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…

New Fuchsias – Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener – 1899

NEW FUCHSIAS The revival of popularity which Fuchsias now enjoy as bedding plants lends interest to the work of those few raisers who from time to time put into trade new and distinct varieties.  Of these raisers few have during the past thirty years presented for cultivation more or better varieties than has the veteran James Lye, of Market Lavington. This excellent gardener, after some fifty years’ service at Clyffe Hall, with the late Hon. Mrs. Hay, is now residing at Easterton, a village half a mile east of Market Lavington.  He still, from time to time, raises new varieties and also grows those fine specimen plants which, through him and his disciples in culture, have made the West of England shows so famous for noble Fuchsias.  Such plants, indeed, as are no never seen in the metropolis, or in other directions. A very fine stock of tall specimens now at Easterton comprises nearly all varieties that are not yet in commerce.  They vary according to habit of variety from 5 feet to 7 feet in the pots, and all so well grown as to be perfectly finished.  They are in pots ranging from 12 inches to 15 inches in…

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2016 – Bronze Award

For the first time we exhibited a floral display of our Plant Heritage, National Plant collection of Fuchsia cultivars introduced by James Lye at the Royal Horticultural Society,  Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in July (5th – 10th) 2016. Our concept for our first ever RHS Show exhibit was to display some of the National Plant Collection of Fuchsia cultivars introduced by James Lye, on a traditional tiered staging in Victorian clay pots.  We were keen to display the plants in a natural (untrained) habit, in different stages of flower so that visitors could see how the fuchsias would grow if untrained and that there is a succession of flowering once the plants starts to flowers. The display also provided information about the fact that the flowers and berries of fuchsias are edible, for this we also used F. procumbens which is an unusual mat-forming fuchsia specie, which has small, heart-shaped leaves and solitary, erect, pale orange flowers, with reflexed sepals which are deep purple with a green base, and the usual stamens with blue pollen. Our main interpretation panel (which is on the side of our display) highlighted three key areas, James Lye, Edible Fuchsias and Fuchsia History. We…

James Lye’s Grave Discovered
James Lye , Market Lavington / 28/04/2016

We always knew James was buried in Market Lavington churchyard, from the parish burial register (deposited at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre) but extensive searches of the graveyard had failed to locate his grave. We learnt that recently a book containing positional information for some burials had been given to Market Lavington Museum, which may help in locating James’s grave. We contacted the museum prior to our visit to Market Lavington on the 23rd April 2016 and when we arrived we learnt that some of the Museum helpers had been out earlier in the day to try and find his grave location.  Which by all accounts wasn’t easy, but with a bit of persistence and some lateral thinking they discovered the location of his grave and to their surprise there was also a gravestone. When we arrived at the museum, we were met by the curator Mr. Frost. He took us across the graveyard and we stood in front of a grave on which you could not read the inscription due to the Crustose lichen growing on it.  Mr Frost informed us that this was James’s grave. With the assistance of some water and a toothbrush from the museum, I started to clean the headstone…

James Lye’s Obituary
James Lye , Market Lavington / 14/02/2016

James Lye. – On Saturday last, at a ripe age, a victim to paralysis, there passed away at Market Lavington, Wilts., a gardener in the person of James Lye, who had the warm esteem and regard of a wide circle of friends, and who had made for himself a good name in horticulture.  For very many years he was Gardener at Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington, and there gave his attention largely to the raising and growing of Fuchsias and Potatoes. Whilst the varieties of the latter which he raised have been elbowed out of commerce by newer ones, many of his Fuchsias to-day still rank amongst the very best in cultivation – indeed, none are more beautiful, have better habits, or flower more abundantly.  Mr. Lye was a very capable raiser and first class grower of specimens, and the noble pyramids he grew at Clyffe Hall, 9 to 10 feet in height, and referred to in an article in Gardeners’ Chronicle, February 14, 1885, were never excelled out of the West of England. He had retired from active life for several years, but still retained his love for Fuchsia-raiding to the last. A.D.   From: The Gardeners’ Chronicle, February 14, 1906….