Royal Fuchsias

Contributed by the late Leo B. Boullemier

Royalty have always been interested in fuchsias, none more so than King George V.

Charles J. Howlett of Earley, Reading, raised two cultivars in 1911, naming them (presumably without permission) after King George V and Queen Mary.

Both cultivars were singles, the former being pinky–rose and lightish–purple, the other, pale pink tube and sepals with mauvish–purple corolla.

Plants of both cultivars were graciously accepted from Mr Howlett, who was commanded by His Majesty to take them to Windsor, which he did the next year, 1912, where they were placed in the corridors and flourished as standards for several years.

Both cultivars are extremely good, vigorous and upright, well worth seeking and growing, still available occasionally from specialist nurseries and have proved to be hardy in most districts.

The present Queen admires and appreciates fuchsias, particularly trained as large standards, as the Greenhouse Complex in the Royal Gardens in Windsor Great Park will prove. The cultivars during the 70’s and 80’s were mainly Lady Isobel Barnett, Rufus, Tennessee Waltz and much older cultivars, all grown as huge standards.

The Royal gardener will delight in telling you that they are used when Royal parties and dinners are held, the Queen greatly enjoying leading her honoured guests through the avenue of standards in the corridors of Windsor Castle.