Costco tuberous begonias not so bad!
I had some good success with Costco tuberous begonias last year. I learned a lot and killed a few. Most of them were spectacular, I bought 3 bags. Half of one bag were ugly and I just broke them off and let other plants take over the pot. They loved spring in the California valley floor but as summer progressed they spent time on the red dolly looking for shade! Many non gardening visitors said, What Is That? All in all it was a good low cost experience that I can recommend to a novice.
This year I am going for the gold ring. I have ordered a bunch of begonias from goldenstatedirect.com. They are a big producer of tuberous begonias who bought out Antonelli. I had a question and then asked if they would be adding a Lace Begonia Mix to their web site. He added the mix and got right back to me twice. So I like these people and their darn calla's looked so good I bought some of those too.
Now I am reading Mike Stevens begonia book. I was behind on staking the Costco begonias last year. I started with weenie stakes and ended the summer with four foot stakes trying to keep up. It is heart breaking when a big limb breaks off! They are slow to start and then grow very robustly. This year I may try a little pot weaving. I use 3' stakes cut from my Lady Banks Rose, both ends stuck in the potting soil in a loop and go around the pot twice staggering the rows. This is great for holding up fuchsia and the squirrels can't get in to dig either.
I just wanted to share some my experiences because I get so much for you all on the gardenweb.