Fuchsias are versatile, stalwart shrubs producing pendant, bell-shaped flowers that hang from the branches from July right through to October. For a modest amount of effort, you’ll be rewarded with glorious, showy, often bi-colour blooms all summer long. They also produce small purple fruits after the flowers, adding to the season-long interest, which are edible and can add a zesty tang to jams and curds. In many areas the stems are killed by frost but fresh new shoots will sprout from the base again in spring. Fuchsias are well suited to growing in beds, borders, containers, hanging baskets or window boxes, succeeding in sun or partial shade. They do appreciate some shade during the hottest parts of the day and some shelter from cold winds. Fuchsias should be planted deeply with the crown covered in peat. In the warmer southern parts of the UK, they work well as a flowering hedge too. The hardiest and most popular variety is Fuchsia Riccartonii, which will reach 1.8 metres (6 feet) in frost free areas. There are also many hybrid fuchsias such as Fuchsia Mrs Popple. Feed Fuchsias every few weeks throughout the summer with a soluble fertiliser to maximise the flowering display.