George Fraser Hybrid Blooms in Scotland
Sidney, British Columbia
The rhododendron 'Fiona Christie' bloomed for its namesake, the person Fiona Christie, at Christies Nursery in Scotland this spring. When Fiona traveled to Ucluelet, B.C., in 2002 I gave her a rooted cutting of the hybrid, a cross by George Fraser that was found as a seedling in his garden at Ucluelet. Fiona, a granddaughter of the Christies who employed Fraser at their nursery in Scotland before he moved to British Columbia, came to Victoria, B.C., in 2002 as a high school student with a group of fiddlers to pay tribute to Fraser at a ceremony in Beacon Hill Park. Fiona was the featured dancer.
Fiona Christie with George Fraser's hybrid named 'Fiona Christie' by Bill Dale.
Photo courtesy of Fiona Christie
As a young man, George Fraser worked for Christies Nursery in Scotland before he came to Canada in 1890. He worked as a foreman at Beacon Hill Park and in 1892 moved to Ucluelet where he remained until his death in 1944.
Fiona Christie is now attending medical school at the University of Glasgow. I received a photo of her and the blooming 'Fiona Christie'. I think it is a lovely plant.