Begonias, especially the rhizomatous type such as this B. 'Shooting Star', have fancy leaf patterns, with endless combinations of color, but when assembled together in a collection of like forms, somehow, appear more botanically interesting. Add some nice Guy Wolff pots, and... 'Boom - Epic Wow'.
I never tire of the begonia clan, especially those know as Rhizomatous Begonias, classing old fashioned house plants from Victorian days, they also make impressive summer container plants for shady spots outdoors, and this is the perfect time to start assembling a collection, as the few nurseries who carry them will have the largest selection. Lovers of warmth, bright shade and a good, peaty potting mix, these tropical woodland plants also crave humidity, as long as there are gentle breezes to dry their delicate leaves off after a summer rainstorm, but many also make excellent and well behaved house plants.
A collection of begonias provides color and interest for a shady side of the house, an entrance or on a deck, where I keep much of my collection, on some custom made steps that I had a local handyman make.
I tried to focus on begonias, while at Logee's but it was difficult to resist some of the other plants, especially the newer introductions. I still left with only two boxes of plants. I will shop for other summer container plants later, such as salvia.
It may seem as if it is too early to start buying plants for containers, as there is still plenty of snow on the ground, but since I have a greenhouse, I might as well make some use of it, right? Besides, as we all know, one must grab while the opportunity exists, for like the perfect pair of shoes, or a cool shirt in the perfect size and fit, the perfect plant can too simply not be there when one returns to buy it a few weeks from now. At least I have convinced myself about this fact. Shut up.
|BEGONIA 'WILD PONY'|
|BEGONIA 'RIVER NILE'|
|Many of these types of begonias actually bloom in late winter, or spring. An added bonus for those of use who keep such collections for a few years. This tall blossom belongs to B. 'Madame Queen'.|
|In the main house at Logee's. a typical conservatory display of orange Streptosolen jamesonii, or Marmalade Plant, blue Coleus thyrisoides and Chenile Plant, transport visitors back into the 19th century. Sorry, poor iPhone photo.|
THE SPIDER-WEB PATTERNED LEAF OF BEGONIA PAULENSIS. BY AUGUST, THESE PLANTS WILL BE MASSIVE WITH LARGE LEAVES.
|I thought that I would share a few of my Clivia crosses. Right now, I am just numbering them.|
|I was calling this favorite, 'Muggle Drops'. after our late Irish Terrier, Margaret. It's both green and orange, and a favorite of mine.|
|I love this dark salmon color, and these long, tubular shaped blossoms. Any name ideas?|
|It seems that the snow will never end here in the Eastern US. With bitter cold temperature expected to dip near 0º F this week, my little side trip to Miami tomorrow is starting to excite me. More about that, soon.|
The Violet Barn
Lauray of Salisbury
Oh, and I almost forgot.... I'll be speaking at the annual Sakonnet Garden Symposium in Rhode Island this July 26th. The theme this year is The Art of Vegetable Gardening. Please plan on joining me along with Aaron Bertelsen of Great Dixter, and Margaret Roach whom we all know and love from her well written blog awaytogarden.com. I plan to present a new presentation on bespoke veggies, forcing, heirloom and hard-to-grow veg.