Sunday, July 29, 2012

Big Begonias

During these hot miserable days that are being racked up in the record books it is difficult to be very enthusiastic about the garden. Water water watering is about all that is going on. Looking into my crystal ball would never in a million years would I have seen that my passion for begonias would have been reignited. I must say though I found some beautiful begonias that have taken my mind off the misery of the season.

Begonias you say. Yes I say. These are not your mother's wax begonias I am talking about. These are some BIG-leaved rhizomatous begonias and I am telling you right now that my photos don't do them justice.

When I first brought them home I made a big mistake of trying to plant two of them in a pot. Even though the pot was plenty big for the roots it wasn't large enough to suitably display the big leaved begonias. I had to separate these two.
Art Hodes has large textured leaves. 
If you look close at them you can see that the leaves are hairy and red underneath. The edges are a little wavy and just look at those hairs.
'Bashful Bandit', the one that was crammed in with it has a totally different look. It has huge cleft leaves that are a deep burgandy. (below)
I think my favorite of the lot is 'Cowardly Lion'. It has these huge leaves that are chartruese with deep 
chocolate veins running through. 
The leaves even seem to spiral in toward the stems.
'Black Truffles' doesn't have such large leaves but it has beautiful dark chocolate colored leaves with contrasting yellow/green veins. The back of the leaves are dark red. Yummmmy. 
 While 'Deco Daddy' isn't as large-leaved as some of the others he is a handsome dude.
Obviously the 'in' thing in begonias are the spiraled leaves. Even though 'Palomar Whirlwind' isn't quite as colorful as the others I couldn't leave it behind. 
The last in this series I bought is 'Madame Queen'. Unfortunately she has been a little finiky. She didn't like being potted up with another. When I took her out she has been in something of a pout. I think she will come around now that she is in a pot of her own. I sure hope so because her large glossy leaves that are ruffled around the edges are beautiful. 
Do I have other begonias? Yes, I just love them. The only bad thing about them is that they all have to come in this winter. I wonder how I will be able to get them all in front of the window with the most light?? Oh well I will worry about that then. Have you a new or renewed flower passion this summer?


  1. You went begonia wild, Lisa. I love it. Begonias' endless variety in leaf color, shape makes them great plants with or without blooms. Looks like you have fine antidotes for the drought and heat. Enjoy.

    Oh, what's up with Madame Queen? Too good for everybody else, huh.

  2. Are some of these the ones you bought during our trip to Asheville? I was never a big fan of begonias--and I hate those wax begonias!--but ever since you picked up those hardy ones at Mouse Creek, I've been looking at them in a different light. These are gorgeous, and I love all the different shapes and colors of the foliage. And such cool names!

    I'm sorry to report that the Persicaria you gave me isn't doing so well. I guess I should have thought to ask about its light preference--I planted it in full sun...duh.

  3. This summer has been difficult, hasn't it? I haven't watered much at all and it has certainly taken a toll.

  4. We are having an unusually cooler summer and things aren't growing like they should but I am not going to complain. At least we have green. Glad you found something that takes your mind off of it a little. I am sure you will figure out some way to get those plants in a window. :)

  5. Fiddle dee dee, think about it the meanwhile, enjoy those beauties!! I would have to get one of each and look for more!!

  6. I love begonias, especially with red leaves. Thanks fot the show, you made my day

  7. Oh Lisa, you for sure have a green thumb! I liked best the one with the veins radiating from the center, soooo pretty.

    We have an old yellow flowering plant that comes up every year and blooms several times. Then some azaleas and something in the side yard that grows big and has red blooms at the bottom. Also some iris in the front. But we do nothing with or for all these. Our end-of-the-sidewalk beds are bare again this year.

    Meaning, you could come and get something new and pretty growing for us. Oh yes, we have a little redbud tree in back also, at the side yard. Nothing we have to bring in for the winter, that wouldn't do.

    Thank you for peeking in on my blog today,

  8. Wonderful begonias!
    I should grow more of them.
    Have a beautiful day!
    Lea's Menagerie

  9. Dear Lisa,
    Begonias to the rescue....wonderful collection. You are a plant person for sure!
    Perhaps a winter sunroom for the begonias?
    Falling in love with a plant family is so very enjoyable.
    I am waiting for rain....

  10. I didn't know these kind of begonias existed! Having only seen Mother's kind. Bringing in for the winter - i knew there was a reason i didn't have begonias as their flowers can be gorgeous!

  11. Lisa I have never seen these begonias before .. they look like they came from another planet !
    A far cry from those wax begonias for sure!
    I will be too happy once this summer is over and we have cooler weather with Autumn hopefully ?

  12. This makes sense to have the begonias outside where it's drier and hotter. I guess that's why I've never had much luck with the rex-type ones -- I always overwater them, even when I think I'm not!

  13. I'm totally having begonia envy! (Oh, and nicotiana need is striking, too... loved those in the first picture. :-)

    p.s. Don't worry too much about the brightest window for those begonias. Just don't overwater them, and they'll be able to handle an East or West facing window. (Really. I've done it for a few years now!)

  14. I had no idea there were so many types of Begonias. I understand how the heat and water struggle can zap the fun out of gardening. Mine has looked so bad the past three years I keep wondering if there is something I can do differently. People see the photos and they expect to show up at my house and find this big lush garden and it's all hanging by crispy faded thread. BUT it's raining now. LOL

  15. They are certainly beautiful. The heat and drought has taken a lot of the fun out of gardening this summer though. My begonias got torched... oh well. :)

  16. These are some amazing leaves, Lisa. Mother Nature sure puts them through the paces.

  17. Those are huge! My Mom always enjoyed growing these. She keeps hers indoors most of the time. Now that I have half a deck I can put them out there next summer.

  18. I have trouble with begonias....they are lovely


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