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)
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.
Wattle birds love the fuchsias too. I think those funny birds know that the pink flowers match their wattles…and their feet!
Bees find them irresistible too.
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.
Crimson rosellas find fuchsias very desirable too;
How gorgeous it this Art Deco necklace inspired by the fuchsia? It was designed by Charles Derosiers and made by George Fouquet in Paris.
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’.