A vintage English terra-cott pot man, restored, late 20th Century.
I love cane begonias. These begonias bloom nonstop all summer long and stand up to our severe heat indexes here in Georgia, Zone 7B. They grow tall like bamboo stalks and produce graceful arching canes with pendulous flowers ~ staking is not necessary because the canes are so strong. There are no problems with insects or disease, and very little feeding is required. Cane begonias grow best in full shade, but they will tolerate a couple of hours of intense sunlight when properly irrigated.
In years past, the cane begonias have exceeded 4’ in height during a single growing season, and my clients weep when it’s time for them to be replaced with winter seasonal color.
The “cane begonia” is just one of many groups in the Begonia genus. Some of the other groups include tuberous, rex, rhizomatous, and trailing scandent, all of which have different cultural requirements. The common “wax begonias” used as bedding plants are in the semperflorens group.
Charles Plumier, a French botanist who was an acclaimed botanical explorer in his day (the Frangipani genus Plumeria is named after him), coined the name “Begonia” in honor of Michel Bégon (1638-1710), a passionate plant collector and former governor of the French colony of Haiti.
Patriotic Plants for 4th of July. There are so many flowers blooming now that would make perfect centerpieces for a good ‘ole fashioned American celebration. Walk around your garden or visit a local nursery to find all kinds of inspiration. Go ahead, put some fireworks on your table! More ideas, here.
Roses in Blue Jugs, 1917 Konstantin Korovin
The largest Super Moon this year: June 23, 2013, also known as the Perigee Moon, best spotted at moonrise or moonset when it’s closest to the horizon.
Beneath the summer full-orbed moon,
Ruddy & gold that rose full soon,
Like rose & lily fused in Fire,
Ere the sunset’s torch expire.
Queen Summer (1891), Walter Crane.
The bees were hard at work today on these coneflowers.
Celebrate National Pollinator Week: June 17-23, 2013.
National Pollinator Week: JUNE 17-23, 2013
Why you should care about the pollinators (pollinator.org):
- Approximately 1,000 plants worldwide need to be pollinated by animals to produce the food, medicine, and goods on which we depend.
- About 200,000 species of animals act as pollinators: 1,000 of those are hummingbirds, bats, and small animals, and the rest are insects like beetles, wasps, bees, moths and butterflies.
- Some plants depend upon a single pollinator species. If the pollinator disappears, so does the plant that produces that food or beverage. These interdependent foods include blueberries, chocolate, melons, almonds, and others.
- 75% of all flowering plants rely on animal pollinators.
For a list of crops pollinated by bees, click HERE.
One of my favorite clematis vines is Clematis florida sieboldiana (the flower is similar to a Passion Flower Vine). It’s the perfect climbing vine for a container, because of its delicate nature. I use this one in container gardens with a trellis structure for support. Blooms appear in June, with a few sporadic flowers appearing throughout the summer. Because clematis vines are deer resistant, they are an obvious choice for gardeners with wildlife issues. Hardy to Zone 7B.
Still fooling Mother Nature: return of the Christmas Amaryllis in Zone 7B. The key seems to be a partly sunny location, somewhat sheltered from the elements (harsh sun, severe cold).
I use a lot of begonias in my clients’ container gardens during the summer. Some are used for foliage, while others are used for a proliferation of flowers. Rex begonias have beautiful symmetrical leaf patterns and insignificant flowers, while cane begonias produce long branching arms, dripping with flowers for months on end. Tuberous begonias come in summer-hot sizzling colors like tangerine-orange and ruby-red. These are all shade plants, especially here in Zone 7B, but they stand up to the heat very well.
Look for the different types of begonias in the garden center. My favorites include Tuberous Begonias, Shrub Begonias, Rex Begonias, and Rhizome Begonias, all of which offer a stunning variety in foliage and flower production.