March 2018

Blooming Begonias Newsletter March, 2018

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When:  Monday, March 12, 2018 at 7:30p.m.
Where:  Mounts Auditorium
Refreshments:  Lena and Hassan Ghaffari and Sandy Sklar
Badge Plant:    Suellen Solodar.
Program:  - Florida Hybrids
                     Rick Schoellhom

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

President's Message

A big ‘Thank You’ to Johanna Kitson for doing the auction at our February meeting and to Virginia Jens for doing the meeting for me. I understand it was a very successful meeting, sorry I missed it. My surgery went well but unfortunately, it took my voice, I am working to regain it, a strong whisper.

Also, another thank you to Johanna for doing the 2018 Yearbook Brochure. Hope everyone received it. If not, it will be available at the next meeting, hope to see everyone there.

Did you get a chance to work with Patrick on Saturday? Hope you did as this is a membership project and needs everyone’s participation. We want it to look nice for Mount's Plant Sale, on April 28 & 29th, where a lot of people will be seeing it.

Speaking of the plant sale, do you know we have a booth there? It needs people to man it, sell begonias and talk to the buyers on how to care for their plant and to promote our organization. Contact Susan Roberts to get your name on the list, your cooperation is needed.

Hope to see you at our next meeting on March 12th and to hear Rick Schoellhom speak on Florida Hybrids and why they grow well for us.

Sandy Arland, President

March Program

Dr. Rick Schoellhorn is a semi-retired plant lover who has worked in both industry and academia in his career, but always focused on new plants and new plant introductions. Rick worked for Proven Winners® (a national consumer brand of plants) helping with plant breeding, communications, research & trialing projects, and industry trade articles on production of plants and genetic issues. Rick joined the Proven Winners team in 2005 as Director of New Products and before he semi-retired; Rick coordinated the US trials of Proven Winners and worked with Proven Winners global partners on trialing issues.

His experience includes: Seven years with Proven Winners, seven years as a college professor at the University of Florida, twelve years as owner of an interior scape company in Colorado, five years in retail nursery sales and three years in retail nursery production and sales in Alaska, and three years of golf course maintenance in California.

Yikes – that’s 37 years of working with plants and doesn’t cover all the early years of working in nurseries as a kid and being arrested for stealing plants as a teenager…sigh

He has toured the United States, Indonesia, Holland, Germany, Spain, Madeira Island Portugal, Costa Rica, Japan, South Africa, Argentina, and Mexico collecting plants and consulting with growers. Dr. Rick Schoellhorn received his M.S. (1992) and Ph.D. (1996) from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and his B.S. from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1989D. Rick is the co-author of “Your Florida Guide to Perennials” (ISBN: 0-8130-2927-9) with Dr. Sydney Park-Brown.


The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. by Vice-president Virginia Jens as the president is recovering from surgery. Sandra’s address was available to those that wish to send her a get-well card.

Treasurer report: Frances Drescher gave the treasurer’s report. The yearly financial report will be reviewed by the committee of Petra Russell, Pauline Ma, and Christine Schwartz by our next meeting.

Committee Reports:

Membership chair Sandy Sklar announced two new members-- Kay and Raymond Thompson. Visitors were also acknowledged …. Hillary Berman and Barbara Mizaras.

Garden chair Patrick Dempsey stated we will be grooming the begonia garden at Mounts Botanical Garden starting at 10 a.m. this Saturday, February 17, 2018. He also bought many begonias from Boynton Botanicals as the owners were retiring. Some of these will be auctioned tonight, some will be planted in the garden, and some will be used for future raffle tables.

Events chair Susan Roberts spoke about the April plant sale. She said we need members to volunteer for a two-hour shift either Saturday or Sunday. A sign-up sheet was passed around for this purpose.


Our ABS Convention in New Orleans starts on April 2nd and runs through April 6th. More information can be acquired through the Begonian magazine or by looking online at the American Begonia Society website.

Johanna Kitson mentioned that member copies of the new 2018 Begonia Society’s Yearbook was available for pick-up at the back of the room. The yearbook includes information on who signed up for refreshments and supplying the meetings badge plant. In addition, there is information on how to care for begonias.


Denise Friedlander made a motion to give Susan Roberts $150.00 for her monthly contribution of food, beverages, and paper products and supplies. The motion was seconded by Ed Whalen. There was discussion by members and afterward the motion passed unanimously. Susan was asked to keep receipts and give them to our treasurer.

February Program:
Our yearly fund-raising auction began at 7:50 p.m. and was led by Johanna Kitson. Numerous plants were up for auction. Johanna did a FANTASTIC job!!! Fun was had by all!

Meeting adjourned at 9:55p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Denise Friedlander and
Respectfully submitted by Ed Whalen, Secretary


A list was passed out at the February meeting and so far, this is what has been filled in. Please contact our Events Chair Susan Roberts so she can add your name. ( or (954) 520-1152) Help is greatly needed. As a volunteer, you will get into the sale for free. If you are not a member of the Mounts Botanical Garden, it will cost $15 to attend the show as there is a special show display throughout the garden in addition to the plant sale. New Garden Badges for vendors will be issued to each volunteer that works in a booth. Please arrive 30 minutes before your shift in order to have time to park, pick up your new badge, and to locate our begonia booth. This is a really fun event and is a super way to learn about all the other plants for sale.

Friday, April 27 (Time to be coordinated)

Set Up Patrick Dempsey,                     , ,                     ,                     

Saturday, April 28

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Ann Cavaleri, Johanna Kitson, Marcia Bedasse,                     

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Chris Schwartz, Ed Whalen,                     , ,                     

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Ann Cavaleri, Brian Hufford,                     , ,                     

Sunday, April 29

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Ann Cavaleri,                     , ,                     ,                     

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.                      ,                    , ,                     ,                     

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Ann Cavaleri, Ed Whalen, Patrick Dempsey,                     

Clean up and take down 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Patrick Dempsey,                     ,