April 07, 2013

How Collections Begin: Begonias

When I was a child, a house in a nearby town where I was a sometimes visitor had huge pots of Angel Wing Begonia on the wide shady front porch which as best I remember faced toward the north. I think it marked me for life.

I always have begonias of some kind, usually more than one. Above is from a few years back.
This winter Angel Wing cuttings in a pot got leggy. I broke out the tops and stuck in another pot. The newly rooted pieces are putting out new 'wings.'

 The old pot of mostly naked stems is putting out new wings, too.
 A few years ago I visited a beautiful Atrium Garden at a Nursing Home in Florida. What most caught my eye? Begonias. I'll be watching for different Begonia cultivars.

I like regular fibrous rooted begonias, too. I even scooped up a seedling off the greenhouse floor, the red one on the far right. It grew this large in a single winter.
New little cuttings are a delight.
I love when they start to bloom.
Fibrous rooted begonias make good substitutes for impatiens, which are hard to find in some places now because of some blight that has affected impatiens. Begonias are sturdy and stand some drought in places where impatiens might faint and fall over. They enjoy the same shady areas as impatiens.
This may be the first in a series of How Collections Begin. You start with one and suddenly you have a collection. Where do they come from?

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