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Diarmuid Gavin: Beautiful begonias

These popular tropical plants are a joy to grow - and make a perfect gift for Mother's Day

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Tropical: Begonias

Tropical: Begonias

Brighten up your patio with 'Inferno'

Brighten up your patio with 'Inferno'

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Tropical: Begonias

We Irish like our begonias. In fact, we love them. They tumble from hanging baskets and stand tall in borders. If Mary O'Rourke is a gardening type, I bet they're her favourite flower. Across the water, when Hyacinth Bucket wasn't tending to her hyacinths, it was the begonias she was encouraging, wishing to adorn her home with a floriferous display.

And why not? Every year I am amazed at the blooming power of this colourful species. If you wish to compete with Hyacinth and produce some burgeoning begonias for judgment at your local flower show... well, now is the right time to get growing them. So let's take a closer look.

To grow an exotic plant well (and despite our familiarity with the species, they are in fact wonderfully exotic), it's often a good idea to consider their origins (where they were born) so that it's easier to understand the conditions they like to grow under.


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