February, 2010

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Presidentís Message

Well another year, another successful annual auction! Despite the frigid weather, we still had a great turnout for our auction last month. I would like to thank Charles once again, for bringing the great plants, and for auctioneering. I would also like to thank those of you who donated some lovely shade plants as well. I don't know the numbers yet, but I do know it was a success. Oh and last but not least, the refreshments were great! I would only expect this, considering my family often only comes to the meeting because as Shawn would put it, "The old ladies make the best food!" Don't feel labeled... I'm OLD TOO!

Despite the unusually cold, New York like weather last month, my yard seems to be looking ok. As a lot of you may know, I live in Loxahatchee where we can see some really cold numbers during these months. I am always surprised by the Begonias, they are one tough suckers! It doesn't appear I am going to lose 1 single Begonia! I guess with low temps like we had it's always a wait and see game.

We need some additional help with our meetings, now I know we have committees for the Refreshments, Badge Plants, and Raffle tables; but we really need a few individuals to help clean up. It always appears to be the same people after each meeting. One advantage of joining our "Cleaning Crew" each month is that there is often a lot of Begonia leaves that get discarded! On a positive note, just think FREE BEGONIAS! I will be passing around a signup sheet for each month this year , it only takes about 20 minutes after each meeting.

This year, I would like to try something a little different at the meetings, I would like to start a brief Show & Tell segment. We do this at some of the other society meetings and it seems to be pretty well received. This is an opportunity for our members to bring in a shade loving plant(not only begonias) that is looking exceptionally well, or is doing something really "strange" . Of course, size permitting, we don't want anyone throwing their back out here! I look forward to seeing what great growers, or weird thing us members come up with!

Not to ramble on, I am never short on words! This month's speaker is Charlie Mc Daniel, he will be discussing Healing Plants, and of course his rare and unusual collection of this 'n that. I know he can always entice me into something new! Please join us this month, doors open at 7 , speaker starts at 8.

Keep up the Good Work!

Shawna Price

February Meeting

When:  Monday, February 8, 7 p.m.
Where:  Mounts Auditorium
Refreshments:  Elaine McKelvey, Di Loveland, Linda Marshall
RaffleTable:  Doris Happel
Badge Plant:  Doris Happel
Exchange Table:  Bring a plant that you are proud to share, either a begonia or other shade-loving plant.

Around the Garden

I had to wear a winter coat that I had not previously worn in the state of Florida! I think the plants tolerated the cold better than I did. At least I didn't hear them whining. The sustained cold for about two weeks has caused a surprising amount of damage, even though in my garden it stayed just slightly above freezing. Some of the damage is only becoming evident now, with green leaves dropping off of palms, and many trees and shrubs going bare. The begonias don't have too much damage, with a few exceptions. A few U402, the Venezuelan species, died in pots that were exposed, but others in more sheltered areas have survived. None of the other begonias have died, although some look pretty bad. B. valida had a lot of damage, but that plant is so vigorous, that in a few weeks it will have loads of new leaves and will start blooming. So, take a deep breath and start trimming off dead and damaged leaves. If you had actual frost or freezing, you may have to do more trimming than that, but the begonias will almost always come back from the rhizomes or roots, so don't throw anything away for at least six weeks. An unexpected benefit of the sustained cold is that the iguanas and Cuban anoles have died. They will be back, but it may take a few years. I worried about the hummingbirds surviving those cold nights, but they are busy every day getting nectar from the pink firespikes. If anyone wants cuttings of pink firespike, let me know. It grows about four feet tall and is easier to keep within bounds than the red or purple ones.

Doris Happel

Minutes of Meeting of January 11, 2010

The meeting began at 7:35. President Shona Price welcomed all and thanked Lee for opening the door to the facility.

No raffle or badge plants this meeting due to auction.

President Price thanked Leslie Clarke, Fran Drescher and Kitty Phillips for providing food and refreshments.

Old Business:

Doris Happel reviewed the volunteer needs for the 2010 meeting including refreshments and badge plants. The list was distributed for all to review and sign up.

Nancy wanted members to know that Donnie Brown's sister passed away on Christmas eve, and that Sandy Arland's son had triple by-pass surgery so that members could send cards.

Speakers fee was discussed. The current fee is $100, but this doesn't always cover the cost for the travel to our meeting. The Orchid Society pays a flat fee of $150, The Bromeliad Society may also pay hotel and gas plus speaker fee. Doris made a motion to increase the fee to out-of-county speakers to $150, and continuing Palm Beach County speakers at $100. Tara Ford second. All members voted in favor.

Many events in the area this weekend: TPIE and war memorial.

Upcoming Events:

GardenFest - Vero Beach Feb 6, 7

Boca Orchid Society Show and Sale - Feb 14, 15

GardenFest Coral Springs - Feb 20, 21

President Price thanked Charles Jaros for his talents as auctioneer.

Charles began the auction at 7:45. Incremental bids were $1.00. Maria and Sue Ellen documented winning bids and amounts. Doris and Virginia volunteered to be plant runners. The plants were beautiful and many people went home with unusual Begonias and Peperomias .

Respectfully submitted,
Tara Ford, Recording Secretary

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