Cold, cold, and more cold......... will this ever end? As much as old man winter has tried to hinder our beautiful gardens, I must say from a personal view my Begonias are still going strong! There's some damage on a lot of my leaves, but boy with all the flowers who can tell?
As a lot of you may know, Spring is the best time to propagate Begonias. I was recently reminded by how fascinating this process is. My friend Nancy Varney & I visited the Four Arts Garden this past month and she was astounded by the trays of Begonias that Johanna Kitson had started. It reminded me of the first time I had seen this done, and the tremendous success and bounty of plants I started from a few small leaves. Spring is in the air, the weather is relatively cool, and I'm looking forward to shoveling some dirt!
Once again, Doris Happel has graciously agreed to host another 'Prop Party' at her home on Saturday, March 14. Doris is always very generous with cuttings. This is a great opportunity to get some hands on experience and to walk away with a whole tray of new plants! Not to mention a lot of FUN! I am really looking forward to this, and this sounds a bit CRAZY but I have NEVER attended a prop party. If you have Begonias you'd like to share, get to clipping and bring them to the party. More details will be at the meeting!
Our speaker this month is Phillip Iloo of Stelmar Gardens in Homestead. He will be speaking about the unusual Tropicals he grows. Be prepared to be dazzled by his collection of aroids, ferns, begonias, and more....
Here is an article that I thought you might enjoy.
See you there!
Our speaker for the March meeting is Phil Iloo, whom many of you will recognize as the owner of Stelmar Gardens in Homestead and the vendor booth next to mine at Mounts plant sales. I spoke to Phil last week, and he said temperatures were 29 degrees at his nursery and the surrounding area in western Homestead. He said the tomato and cornfields are blackened. He lost most of his outdoor stock. His indoor areas were heated and mostly fine; however, he lost all of his exquisite jade vines, which were in the greenhouse but are very cold sensitive. Phil will be bringing beautiful and rare plants for us to see and buy, many in small sizes.
Propagation Party, Sunday, March 14, 2 p.m. at Doris Happel's house. Prop parties are one of the best benefits of membership. You will go home with a tray of cuttings and much more, plus added knowledge of begonias. Bring disposable gloves if you like to protect your hands from dirt, clippers or scissors, and a pencil. For information, call 434-3745.
Still cold! I am still wearing my NJ winter jacket. Despite the chill, the begonias are looking great, with most of the rhizomatous coming into bloom now. I am not complaining about the weather. I spoke to my elderly aunt in Pennsylvania, where they are having another blizzard on top of blizzard. She said she can't stand to look out the window and is eating her lunch facing away from the window! So, I was pretty happy today when I was able to peel off excess layers by mid-morning, and was entertained by the cardinals singing their mating calls, and two hours of the extraordinary courtship flights of red-shouldered hawks, complete with loud screaming calls to each other. The hawks always nest somewhere in this neighborhood. The tiny screech owls are nesting in our owl box for the third consecutive year. Spring is here even if it is a little chilly. It has also been very pleasantly rainy, a wonderful thing in the dry season. Many plants are re-leafing and will soon look good again. Coconut palms look dreadful and are going to look bad for a long time. Also badly damaged are Christmas palms, which dropped more than half of their green leaves but now appear to have stabilized. The true extent of palm damage will not be evident for at least another month.Doris Happel
President Price thanked Doris Happel for donating both the Badge and Raffle plants for the meeting as well as Di Loveland, Elaine McKelvey and Linda Marshall for refreshments.
President Price asked members to sign up for a cleaning committee each month in order to distribute the work among the members.
President Price encouraged members to bring any shade-loving plants to the monthly meeting as a show and tell to help educate others.
Charles Jaros announced the ABS convention for 2010 would be held in San Francisco from August 17-22 this year and encouraged members to attend. The national chapter is asking we bring cuttings in and send them in April. ACTION ITEM: all members prepare and label cuttings now and bring to the April meeting. If you're unsure of the species, bring to the April meeting and members will help identify.
Charles and Johanna auctioned two rare begonias : proceeds benefitted BSPB.
Doris announced great speakers for the coming months: Phillip Iloo (March) Dr. Rogers (April) Alan Mink( May)
President Price introduced our speaker for the evening, Charlie McDaniels. Charlie presented "Exotic Tropicals and Healing Plants". The presentation was very interesting with great stories about successful uses of plants to heal. Charlie brought unusual plants for purchase as well. The BSPB thanked Charlie for a great presentation!
The meeting ended at 8:45.
Tara Ford, Recording Secretary