Fuchias in the City
The Garden in 2010
The Urban Fuchsia at Hortulus Fuchsiarum. With other shady garden types, too.
  • Welcome to the Urban Fuchsia Garden in 2010.
  • Deep in February, 2010 and the garden slumbers peacefully...
  • ...under a blanket of just-fallen snow.
  • But eventually it’s mid-March and the weather starts to warm right on cue.
  • The spring bulbs, as well as the over-wintered pots, come out. Time to get a-gardening.
  • The large planters that held last year’s annual display get a spring makeover.
  • The daffodils and pansies are new, of course, but this ivy survived the winter just fine.
  • Daffodils were planted by the short path to the bench. What’s a garden without a bench?
  • A cage held in pine straw that protected this F. procumbens from the worst cold of winter.
  • The warm sunshine soon causes it to break from dormancy. It’s lived here for a dozen years .
  • Eventually, it’ll be blossoming as if winter never happened. I love its odd purple & green flowers.
  • F. magellanica ‘Aurea’ died back but also starts to show it’s brilliant golden shoots.
  • Fresh starts from Earthworks Nursery in Washington State are waiting to be potted.
  • Clay pots are lined up and waiting to be filled with the little starts, as well as older plants.
  • There’s a lot of work potting up the new starts and repotting the older, overwintered plants.
  • Eventually, we’re halfway done with the fun...
  • ...and by a couple of weeks the fuchsias are really taking off.
  • Larger plants, overwintered inside the apartment, were also repotted.
  • This older ‘Gracilis’ came from Massachusetts to New York.
  • As the days get warmer and longer...
  • ...some of the other garden inhabitants come looking for attention, too.
  • Acer pseudosieboldianum is super hardy so it overwinters just fine in a relatively small pot.
  • ‘Sangu Kaku’, the coral bark Japanese maple, is leafing out as well...
  • ...and soon provides cover for a Robin Redbreast’s bath.
  • By the end of the season, ‘Lady Boothby’ will make almost vine-like growth up this pole.
  • In just a few weeks, the coolness of April’s weather...
  • ...brings a luxuriant growth to the plants in May. My large ‘Versicolor’ is in the basket.
  • May is one of my favorite months, as well, as the early morning light...
  • ...dances so brilliantly through the garden from the east.
  • The pots on the display bench are filling out nicely. They relish the cool, fresh weather.
  • ‘Miss California’ anchors the window box this year. Last year’s star turn was by ‘Thalia.’
  • ‘Snowcap’ came home with me from Hick’s Nursery on Long Island to hang out by the door.
  • F. regia var. reitzii comes from the highlands of Southern Brazil but still overwinters well outside.
  • F. coccinea, also from Brazil, needs to shelter the winter inside the apartment, though.
  • Another Brazilian, F. hatschbachii, does double duty...
  • ...blossoming nicely through the summer heat in its conical hanging basket...
  • ...as well as easily making it past the winter in the ground. It’s very hardy despite its origins.
  • By July, we’re enduring high heat and little rain. My garden thermometer hit 102° F / 39° C!
  • ‘Dying Embers’ is a favorite. Aptly named, it does seem to glow as the light shines through.
  • It’s stood up quite well to the near-record breaking heat during the month of July.
  • That’s the tail end of my anti-squirrel snake with ‘Corallina.’ Both are very heat resistant.
  • ‘Daisy Bell’ seems to have shrugged off the humidity...
  • ...just about as well as this pair of tropical flamingos...
  • ...that took up residence on the opposite side of the garden.
  • Is this odd Sunshine blossom an evolutionary throwback? Sepals are modified leaves, after all.
  • Sadly, that once luxuriant ‘Versicolor’ lost its leaves to the summer’s heat and humidity.
  • A brilliant blue dragonfly visits early one sunny morning. They don’t seem to be camera shy.
  • It pays to set out mantis egg cases in the spring. Here a four-inch praying mantis molts.
  • The freshly molted mantis preys inside the large potted ‘Gracilis’ while its wings slowly fill out.
  • It’s the middle of August and finally we get the prolonged, soaking rain we need.
  • Hosta ‘Pineapple Upside Down Cake’ with ‘Aurea’ backing it up both look very happy...
  • ...and ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’ really sparkles in the soothing relief of a few days of rain.
  • Another dragonfly visits. This one in the most vivid of all reds. It’s amazingly beautiful.
  • Oddly, it seems to remind me of the scarlet blossoms on a ‘Koralle.’ I wonder why.
  • Here’s the dragonfly’s eye view. Err... One of them, at least. They do have compound eyes.
  • ‘Daisy Belle’ is officially at the top my list of favorite fuchsias for this year.
  • It has withstood everything this hot summer has thrown at it with unflagging grace.
  • 3 large plants from Fry Road lost leaves in shipping but very quickly put out vigorous shoots.
  • Small starts from Pedricks Corner lost leaves but quickly put out shoots from below.
  • For the fun (certainly not for the space), I’ve started F. lycioides from seed. It sprouts very fast.
  • Ugh. It’s the sci-fi “Invasion of the Hairy Caterpillars” in the garden this week. Triple ugh.
  • Hand picking helps but they can still eat lots in a night before being shown the garden gate.
  • Here's the bird's eye view of the garden.
    It's early morning as the sunlight streams in from the east.
  • Late in the afternoon the light shifts from the south.
    Also, there’s quite a bit of reflection from buildings to the north (top).
  • ‘Mme Cornelissen’ was looking a bit under the hot weather so it was cut back a week ago...
  • ‘Genii’ has also been rejuvenated for a new flush of its eye-catching golden foliage.
  • Fall is a good time for fuchsia deals and late-season specials at local nurseries. Here’s ‘Blacky.’
  • ...and already put out a flush of new growth that will carry it through the rest of the season.
  • Three beautiful ‘Träudchen Bonstedt’ were had for a couple of dollars each and fill another hole.
  • It’s been a slow, gradual slide into the Fall and the fuchsias are loving the cool season respite from the summer.
  • The humid stress is gone and this is the time year when my fuchsias put on a final flush of blossoms.
  • Warmer temperatures linger but summer does make its almost imperceptible but inevitable fade...
  • ...as the equally inevitable signs of Fall slowly develop on the trees surrounding the garden.
  • Fall’s yellow and gold and copper-colored calling cards start to drop from the trees onto the fuchsias...
  • ...and are strewn along the path.
  • ‘Sangu Kaku’ turns yellow. The robin it sheltered as it leafed out in the spring is long migrated to its winter home.
  • The orchid-like flowers of this toad lily never fail to make a striking statement when most other perennials are long done.
  • Paeonia obovata thrives in the shade. Its pink, poppy-like flowers are ephemeral but the Fall seed pods are stunning.
  • As the garden is small, I change out the display in the window box for some added seasonal interest.
  • The fountain will have to be drained and covered for the winter but I like to keep it flowing as long as possible.
  • Camellia ‘Winter’s Joy’ has a columnar shape that made it a good choice in the tight spaces of Hortulus Fuchsiarum.
  • In it’s third season, this is the first one in which it’s had a significant number of its cheery pink blossoms on display.
  • This Camellia x olifera hybrid I raised from seed has proven to be very hardy and suffers no damage from winter winds.
  • Hakonocloa macra ‘All Gold,’ or Japanese Forest Grass, is shade tolerant and turns a buttery gold in the Fall...
  • ...as does this Hosta ‘Blue Cadet.’
  • Leaves from the silver maple drop and hang like gold ornaments on the Fuchsia x colensoi high on the fence.
  • They also adorn my potted Tsuga canadensis ‘Gentsch’s White’ in a preview of the Holiday to come as well.
  • Sometimes I hesitate to clean up the fallen leaves for awhile as I like their effect on the short path to my bench.
  • Eventually, I have to sweep. I do leave some around the bases of some plants as additional winter cover, though.
  • But, of course, there are always more new leaves to replace what’s been tidied up. Sigh.
  • And the pots in the middle still need to be planted before winter’s hard grip freezes the ground. To do, to do, to do!
  • Finally, the first full frost arrives and the remaining rain water in the birdbath freezes solid.
  • The shivering flamingos probably think they should have gotten on an earlier flight from New York City to Miami.
  • magellanica ‘Gracilis’ is blasted by the freeze. If this were all, it would recover. But it will die back to the ground.
  • F. Magellanica ‘Grandma’s’ is likewise hardy. But it will also die back to it base after my urban Zone 7+ winter here.
  • Amazingly, F. regia var. reitzii is from Brazil but the 26° F blast just curled it leaves and didn’t turn them to total mush.
  • ruelly and sadly, I can’t bring all my plants to shelter. This is a garden apartment, after all, and there’s only so much room.
  • This was one beautiful ‘Roesse Blacky.’ I did, however, take a number of cuttings to insure its resurrection in the spring.
  • ‘Pine straw,’ which came back with me from Maine at Thanksgiving, is spread around the base of some fuchsias.
  • It makes an excellent fluffy winter duvet and prevents the ground from fully freezing around the plants.
  • The blasted ‘Gracilis’ likes its comforter cover and will re-shoot from its base rather than from below ground in spring.
  • Various large planters give some height to an otherwise flat space. I choose plants that can easily survive the cold.
  • They also get a dressing of pine needles. In this case, it’s mostly decorative.
  • These planters have hostas which are so hardy they’d probably survive the winter at the North Pole. Well... Almost.
  • Finally. Some plants are culled for having preformed poorly. Others, will see the spring as cuttings. It’s all about space!
  • The first snow always seems magical to me, even it’s only a dusting.
  • Almost makes me want to sit a bit. In fact, I’m going in for a nice hot cup of coffee to do exactly that.
  • Woops. The snow’s also a wake-up-and-get-moving call. Way behind on getting that fountain under wraps.
  • A bigger pile of needles over the F. procumbens from New Zealand in front...
  • ...and a large plastic bag to keep the snow out. All set for moving operations inside so stay tuned for 2011.
  • Christmas Eve in the Garden. A Very Merry Christmas from Fuchsias in the City!
  • Start of the Great Boxing Day Blizzard of 2010. 2 to 3 inches were all we were first told to expect by the weatherman.
  • In the aftermath of the Great Boxing Day Blizzard, the snow has drifted almost to the top of the fountain at the back. Wow.
  • Tsuga canadensis ‘Gentsch’s White’ stands sentinel. It seems at home in the middle of its snowy northern domain.
  • New Year’s Eve in the Hortulus Fuchsiarum. Happy New Year! Toot! Toot!