Thursday, September 17, 2009

I’m just wild about…

By Gardennia nutti

…fuchsias, at least that’s the conclusion I arrived at this afternoon when I purchased six more varieties at Monnier’s Country Gardens (that’s on top of the eight I took home with me last week and the dozen or so I already have in my garden). Perhaps now I have what would qualify as a fuchsia collection?!? I love fuchsia because I’m entranced by the lovely blooms, which go on blooming for months including into late fall (one of my fuchsia was blooming in November last year!). Ron Monnier, the only fuchsia hybridizer in the U.S. as far as I know, showed us a few of his own hardy varieties. The one in the picture is named after a grandson: DebRon’s Beau Dean Richard. It’s a semi-double upright growing 18”-36”. The aubergine tube and sepals are tipped green and the corolla is black-purple. New foliage comes on a chartreuse green (my favorite color!) and then turns dark green so there’s always a lovely contrast between the new and old growth. Of course, one of these had to go home with me. Another selection that caught my eye was President Walter Mario, a single upright with long pink tube and sepals and an orange corolla. Yum! Ron and Debbie can give you expert tips on how to grow these lovely plants successfully, which in a nutshell, is planting them deep (like tomatoes), with good drainage, some fertilizer because they are such heavy bloomers and more sun than you thought possible. The nursery is closing at the end of this month so if you want a keepsake from some wonderful people, hurry in.

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