Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Begonias!

I really need to limit my collecting.

 I've pretty much put a stop to adding plates and glasses to my collections, unless, of course, that odd piece of jadeite or drabware pops up. And I've put a complete halt on book buying, except for when I find something wonderful at a thrift store. I've slowed quite a bit on milk glass and pottery, although on a recent trip to Broadway Antiques I found several small McCoy planters I really must have. My collections are being edited down and rearranged and re purposed. Kind of.  All of my collections, that is, except for my plants.

I've always had the odd begonia picked up from a big box store or a clearance rack at a nursery. Last summer, however, I began finding different varieties. They did quite well in the dining room in the bright indirect light of the North facing windows, and they have given me the confidence I needed to branch out a bit and buy a few more different types primarily for their foliage.

Now that I feel more confident in growing them, I may begin investing more by ordering some from Logee's. I've always looked longingly at 'Marmaduke', and 'Flamenco' has always caught my eye. Perhaps I will have better luck with a begonia collection than I have with my staghorn ferns. But that is a different story of collecting.
Amazing leaves on this nameless Rex begonia. They are very red when they first open and fade to a mauvey-silver.

The undersides are gorgeous.

My Crinkle-Leaf begonia is a type of Rhizomatous begonia native to Brazil. I really should cut it back and see if it fills out, as it looks rather like a bonsai experiment at the moment.

'Lana' is a cane-like angel-wing begonia with great leaves.
I was also excited to use some of my new Guy Wolff pots on these new begonias. They are mass produced versions of the master potter's designs, and therefore much more affordable. Guy Wolff has been making custom pots for Martha Stewart for years. 

The underside of the leathery leaves are a rich burgundy-red.

This little guy is a Rex begonia called 'Fireworks'.
The swirling purplish-grayish-greenish top of the leaves give way to more red and green on the underside.

This is Rex begonia Shadow King 'Rothko'. He is pretty amazing. I bought him for myself as a birthday present.

The leaves have a shimmering quality that is rather amazing, as well as the awesome polka-dotted edges.

New leaves emerge green and pink before turning red and black.

The underside of 'Rothko'.

'Gryphon' is a hybrid begonia making appearances all over big box stores and garden centers as an annual for shade gardens.

I love the huge, long-stemmed leaves.

A new leaf beginning to grow.

Another Fibrous begonia, 'My Special Angel' is an angel-wing begonia with beautiful foliage.

The silver spots are almost metallic when they catch the light.

Most of the Rex begonias all together in a corner.

I love this grouping along with some of the old blown paperweights my Grandma passed down to me. Hopefully they will continue to thrive, and accept some new additions as I continue with my latest collection.