Greg Sytch "Begonias From Your Horticultural Correspondent"
Greg Sytch, horticultural correspondent for the American Begonia Society, author of ‘In the Mailbox’. Greg, a teacher and a grower in Port St. Lucie FL, has been growing beautiful begonias for years, and he has answers for all the questions. Greg will not only answer your questions, he will bring rare and exotic begonias for sale, including some of his own hybrids.
Call to Order and Greetings
President Ed Whalen called the meeting to order aboutt 7:35 p.m.
Ed thanked Nancy Cohen, Virginia Jens, and especially Pat Dempsey for their work in the Begonia Garden at Mounts, and Linda DeSanti, Susan Roberts, and Donnie Brown for tonight’s delicious refreshments, and Nancy for bringing the badge plant, which was B. ‘Nancy Cohen.’
Treasurer's Report was given by Frances Drescher.
Ed reported that Tampa will be hosting the ABS Convention in early March 2014, and has asked for our help. Tampa ran the Hospitality Suite when BSPB hosted the convention in 2010. Ed and his wife Marylou have volunteered to run the Hospitality Suite (much applause!) There are a number of other jobs that our members could volunteer for; we are all encouraged to attend and help out.
The party for the Begonia Garden will be delayed until the fall as the sign has not arrived. Johanna Kitson said she hears the sign came in but without the Mounts logo, so we may end up with 2 signs.
Nancy said we still need volunteers for refreshments, badge plants, and raffle plants for some meetings and passed around a sign up sheet. Johanna announced she was having a ‘I have too many plants’ sale Saturday May 25 at her house in Wellington (8:30-noon.)
Nancy talked about the June 10 meeting. Greg Sytch, the ABS Horticultural Corres-pondent, will speak about begonia culture, answer questions, and bring some of his beautiful begonias for sale.
Nancy then introduced Doris Happel, who spoke about Creating Shade for Begonias. Doris gave a great power-point
presentation using examples from her beautiful garden. Some highlights:
• Multi-layered approach: large trees and palms; small trees, shrubs, vines; shade plants
• Big trees: often deciduous; consider drawbacks such as debris, seedlings; consider rate of growth
Large trees: Royal Poinciana, gumbo limbo, travellers palm; multi-layer palms
• mid-level: most shrubs can be treated as trees; some good ones include brugmansias (angel trumpet,) jatropha (good platform for orchids,)
firebush (watch white fly,) euphorbia leucocephela (snow bush—can be brittle,) clerodendron ‘Shooting Star,’ Sanchezia,
Tabernaemonta (crepe jasmine—beautiful glossy leaves and white flowers—good orchid tree,) stemmadina littoralis (Milky Way tree,) caricature plant,
false aralia (Schefflera elegantissima,) Brazilian red cloak, dwarf plumaria, Petrea vine—for trellis or pergola.
• Lower level: bracken ferns, anthurium hookerii, alcasia ‘Lime Zinger’
Begonias need different levels of shade:
• Full shade: rhizomatous with dark leaves
• Partial shade: most begonias
• Several hours of full sun: green-leaved rhizomatous and many canes
Doris told us to consider where the sun is; it is not the same here as in the northeast
• South facing good for many begonias
• North facing: need protection in summer
• East- and west-facing: good for most begonias (1/2 day of sun)
Containers: can be moved to follow the sun. Use extra perlite in potting mix; in addition to improving drainage may discourage earthworms.
Doris invited us all to come and visit her and her garden. A lively round of questions followed. Thank you Doris, for a great program!
Linda Marshall won the badge plant and the raffle plant drawing followed. Johanna donated the beautiful raffle plants and three gorgeous bowl gardens of begonias. Thanks Johanna!
Meeting was adjourned.
Nancy Cohen (standing in for Sandy Sklar)
BRING A FRIEND TO THE NEXT MEETING