|Hippeastrum 'Amputo' with Scilla madierensis.|
Another plant blooming alongside it is Scilla madierensis, a purple bulb that grows spotted leaves and a great purple spike of tiny flowers. I bought it from Easy to Grow Bulbs, and it is so unlike anything I've grown indoors, it doesn't need to be fragrant.
|Begonia 'Plum Paisley' planted with a Phormium.|
I don't really think about whether a plant will have edible fruit, fragrant flowers, culinary parts or stems you can pick your teeth with. For me, it's all about the looks. And that's okay. Plants are among one of the kingdoms that don't get up in arms when you choose them for the way they look.
The older I get, the more I avoid buying things I can't use. That is, unless, as I go through my life, I can look at them and enjoy them every day. Plants fit that bill very nicely. And the bonus is that they're one of the original interactive devices.
You can combine a plant with another plant and see how they get along. Snip off a branch or pinch a tip, and in just a few weeks you can see it react.
Begonia pustulata is a species from Mexico.
Feed it, give it extra light, warmth, humidity, and the rewards just keep coming.
|Begonia 'River Nile' has become one of |
my favorites. I've had it for two years or so.
Another great source for Begonias is Josh's Frogs. This site was lots of fun to look at--first for its frogs, and then, as I was about to click away, I realized they sell plants, too. This Michigan company is well worth checking into for a good supply of plants that frogs like to hang out in.
While my light system definitely has improved the chances of any winter-blooming plant to actually flower, they've also helped the flower stems remain compact.
As for the Begonias, they can be grown indoors without additional lighting, but the colors brought out by the lights sure make them prettier.
If you'd like to see what other plant-lovers are growing - even in the dead of winter, check out May Dreams Gardens, where a world called Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is going on. It occurs on the 15th of each month. Yes, I'm a little late, but anyone who understands plants knows you can't hurry beauty.