Deer Gardener says: begonias shine now

  • Oct. 23, 2009 11:00 a.m.

By Elaine Nyeholt-Fibrous Begonia, (the tender perennial begonia, usually grown as an annual) gets to shine this month. It’s tolerance of light frosts make it so valuable. As I contemplate next year’s autumn show, placing these interesting gems closer to the window seems like a good idea. Or perhaps just more of them in my spring/fall plots.Spring/fall plots have spring bulbs and annuals like Primrose, Calendula, Fibrous Begonia and Snap Dragons, to name a few. Summer /winter plots have Lilies, St. John’s Wort, Periwinkle, Cotoneaster and Iris, plants that don’t need to be disturbed often. If you can visualize a two season plan, you will have areas that look good and others that can be worked in without disturbing flowers that are just coming on. I’ve learned not to plant bulbs all over the place, gardening is just simpler this way.From visiting another garden, I learned that planting only Dahlia in a separate bed makes them easier to patrol for slugs, and they seem to like growing amassed. It’s a very showy spot this time of year. I would never have thought of it. Good job!Dahlia will tolerate a light frost if they are sheltered. As they get that glazed look, make plans to dig them out and hang them upside down for a week or so in a shed, to dry out. Then lop the stems off, leaving a handle on the tubers and store them in shavings or dry sand in a cold but frost-free spot.Our spring bulbs should be getting planted now. The tiny flowers like Snowdrops, Crocus and bulb Iris (reticulated Iris) need to be planted where you can enjoy them early in the spring. The flat growing inclination of periwinkle provides a lovely base for these early harbingers of good news. Its matted growth gives strength to the slight spring flower stems, when the rain pounds down on them. The bulbs will grow taller through the deep green foliage, if necessary to show their beauty. You can pretty much forget about getting under the periwinkle to dig up some bulbs though. Fortunately, the tiny bulbs of spring don’t need to be moved. This blend gives terrific erosion control. The removal of bulbs and ‘stuff’ from my final really bad garden patch is coming along. It takes me three hours to clean out an area 1½ metres square. I have two more sessions to go before I can start to haul in sandy soil and compost. The salmonberries are remarkably well established, probably because I kept whacking them off. The roots became tenacious. This patch has a rotten log surfacing that has caused me much consternation. Give up and plant a shrub comes to mind, but no, I am just as stubborn as the bull-dog. I will win!The bulbs I’ve removed from that patch are mostly depleted. So, I can replant them in a nursery area and feed them well for a couple of years to bring them back to flowering, or chuck them out and buy new ones. Hmm, that wasn’t hard to decide.The geraniums I potted and placed there are doing so well I’m tempted to move in a couple of begonia so they can be enjoyed longer.If the last of the gladiolas would hurry and finish I’d like to be done with putting them away for the winter, too. The zucchini growing near these have melted with the frost; a disgusting mess. Touching it doesn’t appeal, but how else will it get to the compost heap? Just do it. Contact me at

Just Posted

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

Millennium Memorial Park a birders’ paradise

Findings by the Delkatla Sanctuary Society has given birdwatchers more reason to… Continue reading

Major upgrades needed for Port sewage lagoon

Engineering firm itemizes shortcomings for provincial and federal standards

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

No Center of Gravity festival in Kelowna this summer: organizers

COG organizers said the hope is to return to the Okanagan in 2020

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Most Read