After the frost


Fuchsia 'Pride of Eugene'

Frosted fuchsias? It might seem that I got to fuchsia slope at the Oregon Garden a little late in the season. It was on purpose actually. The fuchsias had been brushed by frost few days earlier and that's what really I wanted to see.

Ordinarily this might be the end but I'm struck by the faded beauty of these blossoms, muted by the cold with shades of their former selves. Some have taken on almost gem-like translucent tones of amethyst, deep ruby, amber. Others remind me a bit of tea-stained Victorian frocks hung to dry.

A few have sloughed off the frost, maybe sheltered by tree branches above, or just hardier than the rest. That's another thing I wanted to see. 'Porphyrio' is one like that. If not now, later though, winter will get them all.

This frost wasn't vey heavy. Yet. There will be more freezers, and harsher ones, coming. These moments of faded glory will pass soon enough. Blossoms will go limp and slip away. Litter the ground. Leaves will fall.

These fuchsias are all winter hardy here. They'll be back in the spring, rejuvenated and full of life. I'll be back as well.

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'Alberta Logue' (upper left), 'John Maynard Scales' (upper right), 'Stanford' (lower left), 'Ballerina Blau' (lower right).

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'Wood Violet' (left), 'Storm King' (center), 'Viola' (right).


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'Sharkie' (upper left), 'Santa Claus' (upper right), 'Thilco' (lower left), 'Reading Show' (lower right).

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'Charming' (left), 'Sharkie' (center), Minnesota' (right).

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Fuchsia magellanica 'Thompsonii' (upper left). 'McGeez Chocolate Mint' (upper right), 'Wood Violet' (lower left), 'Dark Eyes' (lower right). 'Porphyrio' (below).