LONELY BEGONIA GROWER
I live in a small village called Burghfield Common near Reading
Berkshire. Must admit that at times it is a lonely pasttime growing
begonias here in the village. The nearest Society Area was the south
coast, the meetings being held at Portchester was a 120 mile round trip.
Others that I have visited in the last couple of years since returning
to the National Begonia Society after a long absence, Nailsea 180 miles &
also visited the East Aglian & Peterbourgh groups, even further. All the
Areas throughout the Society are the places to visit for anyone starting
a collection of begonias & being able to acquire certain varieties at
Now I am not an expert by any imagination, at present I class
myself an average grower with room for improvement. Still in the throws
of finding the right compost for my growing, having gone to loam based.
I'm waiting for some new compost to be delivered at the end of January.
this made with Kettering loam. Some leading growers say this is the
best, certainly not the cheapest. Before I agreed to do this diary
piece, I had already decided on my path for the year on the show bench,
normally it would consist of the mini show on the south coast & the
National at Birmingham. Since the reduced classes at the south coast
show, for my growing cut blooms there are 3 classes a 6, 3,& 1 boards.
This show being end of July. The National beginning of September 12 & 6
cut blooms. So there was quite a gap between shows. Before the reduced
classes at the mini show, I would normally grow approx 60 - 80 plants
for the Portchester show. This year it was only to be 30 plants. Now this is
where I had decided to visit another show & in my mind between the two
dates I would attempt to grow some blooms & enter a class or two, at
this other show. The idea to gain more knowledge from other growers.
Best place to learn is early mornings when the experts are all together,
setting up their pots & blooms. Then whilst they wait for the judging to take
placet you can ask many questions to the top growers. I
will not give out the venue just yet but know it will be of interest to
many. there's something about showing that gives me a buzz & its not
just at the shows it all starts when the first tubers are selected to
hit the hot bed the crescendo just gets bigger as the shows get nearer.
Now I was trying to think of a title for this diary piece & due to not
having any growers too close to just pop round the corner & visit as such
I will call it THE LONELY BEGONIA GROWER and to get January off here is
a few pictures of my small garden I, now need to get busy with the