Thompson & Morgan started selling Fuchsia ‘Lady Boothby’ as a climbing fuchsia in 2006 and it very quickly became our best selling fuchsia. It was originally introduced in 1939 and was named after the founder of the British Fuchsia Society, Clara Lady Boothby. It is the fastest growing hardy fuchsia and makes an excellent plant for screening sheds or other eyesores in the garden. Most gardeners use it as a focal point on the patio. We have had some customers asking for other colours, but unfortunately there were no other fuchsias with this unique fast-growing habit.
In 2007 we challenged our plant breeder, Charles Valin, to create a new variety and little did we know that he would rise to our challenge so quickly! After 300 crosses, last summer Charles noted one unique plant. This vigorous selection was carrying a semi-double black corolla with rich pink sepals - a very popular colour combination.
The plant was sent to Israel for multiplication and, by April 2012, we will have 100,000 plants to sell. This may sound a lot, but we used to sell 250,000 ‘Lady Boothby’ plants per year. Customers will, therefore, need to get their orders in early for two reasons. Firstly, to ensure that we are not sold out and secondly, by planting early it will ensure that their plants reach their maximum height in their first year.
Climbing Fuchsia ‘Lady in Black’ is available exclusively from Thompson & Morgan via the Alan Titchmarsh 'Gardening Made Easy' Collection, priced at £8.99 for 3 jumbo plugs or £14.99 for 9 jumbo plugs.
To request a copy of the 2012 Spring Plants catalogue featuring the Alan Titchmarsh exclusive range of plants, please phone 0844 573 1818 or click here to order your free copy online.