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Home > Begonian > Volume 66 (September/October 1999, pages 170 - 171)

1998: A Year to Remember in Scotland
by H.D. McLauchlan

1998 has come and gone and I'm sure many people are glad of that, but I have to say that for the Scottish Begonia Society (SBS) 1998 will long be remembered as a specially good year. SBS staged exhibits at all three major horticultural events held here in Scotland, the first of these being "The Chelsea of the North" in Strathclyde Park in the last week of May, staged by the Royal Horticultural Society. This was a three day show and was a tremendous success, many of the exhibitors at the Chelsea Show coming up to take part.

The Scottish Begonia Society exhibit was a 30 ft. stand and consisted of over 200 begonias including a collection of very fine specimens of named tuberous begonias and a collection of cane stem, shrublike, rhizomatous, and symbegonias. There were also terrariums showing propagation by leaf and stem cuttings and a number of rare begonias from the rain forests of the world including B. versicolor, B. amphioxus, B. malachosticta, B. chlorosticta, B. brevirimosa, and Symbegonia sanguinea, UO12, and B24, and to our great delight we were awarded a gold medal.

Our second major show was The Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh, 25-27 June and, here again, our display was awarded a Gold Medal, and finally at the Ayr Flower Show, 27-29 August, the venue for our annual show, we were awarded our third Gold Medal.

The Glasglow Botanic Garden also staged a very nice collection of begonia species in a natural rain forest setting at the Chelsea of the North show which also included symbegonias and Symbegonia U012 which we have had since 1991. As far as I am aware it has never been known to flower anywhere before; it finally decided to reveal itself, a beautiful white bell shaped flower between dark green leaves with a very attractive pink picotee edge.

What an exciting moment that was; its timing could not have been better. This was first seen by John Stevenson, Glasgow Botanic Garden propagator, while unpacking their plants prior to staging them. This is a begonia I gave to Glasgow Botanic Gardens after propagation in 1992 and until now we had almost given up hope of every seeing it in flower.

Symbegonia sanguinea bloom Symbegonia U012 bloom
Left, is Symbegonia Sanguinea in bloom, and above is the rare bloom on Symbegonia U012. Below, B. Chlorosticta really stands out in the Scottish Begonia Society exhibit at the "Chelsea of the North". Photos by H. D. McLauchlan.
Scottish Begonia society exhibit

What a year for Scotland and the SBS! Look for H. D. McLauchlan in Los Angeles in September and after asking him about those Gold Medals, inquire about an article entitled "Beguiled by Begonias" in the June 1998 Scottish Field magazine. From this, the editor learned that Hugh is a vice president of the SBS, honorary president of the Bishopbriggs Horticultural Society, and as we know, a member of ABS. Hugh has traveled all over in the pursuit of his begonia passion including the rain forests of San Juan in the Caribbean, Australia, and in the six months previous to the article, Tenerife, Cyprus, China, Japan, and Korea. And from the photos with the article, it was evident that not only does Hugh grow the magnificent begonias such as those mentioned here, he also grows the most gorgeous Rexes you are likely to see anywhere.. - Editor

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