OK, so its not a hardy plant, but its not half a show off. Begonia Firecracker one of those tuberous upright Begonias which looks great in containers or for bedding out
Its pretty loud, so possibly not to everyone’s taste, in fact I guess some of you may find it distasteful, I think Firecracker is a gem.
No point in me describing the colour as you can see for yourself. However the blooms are fully double and quite large, I find it a bit too tall for baskets but sensational in tubs.
What about growing on the tubers. I like to start them off in the greenhouse in early March. Place your tubers in a seed tray half filled with a good quality compost, (I particularly like the compost from B&Q). Then just cover the tubers in no more with a layer of this compost. Take care not to place the tubers upside down, In March you often see the emerging shoots, which simplifies things. If there is no sign of this then take into account the shape of the tuber, new tubers are often ever so slightly cup shaped, plant them, well as you would sit down a cup. Another way is to look for sign of roots this will be at the bottom of the tuber. If there is no sign of any of this, well best of luck, I have certainly planted a few the wrong way up in the past.
In previous years, usually about the end of April I would remove the growing Begonias from the trays and pot them up individually a helluva work with so many plants. This year I just left them in the trays and planted them directly into the garden on June 1st. They are looking great and starting to flower.
In the Aberdeen area plant out your Begonias in the first few days of June.
I lift the Begonias in early October for storing, cut back the stems, leave about three inches. Brush off most of the soil taking care not to strip the roots from the tuber. Allow them to dry off in the greenhouse, the stems will fall away after a couple of weeks. When the tubers are fully dry, wrap them individually in newspaper and store them in a cardboard box in a dry area of your house which is unheated, the loft does the trick for us. Remove them in early March and start all over again.
Here is another favourite Begonia of ours which I think you would be very fond of. So much more subtle this time, shall we say in a striking manner, if that is not a contradiction. This one has more of a pendulous habit and looks best in the hanging baskets.
The garden as yet isn’t a mass of colour although wandering around the garden there is quite a number of plants in flower. Here is a few of them below.
Euphorbia fireglow, be prepared to keep on top of this one, very invasive and the white sap from the stems if cut can be extremely irritating to the skin.
I really like Astrantias this is a new one which was planted in our front garden in April of last year. Very disappointed that I have not got the name of it.
Alchemilla Mollis, love it or hate it, this plant is abundant in our garden and I think it looks great.
Aquilegia Nora Barlow, enjoying a spot beside the arch in the back garden
Clematis Elsa Spath on the 15th of June in the round garden, great colour of blue. (update— it is in fact HF Young )
Talking of blue, Geranium Jolly Bee, another introduction to the front garden in the Spring of 2010 is flowering its head off at the moment. Last year it flowered from May, had a short break in the last two weeks in June then came in to flower again and continued profusely till mid October.
Rose Derescht, the first of the Roses to flower in our garden. This one has an intense and beautiful perfume.
This is a picture of the round garden taken in mid June.
This is the secret garden in mid June. The title got its name from our eldest grandson due to the fact that it can not be seen from the back garden until you go through the gate.