Thursday, September 3, 2009

Picks from the Pros

Let me introduce you to my new best friend, the hardy fuchsia. Stop laughing you seasoned gardeners! I just learned how to spell it! I visited Monnier’s Country Gardens to find out more, and owner Debbie Monnier showed me around. There were just too many beautiful plants to recommend just one, so I am recommending the whole kit and caboodle.

These are not the fragile beauties we used to see only in hanging baskets, oh no. If you plant them in the ground, hardy fuchsias are tough enough to take full sun all day. Part sun is fine too. Hardy fuchsias form mounds of varying heights, from ground cover (Rocket) to some that reach three feet or more. Water them a little extra the first year you plant them, and just give them an inch of water a week after they become established. They like a regular feeding every six weeks with an all-purpose fertilizer. Bloom time depends on cultivar of course, but typically they will put out flowers from June until first frost. Cut them back at that time (leave a couple inches of stalk so you don’t accidentally plant over them) and they will reappear next February or so.

You can still plant them in baskets of course, but those do prefer a little less sun. Monnier’s Country Gardens is selling their operation and moving to Eastern Oregon, so why not help them clear out their gardens?

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