Divided By a Begonia


Some of the first plants I ever grew were the tuberous begonias. Unlike the common begonia that was available for mass planting, these were larger and more temperamental plants. They demanded dappled light and coaxing from their tubers before they would reward with rich blooms such as the ones seen here. The foliage was just as handsome, and together they made a powerful punch. Yet for all of that, their form never quite appealed to me. It was slightly erratic, as if it couldn’t quite make up its mind to be upright or trailing. I don’t like that kind of indecision.

This year, I gave them another try, and though the color and beauty of the flower form remains enchanting, and the leaves are as pretty as I remember them, the form still irks me. I keep expecting the taller portions to flop over, debating a stake before letting nature decide if and when it should fall. Too many things in gardening are ungovernable – I don’t need another. So enjoy these luscious flowers for now; their time is limited and their tubers will not be saved.

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