It has been relatively difficult to obtain the latest overseas hybrids in Australia. This is because of our tough and costly quarantine procedures. We cannot import plants with soil or peat on the roots and all of our imports are subjected to methyl bromide treatment. This also includes cutting material such as leaves and stems.
Hybridizing is more than just putting pollen to the stigma and planting the resulting seeds. Hybridizing can create new beauty and offers a challenge to even the most experienced grower. Anyone with the room to grow seedlings and time to watch them to maturity can become a hybridizer.
Do I have a goal in mind when I make a cross between two begonias? The answer is yes. Is that goal always the same? The answer is no. There are, however, two basic goals I have in mind in all crosses I do. One is to create something different and the second is to improve on something already done.
Until Freda suggested this article I guess I never consciously thought about the artistic aspects of the begonias I was creating. I suppose years of art classes made artistic goals mostly ingrained in everything I do.