One Word Photo Challenge: Fuchsia

September 30, Fuschia 006

Fucshia remains one of my favorite plants, and one of my favorite colors.

Both the plant, and the color, attract hummingbirds.

Once we realized we had a community of hummingbirds in our garden, I determined to grow baskets of Fuchsia on our mostly shady deck to attract them.

Since our first spring here in our Forest Garden, I’ve included Fuchsias and fuchsia colored flowers in our potted garden on the deck.

 

Hummingbirds enjoy these fuchsia colored Begonia flowers, also.

Hummingbirds enjoy these fuchsia colored Begonia flowers, also.

 

We are rewarded with frequent visits from our tiny hummingbirds, exploring the daily offering of nectar.

Fuchsias, as tender perennials, will keep going indefinitely when protected from winter’s freezing temperatures.

They grow woody after a while, but can be revived with spring pruning.

September 30, Fuschia 010

Blooms come on new growth.  And the plants take their time getting started each season.  Blossoms may not appear until early summer.

I’ve tried many different cultivars over the years, and had mixed successes and failures.  I’m still learning to grow Fuchsias properly, to be completely honest.

Fuchsias prefer a cooler, moister climate than coastal Virginia offers.

 

Impatiens, like Fuchsias, prefer cool, moist, shady homes.  They grow well in the same pot or basket, along with ferns.

Impatiens, like Fuchsias, prefer cool, moist, shady homes. They grow well in the same pot or basket, along with ferns.

 

They can not abide our intensely hot summer sunshine.  And so they must grow in a spot shaded from our hottest afternoon and early evening summer sun.

They also like steady moisture in their soil, and regular snacks throughout the season.  Give them conditions they prefer, feed them every few weeks, and they bloom non-stop for months.

 

Fuchsia "Marinka"

Fuchsia “Marinka”

 

Some Fuchsia cultivars offer very showy, large flowers in shades of white, pink, red, violet and of course, fuchsia.

I’ve had the most success with a relatively small flowered red variety known as “Marinka.”  The hummingbirds love this one, and it is more forgiving of less than perfect conditions than other cultivars I’ve tried.

 

F. "Marinka" in bud.

F. “Marinka” in bud.

 

And so F. “Marinka” remains a staple of our summer garden, and at least one plant gets to come into the garage each fall to wait out winter in safety.

Other fuschia toned flowers our hummingbirds love include Impatiens, Begonias, geraniums and petunias.

Fuchsia geraniums grow even more intense during the shorter, cooler days of Indian summer.

Fuchsia geraniums grow even more intense during the shorter, cooler days of Indian summer.

We grow a variety of these bright and beautiful flowers all around the house and garden, and are rewarded with frequent glimpses of our hummingbirds enjoying their nectar.

 

Petunias also bring the hummingbirds close to feed.

Petunias also bring the hummingbirds close to feed.

 

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

 

With Appreciation to Jennifer Nichole Wells for her

One Word Photo Challenge:  Fuchsia

Scarlet Mallow

Hibiscus coccineus

Hibiscus coccineus

 

This gorgeous scarlet flower caught my eye today.

It is the first blossom to open on the Scarlet Mallow, Hibiscus coccineus, we purchased at the Williamsburg  Farmer’s Market in May.

The beautiful, deeply cut foliage drew my attention at the market.  Almost lacy, like some Japanese Maple leaves, it appealed to me.

 

August 15, 2014 029

The plant wasn’t even in bud yet, but I knew a native Hibiscus would work in the border. no matter what color the bloom.

So I bought it on impulse and brought it home to the garden.

When the Japanese beetles attacked the Cannas and other Hibiscus, they left this one alone.  It’s quietly grown into its spot without drawing too much attention to itself…. until today!

Wow!  What a huge, elegant flower!

August 15, 2014 026

Native in the deep south, Scarlet Mallow is hardy north to Zone 6b.

It can eventually grow to 8′ high, though it dies back to the ground each winter.  The plant is upright and sturdy.

It prefers wet soil, and will even tolerate flooding.  No chance of flooding where it is planted in our garden, but it is on the downhill portion of a slope and will catch run off in a heavy rain.  Like all Hibiscus, it appreciates full sun.

As a native, this plant will pretty much grow itself.  I’ve given it compost and a little Plant Tone thus far.  The deer have grazed around it, but have left it untouched.

I hope it is self- fertile and the seeds it produces will sprout.  I plan to gather the seeds when they ripen this fall and sow them, hoping for more of these gorgeous plants.

Scarlet Mallow grows near Azalea and Ginger lily.  The Ginger Lily will come into bloom soon with huge white flowers.

Scarlet Mallow grows near Azalea and Ginger lily. The Ginger Lily will come into bloom soon with huge white flowers.

If you’d like to grow Scarlet Mallow in your own garden, it is available at Plant Delights Nursery.

You will likely see more photos of these gorgeous flowers as the season progresses, so I hope you like them.

They inspired me to  look for “red” around the garden, and so here is a bit more of the scarlet found in our garden today.

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

Hardy HIbiscus

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