A couple years ago a wonderful gardening friend organized a walk through some local gardens for a small group, me included (lucky). In one charming garden, we all took note of a half-barrel brimming with Begonia ‘Escargot’. After many oohs and aahs, the garden owner told us, “Oh I just stuck three plants in there” referring to the barrel that we were admiring. We all agreed that it was a must have plant for next summer.
Occasionally I lose track of the ‘must get this plant’ list from year to year, but this Begonia really made an impression on me. As soon as the threat of frost was past, I found a nice Begonia ‘Escargot’ at a local nursery and potted it up. It was big and blowsy in no time and I put it in the Courtyard next to another pot with fine textured plants. The spot gets a bit of morning sun, then shade the rest of the day.
It is hardy only in Zone 10 – 11, so as temperatures began to slide last fall I brought the plant into the conservatory (garage). This is an unheated space with bright indirect light for a few hours a day in winter. I watered it perhaps every ten days or so.
Just the other evening we had a little birthday party that included a couple of visiting dogs, so we gathered in the conservatory with the big garage door open. Someone commented on how good that Begonia was looking and inquired about its care. I nonchalantly said, ‘Oh, nothing special’, and it’s true. There was a general discussion of how particular the plant could be, so I’m chalking my success with Begonia ‘Escargot’ up to luck.
I was lucky to be on the little garden tour where I saw it spilling over the big barrel, I am lucky to have fun friends who bring their pups to a party, and I’ve been quite lucky growing this particular plant and can’t wait to reintroduce it to the garden for another season!