FROM SEEDS LIKE DUST…

These beautiful flowers begin as dust-fine seeds that produce the tubers that become begonia plants that blossom. Despite their fragile appearance, begonias are easy to grow given the right climate. A cool, wet environment is what they like. I am lucky enough to live on the Northern California coast where begonias thrive.

.Pink BegoniasBegonias are a favorite among gardeners, as a modest amount of work produces showy flowers in every color but blue and black.

I’ve had 3 baskets of hanging begonias outside my living room window for 8 or 10 years. I water them once a week, unless we have a good rain storm or it’s unusually dry and hot, and they bloom profusely.

White BegoniasThese are the blossoms from one of my 3 begonias. About a month ago the leaves began withering and dropping off. I cut it back to the tuber and it’s putting out new, healthy leaves. I never figured out the cause, nor could anyone I asked.

Begonia on Lightbox 2This is from the same plant as the flowers above, but I photographed it on a light box. The other was taken outside. Begonias are native to many tropical and sub-tropical of the world. Although I’ve read that they can be propagated from a single leaf or a cutting, I haven’t tried that myself.

Begonia close-up

Begonias have cane-like stems where they store water and are said to be drought-tolerant. Maybe, but I know they’re happiest in a cool, damp climate.

Begonias on blackThey are related to squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and melons. I didn’t realize that when I set up the flowers for this shot. I included the squash blossom for color, but now I know it’s also a family gathering.

.White Begonia CenterOften it is the sexual organs of these flowers that provide interest and variety.

Last week dahlias were my favorite flowers, but now I’m not sure. Could be begonias.

NEW WAYS TO SPREAD HAPPINESS…

One of my greatest joys is to select my photos and others’ quotations for a new edition of Happiness Cards. Here are 6 new ones I’m adding this week.

Pink Azaleas                        The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring. Carl Sandburg

HydrangeaPeople take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road  doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost. Dalai Lama

Banana Leaves        Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.             Eleanor Roosevelt                                                                                     

Begonia Close up            Always remember you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. Margaret Mead

Pink Begonias                          The whole worth of a kind deed is in the love it inspires.   The Talmud

Dahlia Close Up       If you want happiness for an hour take a nap. If you want happiness for a day go fishing. If you want happiness for a year inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime help someone else. Chinese Proverb

These Happiness Cards and 24 more are available in boxes of 30 on my website www.happinesscards.net