February, 2012

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When:  Monday, February 13, at 7 p.m. Where:  Mounts Auditorium

Newsletter Editor’s Message

The year is off to a fast start--February is here already! Our much awaited Begonia Auction is here and Charles Jaros will once again take bids for these beautiful plants. It is an especially important meeting as we generate most of our income to pay for our yearly speakers and provide begonias at the December meeting. Bring a friend, tell a neighbor, talk it up at other plant societies. Better yet, also, Email a friend, a neighbor, other plant societies.

Over 100 begonias for both the landscape and interior will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The begonias come from resources all over the state of Florida. This is an opportunity to acquire unusual and beautiful plants.

Our winter has been extremely mild this year causing a few plants to bloom early. The Camellias at the Four Arts Garden started blooming over a month ago, whereas, usually they bloom the very end of January or beginning of February. Many Begonias are doing the same thing. Several have been blooming for a month already. For those of you that are retired or else have President’s Day off, come on over and tour the begonias at the Four Arts Garden on Monday, February 20---garden opens at 10:00 a.m. and afterwards have lunch at a local restaurant. This garden is located at 3 Four Arts Way in Palm Beach. The easiest way to get there is to take the middle bridge (Okeechobee Blvd.) into Palm Beach. Once over the bridge, take the first left, and the garden is immediately to your right just to the south of the library. Park along the street or in the parking lot to the north of the library.

Newsletter Editor

President’s Message

Greetings! We’re coming up on that wonderful time of year--- lots of plant sales and expositions designed to send our little gardening hearts into overdrive. Our annual begonia auction will be at the next meeting, Feb 13, and Charles Jaros has once again graciously agreed to be our auctioneer. It’s great to have the advantage of his wealth of begonia knowledge.

Next, we have trips planned and I hope you’ll take advantage of these opportunities to add to your collections and get new ideas for the garden. On Saturday, Feb 25, we will car pool to Tim Anderson’s Palm Hammock Orchid Estate (PHOE) for their begonia festival. On Saturday, March 17, we are planning a bus trip to Leu Garden in Orlando for their plant sale. Also, take a look at: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/special-events/epcot-international-flower-and-garden-festival/. While the cost is a little high between admission to Epcot and the additional 3 hr guided garden tour (and I don’t see “plant sale” listed!), if you go on a Friday you can also see the opening of one of the themed weekend gardens, such as Art in the Garden, March 23-25, or the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs weekend, April 27 & 29. There additional displays, such as bonsai, orchids, spice and herb garden, and water-wise herbs and veggies. There are also talks by HGTV personalities. If anyone might be interested, let me know.

Don’t forget the Strawberry Pot Workshop on March 24th. We are ordering begonia plugs for this workshop and Johanna needs a count of those attending as well as how many holes your strawberry pot has. Your investment is your strawberry pot and plants.

See you on Feb 13th at the meeting.

Virginia Jens
President, 2012

February Refreshments Nancy Cohen and Kitty Phillips BEE MOVIE REMINDER For this special event we will be in the Clayton Hutcheson Complex Conference Room (seats 300) for the screening of the film followed by a conversation with Ms Heinen.

The date is the Rare Fruit Council's regularly scheduled February meeting, Friday, February 10th, from 7:00 pm until around 10:00 pm. Here's the link to the movie's website. http://www.vanishingbees.com/ For more information, reread your January newsletter.

Upcoming Events Please contact Virginia ASAP concerning any of the following events. 561-568-0124 or vjens2483@gmail.com Head counts are needed for supplies. Many of our planned events take advanced planning, especially prop parties. Prop parties are the Saturday after our regular meeting. Please let me know if you are interested in the following events.

1) Prop Party---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) Two Saturday dates to pick from ---February 18th: Linda DeSanti and/or April 14th: Doris Happel

2) Field Trip---Saturday, February 25th: Palm Hammock Orchid Estates, Miami- car pool "Flowering Begonia Festival". This festival will have LOTS of begonias for sale and the show is always a sight to see and well worth the time. There are also many other plants to see at this nursery besides begonias. We went to this event last year. Due to lack of interest on the sign up sheet, we are just planning to car pool and split expenses for gas and tolls.

Second Field Trip--- Saturday, March 17th: Leu Gardens, Orlando- bus trip if enough interest. This is their giant plant sale, and Leu Gardens had many begonias in the landscape as well. Leu Garden is a real oasis in the middle of Orlando and a lovely garden to visit.

3) Strawberry Pot Workshop---Saturday, March 24th: Workshop at Johanna Kitson’s yard. 9:30 a.m. All you need to bring is your strawberry pot. Potting medium and nutricote fertilizer will be available. A selection of appropriately sized begonias will be for sale. Leave a message with a subject line “Strawberry Workshop” at oetkbtytc@aol.com or 315-7450 to sign up. There will also be a sign up sheet at the next meeting. Strawberry pots can be found at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Uncle Bims, Pottery Patch, and many garden centers. They vary in size and can be found in terra cotta or ceramic

Refreshments Needed! You all know how we love those snacks at the meeting! We still have several slots open for the coming year. There should be two members signed up for each month that we have a speaker. We are trying to scale back on the calories this year- fruit, cookies, etc, but please no sandwiches and dinner type food. Email me (vjens2483@gmail.com ) back with the date you would be able to help us out. Virginia

**Also--Need a Refreshment Chair** Need 2 members per month for April, August, October Need one more member for May and November We also need two members to bring drinks for the July or December pot luck dinners.

Thought for the day by: Pablo Casals For the past eighty years I have started each day in the same manner. It is not a mechanical routine but something essential to my daily life. I go to the piano, and I play two preludes and fugues of Bach. I cannot think of doing otherwise. It is sort of a benediction on the house. But that is not its only meaning for me. It is a rediscovery of the world of which I have the joy of being a part. It fills me with awareness of the wonder of life, with a feeling of the incredible marvel of being a human being.


President Virginia Jens began the meeting at 7:30 p.m. She reported that Maria Mitsinicos needs a copy of the minutes which states the transition of officers and signatories for our checking account in order to effect that change with the bank. Tara will be contacted for the minutes. Treasurer’s Report was given by Maria Mitsinicos.

Old Business

Virginia asked Fran to send around a signup list for two volunteers to bring refreshments for each monthly meeting. We need a Refreshment Committee Chair to send reminders to those volunteers before meetings.

Members should submit information for the newsletter, including begonia questions, to Johanna.

Our society donated to the Bee Program being sponsored by the Rare Fruit Council on Friday, February 10th so our members will be admitted free. The program is 7 – 10 p.m. and will include a discussion with the director. We are not yet able to update our website. Hopefully that will be resolved shortly.

Next month’s Feb. 13th meeting is our annual Begonia Auction. Since it will be the day before Valentine’s Day, it should be noted that begonias make good presents for Valentines Day.

Ads for the Auction were more expensive than we anticipated so we will not purchase ads. Sandy will produce flyers and these should be available at the Bee Program three days ahead of the auction. Each society is supposed to be allowed to set up a table with its promotional materials.

New Business.

There will be February 18th Propagation Party at Linda DeSanti’s garden and one on April 14 at Doris Happel’s.

We are investigating the cost of a bus for a trip to Leu Garden in Orlando for its huge plant sale on March 17th. Leu has many begonias in its garden.

We are also considering a trip to Palm Hammock on Friday, February 24 or Saturday, Feb. 25 for their Annual begonia event. We probably will carpool on Saturday. If we go on Friday we would bring bagged lunches. Sign up sheets will be passed around.


Gene Joyner has a radio program every Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on channel 820 AM radio and every 3rd Tuesday on WRNB 89.3 FM 7:35-8:15 a.m. On Saturday, Unbelievable Acres will be open to the public from 1 – 5 p.m.

Feb. 4 & 5 (Super Bowl Weekend) is Vero Beach Garden Fest at Riverside Park. Admission is free and there will be more than 100 vendors. It is always cold and raining. The program lineup for this year is as follows:

Feb. 13 – Begonia Auction with Charles Jaros.

March 12 – Craig Morrell, Begonias in the Landscape

April – Begonia Basics with Doris Happel

May 14 – still open

June 11 – Greg Sytch, Diseases and Physiological Problems of Begonias

July 9 – Picnic, auction

August – Vertical Landscaping with Bruce Pierson of Tropical World September 10 – David Bache, TBA

October 1 and November 5 – meetings will be held on the first Mondays instead of usual second Monday. Charles Jaros will present a program on one of those two months.

December 10 – Holiday Party.

January Meeting


Begonia Society President Virginia Jens presented Conservatory du Begonia Ville de Rochefort, France, National Collection. Virginia gave the interesting history of how the collection came to be located where it is. She showed slides of many of the begonias in the huge collection of approximately 1,800 plants. The collection concentrates on species donated by collectors, especially Japanese species from Africa. Unfortunately, they are not well-labeled. In 1997, 64 species of begonias were listed in danger of extinction.

Raffle Following Virginia’s presentation, the begonia raffle was held. Respectfully submitted, Sandy Sklar Recording Secretary

Ahhhhh, Springtime! The windows can be left open and begonias are showing off with their red, pink and white blooms. Lately I have been trimming off all the wind tattered leaves to make room for the new flush of growth and blossoms. Because the days are getting longer, this is the best time of year for us to do cuttings of any sort. To prepare your plants for the summer, give them a shot of either time release Nutricote, Dynamite, or a small dose of palm fertilizer now. Uncle Bims Garden Center has a palm fertilizer that also has some time release in it. Tell them Johanna sent you! Have any plant questions for the newsletter, just email me at oetkbtytc@aol.com Hope you have a great growing season….


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