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Lost Fuchsia: Miss Welch

 

This weeks lost fuchsia is ‘Miss Welch’, which was introduced around 1885.

We know very little about this cultivar, to our knowledge there appears to be only one description of this cultivar and no known images.

We suspect that the fuchsia is linked to a member of James Welch‘s family, because James Lye and James Welch were known to each other as they both lived in Market Lavington and sat on the parish council.  It may be possible to link the naming of this fuchsia through census records and James Welch was the Secretary of the Wiltshire Agricultural Association.

Additional Clues on where this cultivar has previously been listed to help our detectives:

  • Mentioned in the John Forbes Catalogue, 1885

We are hoping that our fuchsia detectives will find some information about this historic cultivar, through historical resources, such as the Gardeners’ Chronicle, if any of our detectives are living in Europe they could consult their own countries historical journals, as we know James Lye’s fuchsias have appeared in German publications, as well as searching nursery catalogues.

Any information you can share with us (however small) will help us and other fuchsia detectives in the search.

#lostfuchsias #harperdebbage #nationalplantcollection #plantheritage #wiltshire

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Wiltshire Life – Covers the Lost Fuchsia Hunt

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

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Lost Fuchsia: Hon. Mrs Hay

‘Hon. Mrs Hay’ is named after James Lye’s employer, Hon. Mrs. Louisa Hay (nee. Pleydell Bouverie).

Louisa was the daughter of Captain (afterwards Admiral) the Hon. Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie, (son of the 2nd Earl of Radnor of Longford Castle) and Louisa May.

Louisa married Captain Hon. Samuel Hay (son of the 17th Earl of Erroll of Slains Castle) in 1832. Louisa spent nearly all her life at Clyffe Hall.

We know this fuchsia cultivar was exhibited at horticultural shows at Trowbridge and Bath and received prizes.

We hope that our fuchsia #detectives will help us find more information about this #fuchsia cultivar including information relating to its first listing or when it was last seen or listed in a #nursery catalogue. Any information you can share will help others in the search.

#lostfuchsias #wiltshire #nationalplantcollection #harperdebbage #fuchsias #horticulture #earl #Radnor #Erroll #longsford #castle #slains #clan #hay #pleydell #bouverie #trowbridge #bath #cultivar

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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 demand for exhibition and decorative purposes.

Taken From: The Floral Magazine, 1880. Plate 426.

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James Lye’s Grave Discovered

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.

gravestone.jpg
With the assistance of some water and a toothbrush from the museum, I started to clean the headstone to reveal the wording which had been hidden from us in the past.
cleaninggrave.jpg
The cleaning of two faces of the gravestone revealed the following wording: “In loving memory of James Lye who fell asleep February 3rd 1906, aged 75, “Blessed are they who die in the lord for they rest from their labours” on the right hand side face was “Also of Maria his wife who died January 1909, aged 79, “Them also which sleep in Jesus god bring with him”.
maria_1.jpg
Considering we had searched the churchyard on previous visits without any success, we had come to the conclusion that James and his wife had no gravestone, what a great surprise that with this recent museum acquisition and a bit of detective work we have been able locate James’s grave and gravestone a 110 years after his death.
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James Lye’s Obituary

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.  p.g.94.