Friday, March 12, 2021

Meet Our Community: Theo Margelony, fuchsia fanatic

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member of our Fling community* here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


R. Theo Margelony



The Fuchsietum - formerly Fuchsias in the City - is all about fuchsias! The sheer love of plants inspires me to share about them online (with major contributions of photography from Kevin Gepford). People sometimes ask where my obsession with fuchsias comes from and how long I’ve had this affliction…err…passion, and I joke that I was probably born in a bed of fuchsias.

When Kevin and I lived and gardened in Manhattan (on 1/94th of an acre), there was no greenhouse, no shed, no garage, only an apartment window and a shelf by the rear door to shelter a few favorite plants in winter. Each December I would sadly have to toss four-fifths of my fuchsias and begin again with mail-order starts in February. On the bright side, I got to experience different fuchsias every year.

In 2019 we traded the Atlantic coast for the Pacific, moving west to Portland, Oregon. It took a few months, but we finally found just the right place, a garden surrounding a 1905 cottage. That’s old by local standards, so we’re calling the project of making it over “This Old House. This New Garden.” The USDA Zone 8b-9 climate here in the Pacific Northwest is perfect for fuchsias, especially garden hardies, plus a ton of other plants from Chile to New Zealand to South Africa. In Manhattan I was mostly into ornamentals - fuchsias, hostas, ferns, and other shady characters - because of a lack of sunlight and space. But in Portland, in addition to our new garden, I have a veggie plot in a local community garden. I got misty-eyed planting tomatoes for the first time in ages.

I suspect I’m a love-the-one-you're-with kind of garden visitor. Every place I visit has something I love. Longwood Gardens and the Montreal Botanical Garden for their sheer size and diversity. Chelsea Physic Garden for its intimacy and history. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for newness and spunk. Kirstenbosch for its unrivaled collection of native plants from one of the richest floristic provinces in the world. Those proteas!

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Thanks for sharing your work and gardening passions with us, Theo! You can follow Theo on his website, The Fuchsietum, and on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. A YouTube channel is coming soon.

Photographs courtesy of Theo Margelony.

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