May, 2012

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Next Meeting

When:  Monday, May 14, 2012, at 7 p.m. Where:  Mounts Auditorium
April Refreshments:  -Pauline Ma & Marie Mitsinicos
Badge Plant:  -Nancy Cohen
Speaker:  The May meeting will feature the Four Arts Garden Horticulturist and long time Begonia Society Board member, Johanna Kitson, presenting "Begonias By The Seasons --- This and That"
It is sure to be a potpourri of horticultural information and advice including use of begonias in the landscape with other plants that share the same niche. Her wealth of knowledge from years of growing and propagating will add to everyone’s garden know-how.

President’s Message

Thanks to Doris Happel for a wonderful program on Begonia Basics. No matter how long you’ve been gardening, there’s always something to learn. We’re continuing with growing basics and tips again this month. Johanna Kitson will be giving “Begonias- This and That,” more information on growing spectacular begonias.

We are going full steam ahead with the 4th Begonia Garden at Mounts. Has anyone been around long enough to remember the first garden? It was created before I joined, using railroad ties to make tiers of begonias and was located outside the bookstore. This was the garden that interested me in begonias. When the shade tree came down as part of a master plan for the garden, we were asked to relocate the begonias to the “rainforest” located behind the bookstore. This didn’t work well, and most of the begonias died. I was less than enthusiastic when Nancy, Johanna, Norma, et al, suggested starting another garden, but what a beautiful, peaceful place that was. Many visitors were exposed to our beautiful plants and I think many joined our group. So, here we go again! We will start planting the 4th begonia garden on Saturday May 5th at 9am. We will meet in front of the bookstore, or, if there’s no one there, wander to the west and south… we aren’t far.

What’s coming up after planting a garden and our May 14th meeting? May 19th- Palm Beach public garden tour… Cluett Gardens at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Garden of the Four Arts, and then Pan Garden (Florida natives).

May 16th-20th- Southwest Regional Get-Together, San Antonio

June meeting - Greg Sytch, ABS horticultural correspondent. Remember, he’ll exchange 4” begonias for one of his. He’s trying to expand his collection.

July meeting- Pot luck and Silent Auction!

August 8-12- American Begonia Society Annual Convention, San Diego

Hope to see you all with a shovel to plant begonias on May 5th, and again on May 14th at the meeting!

Virginia Jens
President, 2012

IRS Constitution Wording

As you know, I proposed an amendment to our by-laws at the last meeting in order to meet requirements of IRS as we try to reinstate our not-for-profit status. Below is the final wording, which I think will meet both ABS and IRS requirements, for your perusal prior to the meeting. If you have any proposed corrections/ideas/etc., please let me know! Thanks! Virginia Jens

Article VII Branch of American Begonia Society a. This organization shall operate as non-profit unit of the American Begonia Society, organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes. It shall not carry on activities not permitted by a corporation exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal revenue Code of 1954, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. b. Upon dissolution of the organization, after paying, or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the branch, the remaining assets shall be distributed to the Parent Organization, the American Begonia Society, or a non-profit fund, foundation or corporation, which is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and/or scientific purposes and which has established its tax-exempt status under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 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.


Saturday, May 19, 9:30 a.m. --- Four Gardens on Tour in Palm Beach --- Cluett Memorial Garden at Bethesda-by-the-Sea; The Four Arts Gardens at the Society of the Four Arts; Pan’s Garden; Vertical Garden by Saks

We will meet at the Cluett Memorial Garden at Bethesda-by-the-Sea at 9:30 a.m. The address is 141 South County Road, which is at the intersection of S. County Road & Barton Avenue. The garden is a formal tropical garden.

From there we will drive to the Society of the Four Arts (2 Four Arts Plaza) and meet at the Four Arts Gardens, where Johanna Kitson will give us a tour. Johanna, a member of our branch and editor of our newsletter, is the Garden Curator of these beautiful gardens.

Our third stop will be a visit to the 1/2 acre Pan’s Garden, Botanical Garden of Florida Native Plants. The garden (386 Hibiscus Avenue) is at the intersection of Chilean & Hibiscus Avenue. There is a parking lot across the street or along the street.

To see the vertical garden near Saks you have several options: drive by, have lunch at Cha Cha’s which has free parking and is near Saks, or park somewhere else & perhaps have lunch at another restaurant such as Nick & Johnny’s or Taboo & walk to the vertical wall.

Meeting Minutes for April 12, 2012

President Virginia Jens began the meeting at 7:30 p.m. Nancy DeGenero and David Petersen were recognized for donating refreshments; Virginia contributed the badge plant.

Raju Koltrath became a member. Guests were Karen Blumenfeld, Emmet Butler, Mary Jane Marger, and Laurie Hristov.

Old Business Minutes were posted on the web. Last month’s Treasurer’s report was provisional because Maria didn’t have the bank statement. Virginia read Maria Mitsinicos’ report for March and for April.
The decision on advertising in the Mounts’ Leaflet was again postponed since it was unknown what the pricing of ads would be for the new three times per year schedule.
Positions for Refreshment Chair and Membership Chair are still not filled. Denise has agreed to continue to help greet and sign in members and guests at the door.

New Business *A new Begonia Garden will be installed at Mounts soon. Johanna met with Garden Director Allen Sistrunk and an area was selected. It will be cleaned and Fafard will be added, and directional signs will also be added. A new sidewalk is going to be installed soon also; it will bring garden visitors to the begonia area and beyond. A call for volunteers will go out as soon as everything is ready to go.
*The club neglected to file 990 forms since 2008 because the forms were mailed to Virginia’s old address and it wasn’t forwarded. Now the 20 page form will be filed along with a $100 fee to reinstate our tax exemption that allows the club to purchase plants from Harmony and other wholesale nurseries. We used to be under the ABS umbrella, but we can no longer do that.
*Toni made a motion enabling the club to file the necessary paperwork. Johanna seconded the motion and all voted in favor.
*ABS bylaws are being amended regarding dissolution of society branches and distribution of assets. Virginia will email everyone and then we will vote on it.
*Upcoming events were discussed: April 14 will be a propagation party at Doris’. The beginning time was changed from 9:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. This is also the day of 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. *April 28 and 29 is the Mounts Plant Sale weekend.
*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 present a program. He would like to exhange 4” pots of begonias with our members in order to expand his collection.

Announcements Gene Joyner reminded everyone about his radio programs answering call-in gardening questions next Tuesday at 7:45 – 8:30 a.m. on 89.3 FM and Sunday morning around 7:30 a.m. on 880 AM.

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.

PRUNING, PLANTING & TRANSPLANTING · 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

May 6th & 7th Scorpio 10th & 11 Capricorn 14th & 15th Pisces 19th & 20th Taurus 24th & 25th Cancer

June 2nd & 3rd Scorpio 6th & 7th Capricorn 10th, 11th & 12th Pisces 15th, 16th & 17th Taurus 19th, 20th & 21st Cancer 29th & 30th Scorpio

I will be covering several “this and that” begonia topics in my program in May. If there are any particular questions you may have about begonias that I can answer at that time, please email me with them so I can incorporate the information into the program. Thanks, Johanna

As always……….Bring a friend to the next meeting!

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