Thursday, March 31, 2011

Starting From A *Broken* Leaf

Remember my video on starting African violets from leaves?

Well, sometimes a leaf snaps off a plant by accident and you're left with a tiny stem, or no stem at all--Do you just toss it? You don't have to! With just a few slices, you can start it like any other leaf.

Happy propagating!

PS: I know I said I would make a video showing how to set up wick watering in March. Well, I didn't get to it yet and March is over at midnight tonight. I promise to post it in April!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CJAVS "Awful Violet Show" 2011

Back on the 8th of March, the program for our Central Jersey African Violet Society meeting was an "Awful Violet Show". I was gonna post about it the very next day, but I ended up in the hospital getting my gallbladder out instead, and then I had a buncha complications that kept me there for a while, and then I was at Lenny's recovering for a while, and then we were busy going to Violet Gallery--But NOW I am finally back home and getting around to showing you the fun we had that night at our club meeting! (All images can be enlarged by clicking on 'em)

Here is our group of regulars! From left to right: Maria, Grace, Jan Murasko, David Tooker, George McDonald, Ruth-Ann, Anthony, Dean, and Lenny Winter. (I'm behind my phone taking the pic, of course)

Here is the show schedule. Jan Murasko did such an awesome job writing it! The parts with our names we had to read out loud, and it was hard for everyone to do without cracking up!

 Wow look at those sad plants! Asymmetrical variegated one, really sad trailer, a long necked palm tree leaning outta the cup, and a weird reaching thing in the back!

 More sad plants! Weird leaves, too much variegation, spent blossoms, rooted chirita leaves that never make babies, crazy "leggy" leafed plant, tiny plants with missing crowns, and something else I cut off in the pic--Oops!

 It's not all just for laughs and shocked looks, during "judging", we all learn what it is about the plant that would keep it from making a good show entry (or even just keep it from performing its best on our shelves) Here, Jan shows us a plant with a bit of a neck and some weird leaves that aren't laying properly which is ruining the symmetry. George McDonald looks horrified!

 Here, Lenny is showing us just how sad his trailer entry really is, and gives us some insight as to how it got that way. (Can you say, "Neglect"?)

 Here, Jan shows us a plant that has many spent (dead, brown) blossoms on it. Look at the restraint it's taking for her not to groom it--Oh wait, I think she is grooming it! It's hard for us African violet lovers not to groom.

And here we have the top show losers winners! They're hiding their faces, but I can tell you Lenny won bottom top honors with "Worst In Show", Ruth Ann won "Also Really Bad", and Jan won "Best Palm Tree"!

I love our club! I STRONGLY suggest finding out if there is an African violet club near you, and if there is go check them out! You can look up clubs by regions on this page of the AVSA site.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Micro Sinningias March 2011

So, I came home from a few weeks at Lenny's and was both delighted and also disappointed when I looked at my micro sinningias. Mostly delighted, read on...

First, I was delighted because Sinningia muscicola (formerly named "Rio Das Padres") had not one, but THREE ripe seed pods which I picked off and put aside for a post I'll do later about sowing seeds. Oh and in addition to those 3 that were all ripe and ready, there are another 3 that are fresh, fat, and green that look like they'll be ready within a coupla weeks. Does this thing ever have a flower that doesn't self-pollinate? I'm starting to think not.

Then second, I was disappointed with what used to be my beautiful little glass globe full of Sinningia pusilla. What the heck happened?? This is how it looks after I plucked off all the rotting leaves. There was also some weird algea stuff growing on the surface of the potting mix, which I tried to scrape off as best I could. But in the end I was left with these straggly, bleached/pink mottled leaves, what a sad sight!
 What is going on here? The foliage used to be so lush and green!

But third, back to delighted because speaking of pusilla, check out how big those babies that I separated have become!
Serious growth! Remember how tiny they were not so long ago?

Lastly, I was even more delighted when I saw my 'Wood Nymph' bursting with blooms! Three of them I had to pick off because they were turning brown, but I was left with these five which isn't bad at all! Two are a bit distorted in shape because they were kinda stuck under foliage and I had to work them out with tweezers. Is that common? Also, there's a seed pod! I haven't had a seed pod on 'Wood Nymph' yet, so YAY! (Yeah I know there's also 2 non-seed pod spent stem thingies that I need to remove, I just didn't get to 'em yet haha)
Oooh, flowery!

So that's what's happening with my "weeds"! Hope I can get that sad thing of pusilla happy again so that it'll be complete delight around here--If you have any tips, lemme know!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Video Of Violet Gallery Visit

(I'm actually posting this on April 22nd, but it's from March 23rd so I'm back dating the entry...OoooOOoooh the trickery!)

Adventures At Violet Gallery!

Not much to say, so I'll just post a buncha pics. I'm sure you're all ok with that, aren't you?
Oh but yes, I am wearing my slippers while signing for my purchases. Nothing like rolling outta bed and shopping for African violets!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hello From Violet Gallery!

Oops, meant to post this hours ago but we got to talking (and talking and talking and talking) and now it's time for bed!

Tomorrow we'll be taking more pics, I promise!

Meanwhile check out Violet Gallery's website:
(you'll have to copy & paste it, this stupid official Blogger app doesn't lemme do cool things like make links or anything... and it shrinks all my pics down, too. Anyone know a better blogging app for Droid?)

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm A Calendar Cover Girl

I'm very proud to announce (or brag, show off, etc., whatever) that my photograph of Mac's Misty Meadow got the cover of the 2012 AVSA calendar!
I've also seen the inside of the calendar, and it's awesome. I have a couple other pics in there, and the rest are by Lenny Winter and Tom Glembocki. Seriously, it's THE best calendar Nancy has put together yet!
 It goes on sale at the AVSA National Convention in May and I'd really love to see it outsell all the previous calendars, just 'cos.

When pricing and ordering info become available, I'll let you know more!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Streptocarpus With A Cause

Darryl Hoover of Hoover's Hybrids is auctioning off Streptocarpus 'Harlequin Blue' on ebay with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross in support of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami relief.

As an American Red Cross Disaster Services Volunteer, I personally wanna see this one go thru the roof! So bid high!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Back in January of this year, my dear friend Ed took his own life. It was, and still continues to be, one of the hardest things I've ever dealt with.

Even just this past week I found myself almost sending him a text to tell him about all the crazy hospital drama. (he was an EMT and loved gore, he woulda LOVED to see my gallstones!) Not to mention, spring is starting and Ed LOVED spring--plants and gardening and new life and all that stuff.

Anyways, just after he died, I went to his memorial service and stayed with his loving partner and now my close friend John for a few days afterward.

When the funeral home delivered all the flower arrangements the next day, I spotted an African violet in one of them! Of course I was gonna yank it and call it my own, but Ed's sister-in-law had already claimed it. So I asked her if I could just grab a few leaves from it. She looked at me funny, but said "Sure."

So I grabbed 4 leaves and put them down, and waited... My goal was to get babies to share with any of Ed's friends and family who might want to try their hand at growing an African violet. An African violet with high sentimental value, at that!

Just now, I spotted the very first baby on one of the leaves! And just time time for his birthday which is in 2 days.
Look at that little baby coming up from the stem of the "mama leaf"!

Is Ed smiling down at us right now? I certainly think so.
This is a pic of Ed taken the weekend we first met in-person back in '04 (we met online in '99). 
It's pretty much my fave pic of him, and will always make me smile. <3

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Card from CJAVS

Well, I'm leaving the hospital any minute. I ended up passing that rogue gallbladder stone all on my own. No wonder I hurt so bad!

While I wait for my nurse to bring my "limo" (aka wheelchair) to bring me outta here, I just wanted to show the lovely "get well" card that Jan Murasko from our Central Jersey African Violet Society sent me. Really lifted my spirits!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Back In The Hospital :-(

Things aren't going so great. I'm back in the hospital and have to have another operation tomorrow. They think a stone dislodged before they removed my gallbladder and that it's now stuck in my bile duct.
Needless to say, I'm not feeling that great. Morphine isn't really even touching this pain.
But my sweet Lenny showed up today, and what a sight to behold. Not only was he wearing the awesome Red Sox jersey I gifted him a while back, he was also holding an African violet. He'd stopped at Home Depot and picked me up a pretty one because all his plants are still being disbudded for spring show season, so he had to get me something in flower!
I don't normally grow "noIDs", or standards for that matter, but I really needed this plant right now.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hello From The Hospital!

Well I'm not Catholic, but a little over 3 hours ago I gave up my gallbladder for lent!

I was supposed to get it out next week in Maine (where I live), but it had ideas of its own and Lenny ended up taking me to the ER here in Toms River, NJ and they decided it needed to come out TODAY!

Oh and when I was in the holding room just before surgery I got a cool new African violet grooming tool! The nurz gave me this sponge thing to wet my tongue and lips (very unhelpful, by the way), but I think it'll be a perfect tool for getting wet and cleaning dirt and debris off leaves. I wish it was pink, though. I'm gonna ask and see if someone can find a pink one for me. :-)

They're giving me morphine and I've got a stack of AVSA Magazines as you can see I'm reading in the pic, so I'm pretty well set. I am in pain but it's worth it to know I won't get those debilitating attacks from the stones anymore.

I do wish I had an African violet plant in my room, but we didn't think of it. Oh well, at least I have my magazines.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hello From Mac's!

I am currently standing in George McDonald's growing room, birth center of the lovely Mac's series of mini and semimini African violets!

George invited us to visit so he could give me a few plants to use as leaf stock for the Fuzzy Foliage AVSA promotion!

Exciting things are underway here. George is working hard making some new *trailing* Mac's varieries!
Check out the big fat seed pods on the plant in the 1st pic... Future Mac's in the making, how cool is that?
In the 2nd pic are three of his new trailers. One with tiny variegated longifolia, and two with tiny variegated girl foliage! The 3rd pic is him holding a tray with more new trailer babies..

Time to go now, our Central Jersey African Violet Society meeting is tonight and we're having an "Awful Plant Show" meeting, where everyone brings their badly neglected plants for a good laugh. Should be fun!

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