April, 2012

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Next Meeting

When:  Monday, April 9, at 7 p.m. Where:  Mounts Auditorium
April Refreshments:  -David Perkinson and Nancy DeGennaro
Speaker:  Doris Happel , "Begonia Basics"
The April 9th Begonia Society meeting will feature past president and propagation party hostess extraordinaire, Doris Happel. She has years of expertise to share regarding horticultural characteristics and habits of begonias that grow well or stagger in our local environment. Propagation advice, fertilizer dos and don'ts, pruning recommendations - you ask it, Doris has answers and lots of tips. A great resource to refresh your begonia know how.

I will cover basic types of begonias in a slide presentation, followed by propagation techniques, fertilizer, soil, and maintenance. The program is designed for everybody, even experienced growers, because we can all learn from each other. The program will be especially helpful to those attending the propagation party the following Saturday (see below in upcoming events), so that beginners will have a foundation of knowledge on which to build.

I have a supply of Panterra pots, shallow begonia bowls, that I have purchased by the case. Here are the prices: 6.5-inch - 50 cents each 8-inch - $1.00 10-inch - $1.25 12-inch - $2.00 14-inch - $1.50 (cheaper because I can buy the case locally) I am currently out of stock of the taller pots used for canes, but if there is interest I can buy them again. The last time I bought 10-inch diameter tall pots they were $1.50 each.

You can email me prior to the meeting if you want me to bring you some pots, and people who attend the prop party can buy them at that time. (dbhappel@bellsouth.net) Propagation Party---Saturday, April 14 -- At Doris Happel’s garden learn how to grow begonias from leaves, wedge cuttings, or stems. If you have a begonia you would like to share, bring some leaves or stems with you (and the name if you know it).

The begonias are in full bloom now. You will see great examples of using landscape begonias as the primary understory planting and combined with other shade-loving plants. Everyone will have a chance to fill a tray of cuttings of cane and shrub-like begonias. I will show you how to do leaf cuttings of rhizomatous begonias for those times when you have a particularly rare or valuable plant. However for this event, I will give everyone rhizomes to take home and plant right in your gardens or in your own pots. Planting rhizomes is the quickest way to establish plants of this type.

As a bonus, you are all welcome to take home offsets and cuttings of most anything else in the garden - coleus, alocasias, brugmansias (angel's trumpets), amaryllis, bromeliads and more.

Materials to bring with you: Plant labels and a pencil Gloves - recommended Nitrile gloves - similar to latex gloves but stronger and impervious to chemicals - available in the paint department of Home Depot and at Harbor Freight Tools Small clippers I have sufficient trays, 4-inch pots, and perlite for cuttings.

Doris Happel

PRUNING, PLANTING, & TRANSPLANTING April 1st Cancer 8th & 9th Scorpio 12th & 13th Capricorn 17th & 18th Pisces 22nd & 23rd Taurus 27th & 28th Cancer

May 6th & 7th Scorpio 10th & 11th Capricorn 14th & 15th Pisces 19th & 20th Taurus 24th & 25th Cancer · Planting and Transplanting are best done in Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces with Cancer being the best. · Best Pruning for quick growth is first Taurus and then Capricorn.

If you can't be a good example ~ then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. ~Anon. The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy. ~ Helen Hayes (at 73)~

Presidents Message

BSPB has been advised by IRS that we have lost our tax exempt standing because we did not file a return for 3 years. Our understanding is that we didn't have enough assets to be required to file, and that we fell under the national ABS umbrella.

The Tampa branch treasurer, Jim LaPlante did a lot of work on this. We need to fill out a 13 page form and send it in with a $100 reinstatement fee. IRS finally contacted Jim after 4 months, requesting that the following Amendment be made to their Constitution (theirs was Article 7- ours would be Article IX). I have questions about "b" but because of the time delay with IRS communications, I will be asking to amend the Constitution at the April meeting, with a vote to be taken in May. I also will be asking for the $100 reinstatement fee, so the 13 page form can be filled out and returned. However, if "b" turns out to be problematic for national, I will withdraw the amendment. Anyone with a spouse or relative who is a tax attorney willing to do some work gratis, please let me know!

This is the amendment IRS wants: ARTICLE IX. Tax Exempt Organization a. This organization is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. b. Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

Virginia Jens
President, 2012

Upcoming Plant Events

April 14 and 15 -- Spring Plant Sale at Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami. 9:00 a.m.

April 21 -- Saturday morning Garden Tour of Linda Desanti's (9:30 a.m.) and Johanna Kitson’s (10:30 a.m.) gardens with lunch to follow. If you also have a friend interested in seeing a couple of interesting and unusual gardens, bring them with you. These wonderful gardens feature several water features, native and exotic plants, and all kinds of ideas to try in your own yards. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat. Our Garden Tour and Luncheon is fast approaching. Everyone is to meet at Linda Desanti's garden at 9:30 a.m. (A separate email will be sent with the directions on it). Please bring $8 to cover the napkins, plates, sandwiches/subs, potato salad, drinks, and dessert….a selection of ham, turkey, Italian, and roast beef will be available with condiments, pickles, onions, salad, etc. Monies will be collected when you arrive at Linda's and someone will go get the food and bring it to the next garden.

Saturday, April 21, 2012. 9:00-12:00 Martin County Master Gardener Plant Sale at the south end of the Martin County Fairgrounds in Stuart, which is located at 2614 SE Dixie Highway. Lots of great plants, propagated and grown by the master gardeners. April 29 and 30 -- Spring Plant Sale at Mounts Botanical Garden, WPB

Meeting Minutes for March 2012

President Virginia Jens began the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Arlene Miller and Linda DeSanti were thanked for their refreshments, and Linda was thanked for the badge plant. New members joining tonight are: Patrick and Emily Dempsey and Margaret Pierce. Guests at the meeting include: Barbara Vander Hogen, Marge Pierce, Renee Jensen, Karen Blumenfeld, Catherine Neary, Tammy Marks, Mary Crawley

Old Business Maria Mitsinicos was not present, but Virginia read the Treasurer's report. Now that the auction is over, the club is to decide on advertising in the Mounts' Leaflet. Paton White moved and Doris Happel seconded that we table this discussion until the next meeting because Mounts is considering changing the Leaflet from four issues a year to three and the pricing structure of its ads may change too. The motion was unanimously approved. Still needed are the following volunteers: Refreshment Chair, Membership Chair, clean up help after the meetings, badge plant donors and propagation party hosts. Everyone was asked to clean up if they have dirt at their table. New Business

There was a special presentation. Johanna presented to Michael Evans a new Tim Anderson hybrid, "Lynda Evans" honoring his late wife Lynda. Michael was also recognized for his service as our webmaster and also for contributing our internet domain costs. Upcoming events were discussed: On March 17, we will car pool to Leu Garden's Plant Sale. There is room for two more; if more people than that sign up we will need another vehicle. On March 24 there is a Strawberry pot workshop at Johanna Kitson's. Attendees should bring their own strawberry pot.

April's meeting will feature Doris Happel's "Begonia Basics."

April 14 will be a propagation party at Doris'. Attendees should bring clippers, plant tags, a marker and gloves. Nitrile gloves were especially recommended. They are available in part departments and at Costco and Sams in the pharmacy area. (April 14 is also the Wellington Garden Club's Garden Walk.) April 21 there will be Garden Tours of Johanna's garden and Linda DeSanti's gardens. Linda's garden will be first, and for those wanting lunch later, sub sandwiches will be ordered for around $8 apiece to picnic at Johanna's.

The May meeting will feature Johanna Kitson's "Begonias This and That with lots of horticultural information.

May 19 will be a Palm Beach public garden tour starting at the Cluett Gardens at Bethesda by the Sea at 9:00 a.m. Next, the Garden at the Four Arts, and then Pan Garden (corner of Chilean and Hibiscus Streets). The parking lot across from Pan's Garden is a short walk to Worth Ave. and South County Road, site of the vertical garden on the wall of Saks Fifth Avenue, facing the intersection. Those who would like to, can then lunch in Palm Beach.

June meeting: ABS Begonian horticultural editor Greg Sytch will do an encore presentation. He would like to exhange 4" pots of begonias with our members in order to expand his collection. Announcements October 20, 2012 will the Boktoberfest Plant Sale at Bok Tower Gardens. Fairchild Garden has its 72nd Annual Ramble on Freday November 9 thru Sunday November 11. The Southwest Regional Begonia Society is having a Get-Together in San Antonio May 16-20. It costs $10 to join plus registration. The ABS National Convention will be held in San Diego August 8-12, 2012. The Rare Fruit Council has its Spring Plant Sale at the Fairgrounds on March 24 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. The next one is mid July. Respectfully submitted,

Sandy Sklar
Recording Secretary

Growing from Seed

Now is the time that most begonias should be forming tons of seed pods. Open pollination will certainly lend us a great variety of options, however, if you want to keep track of the parentage you will first have to choose two plants with the characteristics you wish to promote in a new hybrid. And, secondly, you will have to pick flowers with a receptive stigma above the seed pod and ripe pollen. If this timing works out just take the pollen and place it on the stigma. To keep insects from contaminating the stigma with unknown pollen, the flower must be covered to prevent this from happening. If fertilization has taken place the petals will fall off within a couple of days. Now the pod has to ripen over the next few weeks. Once the pod ripens and dries out, it will turn light brown and resemble crepe paper. When splitting open the pod, the seeds should be the color of cinnamon and roll around on a sheet of paper. If they don’t roll around they are not viable. I prefer to use a large plastic lettuce container to grow the seeds in. I punch holes in the bottom, place a couple of inches of a peat and perlite mix in the bottom, and set it in some water for one minute. This will wet the medium just enough and let the excess run out the bottom. I then sprinkle seeds over the top of the soil, close the lid, and put it in a warm, well lit area out of direct sun. In a few days to a week you generally will get some tiny green sprouts coming up. Occasionally it will take longer. Once the seedlings are big enough just pot them up in little pots.

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