Garden Photo of the Day

Crazy for Begonias

Retirement brings on not only the gardening bug for Patricia, but also the opportunity to grow many varieties of begonia.

My name is Patricia Mickelson, and I live in Carpinteria, a small town near near Santa Barbara, California. I have been gardening since I moved here 20 years ago, but it was not until I retired about seven years ago that I got the “gardening bug.” The mild climate here on the West Coast allows me to grow a variety of begonias in my backyard almost all year round.

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  1. andreanola 08/30/2017

    Patricia, your begonias are beautiful.

  2. user-7007960 08/30/2017

    I love begonias! Hardy, vibrant colors, and such variety! Do you have angel or dragon leaf begonias??? If, so how immense do they grow for you, on that CA climate?

  3. user-7007498 08/30/2017

    Patricia, good morning. Enjoyed your post today. My favorite photo is the 4th one. The lighting on the leaves is very cool. I like growing the newer cultivars as accents for their cool leaves. Thanks for sharing.

  4. user-7007960 08/30/2017

    PS. Your begonias are lovely, and I love the blue containers with them, ENJOY GOOD HEALTH AND HAPPINESS in your retirement!

  5. user-4691082 08/30/2017

    Is that a climbing begonia????? I've never heard tell of that one! Beautiful photos!

  6. Chris_N 08/30/2017

    Wonderful begonias. When I was in California, I was amazed at the plants people could grow in their gardens year round. I love your Begonia fuchsioides in the third photo.

  7. cheryl_c 08/30/2017

    The fourth photo is truly stunning - but all of your begonias are lovely. Isn't retirement wonderful - discovering new joys and gifts, opening new doors. Wishing you many years of health and happiness, and gardening!

  8. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/30/2017

    There are so many amazing begonias. What a treat to see your collection. Great photos and some great varieties!

  9. Cenepk10 08/30/2017

    Begonias are amazing... I grow several myself- Nice to see yours !

  10. NCYarden 08/30/2017

    What a very cool collection to have, especially with so many options to explore. Thanks for sharing.

  11. user-6536305 08/30/2017

    Great varieties of begonias and nice you could grow them all year round. I'm too a begonia enthusiast and grow some myself but need to over winter them in my garage or grow as house plants. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Maggieat11 08/30/2017

    What a lovely selection of begonias! I too, especially like the 4th photo down. My 93 year old Aunt also has a great collection. Thanks for sharing!

  13. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/30/2017

    Hi, Patricia, it has to be kind of fascinating when someone like yourself has a plant speciality. You get to discover the more unique varieties than most of us don't come across at our local nurseries and big box stores. I treated myself to one with beautiful foliage much like in your picture #2 and it saddened my heart as it sulked through my east TN summer heat and humidity. It dwindled to virtual nothingness and I accepted its verdict. Nice to see all of yours happy, healthy and thriving.

  14. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 08/30/2017

    Good morning, Patricia, and thanks for these photos of your begonias. A couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to visit the Sydney Botanical Garden and their collection of begonias blew us away. You also have a great collection and I especially like the 4th photo. Nice light play on those leaves.

  15. user-7008735 08/30/2017

    Thanks for sharing the photos of your lovely collection, Patricia. That shot of Begonia 'Escargot' will be making me start searching for it again. I saw it in a private garden once, but have never seen it in a nursery. Such cool leaves!

  16. TweetersUnite1 08/30/2017

    Nice pictures Patricia.

  17. JoannaAtGinghamGardens 08/30/2017

    So beautiful! Your yard looks like an awesome place to relax. Thanks for sharing!

  18. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 08/31/2017

    Unfortunately, Pat, this happened to me, too, in a post last fall. I'd love to know what went wrong since I took the time to put the labels in as I'm sure you did, because people always comment on how they appreciate that. Maybe Kim can give us some hints as to what we did incorrectly so as not to repeat our mistakes.

  19. poest 08/31/2017

    Thanx much!

  20. anitaberlanga 08/31/2017

    gorgeous begonias! Wonder why they have you gardening in MD? ;-) Anyhoo, Love that 'Escargot' - I have a giant version of that same pot and have always thought of putting grey-leaved plants in it but never did. Your gorgeous combo there has proven it's a perfect combo!

  21. Cenepk10 09/22/2017

    Beautiful ! Begonias are so varied & glorious & even tropical looking sometimes. Very nice - Good work!

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