BIG in Berlin

BERLIN, Germany: This year marks the 11th anniversary of what is often dubbed ‘one of the biggest breeding breakthroughs’ in Begonias. BIG rapidly rose to stardom as landscapers around the world discovered the variety’s outstanding characteristics. An extremely easy and tall-growing Begonia, BIG thrive anywhere from full sun to full shade, in different climates and different soils, and they stand out in any location including the landscaped beds in front of the White House, Hampton Court Palace and Vienna’s Karlskirche not to mention a number of Berlin’s major landmarks.

BIG is the creation of German breeder Benary –who launched the Begonia in commemoration of the world’s first commercial F1 ornamental in 1909 (Benary’s Begonia Primadonna). The Begonia was rarely seen near Germany’s famous landmarks, until this summer when Berliners, tourists and government employees were dazzled with displays of BIGs in front of the Reichstag building, Brandenburger Tor and Siegessäule.

Matthias Redlefsen, managing director at Benary and Thomas Oppermann, Vice President of the German Bundestag, straightforwardly initiated the plan for planting BIGs around the Bundestag.

In setting up a photo shoot, Benary’s patience was somewhat tested as special permits from the Reichstag were required for security reasons in order to take photos of the floral scene.

In the end, great teamwork between Benary, young plant supplier Volmary GmbH and finished plant grower Rosengut Langerwirsch produced a stunning portfolio of pictures.

BIG Begonias feature the largest Begonia blooms on the market and size up early for a full, finished look. BIG Begonias have masses of large (up to 8cm) oval-shaped flowers on top of the foliage for dramatic colour all season long. BIG Begonias have excellent germination capacity and provide outstanding outdoor performance.

BIGs flower two weeks earlier than comparable competitive varieties and continue nonstop in abundance from spring to late autumn. In no time, they create marvellous masses of flowers in baskets, containers and flower beds. BIG begonias thrive anywhere from full sun to full shade. They can handle the hottest summer days, and stand up to the worst thunderstorms. They also stay upright no matter how much rain. BIG Begonias don’t a lot of water, so they can be watered every other to provide large, beautiful flowers and clean glossy leaves all summer.

Most plants need to be planted on 20 cm (8”) or 30 cm (12”) centres. BIG Begonias will fill in two weeks faster than any other Begonia. They grow 60 – 80 cm (24” – 32”) tall so they can be spaced every 45 cm (18”) on centres. The reduced number of plants, labour, and maintenance can add up to huge savings for growers.

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