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                                                NOTTINGHAM AND NOTTS



Looking out of our kitchen window I can see my Fuchsia Magellanica, it has a red flower and it has so many on at this time of year, it is a real joy. However, I am still waiting for many of my plants to flower (see below), but know that I will soon have to think about overwintering them.  The recent winds have also been a problem; many of my 'Stewart' pots are split and will need replacing as the plants have been blown off their shelf and onto the ground. 

Looking out of our back window, I can see windswept perennials and shrubs that need to be pruned.  I still want my Yucca dug out to make room for a small vegetable patch, but it has thrown up 3 spikes of beautiful white flowers as if it knows if it doesn’t deliver, its days are numbered! 

Pots will also need to be cleaned this month, and a good mulch over my borders.  I plan to use some of our own garden compost and will buy some farmyard manure for good measure! Finally, a good tidy up is also called for! 

What is happening in the Garden: 

  • Perennials/Garden Shrubs etc

I need to do quite a bit of pruning this autumn – I have already summer-pruned my buddleias and cut back one of my Hazel trees/bushes – the other one is still on my ‘To Do’ list I’m afraid.  I have several Acers in pots positioned near the pond, these need a trim so will be pruned end of September/October time.  I missed pruning my Ribes after flowering in the Spring, so I am undecided whether I should prune it back now – it needs it, but now isn’t the right time! 

I have two Photinia ‘Red Robin’s in pots each side of my arch, these desperately need planting on and I will have to cut back the ivy which is growing at a rapid pace around the arch.  I have planted two Actinidia Kolomikta to trail up the arch and I don’t want the ivy to smother them. 

  • Fuchsia Growing

Well, now that showing is over for this year, I must start thinking ahead to next year.  I love this time of year (apart from the strong blustering winds and heavy rains!) as it is a time when I can reflect about which plant did well and what I plan to do differently next year.  

However, firstly, I still have many plants that are in bud or are still to flower, so I want to display them around my garden to get the best out of them before I cut them back ready to overwinter them. I am regularly deadheading still and making note of which ones I plan to pot on into bigger pots. 

My cuttings are still okay and I will be deciding which greenhouse will be best in which to overwinter them.  It’s a challenge every year and I do believe/hope that my success rate increases a little every year. 

  • Wildlife/Pondlife

I grew quite a lot of flowers from seed this year and I am quite pleased with how successful this has been for me.  The Asters, Cerinthe, Mirabilis and Linaria have all done well and hopefully the bees have appreciated the extra pollen these flowers have brought into the garden.  I have decided to grow some hardy flowers from seed this September and aim to overwinter the seedlings ready to pot on in Spring. 

The pond has done well this year, it has remained quite clear. I haven’t had much blanketweed or duckweed this year, so really pleased.  I am still feeding the fish, but need to sort out the plants surrounding the pond as these are overgrown. 


Last month, Mike Davey delivered the most interesting talk on plant propagation.  He covered growing from seeds; taking cuttings and finished by giving us an insight into the involved ways of propagation that can only be achieved in laboratory conditions – Tissue culture

Growing from seed

You can collect seed from various sources:

    • Save own seed
    • Collect –exchange seeds (beg, steal or borrow!)
    • Purchase from reliable companies 

Seeds come in all shapes and sizes and are basically a food reserve.  For the seeds to germinate, generally they need warmth, light and water. 

Some need special treatment: - 

    • Seed Potatoes – these need chitting in the light in January.
    • Tree seeds – can be sown immediately i.e. Maple.
    • Other tree seeds – need stratification, i.e. Bird Cherry, Mulberry.
    • Annual seeds – sow thinly direct where they are to grow or grow in cells and prick out seedlings
    • Sweet Peas – can be sown in September or February in a cold frame
    • Courgettes – sow around edge of pot, seeds must be showing above soil level. 

Other hints & tips re seed sowing: - 

  • Shade from sun

  • Harden off seedlings

  • Provide wind & frost protection

  • Sow seeds in succession

  • Consider companion planting, i.e., marigolds with carrots to deter carrot fly 

    Taking cuttings

    There are various ways of taking cuttings: -

  • Basal

  • Nodal

  • Intermodal

  • Leaf

  • Heel

  • Softwood

  • Hardwood

  • Semi-ripe


    Bulb Propagation:

  • Split bulbs/bulbils up and plant up individually 

    Tissue Culture

    This requires specialised equipment, i.e. in a laboratory and also needs trained personnel. 


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I am just writing this after spending an enjoyable day at the BFS Roadshow.  For those who came along, I hope you enjoyed the day and came away enthused and looking forward to yet another planting year. 

The day started with Malcolm Beerman welcoming us all to the roadshow and informed us that we had 4 great speakers and that we would be treated to a really informative day. 

Sid Garcia started the proceedings explaining his way of growing and maintaining standards. With every talk I listen to, I always learn something new and today was no exception. Sid shared with us how he used tubing to expediate the growth of a standard.  He then demonstrated how he puts up a hanging basket. 

It was then Malcolm Beerman’s turn to talk to us about how he overwinters his fuchsias.  His main message of the day was that if something works for you then don’t change it, there isn’t just one rule when it comes to growing fuchsias.  Malcolm explained how and when he cut back his fuchsias.  He also mentioned that this would be a good time to pot on, if you wanted to pot a fuchsia into a bigger size pot.  Good compost and drainage were also key priorities and he could not emphasise enough the importance of not over-watering fuchsias as waterlogged plants were more susceptible to frost damage than dry plants.

We stopped for lunch and refreshments. 

After lunch, Ric Reilly delivered a fascinating talk on species, and explained in simplistic terms the different groups of species and where fuchsias originate from. It was also interesting to hear how he managed his large collection of fuchsias and balanced this with his work commitments.  Growing fuchsias Ric’s way was slightly different from the other speakers; a lot was to do with the fact he lives in Cornwall and its temperate climate. 

Arthur & Nancy Phillips just had enough time to share with us the differences of showing fuchsias in the USA compared to here in the UK. Plants were shown in wooden square containers and displayed differently on the show bench.  It was also clear that Fuchsia Societies in the USA were struggling, even more so than here in the UK.  Nancy than explained how she grew bonsais and provided us with some useful tips on identifying a potential plant which could be ‘bonsai’d ‘. Other points to consider was size and shape and choosing small flowered cultivars. 

There were plants for sale, a raffle and Table displaying ‘Fuchsia Lore’ which was of interest to a lot of people.  Light refreshments were available all day.


Thanks to everyone involved in preparing for the show and

everyone who helped on the day. 

It was great to see a large number of fuchsia society members there today, and for me it was also a good opportunity to meet friends from other societies.  It was however a shame that it didn’t draw in many new faces, despite all the hard work Lyndon had done in promoting the Roadshow. Flyers having been handed out; it has been on facebook, our own website; mentioned on Radio Nottingham as well as being submitted into the local free magazines. 

Not sure what else we could have done –

Any ideas?                                                  


If anyone wants any item included in the Newsletter, please let me know, either at a meeting, or phone me on Tel: 0115 8758928, or email:  I will gladly include any article or event in the Newsletter.   

Also, if anyone would rather I send them an electronic copy, please let me know. 

Remember: It is YOUR newsletter. 


7th Oct


SIG Fuchsia Lore Meeting – held at Great Bridgeford Village Hall, near Stafford, with a theme ‘Old Fuchsia Nursery Catalogues’


7th Oct

The 23rd Autumn Gathering – to be held at Victoria Hall, Ash Hill Road, Ash, Aldershot, GU12 5DN, from 10.00a.m to 4.30p.m.


23rd Oct


Monthly Meeting -  John Nicklass talking on Overwintering Fuchsias

27th Nov

AGM & Buffet



Remember our next meeting

Will be

Tuesday 23rd October 2018


John Nicklass


Talking on Overwintering Fuchsias 



If anyone has been searching for a long lost fuchsia, then why not ask your friends at the society!  The Noticeboard will now be on show at our monthly meetings, and at the bottom of your newsletter, there is a form.  Complete and attach to the noticeboard. Simple!