Our guest today is Betsy Begonia
Betsy makes YouTube videos about houseplant love and care from plant care tips to plant history and other fun, plant-related topics.
Where you can find Betsy:
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/heavenstobetsy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRjGbWm25MaUd3VLuJpPtYg https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQPUTgHBQCpG9fWGmpfFK6Q
Thank you to our drink sponsor Bonn Place Brewing Co.
Bonn Place makes a wide variety of beers, keeps 8+ beers on tap at any given time, and also always has a few on cask and nitro. You can check out their selection of beer at BonnBrewing.com
Wine Down the Week is created in partnership with:
Soltech Solutions: https://soltechsolutions.com/
Steel City Plant Co: https://steelcityplantco.com
Domaci Home: https://domacihome.com
Lehigh Valley With Love: https://lehighvalleywithlovemedia.com
Angie 0:10 Hey plant fam, welcome to the Wine Down The Week Podcast, I'm your host Angie, owner of Steel City plant Company here in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This podcast is brought to you by Soltech Solutions. We are going to chat with Betsy Begonia today while enjoying a drink or two. And she makes YouTube videos about houseplant love and care, and plant care tips, to plant care history and other fun plant related topics. So she covers a lot in these YouTube videos. And we're so excited to have her here today. Welcome, Betsy!
Betsy 0:46 Hello, thank you so much for having me!
Angie 0:49 Hi, how are you?
Betsy 0:51 I'm really good. How are you?
Angie 0:53 Good! And Betsy is coming to us all the way from France. So where in you France do you live?
Betsy 0:58 I'm about as North as you can get on near the border of Belgium. I'm north of Paris, in Lille, France. And I really just realized that my my humidifiers going behind me it looks like I'm at a disco. Like a roller skating rink or something - like I have a fog machine.
Angie 1:19 I love it - the vibe with the neon light...
Betsy 1:23 ...my living room is basically a bowling alley!
Angie 1:25 I love it. I love it. And I see your stags thriving over there, with the Soltech lights...
Betsy 1:32 Yeah! I just have one on right now so you can see how bright they are.
Angie 1:37 And that's just one! Wow. That's awesome. So, let's kick things off with an icebreaker. We're going to play Petal and Bloom. So Petal is something that happened recently that was exciting for you, and Bloom is something that is coming up that's exciting!
Betsy 1:57 Okay. And then I just go? This is it? Petal and Bloom? Oh! Okay. So - Petal. Um, well, right now in France, it's a period called le rentrée, which is like "the re-entry". So it's when kids go back to school, but it's also when everyone kind of comes back from holidays, because in France, we do love our holidays! And so everyone, I mean, basically all of France, goes on holidays in July and August. So we actually have words for that - we call them July-ers, or August-ers. And then in September, you know, we all kind of come back, and much to our dismay, we have to return to work, and we have to return to school. And so there's a name for this period. And there's another element that this year! And that's that, you know, they're lifting restrictions. So for me, I'm not returning to school, and I'm not returning to work, but I am returning to society, which is really exciting! It's just, I'm absolutely thrilled, because we've been in confinement for so long. And so for me, it's just a really exciting time - I'm going to social events, again - you know, safely and with the correct precautions, and always; outdoor events. And I've, you know, I've returned to the gym. And so that's what's happening for me right now - and it's extremely exciting.
Angie 3:24 Things we didn't think we would miss right? Like, going to the gym...
Betsy 3:28 ..Oh, yes! I'm just so grateful. And every day I say, I'm just so grateful for ordinary life again. I used to dream of an extraordinary life... I'm okay with an ordinary life at this point.
Angie 3:42 Just the bare minimum, regular social interaction...
Betsy 3:46 I just want to put my shoes on and walk outside sometimes!
Angie 3:49 Yeah! yes.
Betsy 3:51 And then what's coming up? I suppose, mm I guess, I've already started my second channel, which is really just for vlogging or anything else creative and fun. And I'm also working on third channel haha! So the third channel is extra fun because I get to put on wigs and makeup and react to fun and interesting things. And it's called Little Miss Wiggy. So that's, you know... I haven't published anything yet... but I've been working on that for about a month or two at this point, And that's my next upcoming project!
Angie 4:36 I feel like we're getting the secret scoop today!
Betsy 4:40 Yeah nobody knows about this yet, except for my best friend. Which is Miro from Basie Plants! is my very best friend...
Angie 4:50 Amazing! Is she also in France? or is she...
Betsy 4:54 He! He lives in Serbia. His name is Miroslav, and he has a YouTube channel @Basie Plants and he's extremely... really popular with the Hoya community. I think he has over 112 Hoyas at this point. He also collects orchids, and he makes really wonderful videos that are funny and extremely informative - he does his homework and his research - and he's just is a wonderful creator. Yeah!
Angie 5:20 That is the perfect segue! Because... what my exciting thing that just happened was: we got a huge shipment of Hoyas today! So that's the highlight of my... my week, my month...
Betsy 5:32 How many different types of Hoyas?
Angie 5:35 We got in a collector series... so it's a mixed batch of the more rare types with the tags and everything. So we have them in hanging baskets, we have teeny tiny cute ones that are a little pots, we have big ones, so we have all of the Hoyas!
Betsy 5:52 That's very exciting!
Angie 5:54 ...And what do I have coming up that's exciting? Oh! I'm going to Salem, Massachusetts for the first time to do all the Halloween things. All the spooky!
Betsy 6:04 Hah! yeah, that's gonna be October. Yeah...
Angie 6:08 Can you believe that? That is already going to be October?
Betsy 6:12 I went to a social gathering last week. It was like the first time that I went to like a... gathering of sorts. And, you know, it's just like some expats who live in Lille - and on my way, I was thinking of people that I used to talk to when I would go to these events - and I realized I haven't seen them since October of 2019. Wow! It's been TWO years! And I just didn't, I didn't realize it.
Angie 6:42 Yeah, I feel like I keep saying: "Oh, this past year has been crazy. This past year...." No, it's been two years now.
Betsy 6:50 Oh, yeah, oooh yeah! Time has passed in a really odd way, yeah. So you own a shop in where? in Philadelphia?
Angie 6:58 In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania - so right where Soltech is - so we're on the other side of town from Soltech. But we're only an hour from Philly. So it's very, very close. We used to be considered a suburb of Philly, but now it's kind of growing into its own bustling city here in Bethlehem...or the Lehigh Valley, lot of people call it. We are right on Main Street in the downtown; so we specialize in already potted pet friendly houseplants.
Betsy 7:26 Oh, nice. Oh, but Hoyas are in the milkweed family. Did you know?
Angie 7:33 The what? I'm sorry, you broke up.
Betsy 7:35 Hoya is in the milkweed family; and actually my cat had a very bad reaction when he took... this is actually not common knowledge.... most people think that Hoya is pet friendly, but it's part of the, it's a member of the milkweed family, and it will cause a reaction if pets take a bite of it. I know because.... well, my cats don't typically touch my plants, they're not really interested.... but one day I was walking out onto the patio with them.... I don't remember which one it was, it was one of my Hoya.... and it had, you know, dangly bits everywhere and my cat was all feeling silly - and as I was coming by with the vines, he batted at them and he took a nip and then his mouth filled with foam! and I just took him to the vet, but everything was okay because he didn't swallow anything. But it caused his saliva to foam up in reaction. Then I researched it, and I saw that the ASPCA labels Hoya Kerrii, (or Karri-I, however you want to say it), as um... it's the only Hoya on their website I think, and it says it's non toxic to cats...but considering it's a member of the milkweed family I think that actually it's toxic to cats.
Angie 8:46 Can have a reaction huh? Yeah, that's really good to know!
Betsy 8:50 It is very good to know Yes. Yeah. I've been trying to spread the word - this is the perfect place!
Angie 8:57 I'm a cat mom of two - I saw you have... do you have two?
Betsy 9:03 Yeah.
Angie 9:04 Oh, they're so cute! I was looking at the pictures of them on your Instagram! They're adorable. Ours are twins - they were the same litter so yeah.
Betsy 9:15 Are they ...just are they? What is the word for this? Like a word starts with an M....are they... not strays?... Moggies! Are they moggies? Or are they pedigree?
Angie 9:27 Not pedigree! Strays! from the streets.
Betsy 9:33 From the streets! the street cats. Okay, one of mine, Yes, she's a real street cat. And then the other one is a Siamese that I adopted - but for free. I didn't... uh, there was a man who... he had just, bought the cat from a breeder, and then he discovered that he actually had to go into hospice, so it was very, very bad news for him. So he was looking for someone to adopt Teddy - my cat - immediately, and I just happened to be looking for kitty cat and I found this picture of - it was a terrible picture of just like a hand holding a kitten, like it was holding him a hostage! - and I was like I have to get this cat, I have to save him at the very least!
Angie 10:20 Haha save him from this situation!
Betsy 10:25 ...So I traveled like an hour outside of Paris and the guy didn't bring a carrier or anything. I just scooped him up...
Angie 10:31 He just like handed you a cat? Oh my god..
Betsy 10:36 I brought a carrier luckily! I was glad I brought a carrier.
Angie 10:40 My god. Well, they are lucky to have you then. So what are you drinking today?
Betsy 10:48 Oh, I'm - I'm drinking my Home Brewed Kombucha!
Angie 10:51 Oh, fancy!
Betsy 10:53 Yeah, it's not wine. Sorry.
Angie 10:56 I'm not drinking wine today either. I have Bonn Brewing, which is local in Bethlehem. So they're over on the south side by Soltech Solutions. They make a wide variety of beers, and they always have eight or more beers on tap - so it's a really fun place to visit! It's a college hotspot for sure in our town, and you can check them out on BonnBrewing.com for our listeners, and we thank them for being our sponsor today! I am drinking their Fresh and Wet - it's Fresh and Wet Hop Harvest Pale Ale. So it's a really fun fall drink.
Betsy 11:32 yummy! Is it very strong with hops?
Angie 11:35 No, it's not too strong. It's like the just perfect amount - right in between.
Betsy 11:40 I can't drink a hop heavy beer anymore, or I'll just end the night sobbing in my purse, and then fall asleep.
Angie 11:49 Well good that you're not drinking a hop-heavy beer right now... Although that would be a very entertaining way to end the podcast!
Betsy 11:56 Yeah! It's a beautiful color though! It's a really nice color. I saw it and I was like: "ooh, that looks delicious". It's the same color as my kombucha, but I have a pink glass.
Angie 12:07 Well we match! So cheers! All right, we're gonna play a little drinking game today - going off of this theme - and so we're gonna take turns thinking of plant puns - and we're gonna go back and forth. The first person that is stumped has to drink.
Betsy 12:26 Okay!
Angie 12:27 I'll let you start...
Betsy 12:30 I don't know... I'm really good at puns... I'm no one trick Peony!
Angie 12:36 Oh! okay. That was a good one. That was that was a hot start.... Hoya doing?
Betsy 12:47 Hoya my gosh, I'm really wonderful!
Angie 12:54 Really gonna Poke today in the face?
Betsy 12:57 Um, um..... uuugh I have to drink! I can't settle on a plant!
Angie 13:18 I'll drink with you..
Betsy 13:21 Long time no see Kombucha!
Angie 13:26 Alright, I have some more questions for you. So let's get this started. We were talking about your second channel and your third...
Betsy 13:33 Hahah how was that for a segment!
Angie 13:36 Yeah, we, we lost.
Betsy 13:37 We're like: "I can't do any more puns. We're done, whatever."
Angie 13:40 I took a sip, Like, let's call it. Haha!
Betsy 13:45 Okay, haha I'm sorry.
Angie 13:46 So, your second and your third channel are launching. So tell us about the differences between each of them.
Betsy 13:54 Okay, so, Betsy Begonia - Yeah, I decided to go strictly with houseplants because I am a person who enjoys working on different projects - different sorts of projects - I'm a creative person! And I have tried to publish alternate content on my main channel, Betsy Begonia, And there is an audience for that! But it's not my entire audience. I decided to try that for one year, and if it wasn't working after one year, I would start a new channel for alternate content. So that's what I've done. Because I've really felt like a lot of people came to my channel seeking plant related content and then I started posting other things and it's kind of like turning on the Discovery Channel! And you know, learning about the Third Reich - and it's not exactly like that - because I have a really upbeat and happy channel, but! you know..
Angie 14:48 ...a little better than that.
Betsy 14:50 You never go to that discovery channel to learn something completely unrelated to whatever it is that they do... (I don't know I haven't had cable the very long time). But, so I, I decided to start Heavens To Betsy, which is really just for any sort of alternate content. Most, you know, I expected to do vlogs because there are a lot of people who enjoy my vlog content. And to give people a little closer look to what my life is like here in France. People are especially curious about that since I'm an expat, and I've been here for a long time. And - my third channel is really just for fun, because I like playing dress up. So Little Miss Wiggy is to feed my wig-collecting habit because I have...I don't even know.... maybe... less than 20! I have less than 20 wigs in my collection!
Angie 15:48 So you still have more plants than wigs?
Betsy 15:51 Yes! So I'm not crazy yet, but... I still have more plants than cats or wigs, so I'm doing good.
Angie 16:01 Yeah, that's a good balance.
Betsy 16:03 And so I basically just I put on a wig, and I do makeup to - you know, finish the look - And then I react to videos on the internet, or subreddits, or things like that, just for fun, really! Because I needed something else that, you know, was less pressure and could just allow me to sit here at my desk, turn my camera on, and have a really good time.
Angie 16:28 So when will that launch? Because I know it didn't yet, right?
Betsy 16:33 No, not yet. Probably next week! So well, I would say that the first week of October - the end of September was my deadline. And I have some ideas prepped. So probably the first week of October. Yeah.
Angie 16:47 Awesome. I can't wait to see it! It sounds super funny and entertaining. How many plants do you have then?
Betsy 16:54 I have no idea. Yeah, less than I used to. I used to have more plants than I do now. Um, I stopped collecting plants and just you know, I enjoy the plants that I have. But mostly because when I moved to Lille, my apartment - it's a very rainy climate, it's quite gray. And, I'm on the ground floor. So I'm not getting as much sunshine as I did when I was in Paris. And so I have to work with what I've got. So that's why I have the
lights on these plants. This other entire shelf usually lights up as well, but it's a very like, cold white light. So I've turned it off for now. Otherwise it looks like I'm coming out of a spaceship! And any others, I try to put them as close to the window as possible, but... Oh, I don't know probably - around 100 probably - probably less. It's still a lot T times, sometimes it feels like a lot.