Mid-February to mid-April is the time for the Tuberous Begonia (Begonia tuberhybrida) and Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) display. The main plants are the upright named varieties of Tuberous Begonias and hanging baskets of pendulous Begonias and pots of Gloxinias, plus Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum fragrans) and a range of Begonia species.
Up to 300 pots of Tuberous Begonias make a spectacular display when in full flower, with a huge range of colours, including white, cream, yellow, pink, red, orange, scarlet and crimson; there are also bicoloured flowers. From above, 50 hanging baskets of Tuberous Begonias Illumination series, a new generations of cascading begonias have an abundance of double flowers spilling over. The main colours are apricot, orange, rose, salmon pink and white. The smaller growing Gloxinias are placed in groups throughout the display. The main colours are bluish, white, and pink flowers and most varieties are single, but there are also doubles.
The Tuberous Begonias collection of named varieties has been grown in the Fitzroy Gardens nursery for over 90 years. Over time new varieties have replaced older ones. Both the upright and pendulous Tuberous Begonias are grown from tubers. The tubers are dormant over winter and start to sprout in spring. Growing quickly, by summer, when day light reaches 12 hours, flowering commences. On the upright varieties, the large showy male flower is kept, whilst the two smaller female flowers on the sides are removed.