The fuchsia spotlight. DebRon's Smokey Blues

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When Carol Gubler of Little Brook Fuchsias in the UK asked “What’s your favorite fuchsia?” on Zoom today, I had to answer that it’s usually “Love the one you’re with” with me and fuchsias. I’d be hard pressed to name just one and not all.

Then it dawned on me, “Seriously, I’m actually planting FOUR Fuchsia ‘DebRon’s Smokey Blues’ as part of my Evil Master Plan & Garden Makeover. There must be something to that cultivar that’s caught my attention. And there is.

The first time I saw the plant was at the fuchsia convention in Tacoma, Wash. Breeder Ron Monnier brought it with him for his talk. I’m not sure he’d even released it yet. It’s stayed in my mind ever since.

This cultivar has a lovely glossy dark red calyx and an aubergine corolla that flares out playfully as the bloom opens. And that’s not all. It takes its name from the grey-blue cast to the leaves, presenting a lovely foil for the sultriness of the flowers.

That striking leaf color is really evident in the photo where it’s up against to the more expected green of ‘Double Otto’. It’s also very winter hardy in the Pacific Northwest and gets to about two feet tall.
Fuchsia ‘DebRon’s Black Cherry’ has made an appearance in the UK but most of Ron’s other beautiful cultivars haven’t yet been shared with gardeners there. ‘DebRon’s Smokey Blues’ is certainly a fuchsia that should have a premiere in the UK at some point soon, I hope.

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