Phoenix Plants

Fuchsia 'Hawkshead' just coming into bloom

Like many gardeners I've been evaluating the plant casualties in my garden resulting from last year's drought/cold winter/this year's record rain spring. Mine include some winter flowering clematis, dahlias, and some - but not all - of the Mexican fleabane.

I also thought the hardy fuchsias in the front garden had gone, unlike their cousins in the back. I naturally assumed this was down to the front garden facing north not quite giving them the conditions they need to thrive. I even bought a replacement 'Hawkshead' at Malvern show recently as I'm particularly fond of its more delicate, pure white blooms.

And then, I saw last week the stems I'd cut down to the ground in the spring have sprouted lots of lush, new growth as shown in the top photo, so my latest 'Hawkshead' has a new spot in the back garden instead. I shall bear in mind the top tip I was given in Malvern and give all my fuchsias a thick layer of mulch in late autumn to help them through the winter.

I used to go by the adage 'cast ne'er a clout until May is out' to mean don't discount a plant has really gone until June. It looks like I should give a plant until at least July instead. I've heard reports of other 'phoenix plants' from other gardening friends and others on Twitter, such as Phormiums, dahlias, and even tender bananas.

Have you discovered any 'phoenix plants' in your garden this year?

Lots of lovely new growth on Fuchsia 'Hawkshead'


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