Having been growing begonias
seriously for four years it never ceases to amaze me what versatile
plants they are. Beside the greenhouse show plants, I utilise
pendulas and semperflorens in the garden.
I do not use them in formal displays (too much work these days!)
but they certainly give stunning results used that way. I marvel at
Jeff Abbott’s garden at Mawdsley, Lancashire, feature in a recent
NBS Bulletin. Equally impressive I am told is the August Bank
Holiday Flower Carpet of begonias at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.
Anyone visiting Bath should wander into Victoria Park. Probably the
most spectacular display of bedding and pendula begonias in the
country. In my home town of Nailsea, North Somerset, the local
Horticultural Society has over recent years increasingly used
begonias, especially Dragons Wing semperflorens.
I use my garden begonias as spot colour in our cottage style
garden. I have troughs, baskets, half baskets on fences and in
particular pedestal baskets, that can be moved easily to brighten up
any corner. The only downside in the South West is the problem with
vine weevil but I think I have cracked that difficulty this year.
What has amazed me also is the longevity of the plants. We do
have a milder climate in the South West but begonias outlive the
other bedding plants. When the evenings drew in the begonias take
on a rather surreal and illuminating sight when caught by the
This series of pictures were taken in October 2007. As I write this in
December, there is one sheltered trough of begonias that is still
giving a cheerful display, withstanding all the elements to date and
even one hard frost.
I hope these pictures
brighten your day until next year when it all starts again.