July 2018

Blooming Begonias Newsletter
Monday July 9, 2018

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When:  Monday, July 9, 2018 at 6:00p.m.
Where:  Mounts Auditorium
Refreshments:  N/A
Badge Plant:    N/A
Program:  - Picnic and Silent Auction

President: Sandy Arland   Vice-president: Virginia Jens   Treasurer: Frances Drescher    Secretary: Denise Friedlander    National Representative: Johanna Kitson

President's Message

Greetings from the North. It is finally summer, days are in the 70’s or 80’s, and night is still cool, 50 or 60’s. My tuberous begonias are growing well with beautiful single blooms.

I want to thank Ed Whalen for doing the presentation to the graduates of the Master Gardeners and thank Donnie Brown for helping get the packages together. I can’t find the schedule of programs that Virginia set up, but I believe July is the month you will enjoy a picnic. See the rest of the newsletter for details.

I belong to a garden club here and they had scheduled a trip to the NY Botanical Garden which I had the opportunity to go on. It’s a huge garden, 250 acers with many exhibits including the Enid Haupt Conservatory and the Lu Esther T. Mertz Library. We were given a tour of the Conservatory with many tropical trees and plants. I felt at home, but I didn’t see any begonias, although they must have been there, but I missed them. The Mertz Library is featuring the Georgia O’Keeffe paintings of Hawaii’s plants such as the pineapple and heliconia. If you are interested in more information, go on nybg.org.

On the way down and back we crossed the new 3.1-mile-long, Tappan Zee Bridge which is now called the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. If you Google New Tappan Zee Bridge, you can see the construction of the bridge and other information.

Sandy Arland, President


Wear your red, white, and blue for our July potluck picnic.

Bring your food at 6:00 p.m. and we will eat as soon as dinner is set up (Between 6:15 and 6:30).

For those of you bringing items for the auction ....

…. plants and plant related items only, please.

.... limit your items to auction to 12. (Use one bid sheet per item or group.

.... arrive by 5:30 p.m. to set your plants or plant related items up with their bid sheets.

.... a bid sheet will be included as a download along with the July newsletter. Fill this out before you arrive to save set-up time.

…. After the auction is over please help by cleaning up the tables and placing them back into their original positions.


Plants are growing like crazy with all the rain we have been having. The cane begonias are blooming non-stop. Begonia cuttings will root very quickly as the temperature, humidity and daylight hours are at their optimum.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands

I happened to be in the area of the wetlands last week and I decided at the last second to pull in to see what was going on. Fortunately, I had some cool water with me as it is a must this time of year. Surprisingly enough, not one mosquito bothered me.

The rookery’s baby birds are now ‘teenager’ birds. The storks are the noisiest and let their parents know by the constant squawking that goes on that they are hungry. Also, nesting were cattle egrets, a blue heron or two, and a large white heron. The display of the white heron’s plumage was fantastic. The near-by boardwalk makes the viewing delightful as the birds are so close to you. Throughout the rest of the wetlands were at least ten other types of birds feeding including one lone roseate spoonbill.

Hoping to see the very large nine-foot alligator, I kept looking along the shorelines. Suddenly, I heard a noise that sounded like someone crushing a large plastic container. Looking toward the noise I discovered the gator was chomping down a turtle.

On the far east part of the boardwalk is saw a swamp rabbit casually walking along in an inch of water eating tender shoots of various grasses and reeds

If you decide to visit this exceptional county park, I recommend bringing a large brimmed hat, a cold bottle of water to take with you, an umbrella to create more shade for yourself, and a cool wet towel to hang around your neck. Having another bottle of cold water in a cooler in the trunk is also a good idea.

I did not arrive until 10:00 a.m. so it was rather warm, but still doable. There are several benches in the shade along the boardwalk. The facility is open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The address is 13026 Jog Road, Delray. Many people were there, but parking was sufficient and over half of it shady.

What a fabulous walk I had. And it didn’t rain!

Johanna Kitson, Newsletter Editor


The meeting was opened at 7:30 p.m. by Vice President Virginia Jens, standing in for President Sandy Arlund.

Per Sandy Sklar, there were no guests or new members tonight.

Refreshments were provided by Ed Whalen, Susan Roberts, and Petra Russell.

We have money in the bank per Patrick Dempsey as reported to same by treasurer Frances Drescher.

Old business: future discussion on the master gardeners in 2019 per Ed Whalen.

We are all set on upcoming refreshments per Susan Roberts.

Program: Greg Sytch spoke on hybridizing. His newest hybrid is named Begonia ‘Okeechobee’. We always enjoy Greg's annual June presentation!! There was a raffle and plant sale by him that was a "clean out" with not one plant left on the table!! His email is gsytch@tampabay.rr.com and he does send cuttings by mail if you are interested.

Our July meeting will be a potluck, and members can bring in garden related items to sell. There will be no raffle in July. The potluck dinner begins at 6 p.m.

The Badge plant was won by Susan Roberts and provided by Ed Whalen

Meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm by Virginia Jens

Respectfully submitted by Denise Friedlander, Secretary