While we had only 21 of our members in attendance at our last meeting we were certainly entertained and enlightened by Tom Hewett. His presentation was most informative. And the companion plants he brought with him were all sold out. Not only is he a good writer for various magazines and periodicals, but he is also an excellent speaker.
I won't be in the USA for our next May meeting. I'll be somewhere in the jungles of Burma on my way to Thailand. I'll be thinking of you as I will be looking for exotic begonias and orchids. See you at the June meeting.
Suellen Solodar, prize winning begonia grower, will speak about the care and culture of canes, those tall frequently-ever-blooming-in-our-area begonias. And she will bring begonias for our raffle table.
President Ed Whalen called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM. He thanked the following: Lee Statkewicz for keeping the auditorium open for the meeting; Donnie Brown, Susan Roberts and Gwen Brown for refreshments; and Frances Drescher for arranging to buy plants for the raffle table at a discount on the last day of the convention.
There were three guests at the meeting: Evelyn Maciag, Petra Russell, and Charlie Beck.
Treasurer Frances Drescher reported funds of $3,593.33.
Toni White and Beverly Lichtenstein volunteered to bring refreshments for the months of May and July, respectively, since so far only one person had volunteered for each of the months.Old Business
Ed Whalen reported on the 2014 ABS Convention held in Tampa last month. The convention was a wonderful opportunity to get together with others who grow begonias. The Hospitality Suite, which was hosted by our branch, was a big success. Many members showed up each evening and enjoyed the opportunity to relax, converse with other begoniacs, and enjoy the drinks and refreshments provided. Ed thanked his wife, Marilou, and Frances Drescher for helping with set-up, hosting and clean-up duties. Frances thanked Ed for all of the above as well, plus shopping, packing and transporting all of the food, drink and supplies.
Ed showed some of the many plants for which he won ribbons at the show. He also won the “Showing is Sharing” prize for having the most entries. Charles Jaros won “Best in Show” with B. ‘Whirlwind Dancer’, one of Johanna Kitson’s hybrids. Our branch was very well represented and everyone from BSPB who entered won at least one ribbon.
There will be a propagation party this Saturday at 9:30 AM at Johanna Kitson’s home. You will learn how to grow begonias from seed as well as how to propagate from cuttings. Bring any leaves, rhizomes or canes you would like to share. If you have seeds, place them in a paper (not plastic) envelope. Directions are on the table at the back of the auditorium.
ABS President and member Virginia Jens announced that it was very important that ABS has your correct email address, since later this year The Begonian will be available on-line to ABS members. You will continue to receive a copy in the mail until further notice.New Business
Virginia Jens reported the following:
The Buxton Branch has voted to sponsor a trophy for the Blue Ribbon winner in the Terrarium Category in honor of Richard and Wanda Macnair.
The Buxton Branch will also be hosting the next ABS Convention, which will be held outside of Boston July 29 - August 2, 2015. “Begonia Revolution 2015” promises to be a great convention, so start making plans to attend!
The SW Regional Meeting will be in Shreveport, LA in May.
Vice President Nancy Cohen announced that next month’s program will be presented by Doris Happel. The topic will be “Cane Begonias”. Doris will also bring plants for the raffle table.Program Notes
Tom Hewitt, noted local Master Gardener and garden writer, presented a program titled “Coleus for Florida”. Tom explained that the coleus is a member of the mint family and that there are two types: those grown from seed (seed coleus) and those grown from cuttings (sun coleus). Seed coleus is not recommended for South Florida, since the plants will languish and bleach out in full sun and blooming will cause a shortened life span. Instead we should plant sun coleus, which prefer increased light. They do well in morning or afternoon sun but not direct sun during the hottest part of the day. Their colors are brighter in full sun than shade and the darker the leaves the more sun they can handle. They must have good drainage as they do not like to remain wet. Sun coleus do very well in pots. Although they are short-lived perennials, blooming does not shorten their lifespan. They can easily be restarted from tip cuttings as follows: Snip end tips above node & cut back at least half of the leaves. Plant three cuttings per pot and bury at least one node, although two is better. Pack potting soil such as Lamberts tightly around the stem to eliminate air pockets. The cuttings should root in approximately one week. Fertilize after new growth appears. Tom brought many beautiful and highly colored varieties to sell that were propagated by the Mounts Nursery Guild.
The badge plant was furnished by Ed Whalen and won by Beverly Lichtenstein.Respectfully submitted,
BRING A FRIEND TO THE NEXT MEETING