I encourage all members to talk up our next meeting Feb 10th, which will be the Begonia Auction, our only fund raiser for the year. Please bring friends, neighbors and acquaintances to buy the wonderful begonias Charles Jaros has chosen for us. At this meeting we will have sign up sheets for refreshments, badge plants, and Mounts Begonia Garden Dedication. We have a few vacant spaces and need every one to step up and fill some of these spaces. We definitely need volunteers to freshen up our Mounts Begonia Garden just before the Dedication. If you haven't volunteered in that garden this year please think about it.....
Annual Auction of Tropical Begonias
Charles Jaros Auctioneer
The super-knowledgeable very-engaging Charles Jaros returns to be our auctioneer of beautiful begonias on February 10. Get here early (doors open at 7) to scope out your favorites in the hundreds of fabulous begonias and shade loving plants. Bidding will be hot and heavy
Renowned begonia expert Charles is an internationally recognized begonia judge and grower. You will learn more about begonias and growing begonias at this auction than you would learn at many courses. Charles will impart so much information about each plant that you’ll pick plants perfect for your life. We will again have a silent auction of smaller editions of the biggest, best begonias. And, Begonia Society members will get a 10% discount on their purchases; discounts will be rounded to even dollars.
Ed Whelan, President, opened the meeting and called on Frances Drescher, Treasurer, who reported that the BSPB has $2,934 in our account. We have spent all the money we took in during 2013. We made a little bit of money at the silent auction last summer.
Ed introduced a new member, Madeline Alonghi. Nancy Cohen then spoke about the dedication of the begonia garden at Mounts which will be on February 15 at 1 p.m. We will have a work party on February 8 to help prepare for the dedication; a list for volunteers was circulated. Also passed around was a volunteer sign-up sheet for bringing a badge plant, refreshments or plants for the raffle table.
Ed then spoke about the ABS annual convention which will be held in Tampa March 19-22. We will not be chartering a bus because it is too expensive for the number of people interested. We will be manning a hospitality suite at the convention and Nancy made a motion which was passed to set aside $200 to pay for chips, dips and drinks. There will be themes: Wednesday night will be “Irish Night” complete with Ed’s Irish soda bread and Thursday night will be “Western Night”. In lieu of Palm Beach begonia tee shirts those working in the hospitality suite will wear their begonia society badges.
Ed reported that two grants have been awarded by ABS: one to Dr. Mark Tebbitt, the other to Dr. Jackie DeRusso. Both will be doing research on field trips to Central and South America this spring. A motion was passed to give each grant recipient $100 to help defray their expenses.
Our forthcoming auction of February 10 is our biggest money maker. We will distribute the flyer that Nancy has created to the Red Barn Garden Center, Abels Nursery, Smarty Plants, Giverney Garden Center, Uncle Bim’s and Art by Nature. We will also try to get free advertising in the events section of the Palm Beach Post.
We will offer our paid up members a 10% discount off the price of their winning bids at the auction and we will have a silent auction as well for the smaller plants. Several board members will host our auctioneer, Charles Jaros, at Zuccarelli’s restaurant for dinner beforehand.
Our website contains a great deal of information including our programs and an event page which shows that we have scheduled two potting parties (Doris Happel will do them on March 15 and April 19). We will be adding a garden dedication page.
Our chapter is paid up thru January for advertising in the Leaflet. We need to vote on an advertisement budget for the spring but will do this at out March meeting.
We need to recruit new members. Ed will attend the February 6 master gardener meeting to promote our auction and thereby interest in joining. We discussed giving a free membership to any graduate of the master gardener program and we spoke about offering to do a class about begonias for those students.
Nancy discussed tentative plans for the August meeting including a progressive picnic: members would go to the homes of Susan Weiss and then Suellen Solodar to view their gardens and then on to Nancy’s for a casual dinner and pool party.
Sandy Sklar told us that the Wellington Garden Club will be ordering large bags of slow release fertilizer ($75 per bag). She will give us further information about this. Suellen Solodar supplied a badge plant.
Colin Freidrich from Excelsa Gardens in Loxahatchee was our guest speaker. Colin brought a wide variety of unusual plants, all of which were for sale after the meeting, and he supplied plants for the raffle table as did Susan Roberts. Thanks to both donors.
Colin showed us several varieties of cordelyne thai plants which can take full sun to partial light but are generally grown with 30% light at Excelsa. He said that we can cut the top portion of a cordelyne and just put it in the ground where it will root. These plants will branch after they are cut but won’t sucker. Many cordelynes come in on log cuttings from Costa Rica. Colin discussed philodendrons, anthuriums, ferns, spike moss, alocasia, thai caladiums, aglaonema, heuchera, bromeliads, gusmanias, cyclanthus, moncerra, nepenthus, ground orchids, pilea, strobilanthus and, of course, some begonias. Colin uses a soil mix of peat, perlite and pine bark and adds some coconut coir for propogation. As for fertilizer he uses granular slow release mixed right into the soil.
BRING A FRIEND TO THE NEXT MEETING
Magnificent rare and unusual tropical begonias, perfect for your South Florida home and garden.
Auctioned by Charles Jaros, past president of the American Begonia Society and an internationally recognized begonia judge and grower.