The National Begonia Society


The Chairman's Garden
Ian Rhys Williams  

My Garden Displays.

   Most of those who are members’ of the National Begonia Society, know the region of South Wales Area where my wife Dorothy and I live. For those who do not know, I live in the upper region of the picturesque Neath Valley, where the crystal clear river Neath containing wild Brown Trout, Sewin [Sea Trout] and Salmon swim. The valley has mountain ranges on both sides. On one side is Craig- Y- Llyn [Lake of the Rock] and on the adjacent side of the valley, Sarn Helen.
   Less than half a mile further up the valley is the Brecon Beacons National Park where the village of Pont-Nedd-Fechan [ Bridge over the Little Neath ] is located. From Pont-Nedd-Fechan, thousands of visitors’ yearly visit the world known series of beautiful waterfalls on the River Nedd-Fechan. Sgwd Gwladys [ Lady Falls], being the most visited. Sgwd Gwladys is enchantingly spectacular.
Begonia borders.
   In the photos of our garden, you will see how colourfully versatile begonias are. They all grow superbly in borders, pots and hanging baskets. The front garden borders are fronted with White Semps, which were bought cheaply in the spring as plugs and potted up into three inch pots until established. In the corner bed, at the rear, a plant of Devotion Million Kisses gives height. In the front, I mass plant Flamboyant, closely together, to avoid the need for weeding.
   Along the side border, next to the fence, I group plant a mixture of Peardrop, Cottage Red and Cottage Pink. The different colours complement each other.
   The front border is planted with Helen Harmes, Glowing Embers, Ami- Jean Baird and Peardrop.    This combination of colours, gives a different array of palette colours.
   In my top stepped border a blaze of fire coloured Peardrop flowers throughout the summer and autumn season profusely. They look magnificent. The second stepped border contains blood rich coloured Flamboyant. These always give their best and I wouldn’t be without them in my garden borders -incredibly beautiful.
   The lower stepped border is planted with French Marigolds. Their glowing orange and yellow heads shone beautifully, for most of the season; however, they were past their best, much sooner than all the begonias. The begonias, however, are still giving a splendid show, as I write this article late in October.
   My pot plants contain different varieties of pendula begonias too. Pots of Devotion, Amour and Pink Illumination, graces the pots in my front garden and patio. They always flower profusely, throughout the growing season, even during the soaring high temperatures during the long hot summer. They needed regular deadheading, watering and feeding though, particularly during the hottest periods of June and July.
   My hanging exhibition baskets are grown under my car port which has a clear Polycarbonate roof. The car-port fronts our garage. The car port and garage house Dorothy’s and my car. The car port has a garage door and is enclosed for security reasons. Ideal for the Begonias as it is light and sheltered.
Begonia baskets take priority.
   Dorothy and I are able to garage our cars until the end of July, however, when the baskets grow too long, the cars are kept in the driveway until the end of the Show season.
   After each Show the displays around the garden are added to. I only use a hanging basket or pots once in any Show, as they get damaged in transit. After each Show, the baskets are hung outside and the pots added to the displays. I also use basket and pot stands to add height to the baskets and pots.    Each Show, I use different baskets and pots.
Patio Area at rear of house.
   At the rear of our house on the patio there is an arbour, where I display my hanging baskets. This is ideal, as it shades the baskets from the mid-day sun. In front of the arbour, I erect a display of different begonias. Around the patio and down the garden path there are large pots, all containing different types of begonias, which include, Peardrop, Cottage Red, Cottage Pink, Yellow Bon-Bon, Ami - Jean Baird, Helen Harmes, Red Semps, Devotion and Amour. The patio and path are South facing and thus the pots are in full sun for most of the day. The patio area and front garden displays are viewed through our rear patio doors and front lounge windows and are a joy to be seen daily.
The Versatility and Beauty of Begonias.
   Begonias are very versatile and flower for months on end throughout the season. They are suitable for pots, hanging baskets and garden borders. They tolerate the heat of full sun, shade, rain and drought. No other flowering plants can compare to their versatility or outstanding beauty.

Ian Rhys Williams.  2013 

Front garden

Side view of front of house

Pear Drop, left in top border

Side border

Side view of front of house

Side view of front of house

Cutting tubers in shade

View from front door

Stepped borders

View through the standard fuchsias

View through the standard fuchsias

Garden from road

Pot of Devotion

Mixed begonias

Pot of Amour

View from back lounge through patio doors with  Cascading Baskets of Firedance,
,Isobella, Amour,
Yellow Hammer and Glowing Embers.