December, 2009

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President’s Message

I am looking forward to our annual members holiday party on December 14th.  Thanks to all of you, we always have great food, and as always we will have an opportunity to win great Begonias when we play Begonia Bingo.  Remember to get to the Mounts Auditorium early: dinner begins at 6:30.  Then Mary Bucholz will install new 2010 officers and Charles Jaros will call Begonia Bingo.  You are welcome to bring a guest; please bring an extra covered dish.

Now is the time to pay your annual dues, which for most of you are due now.   You will not receive a Begonian in the mail if you are not up to date on your dues.

2009 has been a really good year for the Begonia Society of the Palm Beaches.  In addition to a full year of great programs and great plants, we hosted a really successful and fun ABS Convention in May.  I want to again thank all of you who worked on the Convention.

I especially want to thank our wonderful officers and committee people:   Doris Happel, Maria Mitsinicos, Lynda Evans, Sandy Sklar, Peggy Fratus, Patt Lindsey, Brenda Skaggs, Ann Cavaleri, Jeff Hutchinson, Jim and Candy Curran, Lee Statkewicz, Johanna Kitson, Norma Grimm, Sandy Arlund, Fran Drescher.

A special thanks to Charles Jaros, who helps in so many ways.

And those of you who brought refreshments and badge plants and raffle plants.

And those of you who always help out.

And our speakers.

We couldn’t do it without you!

Nancy Cohen

Next Meeting

December 14 meeting:
Holiday Party!   Pot luck supper.   Bring a dish and come early.   We will sit down to eat at 6:30 p.m.   Begonia Bingo, called by Charles Jaros, will begin about 7:30.  Everyone will be a winner!   No plant exchange and no raffle.

If your dues are due in December, please bring a check to the meeting.  If you are late, you will miss an issue of the Begonian.  If you are not sure when you are due, email Maria Mitsinicos.

Around the Garden

I have been mulching lately and faced with how to mulch around the big rhizomatous begonias.  They all have leaves that touch the ground.  I finally decided on cutting off the lower leaves, which are the oldest ones anyway and either are starting to look tattered or soon will.  The mulch improves the appearance and the pruning will only encourage production of new leaves.  In another month, the first begonias will be in bloom, mostly among the thickstems.  Speaking of thickstems, if you picked up a plant at the convention labeled Begonia 'Immense,' it was mislabeled and should be called B. manicata.  It is a beautiful, big thickstem with big leaves and an abundance of red hairs on the petioles.  The begonias are really loving the fall weather.  They are recovering from the summer doldrums and really putting out beautiful new growth.  The snail population in my garden is finally at a manageable level, but I will still use some snail bait (metaldehyde) but less frequently.  I no longer find them everywhere when I walk around at night with the dogs.

I will miss the December party and want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season.  We will be on a short vacation in mid-December.  If you are wondering who is taking care of four dogs and one Mom, the answer is Bill's sister.  How nice for us.  See you in January!

Doris Happel

Tropical Short Course

Tropical Short Course is put on by the Garden Clubs. This will be open to everyone and is held at the Mounts Botanical garden, Clayton Hutcheson Center on January 26 & 27, 2010.  Speakers on Tuesday are Phil Maddux & Jorge Sanchez speaking on "Landscape Design with Natives"; Maisie Ross on "Going Green-Reducing Your Carbon Footprint at Home" and Floral Design by Janice Hamlin.  On Wednesday, Jason McCobb "Sustainable Gardening" and Mark Kraus on "Everglades History and Restoration" .  The PM program will be "Design Challenge" 4 Master Flower Show Judges well each be give a container and plant material to do a design.  Both days will feature a Guided tour of the garden by Gene Joyner following a box lunch.  Cost is $55 for both days including box lunch or $30 for one day. time is 8 AM registration till 4 PM.  Contact me at 561-582-0051 for further information and registration form or go on our web site here

Sandra Arlund

Begoniaceae Family Poster

While taking the horticultural Taxonomy course at Palm Beach Community College (now Palm Beach State College) during the Spring 2009 semester, Dr. George Rogers assigned a poster project to be completed on a specific plant family.  Each student’s poster was to include some basic information about the assigned plant family and once completed, would be displayed at the college as part of the Science Department’s annual poster event.  The posters would be viewed by many people who had little knowledge about plants.

I had recently joined the local Begonia Society of the Palm Beaches and was amazed at the wide variety of begonia cultivars available and the beauty of the foliage and flowers.  So as a new begonia admirer, I requested that my project be the Begoniaceae family.  After approval, I enthusiastically completed my poster (and learned how to use PowerPoint in the process).  The poster included types of begonias, some physical characteristics, propagation, and, of course, some begonia photos.  I was determined to educate fellow students as well as those who read the poster while it was on display about the glorious beauty of begonias.

There was no sense in letting the poster just sit in the closet somewhere.  It may actually be used again soon by another Begonia Society member, Elaine McKelvey, as a small part of her begonia presentation for a group in Stuart.

[view the poster]

Brenda Lines


We would welcome articles for this newsletter.  If you have something you’d like to write about, send an article to Lynda Evans,
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