September 2018

Blooming Begonias Newsletter
September 2018

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Next Meeting

When:  Monday, September 10, 2018 at 7:30p.m.
Where:  Mounts Auditorium
Refreshments:  Rebecca Stallard and Nancy Cavnar
Badge Plant:    ?
Program:    ABS and Hybrids: The People and the Plants
                    Sally Savelle

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

President's Message

This will be my last message from the North as next month I will be back home in Florida. In July, I complained that it was hot and dry; now nature has made up for it and then some. We have had more rain then the ground can handle. Plants are dying because of too much water. Areas are being sprayed for mosquitoes and ticks as now there is another breed of tick that is spreading another type of Lyme disease and my lawn is growing pretty colors of mushrooms.

Not only do I have to deal with the weather but the local animals. I had planted a pear tree in the front and last year I enjoy many of them, this year a squirrel found it and one by one, when I was away for the day, he cleared all the pears. I couldn’t believe he didn’t even leave me one and they were not even ripe.

I understand that many members enjoyed the program of hands on with Patrick at last month meeting, making “Kokedamas”. We are fortunate, to have for this month’s speaker, ABS’s President, Salle Savelle. Johanna will have more information about her in this issue. We want to show her what a great branch we are by having a big attendance, SO ALL COME. Also bring in extra plants you could put on the exchange table; try to have them labeled. This will be a good chance to share your plants and get something different.

Have a good meeting and I will see you at the next meeting on OCTOBER 1ST.

Sandy Arland, President

SEPTEMBER PROGRAM ---- ABS and Hybrids: The People and the Plants

Our distinguished speaker this month is president of our national American Begonia Society (ABS). Sally Savelle grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, but for the last twenty-five years she has lived in Concord, Massachusetts. She has previously served as President and Vice-president of her local begonia group known as the Buxton Branch (Boston area). Sally is also a member of several other branches.

When asked about her interest in plants she responded, “While I have always loved my flowerbeds, I became very interested in begonias around 2006 when I received cuttings of Begonia ‘Argenteo Guttata’, a plant my grandmother had received some 45 years ago and that my mother shared with me. I still have this wonderful begonia and will always treasure it! I have become particularly interested in species thanks to ABS members who generously share cuttings and their knowledge of begonias. I have served as ABS 2nd Vice-President and am now ABS President. I enjoy the opportunity to gather at ABS get-togethers, and fellowship with ABS members near and far away! It was a pleasure to prepare this program on hybrids that are named for ABS members who have made significant contributions to ABS”.

“We all love begonia hybrids with the great variety of forms, leaf textures, and flowers. But have you ever wondered about the hybrids named for people and been curious about the background story? For example, who hybridized the beautiful rex B. ‘Wanda Macnair’ and if you have not had the pleasure of meeting her, just who is Wanda Macnair? It turns out that many of the people for whom hybrids have been named, have made significant contributions to ABS”.

“I have long been curious about these hybrids and prepared a program called ABS and Hybrids: The People and the Plants. In the program, I hope that you enjoy connecting the hybrid with the face and the life of the person for whom the begonia was named”.

Sally Savelle, President of the American Begonia Society


Over the years several members of our branch have had begonias named after them. They include: Begonia Virginia Jens, Charles Jaros, Sir Charles, Helen Jaros, Shanika, Jessica Ma, Nancy Cohen, Jerry Baird, Lynda Evans, Frances Hunter, Sean Cherry, Rosamond, Esther Nagelberg, and Johanna Kitson.

There is a wonderful video of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden Begonia Section available. You can find it here …

Please add to your upcoming calendar

Just as a reminder about the October meeting --- the meeting will be on Monday, October 1, as the second Monday is a holiday. The November meeting will be on the third Monday, November 19, instead of the second Monday.
The Mounts Plant Sale set-up will be Friday, November 2, and the sale will be Saturday and Sunday, November 4 and 5.

Bring a nice plant for the exchange table. It does not need to be a begonia.

Please, please, please ............…. BRING YOUR BEST POTTED BEGONIA

Since our begonias are growing at their very best in this wonderfully hot, humid summer weather, bring your ONE BEST BEGONIA that can be displayed along the last row of tables in our meeting room. It does not have to be in bloom or a perfect show plant, just something that we can enjoy seeing and sharing. It can be a potted or terrarium begonia. I have seen some beautiful begonias growing in some of your gardens, back porches, and inside your homes, so I know they are out there.

Thanks for your participation!

Johanna Kitson, Newsletter Editor


Meeting called to order at 7:30 pm by Virginia Jens as President Sandy Arlund is away.

Officers present: Vice President Virginia Jens, Secretary Denise Friedlander, Treasurer Frances Drescher, National Representative Johanna Kitson

Refreshments provided by Frances Drescher, Susan Roberts, Gwen Roberts, Donnie Brown and Petra Russell

Treasurers report given by Frances Drescher.

Membership chair Sandy Sklar. There was one guest tonight - Guerline Crawford

Old Business:

Regarding plant sales, Harmony's business has expanded, and they no longer can hold plants and there are changes in their policies.

At the September meeting there will be a sign-up sheet for our upcoming plant sale in November. It will be held on the first Saturday and Sunday of the month with set up on Friday.

Per Patrick Dempsey, the Saturday after our October meeting we are planning to visit members gardens.

New Business:

Per Virginia. In September we will be announcing a nominating committee, in October we will present a slate of officers, and in November we will vote. At our December holiday potluck dinner, we will install the new officers.

Frances Drescher and Sandy Sklar are working diligently on our club becoming incorporated with new bylaws upcoming.

Our program was presented by Patrick Dempsey on "KOKEDAMA". This means moss ball in Japanese. This was a hands-on presentation and we all got some history on this technique and got to make our own to take home kokedama. Thank you, Patrick!

Badge plant won by Vicki Alleyne

Per Virginia we will have a plant exchange next month and our speaker will be Salle Savelle, ABS President.

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m. by Virginia

Respectfully submitted by Denise Friedlander, Secretary