Wiltshire Life – Covers the Lost Fuchsia Hunt
Lost Fuchsias , Wiltshire / 17/04/2018

The Wiltshire Life magazine has covered our hunt for James Lye’s lost fuchsias in their Home and Gardens Supplement, which is issued with the May edition of Wiltshire Life.   The full-page article provides details of the lost fuchsia hunt and encourages readers to put Wiltshire back on the horticultural map, by engaging in the hunt for the lost fuchsias of James Lye who is one of the most important Victorian fuchsia growers and exibitors, who came from Market Lavington in Wiltshire. Notes about Wiltshire Life: Wiltshire Life was established in 1946 and is Wiltshire’s leading county magazine. It looks both forwards and backwards, bringing its readers some of the best stories about county traditions while also keeping them up to date on more recent innovations. They cover the entire county, from Swindon in the north to Salisbury in the south, and from Marlborough in the east to Trowbridge in the west.  Wiltshire Life’s winning formula of stunning photography, well written features and strong design has made it the magazine to read. It is packed with interesting and topical features on county personalities, village life, walking, local history, food and drink, gardening, the arts and much more. #lostfuchsias #Wiltshire #jameslye #harperdebbage

Lost Fuchsia Hunt – Become a Fuchsia Detective

Become a Fuchsia Detective…..   During 2018 we are hunting for the lost fuchsias that were introduced by one of England’s most important Victorian Fuchsia growers, exhibitor and hybridiser Mr James Lye, from Market Lavington, Wiltshire. James introduced many fuchsia cultivars but only a small number of these have survived over the years, with all the known surviving cultivars held within our National Plant Collection®. On the 5th February we will be launching our Lost Fuchsias Hunt which will highlight one lost cultivar each week. We are hoping that our fuchsia detectives (you/your members) will start searching for information relating to each cultivar, this could be by searching published material (Books, Pamphlets, etc.), Historical Journals such as the Gardener’s Chronicle, The Gardening World Illustrated and The Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, etc., Local Newspapers in Wiltshire for example the Devizes & Wiltshire Gazette or surrounding areas. Nursery Catalogues such as H. Cannell & Sons, etc. We also hope that detectives will spend the summer exploring gardens to see if they can locate any fuchsias growing in gardens (e.g. those open to the public). We will provide detectives with the following clues each week. On a Monday a postcard will…

Lye’s Fuchsias
Fuchsias / 05/01/2018

The group of Fuchsias an engraving of which appears at fig. 39 (used as this posts image), represents a collection of nine specimens raised and exhibited by that well-known cultivator, Mr. James Lye, of Clyffe Hall Gardens, Market Lavington, at an exhibition held in Bath in September last, and which recieved the 1st prize in the premier class for that number of plants.  For many years past Mr. Lye has exhibited Fuchsias at exhibitions held at Bath, Trowbridge, Devizes, Calne, Chippenham, and elsewhere; on all occassions staging specimens of a high order of merit; but the plants appearing in our illustration were universally regarded as the best he had ever placed in an exhibition tent.  So much were the committee of the Bath show pleased with the specimens that they engaged the services of a photographer to make a picutre of them on the spot; but after being two hours making the attempt, no satisfactory result occurred.  After the plants were taken back to Clyffe Hall, they were photographed as seen in the illustration. So idea of their height and dimensions can be reaslised by a comparison with the stature of Mr. Lye, who is standing by his plants and…

New Fuchsias – The Floral Magazine – 1880

Plate 426. NEW FUCHSIAS If the signs of improvement in the Fuchsia are less marked than they were twenty years ago, it is because the average standard of excellence is high, and advances are less striking than they were before the quality of the flower was so much improved.  But as there is no limit to the progress florists can make, and as there is an infinite variety of form and colour, it is well that florists are still found at work seeking to realize more advanced standards. The new varieties now figured were rasised by Mr. James Lye, of Market Lavington, Wilts, and have recieved high awards at the leading exhibitions in the West of England.  Mrs. Hooper Taylor (fig.1) is a charming light variety, with stout well-formed tube and sepals, and a pleasing pink corolla.  Mr. Hooper Taylor (fig. 2) is a dark variety of the finest quality, with rich coral-red tube and sepals, and magenta-purple corolla. Fairy Queen (fig. 3) is a very novel and distinct variety, with white tube and sepals, and magenta-pink corolla.  The habit growth in each case is all that could be desired, and we are confident these new varieties will be in…

Fuchsia, Lye’s Favorite – The Floral Magazine – 1880
Fuchsias / 08/07/2017

Plate 396.  FUCHSIA, LYE’S FAVORITE If perfection may be said to have been attained in the case of the Fuchsia, it is applicable to the variety now figured.  Raised by Mr. J. Lye, of Clyffe Hall Gardens, Market Lavington – the foremost exhibitor of Fuchsias in the West of England, and a most successful raiser – it has been warmly welcomed by the cultivators of Fuchias in that part of the country, and awarded a First-class Certificate of Merit.  Flowers of this fine variety were sent during last summer to the leading garden papers, and their quality described in glowing terms. The habit of growth is all that could be desired in a decorative Fuchsia; in its robust. without inclining to coarseness; it is of a free and symmetrical character, and the finely-formed blossoms are produced with remarkable freedom.  The flowers are of fine shape, long, and borne in elegant clusters; tube and sepals waxy-white; the corolla rich deep rose, with a slight Picotee margin of lively pink.  It is a variety that, by reason of its great merits, must supersede many of the light varieties now cultivated.  The stock of it is in the hands of Mr. Lye, by…

Fuchsia, Crimson Globe – The Floral Magazine – 1879
Fuchsias , James Lye , Lost Fuchsias / 07/07/2017

Plate 371.  FUCHSIA, CRIMSON GLOBE This is a very fine exhibition and decorative variety, raised by Mr. James Lye, Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington, Wilts, and distributed by him last spring.  Our illustration is from a spray plucked fram a plant of good size, which displayed to the greatest advantage the handsome leafage and symmetrical growth of the variety, its great freedom of bloom, the elegant outline of the plant, and the fine individual character of the flowers. The tube and sepals are of a deep red, very broad, stout, and finely formed; the corolla, which is of the finest form and very massive, as well as handsomely rounded, is of a plum-purple colour. Mr. Lye has been turning his attention to raising new varieties of the Fuchsia that should possess all the qualities desirable in exhibition and decorative plants.  As exhibition varieties his new forms are particularly worthy of notice, and we can heartily commend them to the attention of our readers. Image taken from: The Floral Magazine, 1879. Plate 371.

New Fuchsias – The Floral Magazine – 1878

Plate 291.  NEW FUCHSIAS A full belief is the decorative value and high-class merit of the new Fuchsias raised by Mr. James Lye, Clyffe Hall Gardens, Market Lavington, induces us to give another illustration of some of the leading varieties he has produced.  Fuchsias have many uses, but the two leading methods in which they are utilized are as exhibition and decorative plants.  By some means or the other Fuchsias have gone back as exhibition subjects, they are not nearly so well grown for show purposes as they used to be; and one reason assigned by cultivators is, that the varieties put into the market are generally ill-adapted for show purposes. The Statement find some amount of confirmation in the fact, that old sorts, such as Maid of Kent, Arabella, Venus de Medici, etc., are still met with at Flower Shows.  A Fuchsia that is valuable as a decorative plant, is almost certain to shine on the exhibition stage, and these new varieties obtained by Mr. Lye will be found to answer both purposes admirably. Gem of the West (fig. 1) has a bright coral red tube and sepals, and a dark plum-coloured corolla; Elegance (fig. 2) has tube and…

New Fuchsias – The Floral Magazine – 1877

Plate 277. NEW FUCHSIAS The group of new varieties of Fuchsias forming this plate are part of a batch of fine seedlings raised by Mr. James Lye, gardener to the Hon. Mrs. Hay, Cliffe Hall, Market Lavington, Wilts. Mr. Lye is a well known in the West of England as an exhibitor and cultivator of Fuchsias, and the specimen plants he is in the habit of exhibiting at Flower Shows at Bath, Trowbridge, Chippenham, Calne, and at other places are remarkable for their splendid size, superb growth, and wonderful floriferousness. It is worthy of note that while the cultivation of the Fuchsia as an exhibition plant has declined in many parts of the country, it has reached a stage of high development in Wiltshire. In no other part of the country can such specimens be seen. In the course of cultivating Fuchsias for show purposes, Mr. Lye found that many fine varieties were unfitted by their habit of growth and sparseness of bloom as exhibition plants, and this led him to turn his attention to the raising of seedlings fitted for show and decorative purposes. His latest batch of seedlings answer these ends in such a remarkable degree as to…

Harper & Debbage wins Silver at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, 2017

Harper and Debbage (owners of the James Lye Fuchsia Collection) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a Silver award for it’s second exhibit of our Plant Heritage, National Plant Collection of Fuchsia Cultivars introduced by James Lye at the Royal Horticultural Society’s, Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (4th to 9th July) 2017. Our concept this year was to exhibit some of the Fuchsias from the collection in a simple display and provide a range of interpretation panels highlighting key facts about James Lye, including his family (a number of his cultivars are named after his daughters), His career at Clyffe Hall and some of the awards he received for exhibiting his fuchsias, We have also been able to locate a number of colour plates of his Fuchsia introductions from 1877 to 1880, which are also displayed. We are highlighting a previously unknown fuchsia introduced by James Lye. Which was found listed in an article about New Fuchsias in the ‘Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener’ published in October 1899. Which describes the cultivar as follows:   Fuchsia ‘Lye’s Marvellous’ Tube and Sepals: Reddish Carmine. Corolla: Violet Purple.       Please see our blog post about this article…