Our March meeting was quite informative for the 28 members who attended. Johanna finally gave us the secret of why she always has so many plants to sell at our meetings. She plants seeds! And she showed us how easy it is to do so. I had always believed in dead-heading spent flowers. But after this meeting I collected various seeds and planted four little plastic greenhouses made from leftover food containers as she suggested. I hope I have the same sucess as Johanna.
Suellen gave many helpful ideas on how to prepare pots of plants, not only for begonia competition, but also for just better looking plants. We shall see how our members who are going to the Tampa Convention fair in what we have learned for the competition.
Information on our Propagation Party at Doris' was given for the March 15th event. I have been to Doris' before for propagation parties, but I must say that her gardens never looked so GREAT. The profusion of blooms was simply "drop dead gorgeous".
Hope to see many at the April Meeting.
Coleus for Florida
Tom Hewitt, noted local gardener and garden writer, will bring colorful brightly patterned coleus propagated by the Mounts Garden Guild especially for our South Florida growing conditions and talk about old fashioned ‘seed’ coleus and the coleus that can only be grown from cuttings.
Tom, who is a master of planting design, is also a Master Gardener and a prolific garden writer. Tom gives workshops on planting butterfly gardens, garden containers, and coleus for Florida. He writes frequently about gardening for Florida Gardening magazine and local newspapers, including the Sun Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post. Our beautiful begonia garden at Mounts Botanical Garden was featured in a great article Tom wrote in the February/March 2014 edition of Florida Gardening.
Tom will demonstrate how to use these wonderful colorful plants in our shade gardens and bring coleus for sale and for raffle.
President Ed Whelan called the meeting to order and thanked everyone who had helped with the dedication of the new begonia garden at Mounts. He also thanked Donnie Brown and Denise Friedlander for bringing the refreshments. Ed, too, provided some baked goods. We had two guests at the meeting: Enid Johnson and Marcia Bogdadi.
Treasurer Frances Drescher gave her report: our chapter has $3810.31 in the bank.
Vice President Nancy Cohen reported that three years ago our chapter applied to the IRS for 501© status, that is as a charitable organization for charitable and educational purposes. Such status would allow us to buy plants wholesale and any donations made to us would be tax deductible. Nancy said that the IRS wants two amendments – both of which are already in our constitution – but the IRS wants their own language. We all agreed that we will go forward with the IRS’ recommended language.
Nancy announced that Doris Happel would be hosting a potting party on Saturday, March15 at her home from 9 to 12 and that Johanna Kitson will do a second potting party at her home on April 19.
And Nancy told us the sad news that Gene Joyner’s wife died recently and made a motion which was passed that our chapter give a $200 donation to his wonderful garden, Unbelievable Acres, in her memory.
Next month’s speaker will be Tom Hewitt who works at Mounts and who authored an article about our begonia garden for the magazine Florida Gardener. Tom is at the Nursery Guild and will be speaking about coleus and will bring plants for sale.
Johanna brought a plant which was sold by silent auction, proceeds going to the chapter.
Johanna and Suellen conducted a workshop in growing begonias from seed and grooming your begonias to show. Johanna showed us the male and female flowers and how if fertilized they ripened into brown pods. When split open, the seeds look like cinnamon. She demonstrated how to wet down some mix, sprinkle the seeds on top and cover them, making a terrarium. In a few weeks we should see tiny green sprouts….
Suellen then reviewed some rules of the road for preparing begonias for a show. Using plants that had been brought in she showed the group when to remove some leaves, some flower stems, when a plant needed a new pot or needed to be repotted, and answered the many questions the group had. We hope the members of the Begonia Society of the Palm Beaches win a few ribbons at the ABS show in Tampa.Respectfully submitted,
Due to interest in growing begonias by seed and Johanna’s desire to get BSPB members growing additional begonias, our April 19 propagation party has been rescheduled from Doris’ garden to Johanna’s out in Wellington. Johanna will bring directions and talk briefly about the prop party at the 4/14 meeting.
In addition to a begonia leaf propagation demo, we will also be sowing seeds.
What to bring?
1) Bring a plastic clam shell container like the type you get when taking a "doggy bag" home from a restaurant.
2) Stab some slits in the bottom of the container.
3) if you have some peat and perlite mix put some into the container and water it down. Do this the night before the demo so it drains well enough so it won't be drippy in your car.
4) If you have ripe seeds, bring them with its begonia name. (Ripe seed pods resemble light brown crepe paper when dry. And when the seed pod is opened, the seeds resemble tiny grains of cinnamon).
5) Bring labeled leaves you wish to share with others.
I have many begonia and fern seedlings coming up on rocks and between bricks. Bring
a small box or plastic container in case you want to pull some out to try and grow
them up yourselves. An old butter knife makes a good trowel for these little plants.
Come an half-hour early if you wish to take these plants with you. I will also
have several large rhysomes available as I am clearing out a bed to make room for
something else. You may need a large cardboard box or plastic bag for these. You
never know what you will go home with that day. And, last but not least, I am
selling two large pond forms. Originally
$210...make offer. Bring a friend interested in plants such as Begonias,
bromeliads, aroids, ferns............FUN will be had by all................
BRING A FRIEND TO THE NEXT MEETING