When you look at how many fuchsia varieties are available in the UK, in Europe, even worldwide, you would be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing left to discover or breed. But, you are wrong.
As a product developer, I have a mental wish list that covers pretty much every Genus… and for fuchsias it’s just as long a list than any other. My dreams cover: a true yellow fuchsia, a fuchsia with tasty berries, triphyllas for hanging baskets in every colour, more exciting coloured hardy fuchsias…. you get the idea!
Whilst some plant breeders may be beavering away on these projects behind closed doors, they could still be 20 years or more away. However, there’s some superb fuchsias right around the corner too.
We could soon be seeing fuchsias more suited to growing in sunny borders, which could change how they can be used in the garden or the patio. For many years, fuchsias have flagged in full sun, and far prefer dappled conditions. Their versatility will grow!
One of the most interesting breeding angles to emerge recently has been one that’s responding to European tastes; table top fuchsias. These small beauties, called the Bella Series, are covered in blossom, jutting out in every direction, not just dangling and hiding in the leaves!
And then, how could you have missed it? One of the biggest developments in fuchsias, the climbers!! Well, they’re not truly climbers, as they have no tendrils, but varieties such as new ‘Pink Fizz’ have upright growth, and reach 6 feet in just a few months too! Finally, an alternative to the predictable choice of clematis!
Are you planting up a new garden and don’t know where to start? I would recommend garden shrubs as a starting point. By selecting more compact varieties, and those which are easier to prune and tame, you can make life easier for yourself! A garden which only includes bedding plants is a blaze of colour, yet is so much more difficult to maintain, and needs re-planting every year, whereas shrubs will last for 20 years or more.
It’s so easy to build a new garden, or fill gaps in an existing garden, when you buy small shrubs online! Thompson & Morgan are also offering an ‘instant garden’ range this year which offers large, chunky plants (and same size as garden centres) which will begin to fill borders from the moment they’re planted.
There are some fantastic evergreen shrubs for small gardens in this range, and those which offer something a little bit different in colour, form and fragrance!
I’d like to show off to you, Buddleja ‘Buzz’; the very first garden-friendly Buddleja! Buddleja are well-known as being easy to grow shrubs which attracts birds, bees and butterflies to the garden and now they will stay restrained; growing no more than 1.2m and without self-seeding everywhere they shouldn’t!
Daphne ‘Eternal Fragrance’ is similar in that it’s a well-known shrub in miniature! Powerfully perfumed blooms, on rounded plants, which sit well at the front of the border or in decorative pots. An extremely long-lasting shrub too, plants will last well over 20 years! Cut some sprigs fort indoor winter vases too!
But, let’s not forget the fuchsia family, especially the hardy varieties which are little mini shrubs all of their own! Super hardy, branching and dripping with jewelled blooms throughout the summer. There’s almost a hardy fuchsia for every position too; from creeping ground cover to mid-sized bush or even robust hedging!
Why not try a new shrub in your garden this year and let us know how you get on?
At Thompson & Morgan, we have been selling plants for over 20 years now, including thousands, if not millions, of fuchsias! Our customers love a good fuchsia; from the small-flowered, table top style to the glorious trailing varieties. But, for now, we’re talking about the ‘big Daddies’ of the fuchsia world; the giant-flowered trailers!
They may look fancy, exotic and drenched in colour, but the giant-flowered fuchsias are actually English-bred, and guaranteed to perform in our ever-changeable English climate! As easy to grow as any other fuchsia, they’ll feel most at home in a dappled, shady corner, so are ideal for jazzing up a front door or garage that doesn’t get the sun!
Each bloom is filled out by an extra layer or two of petals, giving flamboyance and a bloom that swells to almost 6 inches in diameter! Some of my favourite varieties include the dark, mysterious ‘Voodoo’, the playful, brightly coloured ‘Cecile’ and marbled ‘Bicentennial’. The key to more fuchsia blooms is an early pinching of your plants. But, don’t get over-zealous with this, just 2 pinches will be enough.
The blooms can be twice the size of a standard fuchsia flower such as ‘Swingtime’, and you’re sure to love them! Bear in mind you might get a few less blooms than the usual trailing fuchsias, but this is only because each bloom is bigger and they take up more space! But, I urge you to try some for yourself, giant-flowered types aren’t ready available in the garden centres, so snap some up while you can!
Pop along to any garden centre and you’ll probably see the same few climbers; there’ll be some straggly honeysuckle, quite a few large-flowered, dull clematis, thugs like Virginia Creeper, and so on… Surely it’s about time there was a plant that’s a bit classier, a plant that’s easier to prune, a plant your garden hasn’t seen before? Step right up climbing fuchsias!
Introducing our new bright spark, Fuchsia ‘Pink Fizz’, which is the best ‘climbing’ fuchsia we’ve ever seen. Before we go any further though, remember it isn’t a true climber and won’t produce sticky pads or tendrils. But, the growth is so vertical and upright that you’ll find it virtually hugs the wall, and plants will shoot up more than 5 feet in a single season.
Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’ is the predecessor to ‘Pink Fizz’, and was actually introduced back in the 1930’s, but was never very well-known, and didn’t have the flower power to back up its vigorous growth habit. New ‘Pink Fizz’ is English-bred, and the plant represents the ‘second generation’ of climbing fuchsia, with flowers appearing on almost every internode on the plant. As you can see in the photos above, the Fuchsia ‘Pink Fizz’ looks amazing when planted in one of our Tower Pots™.
‘Pink Fizz’ isn’t just a flash in the pan though- plants will not only flower from June to September, but this hardy fuchsia variety will come back every year too, as they’re hardy down to -10C. Pruning Fuchsia ‘Pink Fizz’ is a doddle, wait until the spring and trim your plants back by a third.
So, if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to try something different in your garden, there’s no need to look any further…!
It’s the beginning of Thompson & Morgan’s Fuchsia Festival; and we think you’re heading for a long, colourful and care-free summer!
In the UK, we know fuchsias quite well. Even if you’re a non-gardener, I bet you’ll have had a grandma or uncle who grew fuchsias of some kind in their garden. They are the quintessential English garden plant; for any area of the garden, sun or shade; they will sit quietly and do their thing, with minimum fuss, and often producing flowers up until the first signs frosts.
Let me take you on a tour of the fuchsia garden, right now! First up, think about adorning the walls of your house, whether it’s with hanging baskets or window-boxes. The trailing fuchsias really come into their own for this; we have the traditional varieties such as Swingtime, Marinka and Dark Eyes, which are still much-loved and purchased in their 1000’s every year. But, the newer kids on the block are gaining momentum too. Our Giants Collection is UK-bred, so you know these plants will perform during any UK summer! The blooms are 4-6 inches across, unapologetically showy and they drip like expensive jewellery from the cascading plants.
Fuchsia ‘Bella Nora’
Window boxes shouldn’t be overlooked either, and our new Fuchsia ‘Bella’ range is ideal. The dinky blooms are produced in their hundreds, and are upward and outward facing, so aren’t nestled in the foliage. Pot some up into small pots and sit them onto outdoor tables. We expect this range of fuchsias to grow over the next few years; they’re naturally bushy, zero maintenance and there’s many more colours to come!
Don’t forget to dress the patio too; there’s a range of bushy fuchsias which are compact and adorned with jewel-like blooms throughout the summer; I love Hawkshead, which can also be grown in the garden as a mini hedge. The dainty blooms are pure white, and quite different to the loud basket fuchsias. The hardy fuchsias are also great for large patio pots, or the border. Shrimp Cocktail and Delta’s Sarah are the pick of the bunch, with fun, colourful blooms. They’re almost like miniature shrubs for the border too; easy to prune and lasting for years!
Fuchsia Pink Fizz
Lastly, and how could we forget, we have climbing fuchsias, which can fit in towards the back of the border, covering fences, walls, or even for growing over archways and up patio obelisks. Fuchsia ‘Pink Fizz’ is brand new, English-bred and grows up to 6 foot in a single season. Try something different to Clematis and Honeysuckle!
So, that’s our little fuchsia garden tour, what do you think? Will you be growing some this season?