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Fuchsias and Leycesteria: recommended plants for summer and autumn interest

If you’re looking for plants that add value to your garden border or container and offer interest in summer and autumn, then Ladybrook Nursery would definitely recommend fuchsias and Leycesteria (Pheasant berry). Both plants offer attractive foliage and flowers throughout the summer and autumn, and with Pheasant Berry you also get the added benefits of berries in autumn and lovely bright green stems in winter to give much-needed interest in an otherwise dormant garden.

Fuchsias

Fuchsias are mainly grown for their attractive pendent flowers. Fuchsias produces these beautiful flowers pretty much continuously from summer to autumn. The biggest attraction of fuchsias is their adaptability, as they will happily grow in summer-bedding schemes, containers or in the ground. Some fuchsias even hardy enough to be used for hedging or in permanent plantings.

fuchias

Trailing types are ideal for hanging baskets, though they may need to be watered daily; upright fuchsias are a good choice for container cultivation. In both cases, plants benefit from a balanced, liquid fertiliser in late summer. Half-hardy fuchsias should be overwintered in frost-free conditions.

Regardless of the type or location, all fuchsias need the same general care routine. If planted in the garden, grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil, and shelter from cold, drying winds. If planted in containers, grow in a loam-based potting compost or peat-free multipurpose compost. Water fuchsia plants sufficiently to keep the compost moist but not waterlogged. Do not leave plants standing in water. Fuchsias prefer shade for the hottest part of the day.

Hardy fuchsias: 

Plant the base of the stem around 2 inches below the soil surface, and protect the crown of the plant in autumn with a mulch of compost, bark or straw. In spring and in summer apply a dressing of general fertiliser

Standard fuchsias: 

Always bring under cover for winter as the main stem is prone to frost damage even if the variety is considered hardy. A balanced, liquid fertiliser used in summer encourages better blooms over a long flowering period

Leycesteria (Pheasant Berry)

Leycesteria, also known as the Pheasant Berry and Himalayan Honeysuckle, is a shrub with attractive, clean, bright green foliage with hints of red in the new growth. In mid-summer it is covered 4 inch long drooping clusters of dark purple/red bracts and white flowers. Leycesteria also produces dark purple berries in autumn and green stems in winter for even more added value. If you’re looking for a great all-rounder for either the perennial garden or shrub border, then Leycesteria (Pheasant Berry) is a fantastic plant.

Leycesteria

Leycesteria is a robust and easily grown shrub originating from China and Tibet. It is often planted agriculturally, and offers useful cover for game birds. What’s more, game birds like pheasants and grouse love the ripe berries, hence the common name Pheasant Berry. Although Leycesteria offers attractive leaves and berries throughout the growing season, the clear white and burgundy-tinged coloured bracts are undoubtedly the main attraction. Leycesteria (Pheasant berry) will tolerate most soils and will not suffer unduly if cut back hard.

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