Market Lavington Museum

James Lye – fuchsia grower

We have met James Lye on several occasions. He was a gardener at Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington and was renowned for James Lye’s fuchsia pyramids. (See also The Life of James Lye and Finding James Lye.)

At Market Lavington Museum we have copies of various articles about his gardening prowess. These include a picture of James Lye in 1884 with prizewinning fuchsia pyramids, printed in a 1981 Country Life magazine.

But James was not only a grower of high quality plants, he bred new varieties too. A 1999 article in the Daily Mail Weekend magazine reports that he made 99 hybrids although only about a quarter of these cultivars are still known to exist.

Some of his plants were named after local people, including his own daughters.

We also have a typed extract from a book about fuchsias, which rates our local gardener very highly.

We will finish with a list of James Lye fuchsias which had survived well into the 20th century.

James Welch and Annie Earle were relatives of our museum founder, Peggy Gye.