Annual fuchsia shows are usually at the end of November or early December. They give the public an opportunity to experience the wonderful variety of fuchsias, their colours, shapes and sizes, as well as the many different forms into which they can be trained.
There are two separate components to a show. First, there is an area devoted to plants, arranged in many different categories, which are judged according to standard criteria. Here the visitor will find fuchsias cultivated by experienced members as well as those grown by beginners. Secondly, there is a section where visitors can buy plants. They will find cultivars that are not usually available at nurseries. Of course, this profusion of colour and diversity may also encourage some visitors to join a society!
At a show there are always experts present who can advise you on any aspect of growing these beautiful plants.
Leo Boullemier, ex-president and long-standing member of the British Fuchsia Society, had this to say about fuchsia shows:
‘Growing fuchsias for exhibition offers a challenge and requires dedication. But it is neither difficult nor mysterious. The plants are grown exactly as if for your garden or home, except that they are grown more carefully, with strict attention to detail – the ultimate aim being the production of perfect specimen plants exactly as specified by the show schedule for the classes you choose to enter. It is this attention to details that brings you exhibition-standard plants as opposed to ordinary ones.’
In Cape Town the Western Cape Fuchsia Society holds its show in Kirstenbosch Garden early in December each year. While Fourways Fuchsia Club has not held a show for the past couple of years, each year in late November/early December it does have a display afternoon, which forms part of their year end braai/party. For more information see each society’s Show page.