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  • Guest Columnist Eddie Smith

Begonia good landscape choices

By Guest Columnist Eddie Smith

Begonia good landscape choices
Begonia like sunshine or shade, and come in many varieites.

In the landscape, begonias are versatile plants often thought of as annuals grown in shade areas, but most of today’s varieties grow well in full sun.

A benefit of begonias grown in the sun is that they tend to develop more flowers than those in the shade. All begonias tend to bloom continuously throughout the summer and early fall.

One thing I love about begonias is that the plants are self-cleaning. That means the spent flowers tend to fall off by themselves, and no deadheading is required.

Wax begonias are very popular bedding plants used as annuals or planted in containers as perennials and brought inside during the winter.

They can be used in patio containers, window boxes or shady locations, and they can be planted along walkways or woodland edges. These plants are good additions to pollinator and drought-resistant gardens.

The Cocktail Vodka wax begonias are certainly top shelf. The color combination of coppery-green, amazingly shiny foliage with strikingly rich, reddish-orange blossoms will have everybody talking. Regardless of where you plant it, your Cocktail Vodka wax begonia will be noticed.

Cocktail Vodka begonias are fine choices for the garden, but they are also good selections for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. They are often used as filler plants in the “spiller-thriller-filler” container combination. In a container, their mass of flowers and foliage fills gaps against which the thriller plants stand out.

Dragon Wing red begonia, a hybrid cross between angelwing begonia and wax begonia, is considered to be one of the most beautiful begonias on the market. It was selected as a Mississippi Medallion winner for 2002.In full sun, the plant is more compact, and the foliage develops a reddish cast. In partial shade, the look is lush, tropical and exotic. They bloom almost constantly from spring until frost, boasting huge scarlet panicles that hang down and contrast with the dark-green, glossy leaves. They are ideal for hanging baskets on the front porch or in containers, and can put on some astonishing growth all season long. The Dragon Wing begonia makes a strong accent as a thriller centerpiece for a container, as a one-plant show for a hanging basket or a great choice for mass plantings. With a mounded shape that reaches 18 inches tall and wide and tropical-looking foliage, this plant shines as a focal point in any location.

You will surely find begonias you like at your local garden center or nursery.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Eddie Smith is a gardening specialist and Pearl River County coordinator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. He is also host of the popular Southern Gardening television programs. Locate Southern Gardening products online at]Please join us in the Wesson Volunteer Fire Department's 2023 Fire Academy for Kids.

Fire Academy for Kids is a fun, educational, action-oriented program with two goals: to give children more life safety skills In fire safety, first aid, and injury prevention; and to introduce them up close and persona I to firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians. the equipment they use, and the jobs they perform. The prior will lead to increased life safety behaviors, by preparing the children to be able to prevent a fire or injury, and by preparing them to be able to react correctly should a fire or medical emergency occur. The latter will give them a better appreciation of firefighters and their often dangerous job, and will provide information to those who may be thinking about a future career in the fire/rescue service including Jr. Firefighter!

Children will participate In classroom learning activities and will perform hands- on training in fire safety, first aid, and firefighter skills...such as search and rescuing a "victim" while wearing a "'Blacked Out" Face mask, using fire hoses and donning turnout gear!

Home study sheets will be sent home and are Intended to Involve the whole family. (After all, life-safety knowledge and skills are Important for everyone).Parents will need to assist on each assignment for their child. Then the family should practice their escape routes. These will be sent home after the academy.

All activities will be carefully monitored for s.1fety by fire department personnel. No one will be made to per­ form an activity with which he or she may feel uncomfortable.

"Learning Safety, Being Safe, and Having Fun" Is our motto.

Fire Academy for Kids will be held August 26th, 8:00 AM - 4:00PM, Drop off time ls 7:30AM at the Wesson Volunteer Fire Department 1038 Spring Street In Wesson children ages 7-13. The camp is open to the first 45 children that pick up and return applications. Applications may be picked up at the Wesson Fire Department on Monday nights or downloaded from the Wesson Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page. Send email to to have an application e-mailed to you. A $10.00 registration fee must be paid at the time the application is turned in and a consent form must be completed. Scholarships are available If needed.

Fire Academy for Kids is a fun-filled educational program In which the children will learn and apply several aspects of life safety including fire prevention, fire safety, first aid as well as a small experience of what It Is like to be a firefighter and EMS, and much more!

The day will end with a graduation ceremony for family and friends to attend. held at the Wesson Volunteer Fire Department at 3:45 p.m. Parents and guardians are invited to share in your child's accomplishment.

Come at 3:00 PM and let your child show you some of things they have learned.

For more information, please contact Fire Chief Ken Carraway at 601-265-1694.They can also be contacted through Facebook on their Wesson Volunteer Fire Department page or email.


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