THE SPINEBILL FUCHSIA

 THE FUCHSIA

Fuchsia

Fuchsias were discovered growing in the Caribbean in the 17th century,  by  a French monk  called Charles Plumier.  He named them in honour of  German botanist, Leonhart Fuchs. There are so many varieties it would be impossible to   list them here. Anyway, there is only one, very common variety in my garden (more on this further down). I think it was here when I came 15 years ago….I just pull up bits and spread it around.

Thomas Hardy, one of my favourite authors, wrote a touching poem about fuchsias.

THE MORNING AFTER

Mrs Master’s fuchsias hung

Higher and broader, and brightly swung,

Bell-like, more and more

Over the narrow garden-path,

Giving the passer a sprinkle-bath

In the morning.

 

She put up with their pushful ways,

And made us tenderly lift their sprays,

Going to her door:

But when her funeral had to pass

They cut back all the flowery mass

In the morning.     THOMAS HARDY (1928)

Mrs Masters?

Mrs Masters?

 

The hardiest fuchsia in the Mountains is a tall growing, slender flowered variety known locally as the spinebill fuchsia, because of its attraction to the nectar seeking spinebills. They survive hail, snow, frost and the occasional burst of burning heat.  They love the misty, drizzly days we have here. No doubt this is why they also   grow wild along the country  hedgerows of Ireland.

 

 

Paradise for an Eastern Spinebill

Paradise for an Eastern Spinebill

 

Wattle birds love the fuchsias too. I think those funny birds know that the pink flowers match their wattles…and their feet!

A bit of a show-off.

Bees find them irresistible  too.

So attractive to bees.

They flower almost all year long.  One Christmas I used them to create a Christmas banner, along with foxglove and grevillea

 

Eastern spinebills and ‘spinebill fuchsias’,  such a special combination.

WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH FUCHSIAS….OR SPINEBILLS?  YOU CAN LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.  THEN JUST COMPLETE THE LITTLE ANTI-SPAM SUM AND PRESS ‘SUBMIT’.

 

4 Comments
  1. I love your Christmas banner, very creative!
    My first memories of fuschias was the big bush that grew next to my granny’s front gate. I loved to pop the buds. A very satisfying noise to a young child. I’d get it in the neck if gran caught me doing it though!
    In the UKs West Country, they grow wild in the hedgerows and on top stone walls, as they also do on the Isle of Man. Always a sight to gladden the eye.

    • Pauline

      Yes Marcia, I think we all loved popping fuchsia buds. Mine are too thin for that though.

  2. I adore fuchsias… at one stage, with different light in the courtyard, I had masses of them in hanging baskets. They wouldn’t take the heat or the light there now, but maybe I’ll find another spot.

    • Pauline

      Yes, well I can only grow the really frost and snow hardy variety up here, Chris. They don’t like extremes of any kind. Further down the Mountain there is just the most fantastic fuchsia garden. I must add a link to it, although the lady’s pics don’t really do it justice.

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