Tag Archives: fuchsia

In a Vase on Monday – first and latest fuchsias

In search of my Mother’s garden, I found my own. 

Alice Walker, writer (1942- )

Hardy fuchsias are tough – mine have been flowering well, despite very wet and windy weather in Manchester.  By the time I got outside, in daylight, to pick the fuchsias the rain had pulverised the flowers on two of the three bushes I have planted around the garden.  These are picked from the bush outside the kitchen window, as it’s more protected from the elements.  I took the photo at 2pm with a flash, as it was so gloomy.

pink and purple fuchsia, pink dianthus and cotoneaster in hand painted lavender pattern vase

21 Nov 2016 – fuchsia, pink dianthus and cotoneaster in hand painted (by me!) vase at 2pm in the gloom.

Fuchsias are the first flowers I remember in my Mum’s garden when I was very little – I thought they were like ballerinas.  My Mum adores fuchsias, and has always had lots of hardy and tender ones all around the garden in pots.  I grew up in Berkshire and our garden was heavy London clay so many of her favourite plants were in terracotta pots on the patio – I learnt to garden with her.   My Mum is  nearly 80 now (please don’t tell her I said that 😉 ) and still has many pots filled with fuchsia, around her large patio – and often brings another fuchsia for our collection.  My Chap just smiles and finds another space for them.

I’ve cut cotoneaster too, which is next to the fuchsia by the front door, the bush is covered in red berries and the leaves are turning red – it looks glorious – I don’t know the variety as this was one of the few plants in the garden when I arrived. The cotoneaster is proping up the fuchsia stems just like it does in the garden. The dianthus  was a gift and this is the very last flower – the plant never really got going this year as it’s been so wet.  I bought the fuchsia in Morrisons of all places and it’s tom thumb (or a relative) – It grows to window hight which makes a lovely view when I’m washing up.

21 Nov 2016 - cotoneaster, hardy fuchsia and pink dianthus

21 Nov 2016 – cotoneaster, hardy fuchsia and pink dianthus

I decided to take a photo indoors too – I rarely do take indoor photos of anything as my house is quite dark (north facing) and small so there’s always something in the background.

21 Nov 2016 - cotoneaster, fuchsia and dianthus in my hand painted lavender vase.

21 Nov 2016 – cotoneaster, fuchsia and dianthus in my hand painted lavender vase.

I painted the jug at ‘Pottery Corner’ in Chorlton*, Manchester in March 2016, using glass paint.  It’s just one of the many things I’ve done with my WI pals from Cottonopolis WI www.cottonopoliswi.com, in Ancoats in Manchester.  I was really pleased with how well they came out, as I’m quite clumsy and not much of an artist.  Do come along if you’re local or look out for a WI – it’s not what you think it will be like 🙂

purple vase and jug - hjandpainted by me at Pottery Corner, Chorlton

March 2016 – Painted vase and jug – I painted at Pottery Corner, Chorlton, Manchester with the lovely Cottonopolis Women’s Institute.

Looking back – first fuchsias (and first terracotta pots) 

I looked back on Facebook and found some photos of the first pots I had in my garden.  My Mum came up to visit in May 2010, bringing some spare terracotta pots, and we spent a happy few hours planting them up.  The number of terracotta pots has grown rather alot since then 🙂

Pink, purple fuchsia, petunia, lobelia' helicrysum, pelagoniums in Pots. Copyright R Jones

First pots in my garden (with fuchsia, petunia, lobelia’ helicrysum, pelagoniums) – August 2010

hanging basket and pot with pink petunias, fuchsia and lobelia - orange rose

19 November 2016 – Flowers from my garden in Summer 2010 – my first pot and hanging basket,  with my solitary rose

In August 2010, I wrote  (on facebook),

more pots in my garden – I had such fun planning these… could be turning into a closet gardener…

In fact, I’ve always been a gardener but I lived in flats in Manchester for over 20 years, so had no opportunity to do much.  I’d garden when I was at home at my Mum and Dad’s house down South.   A small garden was the number one priority when I was looking for a house to buy.

I wrote about my Mum and her love of gardening in one of my early posts in February 2015 and fuchsias get a mention too.   Considering how many fuchsias I have around the garden, and how long they flower for, I’m really surprised how rarely they’ve appeared in posts or in Vases:

I love fuchsias and have plenty of tender ones which live in the garage over the winter (as we don’t have space for a greenhouse).   I really must remember to pick and photograph more fuchsias next year.

I’m dreaming of Spring and planting bulbs in pots in the porch where it’s dry and my Chap is distributing the pots around the garden.  This week Cathy has a very zingy pink Chrysanthumum which is making me think of high summer.  Do have a look at her post on Rambling in the Garden, where people from around the world post pictures of flowers from their gardens and localities.  No matter how grey and wet the weather is, these beautiful photos and descriptions lift my mood.

Have a lovely week and I hope it’s dry where you are.

Carpe Diem

love Bec xx

* I paid full price for my painted vases and wasn’t asked to write a blog post about Pottery Corner.



#100happydays challenge 42-49 family, food, friends and adventures too

An update on my  #100happydays challenge – http://100happydays.com/ from the end of November 2015; work and preparations for Christmas completely caught up with me so I’m way behind with my summaries.  Reflecting on these pictures, reminded me of the importance of family, friends, doing the things you love and most of all how much flowers and my garden can lift my mood.   Have a good week everyone and come back soon to see the next instalment.

#100happydays 42/100 fuchsias flowering in November, 43/100 mid week roast chicken dinner, 44/100 talking to my brother, 45/100 this card

#100happydays 42/100 fuchsias still flowering in November, 43/100 mid week roast chicken dinner, 44/100 talking to my brother, 45/100 this card made me laugh

42/100 – Fuchsias still flowering in late November 

I’ve mentioned a couple of times on my blog, and on twitter, about how weird the weather has been in the UK this Autumn. In our part of Salford in Lancashire, most of the flowers in the garden continued to flower well into December – fuchsias, dahlias (see below), geraniums, hydrangeas, etc.  Other fuchsias in the garden flowered right into mid December and starred in a Vase on Monday.

It’s been very mild but wet especially in December – we had dreadful floods in elsewhere in Salford only a couple of miles from me.   Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Scotland have all been flooded – it’s just dreadful as it wrecks lives, homes and businesses.

Continue reading

In a vase on Monday – A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

It’s an exciting week for a couple of reasons, I noticed that some of my hardy fuchsias, in pots in the garage, are still flowering.  An obvious choice for my ‘In a Vase on Monday’. They made my day so are my #100happydays photo as well.  I’m not sure which ones they are as they’re gifts from my Mum – one is relative of Tom Thumb.   They really shouldn’t be flowering in December but it’s been very mild.   The fuchsias that are planted out in the garden have all gone over now as it’s been very wet and windy.

Star Wars – Force Awakens’ opens in the UK on Thursday. If you’re a regular reader you might have noticed Yoda appears on my blog now and again.  Continue reading

Childhood garden memories….

‘It often happens to children – and sometimes to gardeners – that they are given gifts of value of which they do not perceive until much later
Wayne Winterrowd

I started gardening a long, long time ago – about 40 years ago I think. My Mum gardened when I was little; she still does – but only when it’s sunny. She gets my chap to do the heavy work now like digging or pruning.   My Mum, Dad, little brother and me moved into a new build house in the early 1970s – I was four.  The garden had 6 foot fences, a tiny patio and a lot of sticky, London clay and no grass at all.

I don’t remember much about this time but I know my mum and dad put in a lot shrubs that didn’t need much pruning, including honeysuckle on the fence by the back door and vibernum which also has a beautiful scent (in May/June).  They put grass seed down as soon as they could so we had somewhere to play.  Random plants grew too from dormant seeds in the fields that the house was built on.  The best were blackberry canes and my Dad cooked a lot of Apple and Blackberry Pie. When I see these plants in other gardens it reminds me of my childhood and my parents’ garden.

My mum took a cutting from the replacement honeysuckle a few years ago and gave me a bit which I put at the bottom of the garden.  It took a good few years to get going but soon clambered over the fence onto bushes in my neighbour’s garden.  It smells wonderful and is even stronger in the evening; its scent wafts across the decking at the bottom of the garden (Where I Sit Part 1).  I don’t know the variety (said I’m an amateur gardener) and don’t have any photos – I’ll take some later in the year.  Honeysuckle is great for growing through other plants though and it’s the unexpected flowers peeping out that I like.

My mum also rescued a silver birch sapling that had been ‘run over’ by the council grass cutting chaps (in a skip she claims) and planted it in the back garden – it’s now a 40 year old, 40-foot beauty with plenty of birds using it as a base to nip down and eat the strawberries, etc.

My mum did a lot of pot gardening with your typical ‘council park’ style bedding plants, like violas, pansies and begonias – it was the 1970s and there was less choice than there is now – none of these huge garden centres.  But every pot had a fuchsias of one sort or another – some standard height, some trailing and some bush varieties, pinks, purples. I adored the flowers which I imagined were ballerinas.   Often, I helped her put broken pots in the garden for drainage, fill with compost and plant the flowers – and a lot of watering and dead heading flowers (to keep them flowering).  She had pots full of plants that wouldn’t grow in the garden because of the clay soil – rhododendrons, for example.

My mum still loves fuchsias, still pot gardens and has a huge patio covered in pots.

So when I moved into my house, the first thing she did the following Spring was buy me some terracotta pots and some bedding plants.   Here’s what I planted:

Pots summer 2010

White lobellia, pink petunia and fuchsias

I’ll let you know what I plant in the pots this Spring but there will definitely be fuchsias – I’ll tell you more about my love of fuschias another time.

Things to do in the garden – February

There are all sorts of suggestions online and in magazines – mostly for people with huge gardens, loads of time or very organised – I’m none of these.  Here are a just a few:

  • plant veg seeds indoors – I’ve only got v small window sills so it’s tricky deciding what to plant. Whatever you choose it’s got to be worth it in the garden either flowers or vegetables.
  • tidy the shed (yeah right I haven’t got space for a shed) and scrub your seed trays (I’ve only got two).
  • prune autumn raspberry canes – there are two sorts of raspberries – I’ve got the kind that fruit in the early summer.  Now’s the time to plant raspberry, gooseberry and blackberry canes too.   Blackberry and Apple pie – Lovely!
  • plan your borders and new beds – oh yes I’m definitely doing this but more about this soon.

Have you managed to do anything in the garden in February? and what do you fancy planting?

Have a lovely week

Carpe Diem

love Bec xx