Taming a tricky fuchsia!
‘Countess of Aberdeen’ has been around for more than 100 years, but is notoriously difficult to grow
One of my favourite fuchsias is ‘Countess of Aberdeen’. It’s also one of the most difficult to grow, and even I, a ‘so-called expert’, frequently must obtain a replacement. Despite this, it’s still available from at least one UK specialist nursery and several across Europe.
It was introduced in 1888 by Cocker of Aberdeen, Scotland, though it has often been attributed to Forbes. Nothing is known about its parentage as far as I can ascertain. So why, if it’s difficult to grow, has it persisted for so many years? As soon as you see it you’ll understand why. It has a beautiful small, white, single flower with a long, ivory-white tube, white sepals which curve upwards back over the tube and a short, white corolla. The anthers on the end of the stamens are pale pink, prior to the pollen breaking.
The growth is upright, but not naturally self-branching, so will need early pinching to get a branched shape. The foliage has finely serrated edges and is a mid-green shade, giving a perfect contrast to the prolific flowers. It doesn’t tolerate the heat well and intensely dislikes being over-watered, which is quite often the way I kill it! It grows very well as a smaller standard, especially trained as a miniature or quarter standard.
When grown in the sun, like many whites, the flowers become pinker
She’s a real beauty, but ‘Countess of Aberdeen’ also gives me many headaches!