Sunday, February 8, 2009

Let There Be..Illumination

No I did not have a revelation nor have I “seen the light” as this title might suggest. It’s also not about any “light at the end of the tunnel”, a light bulb perched above my head, or anything to do with the electric company because that is the bill I always tend to pay first so I can be on here, doing this.

Anyway, to shed some light on the subject, ha, I’m talking about a Begonia. (A big let-down for ya here?) Scouring through one of my seed catalogues a few weeks ago, I came across this good looking plant. I’ve started various begonias from seed before and usually have fairly decent luck with them, but have never tried this one. I was debating on whether to give it a shot when lo and behold, (how often do you get to say that) Rose from Prairie Rose’s Garden had a post that included this very same plant, although a different color. What a coincidence, and since she said that it was one of her favorite annuals last year, that cinched it for me. I ordered some seeds.

A few days later and I’m all set to plant. There were 25 pelleted seeds in the pack. Pelleted for dummies like me that otherwise can’t tell a tiny seed from a speck of dust on their fingertip and therefore usually end up with nothing. And since those seeds are so small how do they get that coating on each one, and how many of them are really coated dust particles instead? Is that why only half of them germinate?



Ten days later and here they are. Yes, they’re in there although you might need a magnifying glass to see them.


With a lot of luck, a ton of patience, and some TLC, there should be at least some Illumination in my garden this summer.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that you will have the best looking Illumination that ever there was!!! And it looks like you're off to a great start! I did wonder when you would be starting your 'famous' seedlings:-)

SisterNan

Betty said...

What a beautiful plant! We don't get a lot of 'bloomers' to survive in the desert; but, I love to look at pictures of other folks' gardens. I can hardly wait to see this plant in yours.

Oh, teehee, my word verification is 'dinkedi'...sounds like a song from the '40s; or maybe the psychedelic 60s?

Enjoyed seeing your seeds.

Anonymous said...

Uh Oh, its time to set up the grow house. Luckily you have a spare bedroom to get all the flowers/plants started. Hope the police don't get the wrong idea and raid the place.
FD#3

Cheryl said...

I love that plant! Keeping my fingers crossed for you that your garden will look as lovely as the picture. Although, I have believe it will.
XXX

Susie said...

Is that an egg carton I see? Good luck with the seedlings, I hope they do great for you. That plant is a beauty!

Rudee said...

Sounds like spring around your house. I can't believe the snowmelt in just a couple of days. Maybe that groundhog was wrong. I can't wait to see pictures of your begonias in bloom.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

We sold that variety of Begonia at the nursery, It was definitely the most popular, and beautiful one around. I love the look of it.


BTW, that was one funny comment, more chocolate anyone?

Jen

Mildred said...

Wow, this is a beautiful begonia. I did not visit any nurseries last year, so I had not seen this particular one. So very pretty - where will you plant them eventually?

beckie said...

I've never tried begonias mostly because of the size of the seed. Didn't know you could get them already planted-wonderful. I will watch to see how yours do before I try them. Good luck!

flydragon said...

Nan,
You always did think that all the seeds I start turn out great. Not true. I just never mentioned all the ones that didn't:)

Betty,
Hopefully, this one turns out to look at least a little bit like the picture. A lot of times mine don't:)

FD3,
Over the years, more than one cop took a long look at all that light coming from my upstairs window. They never came a knocking though.

Cheryl,
Ha, you have a lot more faith than I do:)

Susie,
Nope, not an egg carton this time, just the regular little plastic thingy.

Rudee,
Isn't it great how much snow disappears after a few days of warmer temps. Just the big mounds left around here. Hope that teeny begonia gets big enough to get a picture:)

Jen,
I didn't notice this one at any of the garden centers last year. You might have to take a picture of one at your nursery this summer to show me what mine should have looked like:)
And I still have some chocolate left because I know I'll be needing it again before spring manages to arrive:)

Mildred,
With luck, I'll be planting them in my window boxes in the back, so that I can see them from inside too.

beckie,
They are one of the hardest for me to grow, because not only is the seed so small, (Whoo hoo for pellets) but the newly germinated sprouts are also one of the smallest and they take forever to get to be a decent size. Fussy about temps. and light too. I'll be surprised if I get even 5 or 6 out of the whole batch.

Rose said...

Oh my, Flydragon, I am sitting here drooling! Wherever did you find the seed? I think I'll keep an eye on your seedlings before I attempt starting any on my own--my luck with seeds is not the best:)

Thanks for the mention; I really did love this plant last year and tried to overwinter it, but apparently it didn't like my garage:) Whether started from seed or a potted plant from the nursery, there will be another Illumination in my garden this summer!

flydragon said...

Rose,
I found the seeds at Park Seeds. They only had the one color though, which is okay because I like rose:)
And it was your post that convinced me enough to order them. Sorry yours didn't like your garage:)

Dog_geek said...

Looking good! I can't wait to see the blooms later this year! I've been too lazy to start seeds so far this year. We always have to start them in the guest room so that the cats don't eat the new plants. Even then, if the door is open for even a second, a cat dashes in and yanks a little plant out by the roots and runs off with it.

Roses and Lilacs said...

That is a lovely begonia. Will it bloom the first year since you started it early? Cant wait to see photos.
Marnie

Di said...

Lovely choice, love begonias and usually plant them. But never had any luck with starting seeds indoors. They start out well but somewhere along the line when it comes time to plant them I lose them. Good luck, keep us posted on their progress.

flydragon said...

DG,
Ha, what is it with kitties and plants? They either chomp on them or dig them up:)

Marnie,
Since I didn't get these started until Feb., they should be blooming by the end of June or begining of July. That's if everything goes according to plan of course:)

Di,
I have the same problem sometimes. Going along just fine and then all of a sudden....kaput.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Do you have them covered with a bit of saran wrap? It helps to hold the moisture in since they are seeds that you don't cover with soil. Begonias take a LONG time, they grow so darn slow...but are worth the effort! I would cover them with saran and then check them, as soon as you see green, then uncover them and be patient, you will have blooms by the 4th of July. Illumination is a wonderful series of begonias, and the rose one is stunning. They should look lovely in your window boxes:)

TC said...

I said "lo and behold" in this week's gardening article for the paper. As soon as the paper's out Wednesday, I'll post the article on my Web site: www.thewritegardener.com.

And what in tarnation are you growing those begonias in?? It looks like chewed loose leaf tobacco. Although I'm sure it's really the perfect growin medium.

flydragon said...

Farside,
I do have the clear plastic domes for my seed trays and leave them on till I see little sprouts. They stay so small for so long and I always think they're not going to make it but most of them do, somehow:) I think I should have started them a few weeks earlier though.

TC,
No chewed up tobacco here, (you've tried that have you?, just plain old seed starting mix:)
Lo and behold, huh. Great minds think alike??

Not Very Anonymous Mom said...

of course you planted a little extra, am i right?

am i?

flydragon said...

NVAM,
Yep, I planted them all hoping that half would germinate. Out of those half I'm hoping half will grow into full sized plants. Out of those I'm hoping to have a couple for you. But don't be holding your breath, just in case.

spookydragonfly said...

Good luck with your seeds! I never have much luck with them...or patience. Looking forward to see them in your garden!

KALI said...

I'll look forward to the first flower from that plot...
I'm sure it will be a lot prettier than in picture :)
happy gardening!!!

flydragon said...

spooky,
I'm looking forward to seeing them survive the first 3 weeks:)

KALI,
If they turn out to look anything at all close to that picture, I'll be happy:)

troutbirder said...

Boy those seeds are small. I used to do this some and then move them to my cold frame. Now, I'm just to lazy. Problem is most of the stores dont carry what you want.

flydragon said...

troutbirder,
Most of the stores around here don't have some of the plants I'm interested in trying so that's why I still plant seeds. Most times I still enjoy it, except when they don't turn out as expected of course:)
Saw your new post about losing the post comments part. I'm sure you already checked your settings just in case the blogger gremlin got in there and changed something while you weren't looking?

Mildred said...

2/13/09 Good Morning Flydragon!
Harriet and I want to wish you a happy Valentine's Day!
I appreciate your visits to our blog each morning.
Hope you enjoy the weekend.

flydragon said...

Hi Mildred,
Happy Valentines Day to you and Nally too!!
And give my favorite pooch a very big smooch:)

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I can't wait to see what blooms. I could see the tiny plants in the second shot. Cool.~~Dee

flydragon said...

Hi Dee,
A week later and they're still just as small. Good news though, they're still there:)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Just checking on you! Nosy blogger anyway! Still have seedlings..good job! Patience and begonia seed go together hand in hand..it will be worth it! :)

flydragon said...

farside,
Nosy?? Never. Old softie checking to see if I'm still here?? Yes!!

Not Very Anonymous Mom said...

your comments are bananas. you're the only blogger i know who keeps getting comments, even when they're not posting!

flydragon said...

NVAM,
A couple of nice bloggers just checking to see if I'm still alive, like you just did.

Renie Burghardt said...

Oh, I love begonias. I have a huge one indoors in a pot in the window. An Angel Wing Begonia. I can see some of your tiny seedlings. I hope they do well for you and you get months of enjoyment out of them.

Thank you for your visit and comment. My daughter lives in Willowick and older son lives in Middleburg Heights. I moved here from Independence. Are you in the Cleveland area?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Renie

Happy Valentine's Day!

Renie

flydragon said...

Hi Renie,
I debated about getting the Angel Wing begonia, but went with the Illumination instead. I hope it works out.

I live in Euclid. I also have a daughter in Willowick. Maybe they're neighbors:) If you moved there to get away from the cold and nasty weather, you didn't move far enough away:) You are a wonderful writer!!! I'm looking forward to reading all your posts!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What fun to start plants from seeds, I used to do lots more of it than I do now, not enough time but the variety that one can get from seed starting is truly amazing! Keep us posted with their progress.

flydragon said...

Hi Iowa,
Hopefully I'll have a bunch of pictures later. Much later, as they are still so small I can barely see them:)

oldcrow61 said...

Your writing cracks me up. You're so funny. They will be lovely plants when full grown by the look of them.

flydragon said...

Hi Oldcrow,
I'm crossing my fingers, toes, and eyes, hoping I don't kill them all before they have a chance to grow:)

Bren said...

HOW COOL!!!! This is a great documentary on seeds. I am going to give some begonia's a try in my own greenhouse area.

BTW: I answered your question to Tumbling Tom tomatoes on my blog a bit ago. I am in NW Ohio! ;-) Love meeting fellow Ohio Gardeners.
WONDERFUL!! Please keep in touch.

flydragon said...

Hi Bren,
Thanks for the info on the Tumbling Tom's. I need all the help I can get.
I plan to keep reading your blog cause I have a feeling you're going to teach me a lot:)