Beautiful Plants without the Flowers: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

Hippeastrum 'Amputo' with Scilla madierensis.
Today, it's mostly about the Begonias. Sure, I have an Amaryllis in bloom. It's one that claimed it had a fragrance, but I'm not detecting a scent. No matter--it looks somewhat like an Easter lily, so I can just imagine it smells like that.

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 'Jabberwocky'
My Begonias are new this year, along with my lights, and I may be in love with a new genus. As soon as we get beyond this latest round of frigid temps, I'm pretty sure I'll be drawn back to the sources I've discovered that ship even in winter.

Begonia 'River Nile' has become one of
my favorites. I've had it for two years or so.
My new favorite of the week, ordered from The Violet Barn, is called 'Jabberwocky'. Just the name made me take a second look. Who cares if it blooms, with leaves like these? From the information I found, this cultivar was hybridized by Logee's.

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.


  1. I love your begonias. I am a true begonia lover, no doubt about it. I don't have many now but if I had more room in the house or better yet a heated greenhouse it would be full of begonias. Even though the blooms aren't always something to write home about the variety of leaf colors, size and style are always a plus. My favorites right now are the ones I saved from the compost heap this truffles which as the name suggests are black with limey green veins (I have a picture on my blog right now). I have had this one several years. It holds up in our house during winter fairly well. The other was a new one to me I found last summer 'Golden lime'. It is a beauty and a great performer. I will be curious where your begonia lust takes you. Have fun.

    1. Hey Lisa-the-fellow-Begoniafarian! Where do you find your begonias? There are so many sources, I could just get in some serious trouble. I love your photo of 'Black Truffles'!

  2. The begonias that I get are ones I see at the local nurseries. I don't buy online much. I am a touchy feely shopper. I have two nurseries that introduce different begonias each year. My goodness I have never been called a Begoniafarian. It sounds so serious. ;) Try to stay warm.