Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

GBBD: Good to be Back

Fuchsia 'Garden News'

A garden is a dynamic thing, which changes with the day, season, light and a host of other variables. Within this framework most plants thrive at VP Gardens and some quietly leave when I'm not looking. This month it's been good to welcome back two of the latter, both of which were part of the original planting I made 15 years ago this month.

The picture above is Fuchsia 'Garden News', one of the few hardy double cultivars available. Last year I thought it wasn't hardy enough as I saw not one peep out of it for the entire season. I've realised the real problem must have been shade rather than temperature, as it's bounced back for 2015. It's in the part of the garden which has much more light this year owing to last November's drama with the ash tree.

Japanese anemone
Another plant affected by shade were the Japanese anemones I planted at the bottom of the garden. Here's an example of the right plant in the wrong place; my limestone clay tamed the thuggish tendencies other gardeners told me about when it's planted in the right place. It's been quite manageable in my garden.

That was until my Clematis 'Frances Rivis' took off and after a few years of stretching its neck to poke itself out from beneath the clematis's abundant leaves, it finally gave up the ghost around 5 years ago.

Or so I thought.

I've been taming the shrubbery at the bottom of the garden this year and look what's popped out to greet me this autumn. My records say this is Anemone huphenis 'Hadpsen Abundance', but most pictures I've seen show it as a much deeper pink than my specimen. There are a few reasons why this may be so:

  • It's been affected by the deep shade at the bottom of the garden
  • The plant was mislabelled (I can't remember ever seeing a darker pink anemone down there)
  • It's a hybrid between the 2 plants I originally planted there - the aforementioned A. 'Hadspen Abundance' and the pure-white Anemone x hybrida 'Whirlwind'.

Whatever's happened, it shows it takes a lot to keep a good plant down.

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

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Latin without tears


Fuchsia is named in honour of the German botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566). Fuchsias are native to America and New Zealand.

Anemone x hybrida is a cross (hence hybrida) between Anemone huphenis var. japonica and Anemone vitifolia.
  • Anemone - is from the Greek for wind and shows how one of the plant's common names, windflower is derived
  • huphenis - means 'of Hubei', a landlocked province in central China
  • japonica - indicates the plant originates from Japan (and from China and Taiwan in the instance of Japanese anemones)
  • vitifolia - describes how the leaves look like those of the vine, Vitis

Just like September's Blooms Day last year, I find myself featuring another plant whose name refers to the Hadspen house and garden in Somerset. Sadly, the garden isn't open to the public and judging by last year's article in a local paper, it's unlikely to be anytime soon.

25 comments:

  1. It does take a lot to keep a good plant down. I worry that people give up on plants too soon and assume they're dead. It was a problem which was particularly prevalent after that snowy winter a couple of years ago. In my garden, 10 plants looked as if they had been killed (leafless evergreens among them). I left them and although it took a few months, every one of them recovered. I absolutely believe in plants' ability to succeed.

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    1. I remember that winter too Sarah. I've found you can't really say a plant hasn't survived the winter until the end of May. It's amazing what comes back that month - usually regenerating itself from below the ground. I get the monthly weather stats from my local college and it's amazing how warm the soil can remain over winter just a few centimetres down.

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  2. The garden is always full of surprises isn't it, it's one of the real treats. The fuschia is fantastic, it looks really dramatic and showy.

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    1. It's a real floozy CJ, I love it.

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  3. The Japanese anemones can take several years to become established but once they are they can take off, providing late colour in a shady spot or full sun.

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    1. Hi Brian, these Japanese anemones are 15 years old, so I'm pretty certain their thuggish tendencies have been tamed by my planting them in conditions they don't like so much. I always remember the look of horror on a friend's face when we were going round Garden Organic at Ryton a few years ago and I remarked on what a great plant they are. They'd overrun her garden! I've seen a picture on Facebook this week of one growing out of a wall - they're definitely one to plant with care... unless you have a large garden and/or are looking for a massed planting effect.

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  4. I love it when that happens.
    Anemones are well behaved in my heavy clay too. Although I note Brian's comment with some trepidation..

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    1. Hi Jessica - fingers crossed my experience happens in your garden too.

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  5. Lovely Fuchsia!
    I have a shady spot overgrown with hedges that I am trying to clear out to let more light in. I am finding a few plants I had forgotten about, too.
    Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
    Lea

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    1. Sometimes my garden is more of an archaeological dig than gardening Lea! Looking forward to hearing about what you've found...

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  6. Every September I see Anemones and think that I really must grow some and then forget about it until the following year. You have just reminded me to add them to my list!

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    1. Now's a great time to plant them Gillian :)

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  7. My anemones are struggling in heavy clay in the shade, I have been thinking about moving them into a bit more light, but maybe not after reading about them taking over!

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    1. Mine are in dappled shade now Pauline without getting too dominant, so you might be OK. Perhaps another factor with mine is I've had them growing through other vegetation...

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  8. I have a sneaky regard for the thugs of the garden! They conquer and rule, smothering all lesser plants along the way. I have been rescuing the little guys this week, as they peep out from under some massive leaf, barely keeping themselves alive. Anemone are some of my favourite thugs and I can forgive them most anything!

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    1. I am a great believer that garden thugs have their uses Jane! I also have Campanula poscharskyana in the side garden. It runs amok in many gardens, but in the gravel, in shade it's tamed and helps to soften the hardscaping. It also marks the entrance to the back garden from our front drive.

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  9. I managed to kill a pink anemone a neighbor gave me. But my white one has thrived, without taking over - let's hope that continues. I liked your hardy fuschia - alas, there doesn't seem to be one hardy in my zone 5b climate. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello Bookworm and welcome to Veg Plotting! Ah yes, hardy in the UK may not mean hardy in your zone :( A lot of fuchsia cultivars are tender for the UK too.

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  10. Two of my favourite late summer plants and both do well in my East-facing shady garden on clay. I think the white Japanese anemone x Honorine Jobert is much better behaved than the pink forms. I keep mine contained in my north-facing garage bed (lit up late afternoon) where it fights for dominance with Cornus Midwinter Fire, a unnamed violet-blue hardy geranium and edging the front Bergenia Silberlicht. Also in this bed is Narcissi Thalia and growing on the garage wall a parthenocissus. A few cyclamen and growing numbers of snowdrops add to the mix. I plant densely but this bed has something going on every month of the year. My Fuchsias were cuttings from my mother's garden years ago but I'm pleased to have them back every year.

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    1. Hi sarah - it all sounds wonderful. I've bought some Cyclamen today - I variety I've not seen before with white smudges on the flowers.

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  11. You have a beautiful garden!

    Thanks for sharing this post and giving me the idea to also participate!

    I just started a new blog last week about gardening and crafting. You are always welcome visit if you want.

    Greetings, Sofie
    http://sofies-succulent-beads.blogspot.be/2015/09/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-september-2015.html

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    1. Hi Sofie and welcome to blogging and Veg Plotting! I'm glad this post inspired you - Carols been hosting Blooms Day for a long time and it's a great way to get to know other bloggers and establish a picture diary of your garden. You'll be amazed at how things very from year to year.

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    2. Hi Sofie - I visited your blog but sadly I can't leave a comment as it wants me to convert to a Google+ account :(

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  12. So sad about the gardens at Hadspen House. We visited many moons ago when Sandra and Nori Pope were custodians. I've never seen as many butterflies and bees in a garden before or since.

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    1. I wish I'd known about them earlier Anna :(

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