Iceland On the trail of the fuchsia.
Located in the North Atlantic between Europe and North America, Iceland hangs just below the Arctic Circle. However, it benefits from the warming effects of the North Atlantic Current off the Gulf Stream and it’s coastal climate is considered subpolar oceanic. It’s said that the Viking explorers who named the island over a thousand years ago should have called Iceland Greenland and Greenland Iceland. Because of its position so far north, this Nordic country has long, long summer days that lead to a luxuriant spurt of growth as its plants strive to make up for the lost hours of winter. Almost the summer solstice when we were there and the grass was indeed rich and green. But many trees, such as the charming dwarf birch (Betula nana) and many perennials seemed still to be playing catch-up in the sunshine.
- Iceland: On the Trail of the Fuchsia
- The coat of arms of Iceland with its four protectors supporting the shield:
the bull, the eagle, the dragon and the wizard.
- Iceland. ICE land.
I don't know why I'm hoping to find any fuchsias in such a cold place.
- Aw… Just kidding. It's not really that bad.
Often quite pleasant really.
- Behind the clocks in Reykjaík's cathedral
tower is a good place to start the search.
- Across the pond are some nice villas and gardens.
Let's check those out.
- Birches and beautiful summer flowers, like Leopard's Bane.
ut no fuchsias here. Onward!
- So the Fuchsiasaga begins.
Through hill and dale. Past the Great Fortress of the Dwarves...
- On quietly by the high holds of a fearsome fire-belching dragon called Eyjafjallajökull
slumbering so fitfully in its icy hell under a glacier in the forlorn Island Mountains...
- Across lava flows puffed into soft pillows by lichens and mosses...
- Beyond stretches of desolate black volcanic sands washing out from glacial walls...
- OK. Still none. Time to ask a local. They're all so cute & friendly. Speak English really well, too.
- Hmm. Green pastures. Don't think there are fuchsias here.
He must've thought I said fóður not fuchsiur.
- Whoa. The Akureyri Botanical Garden.
It’s said to be the northernmost botanical garden in the world. Maybe here?
- Its glasshouse looks like the logical place
to find something other the hardy natives.
- Inside the glasshouse.
Lots of very nice plants but no fuchsias on the plant tables.
- Hei! What’s that sitting in the corner taking in the long hours of summer sunshine?
- Twin fuchsias at the Akureyri Botanical Garden.
- Close-up of the lovely white and pink-flushed flowers.
- The lovely pair again. Maybe they’re being hardened off for display in a planter?
- At the Húsasmiðjan, a hardware store near Akureyri.
Where’s that label? Hmmm?
- Nei. Nope. Nothing. Pricey, though. This small hanging
pot costs the equivalent of about US $16.00 dollars.
- A florist’s cart on Keflavík’s main drag.
- Yes. Fuchsias on it!
- Looking for that old label again.
None ever to be found in Iceland, it seems.
- Bless, bless (Good-by) to Iceland and its fuchsias, then.
Until next time on the Trail of the Fuchsia.