For the 25 members who attended our June meeting I felt we were highly entertained and instructed by our presenter Greg Sytch. A true teacher, he had three good handouts for us. He introduced us to new on the market fertilizers and a different technique to start seeds. He recommended that we not use rain water to water our new seeds as it contains impurities. Sterile water should be used instead until they germinate. He showed us new hybrid begonias that he had begun in his own back yard. The plants he brought were sold out even before he could begin his presentation. I signed him up to do another presentation for next June's meeting, put it on your calendar.
At our July Meeting we will be discussing changing some of our written By-laws for terms of officers and setting a timely audit for our finances to make our Club function more efficiently.
Patrick could use a volunteer to help him out in our Mounts Begonia Garden on the first Saturday in July which is the 5th. Please call him at 561-818-6785 if you can help.
Becaue we had to change our plans for the August meeting we did not line anyone up for badge plant, refreshments, or raffle table plants. I'll be asking for volunteers at the July meeting. Hope to see you there.
Fancy Leaf Caladiums
Merry Savoy of Happiness Farms is, among other things, a caladium grower (other things include being a dancer and entertainer) and she is a hoot! She will bring a lifelong knowledge of caladiums and boundless enthusiasm. Caladiums are great shade garden companions and their large showy leaves work well with our beautiful begonia leaves. Merry will also bring plants and caladium bulbs for sale.
President Ed Whelan called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and thanked Emily Dempsey, Donnie Brown, Linda and Ron Wininger, Maria Matsinicos and Petra Russell for bringing in the refreshments. Donnie also supplied the badge plant, B. Nancy Cohen. Frances Drescher, treasurer, reported that we have $3408.58 in our account. Treasurer Frances Drescher then reported that our chapter has $3,682.32 in the bank.
An old business item was next: the question of modifying our bylaws. Frances read the proposed changes, as follows:
Delete Article IV Nominations and Elections: “No elected officers may serve more than two consecutive one (1) year terms in the same office.”
Add the following to Article 1, Duties of Officers: Treasurer:
“The Treasurer will have the financial records available for review. At the October meeting, the President will appoint a chair and two additional members to serve on the Financial Review Committee. At the beginning of the next fiscal year, the Committee will meet to review the previous year’s financial records. The committee will issue a report no later than the March meeting. The committee may also review the society’s financial records at other times during the year. The Treasurer will file with IRS by May 15th annually.”
These suggested modifications will be voted on at the July meeting.
Patrick Dempsey who has been caretaking our Begonia Garden at Mounts told us that he was cutting back many of the cane begonias and encouraged members’ participation; members who volunteered their time to help out would get cuttings galore. The first Saturday of each month is when volunteers are particularly asked to help.
Virginia Jens, President of ABS, told us about the forthcoming annual ABS meeting which will begin on August 22 in Fort Worth. A full program is planned for attendees. Virginia noted that the 2015 ABS convention will be held in Boston next summer, beginning on July 26. It is being called a “Begonia Revolution.”
Gene Joyner, our resident “professor emeritus”, informed us that David MacLean had died. He was a prominent horticulturalist, landscape architect and designer. Gene also mentioned that his garden, “Unbelievable Acres”, would be opened to the public on Saturday, June 14. Persons interested in becoming tour guides at his garden would take a five session course, each session lasting two hours.
Ed then introduced our speaker, Greg Sytch, who has been growing begonias since he was 17. His topic was hybridizing begonias which he said is a simple process: put the male pollen into the female flower, then when the pod dries out, sow the seeds. He showed us how to tell which flowers were male and which were female. As to choosing begonias to try to create a hybrid, Greg indicated that the male plant would be the major influence for color and the female plant would affect the shape and form. He mentioned some hybrids he created: B. careless whisper which won the best new introduction award in 2000, B. alligator alley (B. cowardly lion is the male parent), and B. island magic, which is a rex – rhizomatous cross and blooms all year. Rex was the male plant, creating all the pinks and purples that make it so colorful in winter. He gave us some tips on fertilizing and treating plants for fungus. He recommended a citrus, avocado, mango fertilizer which is 13-7-13 and contains magnesium and iron. To treat for fungus he suggested using Rose Pride and SA 20 (Physon) and told us to spray everything monthly. Products are available through a website www.sprinklerwarehouse.com. Greg provided handouts on hybridizing, fertilizing and preparing a potting mix for Florida’s climate.
He brought many plants for the raffle table as well as plants to sell; all were sold.Respectfully submitted,
BRING A FRIEND TO THE NEXT MEETING