Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2001
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Capitola Begonia Festival
The Capitola Begonia Festival on September 3rd through the 10th is one of the oldest autumn festivals in the Monterey Bay Area. The unique aspect of this event is the Nautical Parade in which the floats really do float! The parade venue is Soquel Creek that flows through Capitola village, ending in the romantic lagoon at Capitola Beach.

Now in its 48th year, the begonia festival features floats, homes, and businesses decorated with thousands of multi-colored begonia blossoms harvested from the nearby fields of the Golden State Bulb growers. They are one of the growers who historically have made Capitola the begonia capital of the world!

Favorite or New Plant

Cast Iron Plant
My very first plant was a cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) given to me by my grandmother. Aspidistra are an old fashioned indoor plant, which will thrive anywhere from dark corners, sunny windows, to even outside. These plants are hard to kill them and I think very handsome.

The dark green foliage grows directly from the soil. There are no branches or twigs on an Aspidistra, just lots of leaves. The individual leaves emerge from the soil like green points and continue to unroll and unfurl to a height of 12 to 30 inches long. I love to use them in floral arrangements because they last so long. Aspidistra can even sprout a lovely star-shaped brown, leather-like flower right near the surface of the soil. The flowers are easy to miss, but if you see them, you'll know that your aspidistra is happy.


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