Begonia boxes

This spring’s boxes, just planted.

One of my favorite summer flowers is the non-stop begonia. They like my part of Alaska, for one thing. I’m not sure whether it’s the cool temperatures, the long periods of light, the relatively mild sun (never much more that 45° above the horizon) or the low humidity, but they thrive here.

Bicolor begonia

One of this year’s, just transplanted. The trumpet behind it is a monkey flower.

Then there are the colors. They come in every shade of red, white, pink, orange, yellow, apricot, salmon, blush — everything but blue. The colors are clear and brilliant, and glow against the dark green foliage.

Yellow begonia

Yellow begonia, just transplanted.

I normally pair them with the blue and white bicolor lobelia, “Regatta Blue Splash.” The combination is ideal on the north side of the house, where both plants are happy.

Pink begonia

This one, from a previous year, does a better job of showing the lobelia.

I’ve been tempted to start them from seed. But the seeds are dust-fine, which means the seedlings are tiny and it takes months to grow them to flowering size. Since they’re widely available as plants, and my plant room in spring is invariably infested with bugs, why bother?

boxes of begonias

Last year’s boxes along the north side of the house.

And I absolutely cannot resist photographing them.

Begonias in tub

I even use begonias in tubs to hold down the tarp covering my potting soil.