Monday, January 31, 2011

Lenny's Gonna Be Wrapped Around Everyone's...

 (Click to enlarge - Also available in gold-tone)

Check out the new AVSA watch design, featuring Lenny Winter's photograph of Buckeye Cranberry Sparkler!

I'm so proud of my Schmoopie!! (Ok, you can all stop making that face now...)

At the present time, the watches are only available for pre-order on the registration form for the AVSA National Convention for a mere $35!
But I just got off the phone with Jenny at the AVSA office and she said that after convention, the remaining watches will be available for sale to all members who weren't able to attend. Unfortunately there is only a limited quantity, so you're gonna have to keep your eyes open for the announcement because after convention there might not be a lot to go around!
 (Hint: All the more reason to go to convention!)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat..."

Sinningia muscicola. What a difference a few weeks makes!
Back on December 6th, I repotted my 3 micro sinningias. I had 2 that were actual plants (pusilla and 'Wood Nymph'), and then one that was just a sad, dormant, little nugget of a tuber, left under soggy old soil for well over 6 months--that was Sinningia muscicola (formerly known as "Rio das Padres").

So while my two plant-y sinns got pretty store bought glass votive candle globes, the sad little soggy muscicola tuber got tossed into a smaller glass votive holder I already had around my apartment. I wasn't about to spend $1.00 on a tiny little wet lump that I was sure would sit in the soil and do nothing. Even if I DID have a coupon that day!

I left for New Jersey on December 15th and it was just potting soil sitting in glass. But when I came home January 25th, it shocked me when I looked and saw a plant with a FLOWER (and buds) in there!

As you can see from the pic, it has already outgrown the small glass thingy I initially tossed the tuber into!
So today, I shall happily plonk down the $1.00 (+ tax) to get this little guy its much-deserved decent sized living quarters.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Uh Oh, Here Comes The Micro Sinningia Addiction...

Look how happy my sinningia pusilla is!

There are over 15 open flowers on it right now.
If you look up on the shelf behind it, you can also kinda see my other two micro sinns--'Wood Nymph' on the right, and "Rio Das Padres" on the left (which Lenny informed me last night has officially had its name changed to muscicola, but good luck remembering that!)

Amazing how taking them outta the neglected condiment-cups-inside-GladWare®-setup could make such a huge difference. I used to only get one flower at a time, if that. And in the case of "Rio Das Padres" (Oops, I mean muscicola!) I only had a sad tuber with no plant for the better part of a year until I repotted.

I now have them in these glass votive candle holders I got at an arts & crafts store, and I leave plastic wrap over the tops to keep the humidity up--except when I see lotsa condensation on the glass, I lift a corner and let it clear up a bit. I dunno if it's necessary, but it makes for better viewing. The plastic wrap ain't pretty, but the flowers sure are!

My only worry is drainage... do they need it? Should I have put a layer of charcoal on the bottom, under the potting mix? Time will tell, I suppose--unless you tell me first!

Anyhooz, now I want NEED more micro sinningias. Looking online at pics I'm drooling over concinna, pusilla 'White Sprite', 'Star Eyes', 'Snowflake', 'Little Tiger', 'Carefree's Regina', 'Hircon', 'Razzmatazz'.... and others, I'm sure!

Oh dear, I feel another addiction coming on... Someone help, quick--Send babies from the above list!

Argh, so much for not letting the "weeds" (aka gesneriads) invade my African violet collection!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wake up, Barrington Bloomers Blog!

I'm so tired of going to the Barrington Bloomers African Violet Society blog and seeing that same old entry from Oct. 2, 2010 at the top... In fact, the men in the pic are so tired of sitting there that they magically jumped into my computer to send a message from MY blog:

Click to enlarge


Violet Vendor Verdict

Have you thought about ordering African violets online (or from a catalog) and hesitated because you just couldn't be sure if the vendor was legit or trustworthy?

Have you ever ordered some African violet plants or leaves, waited patiently for them to arrive, only to get a pile of crap in the mail and thought, "I wish there was a place where people could specifically discuss African violet vendors so that we'd know the good from the bad and wouldn't get burned so much!"

Well, there actually IS such a place!

Screen-shot of the Violet Vendor Verdict forum--Click to enlarge.

I started Violet Vendor Verdict on July 24th 2008, because I thought it was important to have a place where people could talk and read about where they're buying their African violets and gesneriads from. There are a lot of great vendors of African violets and gesneriads, and we simply MUST support them because it helps our hobby thrive! There are also sellers of varying less-than qualities, ranging from "questionable" to downright "piss-poor", and it's my belief that they should be called out so that they don't take business away from the good folks that keep our hobby going.

You do need to register to read and post on the board, but that's free and easy. If you have any problems just let me know and I can set you up quickly. Also, please be sure to read the GUIDELINES AND DISCLAIMER that's at the top of each and every page of the forum. This isn't a place for people to just slam sellers willy-nilly--Just provide some backup to your claims, please. We're not trying to vilify people, just keep 'em honest and reputable. We want our African violet hobby to be the best that it can be, and our vendors are a key component of that.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The NEW Violet Barn (Website) / Our African Violet Histories

Have you checked out the revamped Violet Barn website yet? I think it looks great--Way easier to navigate. It's also got great functionality now with a shopping cart! Ea$y $hopping, anyone?

But my favorite part? The BLOG! Only 3 entries so far, but that first entry ("Let's get the ball rolling..." Dec 22nd 2010) is a REALLY cool read where Rob explains his African violet history.

I LOVE to hear people's African violet stories!

I explained some of mine here. I found a miniature noID at Lowe's one night and had to have it... There's actually a WHOLE lot more to the story and some day I might tell the whole thing, but for now I'll just say African violets saved my life.

A fairly recent pic of the very first African violet I ever got.

How did YOU get into African violets? Please comment!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mac's Carnival Clown

I'm still at Lenny's in New Jersey where the snow from the Boxing Day Blizzard has mostly melted, but the good news (to me anyways) is that we're bracing for another potential blizzard tomorrow! I LOVE snow!
The best part about having a gesneri-nerd boyfriend is that I can keep a few plants here and they're taken care of when I'm not here (better than the poor ones I leave at home all the time with my neighbor tending to them!)
Currently blooming in my home-away-from-home collection here is Mac's Carnival Clown, which I grew from a leaf that was given to me by my good friend and the hybridizer of the plant, George McDonald.
Now, I know that you know I'm not a big fan of semis, but ever since I first started growing, I've always loved the bloom on this one so much that I just didnt care. The bright bold pink, the splashes of purple, and the crisp white edge--Just striking!
Wanna know something exciting? I have a plant in the works that's a miniature, variegated, with a very similar bloom that's in its 2nd generation. When it makes it thru its 3rd it'll be registered as Mermaid's Comic Strip.
Hope you're all enjoying the new year so far. Leave a comment and let me know what's blooming on your shelves at the moment!
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