Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fuchsias are a graceful

Fuchsias are a graceful shrub requiring shade but some have been known to do just as well in full sun.

They are long flowering and can last from late spring and into winter in some cases. These flowers are a beautiful addition to any backyard design and can be used in a variety of different ways.

Different species have different growth habits so you can have standards, bushed, espaliers and hanging baskets either over the edge of a container or rising above one in a pyramid. These garden plants will add that something special to any backyard landscape or patio.

If growing in the garden the soil should be light, medium not acid loam. Enrich it with bone meal and compost and if too sandy, add moistened peatmoss. In a pot any good potting mix will keep them happy.

In a hanging basket more peatmoss needs to be added because baskets dry out quicker than pots. Line the basket with plastic which has a few holes in to let the water drain out before a layer of sphagnum moss.

This will help keep the moisture in. Charcoal in the bottom of the basket helps keep the soil sweet. Don’t allow a fuchsia to dry out.

The elegant, pendulous flowers come as double, single and frilled. The color ranges from white, pink, red, purple and any combination of the above.
With careful pruning you can train a fuchsia into any shape you desire depending on the habit of your particular choice.

If their needs are met they hold well and give a lengthy display. Find a place in your garden for these wonderful plants and enjoy their dance in the sun.
When landscaping my yard I ignored advice from plant specialists and decided to try my hand at growing azaleas and camelias that I love in Perth.

I love azaleas and camelias and really wanted to have a backyard design full of each. I live in Perth, Australia which has very dry, hot weather and we can have weeks of 40 deg c with it not getting below 20 deg c at night.

We can also get quite cold weather also sometimes getting to 0 deg c but no snow.
Because of this I didn’t know how an azalea garden would go but when we moved into our new house I decided to give it a go.

My front garden faces west which is the fiercest heat in the day so I decided to choose a claret ash, a deciduous tree, to plant to give shade to these bushes as well as let the sun through in winter.

I chose to make a garden on the north west side of my house and included a couple of camelias too.

I prepared the bed and planted a row of deep pink azaleas along the fence and a row of white azaleas in the front and place a deep pink camelia in the middle and a light pink camelia at the top. I mulched and kept the water up to them and they did very well.

I had planted the tree in the actual garden to give as much shade to the plants as possible and this stunted the growth of the camelia in the middle of the garden but both azaleas and camelias continue to give good flower and colour through the seasons.

I have lost a couple of the azaleas this year because of water restrictions but the rest seem to be very well established and have weathered about 15 years of our dry hot weather as well as a few frosts.

I realise this is not the most ideal situation for these plants but as I really loved them I thought it was worth it to try my hand at keeping them alive. I have tried in other parts of my garden also but have always lost the camelias by the end of the season.

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