February, 2015

February, 2015

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Next Meeting

When:  Monday, February 9, 2015 at 7:00p.m.
Where:  Mounts Auditorium
Refreshments:  - Ed & Frances Whalen
Program:  - Annual Begonia Auction - Charles Jaros, Auctioneer

President’s Message

Our year got off to a wonderful start with an unusual very interesting presentation by Don Miller, a renowned horticulturist from Dallas/Fort Worth. He demonstrated how to turn a B. dregei into a little bonsai tree –even showing some slides of “trees” he planted in pots as small as one inch! His host, Charles Jaros, former ABS President, auctioned the plants Don worked on and some lucky members may now have a new hobby! And it was nice to see so many guests including some from the bonsai society.

Our next meeting will be our annual auction, an event to which we all look forward. Just hearing Charles talk about the marvelous plants he has selected for us is entertaining in itself, and a successful bid seals the deal…..Bring your friends….they will never have a better opportunity to see so many gorgeous begonias for sale. Because there will be so many plants to be auctioned we will forego both the raffle table and the plant swap at this meeting; both will be resumed in March.

Again, thanks go to last year’s board for doing such devoted work on behalf of our chapter. Virginia Jens, Ed Whalen, Nancy Cohen, Maria Matsinicos, Frances Drescher and others all deserve our appreciation

We look forward to some field trips this spring including one to Gene Joyner’s “Unbelievable Acres” garden which he will open that day for our group only, a possible visit to Palm Hammock Orchid Estate and possibly another to Fairchild Gardens later in the spring. We are planning some additional activities and look forward to seeing all of you at the auction (and there will be a silent auction, too)!

I encourage all members to talk up our next meeting
Suellen Solodar
President, 2015

February Program

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 9. 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.

Meeting Minutes for January 12, 2015

President Suellen Solodar called the meeting to order at 7:30pm for a fun filled New Year.

Guests at the meeting were: Angela Valero, Savita Kumar, Evelyn Maciag, Sue Morns, John Evans, Pat Mack, Rita Kaeger, Natalie Dempsey, Travis Dempsey, Natalie’s Mom.

Thanks to Lee Statkewicz for getting to the building early to hold the room for our meeting.

Treasurer’s report was given by Frances Drescher , there is approximately $2500.00 in the bank.<\P>

New Business

A motion was made to continue advertizing in Leaflet at a cost of $540.00 to cover the next 3 issues. All voted in favor.

Field trips:

Unbelievable Acres in late March or early April, date to be determined.

Palm Hammock Orchid Estate (PHOE), more information and exact date to be determined.

Next month is our Annual Begonia Auction. Members are encouraged to bring a friend to the auction, as this is our top fund raiser. There will be a silent auction on the side.

Suellen announced the need for Badge plants and Refreshments, we would encourage all members to participate. There was a sign up sheet at the check in table.

Patrick Dempsey reminded everyone about volunteering at the Begonia Garden. Volunteers meet 1st Saturday of every month. Anyone arriving by 9am can have a sandwich compliments of Mounts.

Patrick proposed 4 projects in the Garden beginning this Spring.

  Constructing a low raised bed behind the Odrata Hedge, to propagate plants.
  Acquire additional begonia varieties for installation throughout the begonia garden.
  Promote Florida varieties to include donation from society members, cuttings from award show winners.   Creating a diagram where begonias are located on Mounts website.

Suellen Solodar introduced our featured speaker Don Miller from Fort Worth, Texas.

Don has been a member of ABS since 1975. He obtained a degree in Horticulture from Louisiana State University. He is a volunteer with the Fort Worth Begonia society. He has a wide collection of begonias including some from Ecuador, Malaysia, and Australia.

Don demonstrated how to create Begonias as Bonsai.

We received handouts on the types of begonias that would be candidates for Bonsai

Dregei partita was the featured begonia demonstrated.

Tips from Don:

  Begonia should be potted in preferably a soilless mix, begonia medium.
  Demonstrating how to prepare and pot bonsai in shallow containers.
  Candidates for Bonsai Begonia should have thick stem, small leaves, and good branching habit.
  Exposing trunk to grow like a tree.
  Bonsai begonias should not be wired like typical bonsai.
  Dregei can be planted from seed and makes a thick stem, cutting will take longer to make a thick stem.

Special thanks to Gardino Nursery for donating a beautiful Begonia plant “Reniformis”. This begonia will be planted in the Begonia Garden at Mounts.

Respectfully submitted,
Petra Russell