Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Spring 2011 Freakout Continues...

You know what I realized? I freaked out last spring when I was showing my very first plant. And then I freaked out again in the fall when I had 4 or 5 plants for another coupla shows. But this is definitely the worst freakout, and probably the only truly justified one.

I'm reporting to you from my 80 degree hot and HUMID 4th floor apartment. Seriously, I am DYING in here. But I can't go outside to enjoy a nice sunny 60 degree spring day, oh no! How would I hover over my plant stand from out there?

So the drama continues up here. I hung that shop light the other day, thank gawd the bulbs are really old because I could only get it 5" from the plant tops haha!
I suppose I'll prolly have to come up with a better solution when all this freakout ends.

I've still got the pot of water boiling almost continually, and now once in a while I take some of the water out of it and I'm misting the plants with it. Andrea Worrell convinced me that this will prevent them from getting scorched from keeping the lights on for extended hours, which I'm also doing. It's kinda funny, I live in a pretty crappy neighborhood, so I'm sure all the neighbors assume I'm growing weed in here at this point.

Speaking of buds, I've got buds alright. Buds, buds, buds... just mostly still little yet. Now if they'll just grow, dammit!

Some outer leaves will be removed on this one before/if it goes to show

Yes, that is a bud peeking out from there! (And yes, that is my awesome SPAM® wall thermometer in the background)

Looks a little further along than when I posted it the other day, right? RIGHT?? PLEASE JUST SAY YES! haha

And I also showed this one the other day, and I think it's come along some..

Here's one I WASN'T trying to for show. And so of course it's gonna bloom profusely, and right on schedule. The foliage isn't that great, so I'm hoping the million and a half blooms will cover some of the flaws.. (Hey, worked for my Mac's Misty Meadow that one time.) 

This is the only one I have that has really great foliage (although I will remove some from the outer rows), and so of course the buds are being the s..l..o..w..est of all. That one peeking out only came out today (and only because I helped it)

Please please please please please....

Meanwhile on another shelf, my first strep (Crystal Dawn) went into bloom. Problem? I can't show it because I haven't owned it for 3 months yet! AVSA rules are you have to own the plant 3 months before you can exhibit it, which is more than fair, of course. Along those same lines, I also have a ton of other plants I haven't owned for long that are really heavy with buds that will probably bloom on time. Figures, right?

Friday, April 29, 2011

African Violets In Pop Culture: Spiriva Ad

Anyone seen this stupid TV commercial for Spiriva where the lady is outside gardening because she's feeling so much better now that she's started using their brilliant medication? (Her voice sounds like Patty or Selma from 'The Simpsons', good times.)
click to see the work of a bad set designer
Anyhooz, why am I calling this ad stupid? Why is it even featured on this African violet blog? Check out what she's got planted in the ground right in the front on the left there. AN AFRICAN VIOLET! How dumb is that? I mean, yes African violets can be grown outside in the right kinda climate but look, she's clearly not in the tropics! Also yes, I know it was the fault of the lazy set designers not knowing any better and just trying to find blooming plants to fit into the gardening story. But still, I call FAIL!

Screen cap of Spiriva ad used with permission from my pal Tom Glembocki, but without permission from Spiriva. (Somehow I don't think they'll mind.)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Video - Separating Babies From Leaves

Remember that video I made back in February about how to start African violets from leaves? Well, those leaves made babies! Now I will show you how to separate them:

And yes--that biggest, healthiest Rob's Antique Rose baby was mailed out this afternoon to #1 Fuzzy Foliage Blog Stalker Reader Dawn!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Freaking Out

Well, I'm a major idiot. Ok, people tell me not to be so harsh on myself, so I'll rephrase that: I feel like a major idiot.

I've been working hard since November trying to grow some plants good enough to enter at the AVSA National Convention in May.

I'm afraid I tried a little too hard, and I've probably blown it for National. I ended up disbudding too long, and now it looks like nothing will be blooming in time for the big show. Ugh, I hate myself! I only started showing last spring, so I'm not exactly an awesome veteran at this stuff yet, BUT STILL! All that disbudding (I mean when I was still supposed to), grooming, repotting, preening, primping, etc., etc. that I did for 6 months... All for naught?

I do have 9 plants *just* going into bud, and I am trying EVERYTHING to get them to speed up and get those buds growing so they can bloom in time.

please please please please please...

I've set the timer to go off an hour later. I've got them all on top of other stuff to huddle them closer to the light. It's only a tiny 12" under-cabinet light, so yesterday my dad gave me some shoplights he had in his garage, and I'll put one of those on soon. I've had the space heater running to warm up the room a bit. Now I've got a pot of water on the stove simmering to get the humidity up. I've been walking into the kitchen every few hours, closely hovering over the plants for a few minutes at a time chanting "please please please please please..."

If all that isn't enough, I'm hoping that maybe the big "Jesus & pals" (as I call them) statues on the big Catholic church down the street that watch through my window and look over my growing stand will perform some kinda divine intervention miracle thingy. (For better pics of what I'm talking about, click here and here--Note, those are old pics from '08)

please please please please please....

I have just a little over 3 weeks to get them perfect... Think good thoughts, and don't make fun of me too much!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fuzzy Foliage AVSA Promotion Is Working!

See all these awesome leaves? Tomorrow I'm mailing them off to three smart people who joined AVSA, listed me as their referral, and took me up on my 10 free* leaves offer in the Fuzzy Foliage AVSA Promotion!

You could get awesome leaves like this too, find out how on the Fuzzy Foliage AVSA Promotion page!

*You pay $5 shipping, I'm not rich. :-p

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Photos From The 2011 Windsor AVS Show

Remember when I was at the Windsor AVS Show a little while back? I took a few pics of some of the best plants in the show, and now you can see them. (Sorry I didn't get to photograph all of them, because I was really busy helping with the show!) But here are the two that won Best In Show*, followed by a link to the rest that I took pics of. (*Windsor AVS doesn't do just one overall BIS at their show, they have Best Over 12", and Best Under 12")

Best Over 12" (Standard) 'Ness' Candy Pink' exhibited by Debbie Vallides

Best Under 12" (Mini) 'Precious Red' - Exhibited by Doreen Lay

Click here for the rest of the photos. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

AVSA Convention 2011 Internet Buddies Dinner Info

Hey all, just helping my friend Jana Banana from Indiana get the word out about this year's Internet Buddies Dinner!

Note: This is NOT the "Internet Luncheon" banquet thingy put on by AVSA that you have to pay for in your convention registration. You just show up to this and order/pay for what you want off the restaurant menu! (Yes I know her note says this, but historically people have gotten confused on this point a lot, so it is worth repeating!) Anyhooz, here's the info from Jana:

Our Internet Buddies Dinner will be Friday May 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM in Embers Wood Fired Grill located in the host hotel (Crowne Plaza Hotel Cherry Hill). Last year we had 37 people attend our dinner - including many hybridizers & vendors. This is a social event and it is not put on by AVSA. We each order & pay for whatever we want from the menu and though it's not required many people attending bring small gifts for everyone. We always have a blast, take lots of photos & get to put faces with names we know on our internet groups. This is definitely a "can't miss" dinner at the AVSA convention. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone there!

And now just for fun (or to convince you that you need to join us) here are some pics from last year's Internet Buddies Dinner at the 2010 AVSA National Convention which was held in in Raleigh, North Carolina (Where they just happened to have a Red Sox banner on the wall, AND were playing Red Sox at Rays game making it THE coolest hotel restaurant/bar in all of North Carolina!) Click pics to enlarge:

Look at that crowd! And I couldn't even get everyone in this shot! Check out George McDonald, Mel Grice, Pat Hancock, Jana from Indiana, Peggy from PA, and MANY OTHERS!

MORE people! Thad Scaggs, Tea (aka Teazviolets)... And others!

Barbara, Debbie... Oh hey, look at John Regan back there! I miss him!!

Monica and her man, Lenny, Scott, etc....

Me being goofy, and Peggy & Jana indulging my goofiness.

Lenny and I awwwww <3 Uh oh, what am I drinking??

So if you're coming to the 2011 AVSA National convention and you're reading this blog, you BETTER be coming to our fun-filled Internet Buddies Dinner!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dad's First African Violet Show

My dad and my stepmother Pat came to the Bay State AVS show today! They both really enjoyed it, and thought it was a lot more interesting than they expected!
They even bought 3 new plants in the sales room, and some of Cape Cod Violetry's soil mix. Now I'm gonna work on getting them to join AVSA.  Gonna try and make addicts out of them yet!

Dad and me :-)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hi From Bay State AVS Show/Sale!

We're at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens in Boylston, Massachusetts for the Bay State African Violet Society's annual show and sale. It's open until 5 today, and from 9-4 tomorrow, come see us if you're in the area! (11 French Drive, Boylston, MA if you wanna print a map or put it in your GPS) My dad is gonna come tomorrow all the way from Belgrade, Maine--Quite a haul!

One of my faithful Fuzzy Foliage blog readers (or "stalker" as she calls herself haha!) Dawn, came out to see the show and buy some plants, it's so cool to meet her! Wish I could meet all my readers!

Anyhooz, I better get going, Lenny and I have work to do photographing the show plants after judging!

Friday, April 15, 2011


In the last 5 days, I've repotted every single crowned variety of African violet that my friend Nancy owns.
Yes, every pot here is from a plant I repotted--All 106 of them! (not counting the ones that ended up being more than one plant after surgery done whilst repotting!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Last Night's WAVS Meeting/My First Strep

Last night was the Windsor African Violet Society monthly meeting--What a group! I couldn't even fit them all in the pic. And active! All the members actually participate, it was wonderful!

We talked about this past weekend's show/sale, I became an official member, and then Nancy announced that I get to do classifications for next year's show entries. A job! Hope I'll be good at it.

After we talked about the show, the meeting's program was a "Dawg Show", similar to what Central Jersey AVS did last month (I showed you pics) There were some pretty ugly plants, but Nancy took the prize for worst. Now why is it that every "worst" AV contest I go to is won by the person I'm staying with?

The meeting was held at my new friend Pam's house, she grows BEAUTIFUL streptocarpus (Streptocarpuses? Streptocarpi? Haha) Well anyhooz, I was admiring this tiny growing cultivar named Crystal Dawn, and she said, "Oh, you want one?" and handed me an extra she had from recently separating it!
So now I own my very first strep. And even tho it's what I call a "weed" I swear it's like this one was made just for me, because of its miniature size and pink on the flowers--Perfect! Thanks again, Pam!

I hope this doesn't mean I'm a full-fledged GESERINERD now!!

If you have an African violet society (club) near you, I highly suggest you go to a meeting. It's so awesome to be around other people who share the hobby!
(Sorry the pics are out of order on this post, I really hate this Blogger app on my droid, it doesn't let me do anything the way I want it grrrr!)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Before & After

I've been doing some repotting for a friend.. Still have lots more to do, who wants to come help? Check out the "before & after" of just this one tray!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hi From The Windsor African Violet Society Show!

I am currently at the Windsor AVS show at St. Gabriel's Church in Windsor, Connecticut where we've been working hard the last 4 days to put this all together. 175 entries made this one BIG show! Today we finally opened the doors to the public, and we are flooded with people! We'll be open until 2:30 this afternoon, stop by if you're in the area!

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