Monday, August 07, 2006
The Forgiving Fuchsia
These first fuchsia blooms are evidence that gardening can be a very forgiving endeavor if you're just patient enough. Last summer I took a cutting from a fuchsia in my friend Mark's garden, stuck it in some rooting hormone and popped it in a six-pack filled with potting soil. I kept it watered in semi-shade and it did ... well, pretty much nothing. After a few months of no growth I thought it might do better if I transplanted it to a 4-inch pot, but in a moment of bleary-eyed gardening I accidentally planted it in a pot filled with straight composted manure instead of potting soil. (Don't try this at home.) I can't remember how long it was before I realized my mistake, but I know it was a matter of weeks. By the time I figured out what I'd done and went to repot it, it looked exactly the way any of us would look if we'd been stuck in a pot of manure--shocked, to say the least. I thought for sure it was ultimately destined for the compost bin, but I put it in a 4-inch pot of potting soil anyway and watered it and just left it alone. About two months ago I noticed some new growth and repotted it again, this time in a plastic pot inside a ceramic pot with no drainage hole, so it stays more evenly moist. Happy at last, the plant shot up and out and put on buds. I am redeemed.