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Vicki Green's Garden

Vicki Green's garden is one of the neatest and most immaculate gardens I've seen and it is a showcase for beautifully grown plants as well as art objects (she is a glass artist). The property was once wall-to-wall grass and now just a central portion is devoted to the green. A long pathway leads you around the perimeter of the garden adorned with lush plantings. Vicki is a master at pruning and her technique reminds me of the way Michael does it. She has trained many of her "shrubs" into small trees, such at the waxleaf privet and elderberry. A Wax Leaf Privet ( Ligustrum japonicum ) trained into an attractive small tree. I was taken aback by the size of the plants, some of which I grow, and my mind was racing. Driving up, I was immediately wowed by her 'Golden Spirit' Smoke Bush ( Cotinus coggygria ) although now I do recall seeing a very large on 117th St. However, this one is the most beautiful I've seen -   I also was surprised to see how large her 

A Gallery of Fuchsias

Our deck is wall-to-wall fuchsias. We both love them but Michael is the one who has went nuts over them and cares for them daily. Fuchsias did not do well in Alabama because of the humidity. Nurseries there did sell them in spring but they were a waste of money because after June, they usually succumbed to a slow and painful death. Here in Washington, they flourish, growing profusely in containers as well as in the ground. Some are very cold hardy. It is recommended that you plant them deeply, like you would tomatoes, if growing them in the ground.

So, without further ado, here is our collection - 

'Arete Upright Arroyo' Grande is a new addition this year, purchased on the bargain rack at Fred Meyer, and it was performed spectacularly. Very profuse bloomer!

'Autumnale' has beautiful flowers but it is the multi-colored foliage that is the star of the plant.



'Cardinal' is one of the largest and most hardy fuchsias. I have read that it can attain a height of 8'. Ours has easily surpassed 5 ft. this year. We have it planted underneath our dogwood tree. It would probably do even better with a bit more sun.


'Delta's Sarah' was recommended by Anna (Flutter & Hum) and I really love the color combination on this one.

'Dollar Princess'

'Whiteknights Pearl'

'Enstone' is another fuchsia that is grown more for the foliage than the blooms...

although the blooms are perfectly lovely. 

Another favorite, because of the tremendous amount of fat blooms, is 'Garden News'.

A longtime favorite, and one that actually did okay in Alabama, is 'Gartenmesiter Bonstadt'. 


'Gold Leaf'

'June Bride'

'Lady Boothby' is very narrow and tall.

'Neon Tricolor' has been a very shy bloomer. Not sure if this one will be a keeper.


'Red Spider'

'Shrimp Cocktail' is simply stunning, one of my favorites. 

'Silver Queen'


'Tom Thumb'

'Veriscolor' has very unusual foliage with pale, gray/green leaves. 


One of my absolute favorites is 'Winston Churchill' which has plump blooms and the most stunning color combination. Even the buds are gorgeous.

You know you always have a plant that does exceedingly well and you don't know the name of it. That is the case with this fuchsia. We overwintered last year in the garage. It is huge, filling out a large terra cotta pot, and is loaded with spectacular blooms. 

Michael's tips on growing fuchsias in pots:

Water daily if there has been no rain. If pots dry out, submerge the whole pot in a large bucket of water and let it sit there until the bubbles stop forming.

Fertilize weekly or about every 10 days (we like to use Jack's Blossom Buster 10-30-20).

Some taller varieties (like 'Lady Boothby') need to be staked to look their best.

They will sulk on hot days and don't really like temperatures over 80. On really hot days (say above 85), watering twice a day is recommended and mist the foliage with water as well.

Some varieties need more shade than others. I am constantly experimenting and moving pots around until I find the perfect spot for specific varieties.

Before frost, move pots to a garage or basement. Water sparingly throughout the winter and bring them back out next spring. Hardier varieties can be planted in the ground. Plant them deeply and mulch well.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. That is really true that some fuchsias do better with more sun and some need less. I'm also experimenting. 'Neon Tricolor' is a newbie for me this year and I can attest to its lack of blooms. Oh well, it's a fun experiment. Your fuchsias are lovely.

  2. So beautiful. They do not do well here at all due to our summer temperatures, but we did grow them when we lived in New York. Your collection is impressive and gorgeous!

  3. A nice collection of these gorgeous plants! I'll never figure out the hardiness thing though as some supposedly non-hardy hanging baskets that I've taken down in the winter and thrown under a shrub somewhere have come back in the spring while some of the hardy varieties, dug in deeply and mulched have decided not to return. Crazy but lovely plants . Their long bloom time (sometimes until Christmas) makes me appreciate them even more.

  4. I love fuchsias and would have a garden full if I had the climate for them. Too hot here. A few do well here in spring then crisp up come summer, and recover until the next spring. 'Cardinal' I think is one. Yours all look fabulously healthy and happy. Gorgeous photos, as usual.

  5. That is one magnificent collection of fuchsias. I have never even seen most of them. I can see why you and Michael went gaga over them.


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