Friday, 23 August 2013

My fuchsias

Summer is still going strong here in London, it is Bank Holiday Week-end though and the obligatory rain will appear in a few hours time – in buckets apparently, and it is supposed to rain until lunchtime Sunday. A whole 36 hours of rain might not be so welcomed by the carnival goers but it is going to be marvellous for my parched garden, I hope we get as much as we are promised although I can do without the warned flooding, thank you very much.

I am going to start my post today with a photo I took about a month ago but somehow forgot to put in a post. It shows my garden from my upstairs bedroom window, the only part you can’t see is the little corner to the left where I have my seating area as it is obscured by the roof of my bathroom extension.


My post today is all about fuchsias, I just love those funny little ballerina flowers! They come in all different colours and they grow well in my garden. Some of my fuchsias have only just started to flower, some have been flowering for about 6 weeks or so, depending on where they grow. I have them everywhere, except in full sun – they tend to dislike that, especially in the kind of summer we have had this year. Speaking of this summer, it has been hard on my fuchsias! For the very first time, my fuchsias have been attacked by spider mites and it has been sad to see one after the other succumb to the pest. When the plants get attacked, the growth slows down and eventually stops, the flower production stops and the leaves wilt and drop off. Some plants die but some will survive and look just as fine next year. I will just have to wait and see what comes up next year. Before the infestation got too bad I managed to take photos of most of the fuchsias I have, and some of them are still OK and reasonably healthy today. (Please click on the photos to see the larger version.)

'Annabel'

'Annabel'

'Royal Mosaic'

'Royal Mosaic'

'Royal Mosaic'

'Mrs Popple'

'Mrs Popple'

'Bella Rosella'

'Bella Rosella'

'Bella Rosella'

'Sir Matt Busby'

'Sir Matt Busby'

‘Velvet Crush’

'Flying Scotsman'

Basket with 'Flying Scotsman' and 'Royal Mosaic'

‘Taffeta Bow’

‘Orange King’

'Flying Scotsman'

I have 25 fuchsias more or less alive this summer, most so-called annual fuchsias or tender fuchsias survive any winter here in my garden both in the ground and in containers and live happily for years so it is easy to build up a collection. This year I was planning to take cuttings and multiply my collection, but with the spider mite infestation still raving through my garden I haven’t got one fuchsia in top healthy condition. I think I will have to wait and see what will survive and come back next year and hope for a better year for fuchsias and propagation. A great summer for us humans have taken its toll on the garden, and although I haven’t seen many aphids around this summer at all and not many slugs either, there seems to be pests and trouble whatever the weather. That’s gardening for you! Until next time, take care.

33 comments:

  1. Your garden is just gorgeous this time of year. The fuchsias are all stunning, I love them but they don't like our heat so I have enjoyed seeing yours. As far as pests, it does always seem like one thing or another is there to be dealt with.

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    1. Thanks, my fuchsias definitely enjoyed last summer more than this summer - when we had colder weather and lots of rain. I must admit I have loved this summer though!

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  2. Fuchsias are one plant that I just love to see in photographs but have never grown. Yours are lovely. Too bad the spider mites got to them. But, if I were a spider mite, I'd want a fuchsia for a home! Your garden looks beautiful from the upstairs window. So much in bloom!

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    1. We are in the middle of a 36 hours torrential rain and spider mites hate cold water. I hope they die or go somewhere else, all billions of them!!

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  3. Hi there
    Oh I love those fuchsias too. Lucky you, that you can leave them outside. Our winters are much too cold, so that I really have to take them into a safe place. That's the reason why I haven't got more of them. But I've got about 4 or 5 hardy once too, who just started to Bloom now.
    I hope your fuchsias will survive this stupid Spider mite, fingers crossed.
    Take care and have a loveley Weekend
    Alex

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    1. I know some of the fuchsias will survive, they are not too badly attacked, but I bought 10 new fuchsias this year and seven of them look very sad indeed. Established plants can survive attacks like this better than new young plants so I just have to see what will come up next year. Hope you have a good week-end too, here it is raining, buckets, but I don’t mind – good for my garden!

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  4. We used to have lots of fuchsias that all eventually died. I must get some more.
    I'm watching my kiwi Issai for spider mite as it has suffered for a couple of years even when we have terrible summers. No sign yet but I do have my rape seed oil spray at the ready

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    1. The spider mites have been bad this summer, a price to pay for the incredibly good weather we have had, I had hardly any last summer. I know all advice says washing all leaves with soapy water and hosing them daily with cold water, but when you have as many plants as I have, tightly packed in flower beds, it becomes an impossible task. Imagine ‘washing’ all the leaves of a 6’ hydrangea with hundreds of leaves, half of them back towards a fence. Well, I have used oil spray, and I have been showering the plants with my garden hose, but I am not sure how much it has helped at all, the spider mites are still there, on most of the plants excepts the toughest evergreens. Give it another few weeks and it will be too cold for them and they will all die. Yeah!

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  5. They are just like little ballerina flowers! It is too bad about the spidermites- hopefully they recover. I love the view of your garden from the upper window. You pack a lot into a small space Helene!

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    1. Yes, my garden is tightly packed, but I am still planning to put in more – I have ordered 8 more plants that will arrive in the next couple of weeks :-)

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  6. Excellent collection, Helene! I love fuchsias very much, but they can't winter here in ground so I have no space to store them. Yours are great, especially ‘Taffeta Bow’!
    Have a nice weekend!

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    1. I remember from Norway we had fuchsias as annuals only so when I moved to London and discovered they survived the winter I was so pleased. We have several types of fuchsias here and some are considered tender, some are half-hardy and some are hardy. Most, if not all will survive the winters in my garden.
      Hope you have a great week-end too!

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  7. You have a beautiful collection of Fuchsias Helene, in the past we used to have a collection of Fuchsias (my husband) but about ten years ago we stopped with them, too much work, watering, fertilizing, all the pots in the greenhouse in winter and keep the frost out of the greenhouse. I see some old friends of us like Taffeta Bow, Mrs. Popple and Annabel.
    Have a nice Sunday!

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    1. I give my fuchsias slow release fertiliser, I am a bit lazy so I can’t keep up with plants that need weekly or fortnightly feeding, all of mine get slow release once a year and they have to be happy with that! I have four ‘Annabel’ and they are all in the ground, I have had them for about 6-7 years and they are doing very well, a really good fuchsia that here is called ‘annual’ :-)
      Have a great week-end!

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  8. So pretty Helene I just adore fuchsias and mien have all been in bloom for ages and still in bloom really good this year,

    I have been taking cuttings for weeks now .

    And also have made standard fuchsias whips this year.

    I am involved in Glamis Castle Walled Garden project so I have got fuchsias growing up in their glasshouse for next years plants.

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    1. I am definitely taking cuttings next year, but I might try to take some of ‘Bella Rosella’ this year as it is the only one looking reasonably well. I don’t have a greenhouse so the cuttings have to be well established before the cold weather sets in – hopefully that will be a long time to yet!

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  9. Your garden from my upstairs bedroom window looks beautiful. So neat and orderly. As for your photos of fuchsias, they are magnificent. Here, like in Norway, they have to be treated as annuals or taken in for the winter.

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    1. Thanks, and welcome to my blog. I don't have anywhere to store plants over winter so I am so happy the winters in England are nothing like the winters I was used to from my home country Norway :-)

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  10. Those spider mites have been a menace haven't they? They've really done a number on my roses. It's rather too dry here for fuchsias to really thrive so I'm glad to be enjoying your beautiful ones. My fave is still 'Royal Mosaic' with those dramatic purple ruffles.

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    1. Yes, spider mites are said to be one of the most difficult pests to handle - and I agree, there are many solutions but they are very labour intensive and not very practical for a whole garden, certainly not if you have mobility problems too. Just imagine washing every leaf on every plant on each side with a soapy solution – in a packed garden like mine! Or hosing down every plant with cold water so every leaf is touched, on each side, every other day for as long as the hot, dry weather is continuing! Well, that was the two most recommended solutions I found. I did spray with an oily solution I bought for a lot of money, but I probably didn’t get it distributed properly so it didn’t work. Ah, well, another few weeks and the spider mites will all have died from the cold night temperatures. Yeah!!

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  11. Oh yes, you do have some beautiful Fuchsias there. They're one of the few flowers that bloom repeatedly in deep shade, so I usually have at least a couple of them in my garden each summer--always in pots and hanging baskets. The ones I have this year look similar to 'Mrs. Popple,' but I can't remember for sure. Do your Fuchsias survive London winters. They're annuals here in the northern U.S., so I have to replace them each year.

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    1. All my fuchsias survive the winter, even those labelled 'annuals' or ‘tender’ by the nurseries. ‘Mrs. Popple’ is hardy down to zone 7 but that might possibly not be enough for you? Can’t remember which zone you are in. There are so many lovely fuchsias, I always see some new ones in catalogues I would like to have :-)

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    2. Hi Helene: I am zone 5, so unfortunately, I can only grow them in May through October. They are spectacular!

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  12. Darn those spider mites anyway! Why can't they leave your lovely garden alone? The Fuchsias are stunning both in shape and colours. Glad you were able to capture images before the Beasts descended upon them.

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    1. The beasts are still around, but thankfully in less numbers as the temperature especially at night have dropped considerably the last few weeks. Last summer was all about aphids, slugs and snails, this summer I have hardly seen an aphid, instead it has been the spider mites making havoc in my garden. It’s always something to deal with!

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  13. I really love fuchsias but they don't like our hot, humid summers. They are a spring annual here. Yours are gorgeous. Blasting the plants with the hose should help dislodge the mites. Have there been any predatory insects eating them?

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    1. In theory, blasting the plants with a hose should get the spider mites to drop off, in reality the mites are mostly attached to the underside of all the leaves and the water has to hit each and every leaf on the underside to get rid of the mites on the plant, or they will just crawl over from unsprayed leaves once the plant is dry again. I have most of my plants in the ground, including most of the fuchsias. Just imagine crawling around on the ground to blast hundreds and hundreds of fuchsia leaves, on 1- 1½ foot tall fuchsias, and get the water to hit the underside of the leaves….uhm, I did have a good go at it, but I realised I would never succeed so I gave up and waited for cooler weather. Some of the plants have recovered, some of my dahlias are actually producing new buds and I think they will flower again, but some of the fuchsias are beyond rescue this year. We’ll see what next year brings!

      I haven’t bought any nematodes for spider mites, as they don’t work very well outside, apart from that I know ladybirds eat spider mites but I have seen very few ladybirds this summer – perhaps because there has been so few aphids due to the very hot summer we have had. It’s been a great summer for bees and butterflies though, never seen so many bees in my garden, it’s all a delicate balance :-)

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  14. I love your colorful garden view from the upstairs window, Helene, and your fuchsias are brilliant! Hardy fuchsias are one of the plants I miss most here -- my Mom's English garden had some beauties. They are annuals here and I grow them in hanging baskets and pots. Sorry about your spider mites. We seem to have more pests than every this year. P. x

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    1. I got a catalogue in the post today with fuchsias and geraniums for pre-order for March next year, probably almost 100 different in total - I would have loved to have them all if I could find a place for them…and if I could afford them! There are certain flowers that are a must in a typical English garden and I agree that fuchsias certainly are one of them.

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  15. Hi Helene - Your photos make me want to go outside and dig up my fuschias and put them in pots.

    I always thought fuschias were propogated by dividing the roots. Is taking cuttings more successful ?

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    1. Most of my fuchsias grow in the ground, not in pots, as they survive better the winter when getting mature if they are in the ground. No reason to dig up your fuchsias, unless you want to create hanging baskets, but they are a lot of work keeping watered in hot weather.

      Fuchsias are propagated by taking soft cuttings, and they are some of the easiest to get to grow, now is perfect time so just give it a go! You can find many good instructions online on how to do it.

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  16. I have a fuchsia in a hanging basket which is currently still in full flower (December 3rd 2013) I thought I'd lost it in the summer heatwave while we were on holiday, as it looked dead to the world. I cut it back as one would for winter, fed and watered it and lo and behold it has resurrected itself and rewarded us with a beautiful colourful display. I bring it in at night to avoid any frost and hang it out again in the morning. Am keen to see just how long it will remain in flower.

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    1. My fuchsias are all still in flower too, here in London we still haven’t had any frost and they don’t mind the cold weather as long as there isn’t proper frost.

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