. This one was among the first ones in my collection, which now stands at 125.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Margery Blake

'Margery Blake' is going to be another one of my favorites. She has a definate upright bushy growth pattern and such cute little flowers! In this photo, it is only in a one gallon container. I am really looking forward to seeing how big it can get and seeing a mass of these little flowers next spring.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Magellanica 'molinae'

Actually, this should read "Fuchsia magellanica 'molinae' " since this is a species also, like 'Lycioides.' Except in the case of magellanica, there are many varieties of this species and it has been used to create some of the popular hybrid cultivars. This hardy upright fuchsia can grow very tall. I have seen a large bush growing all the way up to the second story window of a house! Mine has a large thick trunk on it with what I consider beautiful bark. It has a fine crumbly texture with lots of different shades of orangish brown. The hummingbirds love this bush and can usually be found hanging out on it when not in action! To me, this species is why many people call fuchsias "Angels Earings" or "Dancing Ballerinas." It can take full on hot summer sun and the occasional freeze during the winter. Mine has survived winters that killed my lantanas, hybiscus, and hydrangeas. Planted properly, it can survive harsher winters than we have here on the central coast of California. It is hard to tell from the photo, but the pink corolla to there dainty flowers have a blue or lavender flush them. I hear there were once hedges of this fuchsia all over San Francisco. So I have planted a hedge of it myself and it is doing very well. The fine foliage lends itself well to clipping.

Monday, December 14, 2009


'Lycioides' is actually a different species than the vast majority of hybrid cultivars avaliable out there. So the name should actually be listed here as 'Fuchsia lycioides' since it's name is not a "common" name. And it also happens to be the only known species in it's "Section." Species of fuchisas are divided into 12 Sections. The flowers are small, but so red! And it loves the full summer sun! Which makes it a favorite of the resident hummingbirds. In the evening, they are usually competing over it for their last sip of the day. It grows tall and developes a trunk over the years. Occasionally, it will suddenly defoliate for no apparent reason. Some fuchsias are native to tropical areas where the dormant season is a dry season, not a severly cold one. And some of those lose their leaves for a short period of time, just like many of our fruit trees do in the winter. But as soon as Lycioides loses it's leaves, it is growing them back, so no worries there. The other quality of Lycioides I enjoy the most are it's berries. They are smaller than a blueberry, but almost black. They remind me of Black Currants and they have a wonderful raisin like flavor to them. Since this fuchsia has such an abundance of blooms, I can usually pick the berries by the handful and enjoy them while I make the rounds.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lottie Hobbie

'Lottie Hobbie' is one of those I thought I didn't want to grow. Like 'Amber Rose' and 'Galfrey Lye,' the foliage is very fine and I assumed it would be weak and/or difficult. A friend gave me cuttings when I requested some from their mystery fuchsia bushes. They had told me about two very old fuchsias in their yard for which they had no names. I was very dissappointed when I saw the cuttings I was brought. But I planted them anyway.
Now I am really taken with this one! It has proved to be one tough bush! The flowers are so tiny and it had just begun to bloom when I took this photo. Then the freeze hit here and it is still under a protective blanket along with many others, so I am not sure how it faired. Some of the ones which weren't covered, were burned in the freeze. I do know though, that it made it throught the summer heat wave without a single blemish! Tiny leaves are often an indication that a plant is able to withstand hot weather and/or cold weather. Just as needle-like and fleshy leaves are.
This one would make a terrific clipped hedge, topiary, or bonsai.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lord Byron

'Lord Byron' is going to be a small and compact bush. It is allot like 'Black Prince' in it's growth rate and pattern. But the flowers are smaller and such a dark shade of blue purple! This one would make a great bonsai.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Little Ronnie

'Little Ronnie' is going to be a beautiful bush! I can't wait to see this one burst out next spring. It has been very cold here and a couple of specimens in my collection sustained some damage. It wasn't possible to cover every one of them and to be honest, part of the process is to see which ones can make it through the winters without assistance. But I ought to have covered the F. boliviana's. They look like they were put too close to a roaring fire :-(

But they are not dead and knowing how the weather can suddenly get warm here even in December and January, I expect them to make a full recovery and they will be covered the next time there is any danger of a freeze.

Monday, December 7, 2009


'Leslie' is a very upright double fuchsia I sure is going to make a good tall and strong bush. This is going to be a short post, as the weather here has been unusually cold. It even snowed in the mountains just a couple of miles away. It will probably go below freezing tonight. So I have been running around trying to cover everything that could get damaged. Hopefully, the special cloth I bought for this, will do the job! It is very light and breathable. So the light and air can get through if they need to be under it for a while. It is also what I use for protecting cuttings while they root. I usually don't need to worry about my large established plants. But this year I have almost 75 new varieties and not only are they all younger, I don't know how any of them are going to cope with freezing weather yet. We will see!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

June Bride

'June Bride' is pretty little simple flower on a compact bush which is almost always covered with these flowers. Definately heat hardy and hopefully winter hardy as well. It reminds me allot of Voltaire, with the flair in the "skirt." But Voltaire didn't do as well in the summer heat. Which may have been my fault for transplanting it at the wrong time. If you've read my prior posts, then you know I have mentioned this before. All too often, how a plant does is no fault of it's own, but the conditions it is being asked to endure!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


'Jessimae' is a cute little white and pink simple flower on a low growing bush. What sets this one a bit apart is the bright green of the leaves. A much brighter green than the norm. Fuchsia foliage is as unique to each individual cultivar as their flowers are. With experience, one can tell each cultivar just by it's foliage and growth habit, even if there are no blooms present. It is also possible to tell which ones are probably decended from the same species used to create all of the hybrids. People have been hybridizing fuchsias since at least the mid 1800's.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jack Sieverns

'Jack Sieverns' has a beautiful shade of blue purple! This is another example of the color called "Aubergine." It is a low growing dense bush if grown out in the full sun like mine is. All of my upright fuchsias are grown out in the full sun. So they grow more compact than they would in the shade or semi-shade. And they produce allot more flowers than they would in the shade. This one is turning out to be a new favorite.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Iced Champagne

'Iced Champagne' is a heat wave champion! And that is unusual because white flowers of any kind are known for being easily damaged. So although white flowers can be beautiful, I rarely grow any in my garden because of that. This photo doesn't really pick up the subtle creamy pink tinge these blossoms have. It is a compact bush that puts out allot of blossoms all at once. Unlike most of my other fuchsias though, it is one that tends more towards all or nothing. By that I mean, instead of a variety of buds, flowers, and berries all at once in various stages, this one tends to have all buds, then all flowers, then all berries. But it doesn't hesitate to constantly repeat the cycle all year long.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


'Hollydale' is a good strong upright very bush. The petals of the corolla have an interesting curl to them. This bush is going to provide an interesting contrast to the other colors in the collection. And I am sure it is capable of growing taller than the height usually quoted in sources where it is much colder during the winter than here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


'Hermiena' is a low growing compact bush covered with these wonderful little flowers. It did very well during the late summer heat and I have high hopes for it this winter. I confess, the small flowers with white sepals are my favorites. Starting with the blues, and all the way to the oranges. Isn't this one beautiful!? What a purple!