February, 2009

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President’s Message

Thanks everyone for a fun and very successful auction.  Thanks especially to Charles for bringing the bulk of the beautiful plants and for the wonderful knowledgeable auctioneering.  Thanks to all of you who brought plants and items to auction, and to the refreshment committee—wonderful food.  And to those of you who brought friends and bought begonias.  We netted over $900—successful indeed.

You may feel as though your garden is in suspense.  With our warm fall and December, begonias were beginning to bloom nicely a month ago.  Now with the cold weather their progress has slowed.  But fear not, we shall shortly have many begonia blooms.  What a fabulous time of year for begonia lovers and growers in South Florida.

We could use some help at our monthly meetings.  Maria, Doris, and I end up cleaning up, rearranging tables and chairs and getting rid of begonia leaves and garbage, after each meeting.  If a few of you would volunteer to be cleanup committee with us, it would all go much more quickly.  Call me (842-2499) or email (petcoh@msn.com): your help would be very much appreciated.

We are making good progress on the upcoming ABS Convention.  Leslie Clarke and I have 19 budding begoniacs at Rosarian Academy growing B. ‘Holley Moon’ and propagating begonias.  Please encourage kids of your acquaintance to grow and show—we’d like to have a great Junior Division.  The Show Schedule is now online at www.begonias.org .

In February, Tim Anderson will bring his special hybrids and other gorgeous begonias from Palm Hammock Orchid Estates.  Too late to buy a begonia to enter into the Convention Show, but Tim’s beautiful hybrids were some of the most popular begonias in our auction.  Join us on February 9.

Keep growing those begonias,

Nancy Cohen

Convention and Other Stuff

This is such an exciting time of year for begoniacs with all the winter bloomers sending flower spikes.  Many of the thickstem begonias are the earliest to start blooming, but all the big rhizomatous are also beginning to bud by now. 

For our branch, excitement is also building with the convention plans.  Many of you have volunteered for specific jobs, and others have told me of their availability to work at the convention.  At our next convention meeting in early February, we will discuss the scheduling of volunteers.  I will send out an email listing the various jobs and time slots, and I know you will all pitch in to make this one of the best conventions ever.

I gave a Begonia Workshop at Mounts last week, and we have several new members as a result, including Shawn Cherry, who was President of our chapter quite some time ago.  He has rejoined us after an interim where he was concentrating on work and advanced education.  Please introduce yourself and welcome all new members when you see them at meetings.

Tim Anderson of Palm Hammock Orchid Estates is our scheduled speaker for February.  He will bring lots of his newest and best hybrids for us to covet.  Over the years, Tim has introduced some of our best South Florida landscape plants, and I always look forward to seeing what's new at PHOE.

Doris Happel


MINUTES OF MEETING OF January 12, 2009

Nancy Cohen, President welcomed members and guests and thanked Leslie Clarke, Brenda Skaggs, and Patt Lindsey, for providing refreshments.  There was no raffle table or badge plant.


The Orchid Society of the Palm Beaches will hold its annual auction February 12.

West Palm Beach Garden Club is having Horticulture Day on Saturday, January 24 at the WPB Garden Club Center near the zoo and science museum.  Entry is free.  Plants will be available for sale.  Visitors are encouraged to enter through new entrance to the zoo from Southern Blvd.

The weekend of January 31 and February 1 is Garden Fest in River Oaks Park,Vero Beach.  The hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.  Lots of plants for sale.

Friday, January 16, Arbor Day will be celebrated at Mounts Botanical Garden beginning at 9:30 a.m.  There will be speakers, a county proclamation and planting of a tamarind tree.

Gene Joyner will be back on live radio, WRNB 89.3 FM, every third Wednesday morning.

Auction rules were announced.  Bids were to be made in at least $1 increments.  Once again our favorite auctioneer, Charles Jaros, made one plant after another more interesting than the last.  Begonias acquired at this auction will still be eligible for showing at the convention.  A plentiful supply of beautiful begonias kept ensured lively bidding and fun for everyone at the event.  Maria Mitsinicos and Nancy Cohen collected payments at the end of the auction.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandy Sklar
Recording Secretary

Blue Ribbon Show Questions

We're trying to collect your questions about the Show Rules.  The answers (as well as the Show rules) will be posted on the ABS website (www.Begonias.org ).  If you have additional questions please email them to Nancy Cohen at petcho@msn.com.  Thanks, Nancy

Dear Show Chairman Charles Jaros:

I have never entered a Begonia Society competitive flower show before.  Please give me some guidance; I’d love to win a blue ribbon.

Q: I have entered Garden Club of America and Federated Garden Club shows; can I enter this ABS show as a Novice? (I didn’t win a blue ribbon, if that helps!)

Q: How are judges selected? Will the judges know who entered the plants they are judging?

Q: What happens if I try to enter a plant in the wrong classification?

Q: I have three beautiful B. ‘Lowe’s Pet’.  Can I enter one in Division E (rhizomatous,) one in Division N Class 164 (Florida hybrid rhizomatous,) and one in Division O Class 174 (Novel grown—unique container?)

Q: What if nobody knows the plant name?

Q: How much do blooms count?

Q: Are there any size limits on entries?

Q: I remember being told only one plant per pot, but don’t see this in the rules?

Q: Are clay-colored and green the only acceptable pot colors (other than Division O?) Are clay-colored pots preferable to green pots?

Thanks, Novice Grower

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