Beguiling Begonias

Every year I resolve to do less in the garden, particularly when it comes to filling scads of pots with annuals that require daily watering in the summer.  Dragging the hose about in hot, humid weather has lost its appeal. But like New Year resolutions honored more in the making than in the execution, as soon as I see the plants my resistance dissolves.

This year three enchanting annual begonias won me over — love at first sight sort of thing. They are worth the effort. As British author, Iris Murdoch, wisely noted,” One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats”.  These garden “treats” make me very happy.

Begonias do well in outdoor containers and will bloom from Spring to frost. They appreciate rich, evenly moist soil, in shade or part sun. And they attract bees and butterflies.

Begonia ‘Encanto Red’

For several years I have filled containers with the showy Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’. This year Bonfire has been replaced with the showier, flamboyant and gorgeous, semi-upright, B. ‘Encanto Red’. (I do not exaggerate. See photo below).

copyright 2013  -  Lois Sheinfeld

copyright 2013 – Lois Sheinfeld


Dragon Wing hybrid Begonia

I saw this newly introduced beauty growing in a hanging basket but knew at once it would be the perfect plant for my favorite pot. (Photo below.)

copyright 2013 - Lois Sheinfeld

copyright 2013 – Lois Sheinfeld

Begonia x benariensis ‘Whopper Red With Bronze Leaf’

A wonderful plant with its shiny bronze foliage and large flowers. Aptly named, Whopper Red can grow 2-3 feet tall and as much across. An added bonus is its excellent heat tolerance. (Photo below)

copyright 2013  -  Lois Sheinfeld

copyright 2013 – Lois Sheinfeld


I purchased the three begonias from Halsey Farm & Nursery on Deerfield Road in Watermill , N.Y., phone: 631 726-4843; They have an outstanding selection of annuals, perennials and vegetable plants. ( No surprise. They have been at it for a long time. This family farm was started in 1747.)