The National Begonia Society
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2014 Diary

Stephen Jones
THE BRITISH SOCIETY
CHAMPION   2013

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July

 21st. July
   Itís been a while since I added any details in the diary as I have been away. My neighbour Malcolm has done a great job of watering my plants, he mentioned he was around our place an hour one night and his wife Diane had to search him out. Before we went away I layered my sweet peas as they had reached the top of the canes. I grow them on the cordon method which normally produces some outstanding flowers for cutting and displaying in a vase. I do try and plant ones with a good scent which does give an extra benefit. These flowers were picked by the neighbour and I expect as you are aware this constant picking keeps them flowering and are still good plants which should produce good long stems and blooms good enough to enter some shows if I can find the time.
   Figs 1, 2, 3 & 4 show the plants before I started taking off the top leaves Figs 5, 6, 7 & 8 show the buds and flowers starting to show after removing the top couple of leaves. You can see the fans are on timers so only come on about 11am till 6 pm .Since I have returned itís been a busy time checking the ties on plants and at the moment putting the flower supports under the buds. This is a tricky job as you donít want to punch holes through the leaves which is all too easy to achieve. The weekís difference in bud and flower size can be seen from when I took the buds on half the plants which are all mixed up around the greenhouses.
   We visited Bellcross nursery with the National Begonia Society earlier in the month just prior to our holiday there was a good turn out, I would like to thank Margaret and Malcolm for their hospitality during our visit. You can see Fig 9 showing the National Begonia Society President Mr Jeff Rhodes presenting Margaret and Malcolm with a token showing appreciation from the society. Fig 10 a close up of the presented plaque. Fig 11 showing Malcolm Margaret and myself in one of their green houses. Fig 12 showing what left of the buffet and Fig 13 others who have enjoyed the day out in Yorkshire meeting up with other like minded people talking flowers. This was the first time we have visited, it was a pleasure to meet them both have a look around the plants and learn about their growing methods This was the place where I have purchased plants over the last few years in fact it may have been one of the first Begonia I purchased, I know I did speak to Margaret when ordering.
   Back in my greenhouse I started on Miracle grow then moved to Phostrogen now trying chempak number 4 during the last few weeks as this hopefully will make the flowers a better size using as advised on the instructions. Margaret did mention she only gives her plants water and lets the nutrients in her compost feed the plants although she does use top soil from their own land after sterilising during the winter period and this would hold a good amount of plant feed. Iíve got a couple of weeks to the National show and the flowers donít look that big although I have nothing to compare with as I didnít take any pictures last year. Taking notes and pictures are useful which I didnít take either last year thus making this diary a good reference for future growing with key dates mentioned. Iíve done this many times planted something thinking I will remember but unless labels attached you will forget over several months. Weíve been having some hot weather at the moment so when Iím home morning and evening I damp down the greenhouse floors which helps a little to keep the temperature down slightly. Fig 14 & 15 show the plants just before I start getting them ready a busy time ahead.


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