Begonias for Baskets

We had another strong showing at the Holiday Light Show (HLS) last night.  The event has gone very well and while many folks (including me!) prefer some snow on the ground, the show continues to be spectacular and well received.  See for more information on the schedule, purchasing tickets and possible weather related cancellations.  Don’t forget the four evenings after Christmas for the HLS!  We had a small crew at the Horticulture Center this morning. Bill O. was in early to empty the garbage cans along the HLS routed and tidied up the reception garden after two nights of Santa’s reindeer visiting.  Ron P. came in to repair lights while Dr. Gredler did some painting.  Dick H. was in as well.  I’m shifting to 2016 seed ordering over these coming weeks and will have some “homework” over the holidays!

Over the past five or six years I’ve noticed an increased pace in the breeding of trailing begonias for the part sun and particularly, the full sun basket.  We’ve tried many varieties here and have been amazed at the amount of flowers, dark-foliage varieties and overall impact of these selections.  This past summer I visited many trial gardens and saw the continued focus on exciting new selections for maximum flower power in a basket.  Begonias are NOT drought tolerant so in the full sun setting you see many of these varieties situated in is certainly brutal.  Consider the small soil volume in a basket as well and the implications for plants drying out quickly.  Well-drained soil, supplemental fertilization and ample moisture will all be the keys to success with these selections.  Hummingbirds love begonias in baskets by the way!  Enjoy this assortment which is only a small fraction of what I saw!  Above and directly below is the variety ‘Unstoppable Upright Fire’ which isn’t so much a “trailer” as it is a “filler”!  Look at the dark foliage though…

 Begonia ‘Unstoppable Upright Fire’
 Begonia ‘Little Lava’
 Begonia ‘Marshmallow’
 Begonia ‘Million Kisses Elegance’
Begonia ‘Unbelievable Ms. Montreal’
 Begonia ‘Bossa Nova Pure White’
Begonia ‘Bossa Nova Red’
 Begonia ‘Bossa Nova Salmon Shades’
Begonia ‘Bossa Nova Rose Shades’
 Begonia ‘Bossa Nova Yellow’
 Begonia ‘Bossa Nova White’
Begonia ‘Bossa Nova Orange Shades’
 Begonia ‘San Francisco’
 Begonia ‘Waterfall Encanto Red’
Begonia ‘Waterfall Encanto Orange’
 Begonia ‘Beauvilia White’
Begonia ‘Beauvilia Red’