July, 2010

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When:  Monday, July 12, 6 p.m.
Where:  Mounts Auditorium
Event:  Annual Picnic and Silent Auction
Please come early to help set up tables and to place your plants for sale.  We will sit down to eat at 6:30 p.m. The silent auction will begin as soon as people arrive and start placing bids on the sheets.  The auction will end around 8 p.m.   Paying by check is the easiest; if you want to pay cash, please try to bring some bills of smaller denominations.

I emailed bid sheets last week.  Please print as many as you need and cut the paper vertically to make two bid sheets.

We will also need help at the end of the evening to put the room back the way we found it.

Around the Garden

June was sweltering!  I irrigated three times a week and everything got through fine.  Now in early July we are having welcome rains and the weeds and snails are thriving.  I have to make a trip to Pro Source One on Rt. 441 to buy snail bait and fertilizer.  Despite my resolution to fertilize in June, it did not happen.  I am not worried about that because the first fertilizer of the year went on a month late in April because March was still too cold and nothing was growing then.   I had to remove the big African Oil Palm, which lost its center in the cold weather.  Perhaps the loss of the palm was a good thing.  It was still immature and "small" at maturity the fronds are 30 feet and would have reached across the deck and roof.  I now have a lovely 10 foot Michaela champaca, known as the Joy perfume tree, where the palm used to be.  The wonderful scent will fill the deck and garden almost year-round.

I am pruning shrubs every day and gradually removing the ones that simply require too much maintenance.  The acalyphas are all headed for the pickup heap.  They tend to get mealy bugs and need pruning several times a year.  Too often!  Also on the way out to the trash pile are most of the gingers.  They look so bad in winter and they tend to form huge clumps, another big maintenance problem if I don't want a big clump!  I am keeping the beautiful white and yellow butterfly gingers.   I am shopping for some pretty natives that will provide for wildlife and not require pruning more than once a year, if that.  I have recently purchased Jamaican Caper and Ligustrum.  Of the well behaved exotics, I am adding Tibouchinas all the time.  Several nurseries have some new ones that I haven't seen before.  Also great are the Knock Out roses, which now come in many colors and are completely free of bugs and fungus and only need minor trimming.  The flowers are fragrant.   All of the shrubs mentioned make good shade covers for begonias.

Doris Happel

Calling all plant people!!

The Begonia Society is holding its annual silent plant auction.

Any plant or plant related item will be featured--not just begonias.  So far some of the featured plants are some huge amorphophallus, orchids, bloomimg bromeliads, begonia collections, ferns, some framed and some matted botanical prints, begonia reference books, begonia books, succulents, and much more.

We meet in the Mounts Auditorium and the auction begins around 7:15 p.m. on Monday, July 12th.

Please tell any of your plant friends about the silent sale.  Cash preferred or check accepted.

Johanna Kitson

Minutes of Meeting of June 14, 2010

The meeting began at 7:35. President Shawna Price welcomed all. There were no new members or guests at this meeting.

President Price thanked Elaine McKelvey for donating the Badge and Kitty Phillips and Betty Ahlborn for the Raffle plants. She also thanked Linda and Ron Wiringer and Christine Schwartz for the refreshments.

President Price asked for a volunteer to call and remind people about bringing refreshments. Tara Ford agreed to do this.

Treasurers Report: Sue Ellen Solodar reported our balance and noted that a donation was made to Children's Home Society in memory of Virginia Jen's daughter, Shanicka. In addition, the society made a contribution to Mounts Botanical Garden.


The topic of begonia fungus was discussed as a follow up to David Perkinson's discussion in April regarding an outbreak in his Begonia plants. David noted that he used Oxystroben fungicide once a month for the last few months and it worked well on the fungus.


A bus trip to Stelmar Gardens for Garden Fest and Palm Hammock/Pinecrest Gardens was discussed which will be held on July 17th. The bus cost of approximately $600-700 was discussed. The group discussed having the Society pay for the bus for members as a way to thank members for their work with our organization. Doris Happel made the motion to provide free seats to members on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing Doris with your request. Tara Ford second. The motion passed unanimously.

Virginia Jens discussed the history of the establishment of the Paul Rowe Trophy for Best Begonia. The topic was discussed and Virginia made a motion that the trophy donation be made. Maria second. The motion passed unanimously.

Doris Happel suggested we continue with a donation in the holiday issue of the Begonian. Doris made the motion, Virginia Jens second. The motion passed unanimously.

Johanna Kitson showed a beautiful cypress stump with moss growth and Begonias. She showed the group how easy it is to start seedlings using your own substrate.

July's meeting is our popular silent auction! Set up is 5:00 pm, eat by 6:30. Sign up for food was circulated. Doris to email the silent auction forms for auction items which can be an 80/20 split with the society, or a full donation to the society. Any plant or garden item is welcome!

The speaker was Kitty Phillips who provided an excellent overview of Palms suitable for our area. The presentation included photos and discussions about growth rate, locations suggestions as well as interesting facts about each species. Thank you Kitty for a great presentation!

The meeting adjourned at 8:45.

Tara Ford

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