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: Duchess of Fife
James Lye , Lost Fuchsias / 10/04/2018

Today’s lost fuchsia is ‘Duchess of Fife’, which was introduced in 1892. We know very little about this cultivar and are hoping that our fuchsia detectives will  help us to find more information about this historic cultivar. On this occasion the partner named fuchsia ‘Duke of Fife’, doesn’t appear to have been introduced by James Lye (like the Duke of Albany and Duchess of Albany) instead the ‘Duke of Fife’ appears to have been introduced by another keen fuchsia grower, Edward Banks (from Sholden Hall, Kent) in 1894. As we know very little about this cultivar,  we are providing some information about the person we believe James may have named the cultivar after in the hope that this may lead to some further information. We suspect that the fuchsia cultivar ‘Duchess of Fife’ is named after the 2nd Duchess who was born in 1891.    Princess Arthur of Connaught, 2nd Duchess of Fife, RRC, GCStJ (Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise Duff).  Alexandra was a granddaughter of King Edward VII and great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. The  titles and styles of the 2nd Duchess of Fife: 17 May 1891 – 9 November 1905: Lady Alexandra Duff 9 November 1905 – 29 January 1912: Her Highness Princess Alexandra…

Calne Flower Shows at Bowood, Wiltshire

Bowood House sometimes referred to as Bowood Park near Calne in Wiltshire hosted the Calne Flower Show for many years and James Lye , gardener to the Hon. Mrs. Hay of Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington was a regular exhibitor at these shows. The following Marquess’s of Lansdowne owned/occupied Bowood during the years that James would have exhibited. • Henry Charles, 4th Marquess of Lansdowne (1816–1866) • Henry Charles Keith, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne (1845–1927) – Viceroy of India from 1888 to 1894 • Henry William Edmund, 6th Marquess of Lansdowne (1872–1936) The 6th Marquess was keenly interested in the history of the family and the estate and wrote numerous books and papers on subjects relating to the Bowood archives. To date we haven’t been able to arrange a visit to the archives to see what (if any) information they may hold regarding the shows. During the years when James was exhibiting at Bowood the big house would have still been standing and been a prominent backdrop to the shows (like Chatsworth House is today at the RHS Chatsworth Show). It was the 8th Marquess who made the difficult decision to demolish the big house in 1955. One show held at…

Lost Fuchsia: Crimson Globe

Today’s lost fuchsia is ‘Crimson Globe’, which was introduced in 1879 (Though we suspect that it may have been introduced slightly earlier). The Gardeners Chronicle (29/11/1879) – provides a brief description of this cultivar and refers to the colour plate published by the Floral Magazine in September 1879. The image and description from the Floral Magazine, can be found in one of our earlier posts The Gardeners Chronicle mentioned this cultivar again in 1885 in a report on the Fuchsia Trails at Chiswick. This item also mentions ‘Ellen Lye’ and ‘Charming’. Some Additional Clues to help our detectives: Mentioned in the John Forbes Catalogue, 1885 Mentioned in the Laings Catalogue, c1890 We hope that our fuchsia #detectives will help us find more information about this #fuchsia cultivar including information relating to its first listing, and when it was last seen or listed in a nursery catalogue or publication. Any information you can share will help us and other fuchsia detectives helping us in the search. #lostfuchsias #wiltshire #nationalplantcollection #harperdebbage #fuchsias #horticulture #flowershow #chiswick #nursery #catalogue

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.

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