I bet it would be hard to find a gardener who hasn’t grown begonias at some point in his or her gardening lifetime. The tuberous begonia is very popular and more widely cultivated than the other 1300 species and their cultivars combined. It’s a wonderful thing to see the vibrant rainbow of colours light up the shadiest of gardens.
My mother grew begonias every year. Most of the potted tuberous begonias for sale at the nurseries have been grown from cuttings, therefore don’t have enough time to produce a tuber in our notoriously short summer season. So she never could dig and store them over winter to have again for next season. Every June she would buy a dozen red begonias to plant around the hostas under a maple tree in our back yard.
The lovely scent of these begonias is amazing. I got to see and smell the newest cultivar from Blackmore & Langdon called John Smith at a nursery last year. The most beautifully soft coral-pink colour you will ever see on a flower. There were only a handful for sale and the price nearly knocked me to the floor – I believe for one plant it cost $65. I’m sure is worth every penny, being very high-quality [and if they are properly cared for] can last at least five years making it more economical in the long run.
John Smith is named for one of the breeders who is now working with the fourth generation of Langdons. It shows yet another begonia breakthrough with being the first upright fragrant begonia rather than the usual pendulous blooms.
I would really like to try germinating begonia seeds. I have heard the good [cheaper and economical] and the bad [much skill and patience]. I am not an experienced gardener, but I feel the urge to indulge my spring fever. The Blackmore & Langdon website sells perfumed pendulous begonia seeds in mixed colours and I’m very tempted. Perhaps I should read all the information I can first before I give the seeds a try so I know what I am getting myself into. For now, I’m really wanting to add Sunrise tuberous begonias from the Scentiment series to my garden. Ahh, I can smell them now.