It's not long into the new year and I'm ready to have a rant courtesy of the above advertisement I received recently. It's for the world's first striped Fuchsia and as much as I usually love them, I do hate the habit some nurseries seem to have in bringing us pretty well every variation and colour for a plant under the sun, irrespective of their quality and whether we actually want them. Judging by the pictures actually used, to call this Fuchsia striped is quite debatable and adds nothing as far as I'm concerned. In fact I think it looks worse - if I saw that in someone's garden I'd be worrying the plant had a virus.
I'm not even told whether this is a hardy or tender plant, just the massive price saving I can expect by taking them up on the offer. I hate the assumption I'm completely price driven when considering plants for my garden. It's called Bland's New Striped - hardly the best of names to choose, except maybe the marketing people had an outbreak of honesty at the last minute?
Update: Ha! I've just done some further research and found out this half hardy Fuchsia is thought to have been introduced in 1872. Perhaps Bland was the name of the nursery or breeder at the time. It's hardly a new variety then, which is carefully left out of the marketing blurb though the low price on offer should have been a clue. Has anyone actually grown this cultivar? Did it turn out better than shown here? I reckon it must have done somewhere for it to have been kept in cultivation for well over a century.
It reminds me of the saturated advertising of Fuchsia 'Lady Boothby' lately. Billed as The World's First Climbing Fuchsia! and implying it's a new plant - except I've had it growing in my garden for a number of years already (see my sidebar slideshow too). Further research showed 'Lady Boothby' hails from 1939 - hardly new then. It looks like nurseries are searching their ancient back catalogues for anything a bit more unusual to tempt us into buying. I suppose it offsets all those costs incurred in breeding their new cultivars, most of which seem to last for just a few seasons before being replaced by the 'next best thing'. Sigh. Am I the only one finding it hard to keep up with all of this? There's a massive range of plants out there already, if you can find somewhere that has a decent choice of course.