The National Begonia Society



Well what a challenge we are facing now & puts many things into perspective, foremost everybody stay safe.

Iíve already resigned myself that we will not have any shows this year & today 2nd April Dundee show has been cancelled, this is a September show. I donít think it will be long before other shows will follow suit, so what to do with all the time we have in isolation? After a phone call from good friend John Hamilton we agreed it was a time to have a little fun with growing our favourite flower. I had already decided that most of my plants were only getting 1 potting up into a final pot of 2 litres just to grow many just for the tuber, this would help in conserving space. With not being able to get to any meetings has meant that I have a few surplus plants this is being overcome by not taking cuttings this year. Although I have a couple of new varieties & a few where Iím a little short of I will be taking a few cuttings. It will also be a good time to have a real look at the seedlings I have. For the fun of growing Iím thinking of a single stem 2 side shoots 6 blooms per plant, it will also be fun trying some varieties that we donít normally associate with this form of growing. Iíd be quite interested how the likes of Anniversary, Tom Brownlee & Tequila Sunrise fair this way of growing. I do have a small problem that my sterilised loam is ringing wet so Iíve ended up dumping it & will revert to using some old compost with new peat. Iíve already started moving plants into the glasshouse & if a frost is forecasted, they are covered with fleece. My tubers I was keeping back for Dundee Iíve already got them on heat a couple of weeks earlier to try & get everything down early in the autumn so in hindsight I was safe to get them in early. After not doing any hybridisation last year I was going to do some this year but Iím a little unsure whether to or not. I may just do 1 or 2 predetermined crosses we will see I donít need to take any cuttings till July August.

Iíve made up the first baskets one a single tuber of Isabella & Orange cascade with 4 plants, these same tubers last year went back to sleep when they got cold & didnít wake up till the end of the year. They will require the growing tips to be removed in about a weeksí time.

Photo 1 plants for National, photo 2 plants for Dundee, photo 3 plants in the glasshouse, photo 4 fleece covered, Photo 5 Isabella basket, photo 6 basket for Orange cascade, photo 7 one litre pots, photo 8 made up basket.


    Keep safe Phil Champion


 January      February     March Late March Late April