Sunday, September 25, 2011

Peggy and the Begonia Stalks

I always water the begonias last, and not as often, because they sit on my old garden bench and I don't want water running out on it. It's plastic, it can't be damaged at this point, but it's a habit to conserve it and a habit to water them last.

As I slowly drip water into the pots, I have a chance to really look at them and they are showy indeed. There is a rex begonia so dark it's almost black, and an angelwing begonia that shines red on the back of it's speckled green leaves. The leaves are serrated and partially turn themselves over when the sun hits them.
4 feet tall and still growing

Angelwings were one of my first houseplants and good friends for many years. Then I didn't have houseplants for a few years, too much bother, I had a big garden outdoors.  I have no plants inside my home on Kauai. Many people do, but I find that they usually end up housing ants and the occasional centipede. I'd prefer to have those critters living outdoors where they belong, and there are plenty of plants right outside the screen door.

When the begonias sat on the ground, they were always being munched on by slugs and didn't thrive. Once I moved them to the bench, they put on a growth spurt that has gone on for months. Right plant, right place…

The center stalks grow so straight and tall, like Jack's beanstalk, reaching up and up through the filtered shade. They are full of potential, and hidden jewels.

Secret begonia world

When I look at them through the eyes of a professional gardener, I think "I should top these guys and then they'd bush out and have more flowers, and I could start the tops mixed together in the yellow pot." But then I hear them say quietly "Why? Why limit our upward growth? We have side shoots that will grow out naturally and make us bushier, we already have flower clusters. We are in balance."

Why indeed? Why limit our upward growth?

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