In the gardens of my Alaskan hometown, many a fuchsia basket was hung and appreciated. They seemed so exotic with their loud flower colors and generosity of bloom. Imagine my surprise many years ago when I left a fuchsia basket outside during the winter in my first Washington garden and it sprouted new leaves and flowers the next summer. I may still occasionally fall for a particularly lovely fuchsia basket but now I mostly enjoy the hardy varieties that are planted in the ground and form upright shrubs.
If the winter is mild, they bloom from June until December or whenever the first hard freeze hits.
Pollinators, including humming birds love fuchsias both planted in the ground and in the ubiquitous (at least here) hanging baskets.
The hardier varieties tend to have smaller, more dainty flowers but they are produced in abundance.
Unlike their hanging basket cousins, these can tolerate full sun in costal areas.
Color combinations range from loud and garish (yum!) to subtle and tasteful.
Some people think they look like dancers with their long legs and twirling skirts.
Although some may eschew fuchsias as too common, I enjoy their unsophisticated splendor! (Stolen directly from Rebecca's blog.)
They're blooming their heads off at a nursery near you right now! I hope to visit Joy Creek Nursery near Portland soon as they always have a wide variety of these gems. (Because one can never have too many plants, right?)
'Gartenmeister' is not fully hardy here so it gets spend the winter under glass.
I admire the way the dark foliage contrasts so nicely with the brilliant orange flowers!
Golly, I almost forgot one of my favorite foliage plants, Fuchsia Autumnale. I didn't take a picture of it earlier and now it's dark outside but this is a hardy fuchsia whose blooms are actually secondary in beauty to it's gorgeous leaves. To see a bunch of lovely images of it go here.
To learn more, go here, and check out the Northwest Fuchsia Society's page here. The hardy fuchsias in this post, with the exception of the last one, are hardy from zones 8a - 10b, tolerate light shade to full sun, and like rich soil.
Be sure to click on over to Danger Garden, the host of this meme to see other gardeners' favorite plants this week!