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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 be posted providing a description of the lost cultivar, the year it is reputed to have been introduced and any image if we have previously located one.
  • On a Wednesday a notecard will be posted containing any additional information such as the person or place the cultivar is named after any any other relevant information. This may help our detectives in their search.
  • We may provide additional clues during the week or year about particular cultivars as information becomes available.

We will be posting our Monday and Wednesday information on our Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) using the hashtag #lostfuchsias. A summary of detectives finds and developments will be reported on our blogs (Harper and Debbage and James Lye Fuchsia Collection).

Though the best way to keep yourself up to date with all the fuchsia hunting is to follow us on Facebook or like us on Twitter.

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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 and an image of Lye’s Marvellous’.

We have put a selection of photos on our Facebook page at


Royal Horticultural Society

Plant Heritage

British Fuchsia Society

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Plant Heritage announces Brother Bursary winners for 2017

Kristopher Harper (owner of the Collection) is delighted to announce that the National Plant Collection of Fuchsia cvs. (introduced by James Lye) has been awarded a Plant Heritage, Brother Bursary this year.

The Bursary given by Brother UK, provides financial awards and plant labelling machines towards projects to help develop National Plant Collections, and is judged by a panel of horticultural experts.

Brother UK Logo

Collection Holder Collection Award
Kristopher Harper Fuchsia cvs.(introduced by James Lye) Professional photography of the Collection – creating a   photographic record of our National Collection, to aid in the promotion and   publicity of the plants by using high quality images