Saturday, March 1, 2014
Begonias in my bathroom
This is normal, right? I'm sure everybody grows begonias in their bathroom.
This is the time of year when I start running out of space. I propagate lots of plants indoors over the winter, particularly the begonias involved in my breeding program. Virtually all of my plants are grown outdoors in the summer, but in the fall I take cuttings of the ones I don't want to lose (which turned out to be especially good insurance this winter!). Meanwhile I have hundreds of seedlings from the crosses I made last year, and they keep getting bigger and bigger. Inevitably, sometime before the weather warms up enough to put everything outdoors, they take up all the available space indoors and then some, and I start getting creative.
Begonia hybrid, leaf closeup
When my husband and I did a major home renovation project several years ago, a skylight in the new master bath was almost an afterthought. In retrospect, it's one of the best things we did. The natural light, especially in the morning as we're getting ready for work, is wonderful. It also allows me to grow orchids, begonias, ferns, and other plants that like bright indirect light, and they certainly appreciate the warmth and humidity s well. Lately, the begonias have taken over as more and more seedlings from my crosses need a place to grow out a bit before spring.
Here are closer views of the two larger hybrids in my bathroom, photographed a few days before I moved them there. These are siblings from the same cross, which gave me a wide range of variation. Nearly all the seedlings are beautiful and the differences between them are often subtle; some can be culled early on but most will need to be grown to maturity to evaluate and identify the best and most vigorous individuals. Note how different the leaf color appears under different lighting conditions than in the above photos:
Finally, here's a somewhat different view of the bathroom, looking straight up at the reflection in the skylight on a winter evening when it was covered with snow. I'm not going overboard, am I?