Fuchsia - One of Ireland’s favourite plants
Fuchsias are synonymous with the hedgerows of my early childhood holidays in County Wexford and later visits to Cork and Kerry.
Initially planted as an ornamental plant in the early 19th century fuchsia have become naturalised in many an Irish hedgerow. Fuchsia
from which many of our modern cultivated varieties are bred originated in South America. It is generally thought that a naturally occurring variety called riccartonii
was the first fuchsia brought to Ireland. This now wild fuchsia is a favourite of bees who happily buzz around their simple blossoms. While children often suck the flowers for their sweet nectar. They are a temptation to the inquisitive as it is often difficult to resist popping open the swelling buds to see what lies beneath. The pendent bell-shaped blossoms resemble miniature ballerinas and have a number of vernacular names in Ireland the most well-known being Deora Dé (God’s Teardrops).
Each blossom is made up of three quite distinctive outward features the tube (neck), sepals (outer petals) and corolla (inner petals). Flowers can be single with four inner petals, semi-double with five to seven or double with eight or more.
Hydrangea - ‘Good Doer’ suitable for garden or container
Hydrangeas are considered to be value for money plants. They are not fussy about soil or position though they do like a little shelter from the wind. Hydrangeas do equally well as garden plants or container specimens and have the ability to change colour depending upon the acidity/alkalinity of the soil they grow in. Pink flowers will turn purple or blue in acid soils while blue flowers will turn purple or pink in alkaline soils.
(Unfortunately we are unable to offer hydrangea for sale at the moment due to lack of space in the Nursery)
There were two large and very pink hydrangeas in the gardens of my childhood, both grew beyond their allotted spaces obstructing pathways. They were chopped to the ground every other year to allow access, with little or no detrimental effect.
Flowerheads come in a number of different shapes, the three most important being mophead, lacecap and panicle. Mopheads (hortensias) have a rounded flower head that is made up of large sterile flowers. Lacecaps have a flattened flower head with the larger sterile flowers surrounding smaller fertile flowers (florets) in the centre. Paniculate flower heads are taller and cone shaped, they are made up of larger fertile flowers and smaller sterile flowers.
Granny Annuals - A touch of nostalgia
The annuals I have chosen for this first year of trading are Sweet Pea, Stock, Cosmos, Mesembryanthemum and Hollyhock. My mother and grandmother grew sweet pea and I remember big bunches of it scenting the house. Night-scented stock grew under the front window and cosmos around the cherry tree in the back garden. Hollyhock stood tall along the wall and window boxes of mesembryanthemum fascinated me as the individual flowers opened and closed with the sun.
Next year I hope to introduce five more annual favourites, Antirrhinum, Larkspur, Lupin, Statice and Wallfower. I would love to hear suggestions from my clients especially for plant types that are not widely available.
Bulbs - Cheery reminders of seasonal change
Bulbs are one of the main plant types to usher in the seasons, snowdrops in winter, daffodils in spring, gladiola in summer and nerines in
autumn. They are always popular, with a wide and varied selection available. I hope to grow some of the lesser known and more unusual types. Bulbs will be sold unplanted and planted, depending on the time of year.
Here again the scent of Hyacinths blooming indoors is redolent of late winter, early spring evenings in my Granny’s sitting room.
Seasonal Plants and Planters - Displays for every occasion, a bit of fun and an indulgence in creativity
In order to create a sustainable all-year-round business Irish Fuchsia Nursery will produce a series of plants and planters suitable for special occasions. Plants creatively arranged and packaged are wonderful living presents appropriate to all. Novelty planters will encourage the young to grow and care for plants of their own. Mother’s Day, Christmas, Easter and Birthday planters bring a smile to relatives and friends. Memorial planters commemorate our loved ones now gone. Party planters create atmosphere and allow the event to live on.
The humble hanging basket and window box will spruce up the home or business premises.