February, 2013

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Next Meeting

What:  Begonia Auction
When:  Monday, February 11, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.
Where:  Mounts Auditorium

President’s Message

I hope everyone enjoyed "Beautifying your Begonia Garden" by Joel Crippen, Mount's hortilculturist, at our January Meeting. It was nice to see 35 members in attendance. Joel suggested such plants as licuala grandis palm, coonti, brazilian tree fern, alumium plant and amazon lily as good plants to highlight our garden begonia's. He showed us how placing the right plant next to some of our begonia's highlights the begonias.

Our garden tour of Bob Eigelberger's 6 acre garden and Kit Pannill's home on Saturday January 19th brought out many members to view these beautiful landscapes. But you couldn't get a better tour of the Four Art's Gardens then with our own Johanna Kitson's tour on Martin Luther King's Day. Johanna as chief gardener has planted some beautiful begonia's. Nancy Cohen was able to see her own named begonia planted among many other begonias. A good time was had by those who attended.

Our next meeting on Februry 11th will of course be our Annual Begonia Auction. Bring a friend. Remember that the Board has decided that all paid up membeers will receive a 10% discount on their total bill. Our favorite auctioneer, Charles Jaros, wiil be there. Hope to see you as well.
Ed Whalen
President, 2013

February Program

Auction, Begonia Hybrids and Species
Charles Jaros, Auctioneer
Charles is the President of the American Begonia Society and a founding member of our branch, in addition to being a judge at the prestigious Philadelphia Flower Show. As auctioneer, Charles will talk a little about each plant before the bidding starts. This is a terrific opportunity to acquire unusual and beautiful begonia species and hybrids.

Paid up Begonia Society of the Palm Beaches members will receive a 10% discount on their total plant purchase at the auction. Discounts will be rounded to the nearest dollar.

In addition there will be a silent auction of smaller versions of some of the largest, most beautiful begonias. The silent auction will close 10minutes after the live auction,giving you one last chance to get that beauty that got away.

Cash or checks only.

Meeting Minutes for January 14, 2013

Call to Order and Greetings

President Ed Whalen called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. He thanked Lee Statkewicz for keeping the building open for us most meetings and to Mounts’ Horticulturist Joel Crippen for doing so tonight.

Old Business

The next work day for the begonia garden at Mounts will be Saturday, February 2. Ed asked members to help in the garden. Anyone arriving by 8:45 a.m. can sign up for a free sandwich for lunch; water is also available, compliments of Mounts.

Ed also stated the need for Badge plant donors, reminding members that the plant should be a begonia. There is a sign up sheet on the check-in table.

New Business

Next month’s meeting will be the Holiday Party – December 10th. We will begin setting up at 6 p.m. and plan to eat beginning at 6:30 p.m. Members will bring a covered dish. If bringing a guest, bring an additional dish or double the amount. There is a $5 charge for guests, payable at the door.

Doris has volunteered to host propagation parties on Saturdays, February 16 and March 16 starting at 9:30 a.m.

Johanna has been instrumental at identifying gardens to visit this Saturday at 9 and 11 a.m. on Palm Beach. (Bob Eigelberger’s at 9 a.m., Kit Pannill’s at 11 a.m.) Maps showing the location of these gardens are on the check-in table. Johanna will host a tour of the garden at the Society of the Four Arts on Monday (MLK Day) at 10 a.m.

Sandy will prepare a membership list of all current members for current members. If anyone does not want to be on the list, please email, call or tell Sandy. Having this list will enable members to communicate with one another, coordinate car pools, etc.

Next month is our Annual Begonia Auction. The Begonia Society Board discussed and decided to give members a 10% discount (rounded to the nearest dollar). This will apply to plants $5 or more. (No discounts on plants $4 or less.) Ed encouraged members to bring a friend to the auction. These will be beautiful show-quality plants and this is our top fund raiser for the group.


Donnie Brown announced that Mounts is sponsoring a workshop – “Edible Well-Being from the Garden” – on Saturday, March 9 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Hutcheson Exhibit Hall. This is a kick-off for the renovated Garden of Well-Being which will be open for viewing, and will include demonstrations, tastings, and talks on using herbs for a happier, healthier life style. The cost is $45 for the general public and $35 for members of Mounts and the Evening Herb Society.

Gene Joyner reminded everyone about his presence on the radio every third Tuesday on WRMB (89.3 FM) 7:45 a.m. – 8:25. He is also on Sunday morning around 7:25 live on 880 AM radio out of Miami. Both shows feature gardening info and question and answer call-ins. He also invited everyone to visit his Unbelievable Acres where he continues to add new plants constantly. Right now the citrus is blooming and its fragrance fills the air.

Virginia Jens announced that the ABS Annual Convention will be held May 28-June 2. She will gather additional information for anyone interested in attending.

Beverly Miller announced that the 7th Annual Arbor Day Celebration, “For the Love of Trees” would be held at Mounts Friday, January 18. This year there would be recognition of Gloria Blake, National Garden Club Deep South Regional Director-Elect for her success with the Penny Pines Project, which raises money for replanting trees lost through natural disaster. An Arbor Day Proclamation by the PBC Board of Commissioners will be presented and there will be vendors selling trees and tours of the garden. Pine Jog Elementary School fifth graders and Smokey Bear will attend. She invited everyone to come to celebrate Arbor Day.

Treasurer's Report

The club’s income and expenses were reported.

Meeting was adjourned.

Program – Joel Crippen, Mounts Horticulturist

Joel Crippen was very instrumental in making Mounts as beautiful as it is today and he was a great help to the Begonia Society, securing a spot for our Begonia garden at Mounts. The garden was started last May and is beginning to look really good. The begonias are now beginning to flower.

Joel explained the essence of Mounts Botanical Garden as a collection of gardens and he emphasized that one doesn’t just plant begonias in a garden; you always have other plants that will enhance and play off one another. He showed a variety of palms, aroids, ferns, and other plants which could be used successfully in combination with particular begonias.

Palms help create shade – a filtered light. The smaller ones, like Chamaedorea elegans with its characteristic leaf pattern and bold texture, will compliment dark leafed begonias while C. metallica, the mini silver fishtail palm looks good with begonias and ferns that have a silvery color. Another tidy palm, which also has a striking orange flower spike, is Licuala grandis. This palm, with its very slow growth rate, will stay low most of its useful life and looks great with low-growing and smaller leaf begonias.

Woodland cycads such as Zamia fischeri with a bronze leaf and another that he showed with a fern-like leaf are good begonia companions. Coonties will stay small for awhile, although they will eventually grow larger. In the shade they grow less aggressively than they do in the sun. Careful selection of cycads will yield some appropriate begonia companions.

Bromeliads – Those with sharp leaves are not appropriate to plant near begonias, but rather, choose those with a smaller, softer leaf. It was pointed out that bromeliads tend to be snail attractants; therefore, snail bait should be used. Appropriate bromeliads will provide a nice play off of textures, e.g. between the bolder bromeliad and finer begonia. Also a pink flowering begonia and pink-colored bromeliad will play off one another well.

Ferns with a bluish frond go well with a silver leaf begonia. Selaginella makes a very nice compliment to bolder leaved begonias, and to the white flowers of some begonias. Tree fern ‘Silver Lady’ is a shorter one with a fine texture. It will look good with either a same color green or contrasting color begonia.

Joel showed Anthuriums, including ‘Moonlight’ and the semi-epiphytic ‘Prince of Orange’ to either match with a similar green or to contrast with a darker leaf begonia.

Calatheas offer silvery highlights; some have burgundy undersides which compliment begonias like ‘Caribbean Corsair.’

Stromanthes, with its pink, green and white leaves looks great with B. ‘alba’ and also with very dark green leaved begonias. Stromanthes tolerates dry soil. It needs good drainage, like begonias.

Cordylines are also available in a wide variety of colors and may be used to complement or contrast.

Aluminum plant looks great with other silvery and white flowered begonias. Diffenbachias also look great with white flowered begonias.

Amazon lily blooms in winter and is fragrant. Pair this with a fine textured begonia. Again, it likes good drainage, sandy, sloping soil. It is slow to multiply.

Aspidistra and Sanseveria offer several forms. You might like to keep Sanseveria in a pot to keep the clump together and provide more “Wow” factor. Black-leafed ones provide contrast with very light green or silvery begonias.

An unusual white shrimp flower performs in the shade and looks good with larger leaf white- flowered begonias.

These were a generous selection of plants to be used for showcasing begonias effectively.

Respectfully submitted, Sandy Sklar
Recording Secretary


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