Where does the time go between editions of The Link? Seems no time since the February Link came out and now it’s time to tell about the months since. At our meeting in January we were told about and shown how to prepare plants for the Show in early February. Mila Juventin spoke about what the judges will be looking for. In each monthly letter President Trish Devitt has written about what we should be doing with our plants, always a good reminder to members, and very helpful to newer ones.
The Show was once again held at the Dowse Museum, this time, hopefully, the last one at that venue. Summer was the best in Wellington for 80 odd years but not the best for our gardens. Spider mite and white fly enjoyed it but many fuchsias were badly affected. Water restrictions didn’t help and these problems caused show entries to be down on other years. However, Elise Fountain-Smith overcame these and won many classes, including Best Plant, Best Basket, Best Novice and Most Points overall. Well done! Quang Mai was not far behind (even after bringing his plants from Palmerston North). Frances Burrus won the Senior section, with Eddie Alleman and Mila Juventin also gaining several wins.
The February meeting had us discussing the Show, followed by a picture show from Peter O’Hara about how fuchsias get their colours and variations in size, etc, a very interesting item.
In March it was Fuchsiarama at Ashburton and what a great time was had by all who went. Thanks to our hosts for such an excellent long weekend. It will be hard for our Wellington group to equal next year. Lovely to meet up again with so many fuchsia friends and meet new ones. The programme had plenty of variety from gardens to Rolls Royce and Bentley cars, to fence post “art,” to sightseeing and shopping, a trip to the Tinwald Museum for a ride in a railcar and a wander round. The Saturday night dinner with “A Touch of Green” theme brought out a great range of costumes, from quite formal to hilarious. St Patrick would have been proud. We had a very informative talk and a walk around the gardens at Hotel Ashburton on the Sunday morning before it was lunch and farewell time with plans to meet next year.
Our March meeting was a week late after Fuchsiarama, when we had one of our smallest meetings ever – eight members were there, while others were still away on holiday. Mila chaired the meeting, where we discussed Fuchsiarama and were given information about looking after our plants. Not even a cup of tea, the boiler wasn’t working!
The AGM in April gave us a new president when Trish stood down and Frances Burrus took her place. No other changes to the committee, who now organise the year’s programme. Thanks to Trish for her guidance and help. The President’s trophy was presented to Mila who is always so willing to share her knowledge and expertise with us all.
Happy fuchsia gardening.