If I had the ability to turn my head completely around, it would have flown right off my shoulders. Whenever I'm surrounded by beautiful plants, I turn into a mumbling, stumbling hortigeek until I calm down and get my bearings. Although my first reaction under these circumstances is not to move in a methodical way, I've found I can lapse periodically into some semblance of organization. Upon my arrival at C. Raker Trial Gardens, I went to the welcome tent.
Begonia 'Beaucoup White'
The bright sunshine didn't make it an ideal day for photography, but I'll include photos so that you can see what I saw. Always on the lookout for annual flowers that can take some shade, and having fallen in love with Begonia boliviensis when I grew 'Beaucoup White', I was drawn to a few varieties in both hanging baskets and in the ground.
Begonia 'Bossa Nova White'
From Floranova comes the Bossa Nova series, including Rose, Red, White and Orange. I've always liked how the white varieties stand out against the plant's dark foliage and take on a bi-colored look because of the pink buds.
Begonia 'Bossa Nova Red'
Of course there is also much to be said about the impact made by the dark colors, especially because the plant seems to cover itself throughout the season with exceptionally large flowers. The brightly saturated blossoms have a sheen and substance that allows them to hold up well to a heavy downpour and the ability to grab a wandering gaze like a magnet.
Begonia V1 Salmon
I'm not sure what the name will be on two of the varieties bred by Beekenkamp out of the Netherlands, as they were labeled "V1" in the hanging planter display. No matter. It's made me happy to see that there should be no shortage of these great Begonia varieties.