I think I love fuschias even more than irises – partly because they have a reputation of being difficult to grow, but inexplicably (given my lack of expertise) do well in my garden, and partly because they attract hummingbirds, which I love to watch.
This fuschia is probably seven or eight years old. It is inordinately happy by my back door and family room windows, with woody, thick stems and lots of branches that I have to prune frequently to keep it from blocking access to the back yard. I love noticing a blur of activity out of the corner of my eye and discovering a hummingbird having a sip of nectar.
This year we had the coldest winter since we moved to Morgan Hill in 1996 and this plant looked rather bedraggled at the end of it. I had to prune a lot of dead wood several weeks ago and crossed my fingers that it would recover. Happily, it is bouncing back nicely and these are the first blooms of the season.