Our Beautiful Flower Baskets Will Die

Note added:  Bell’s changed its mind and decided to allow baskets.  Our fuchsias are expensively overwintering again.

Anchorage 7/13/16 – So quickly things pass that we rest upon. Upon whom do we blame the plant disease that prompts Bell’s Nursery to no longer accept fuchsia for overwintering? The technosphere of shipping stuff to wherever somebody can make a buck off it? Climate warming? Thoughtless customers feeling they are entitled to too much? I don’t know. But I do know that all over our town there were magnificent baskets of fuchsia that over the years would age to grow enormous in their rootstock. And each year, Bell’s would accept them to winter over in their greenhouses. In the spring you would go back, pay the cost, and pick them up just as their blooming was about to peak. If the basket rotted away, they would replace it. If the root body grew too large, they would divide it and make more fuchsias with it, returning you a viable basket to prosper into the future. Over the years, the cost went up and the services went down. And this year, Bell’s won’t take baskets at all. The reason is some plant fungus or virus that they must expunge from their facility and they deem all existing plants to harbor this plague and hence needful to be quarantined out. So either we winter the baskets over ourselves in some way or we kill them.

And just like that a magnificent botanical heritage is gone.



  1. Deirdre Aldridge says:

    I am a lifelong Alaskan, born in Fairbanks. This breaks my heart. I remember as a child asking my mother what those were, because they were so beautiful and exotic looking.

    • Steven Heimel says:

      Bell’s thought better of this policy and took baskets after all. But who knows in the future? The lady in charge has retired.

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