With the beginning of a New Year, and decade, I am excited about taking on this presidency. I will be the first to admit, I can’t name every begonia, nor do I think I ever will. I do however have a love for their beautifully colored leaves, unique blooms, and overall adaptability. One thing that has impressed me the most over the years as a member of the society is in fact our members. We have such a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of gardening, not to mention darn good cooks! There is always somebody that can answer a question whether it be scientific or just plain practical and always with a smile.
As this New Year continues, I would like to encourage more members to become involved. I, myself, would have never had the idea of being a guest speaker, or even holding an officer position. When Nancy Cohen asked, I was hesitant at first but soon caved. To tell you the truth, whether or not you believe me, I have been very nervous every time , but I have enjoyed your compliments. I would like to extend an invitation to our members to be a guest speaker. Not much of a speaker? How about a garden tour of your home? Some of you have fabulous homes. This is would be a great opportunity for you to really “Showcase” all your hard work.
Our next meeting on January 11 is our annual Begonia auction. Once again, we have the honor of having Charles Jaros as our auctioneer. This is a great opportunity to acquire some rare, unusual, and near perfect begonias. If any of you have any shade loving plants you would like to donate, bring them. Donations, as always are greatly welcomed and appreciated. I’d like to really amp up the auction this year. I personally will be donating some of my own “Creations” as well. This is one of the best times to acquire some new begonias for your gardens. Don’t try and keep up with the Jones’ be the Jones’! With our dedicated board, I am confident 2010 will be another great and successful year. Please join us for our Annual Begonia Auction on January 11 at 7 pm. Bring a friend or two!
See you there!
P.S. My son Shawn will not have access to the checkbook this year. In fact, I will be duct taping his hand and paddle to the seat!
January 11 Meeting:
Annual Auction with beautiful plants from Harmony Growers and Charles Jaros as auctioneer extraordinaire. Please bring a nice plant to donate to the club to be auctioned off.
No exchange table or raffle table in January, because of the auction.
Refreshments: Kitty Phillips, Leslie Clarke, Fran Drescher
Winter has arrived, and so far the begonias are loving it. They will do fine unless we have a frost. If we do have a frost, leave the plants alone, untouched, until the ice melts by itself. Do not water the plants to melt the ice; that will cause more damage. The cooler weather has slowed down the snails, but they are not completely dormant so be vigilant and use bait judiciously when necessary.
The cool weather invites us to spend more time in the garden. Use that time to groom your landscape plants. Trim the lower leaves to keep the rhizomatous begonias neat. Cut old canes that have turned brown right down to the ground. Don't be a wimp; be courageous and cut those old stems out. You can make cuttings of the leafy tops. Last month I mentioned using perlite to start leaf cuttings. I am pleased to report that I've had almost 100% success with perlite. From now on, that is the only way I will start leaves. A good way to make a lot of leaf cuttings is to use a four- or six-inch pot and fill it with as many leaf cuttings as it can hold of one plant; then you can use one label with the name and date. I put dates on labels all the time on potted plants to remind me when a plant was started, fertilized, etc.
Mary Bucholtz from Jacksonville was introduced as Branch Relations Chairperson for the national ABS to swear in the new officers of the Begonia Society of the Palm Beaches for 2010.
The installation of officers included:
President, Shawna Price
Vice President, Doris Happel (Nancy Cohen stood in for Doris who was on vacation)
Treasurer, Suellen Solordar
Recording Secretary, Tara Ford
Corresponding Secretary (continuing a second year), Lynda Evans
National Representative, Lee Statkewicz
All officers were awarded beautiful begonias.
Following dinner all guests participated in Begonia Bingo led by Charles Jaros.
Sandy Sklar, Recording Secretary