September Meeting

This was a special meeting indeed because we had “Hardy Fuchsia” presentations by members of our own club!

Ron started off the evening with his slide show.  He told us that most of our fuchsias originated from South America, the species that grow high in the Andes mountains are hardy in our mild sea climate. The hybrids that were created using these hardy Fuchsias like Fuchsia magellanica as one of the parents often result in similar hardiness.

There are many huge Fuchsia magellanica plants, for example, on Vancouver Island. They get so large because they don’t die back to the roots and don’t have to shoot out from the bottom every year.

Soil preparation is important, as it must drain well.  You can plant after the last frost until the beginning of July. Use weatherproof labels, such as cedar stakes. Plastic labels tend to fade and disintegrate within a year.

Microclimates are very important to consider, for example, NE winds are particularly harmful. Before winter, mulch but don’t prune at this point. Do remove leaves as they can harbour disease and bugs.

Rain, with a sudden drop in temperature, is disastrous, but snow actually insulates the plants. Some hardy fuchsias are Paula Jane, Display, Eden Rock, and Whiteknight’s Pearl.  Thalia, Gartenmeister, and Ellen Sophia Wilson are not hardy.

Melanie had beautiful photos of her hardy fuchsias.  Her Army Nurse is a compact bush that gets lots of sun until 2pm.  David has small but profuse flowers.  It doesn’t droop like Magellanica.  Her Delta Song standards are lovely.  Other species were Denticulata, Display or June Bride, Double Otto (needs staking), Eden Rock.  Melanie noted that she has seeds from a Boliviana standard which was growing in Peru at 9000 feet!  Her Whiteknight’s Pearl must be cut down to a foot so that it stays a manageable size. It doesn’t die down to the ground like her other fuchsias.  Yolanda Franck is one she is trying out for the first time.

Sally also had some impressive plants in her presentation.  Her Magellanica is a big bush.  Army Nurse is a strong grower even though it only gets half sun. David, Sharpetor aurea, Whiteknight’s Pearl are other favorites of hers.     Alison Sweetman has been a strong grower for over 5 years. Her Delta Sarah is a semi double, about 3 feet tall.  If she had a little more sun, then her plants would be more compact.  Sally also mentioned the Begonia grandis.  It has returned in her garden for 10 years, but is short.

Lorna also spoke to the Begonia grandis.  Hers sets tiny bulbils which grow the next year. The original plant dies. Lorna noted that the darker the flower and leaf in fuchsias, the more sun they can take.  Light colors bleach out.

Lidy added that fuchsias can take a lot of sun but must have moist soil. More sun gives a more compact plant, and more flowers.  This is a good time (September) to take cuttings of hardy fuchsias.

Terry had some nice examples of hardy fuchsias but unfortunately the Apple format didn’t work with our projector, so we had a look on his iPad later on.

Elsie brought some fuchsia branches (Magellanica and Alba or perhaps White Knight Pearl – we weren’t sure) to show as well.

After the presentations we enjoyed tea and treats, of course,
and chatted about how some of us are now inspired to try some of these lovely hardy fuchsias!
It also gave us time to check out the draw table and displays!



Bloom Contest winner: Fuchsia- Melanie G., Begonia no entries, Pelargonium- Melanie G.
Display Table winner: Iconia peachy keen scented begonia by Ron K.


Do you enjoy puzzles?
Here’s a fun (free!) puzzle link to explore.
I made the puzzle from one of our meeting photos! Try it out!

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