Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Full Circle AGAIN

An Old Journal Entry {7/2003}

Thanks to a very special AV friend in Montana - the first far away friend I made on the internet! - I'm able to republish a copy of an old journal entry I wrote on Violet Voice. 

For six months I have been growing AVs fairly well. Not show stoppers by any means. Most of my mature plants are still of the no name variety. But they’ve been blooming their little hearts out since last fall and just lifting my spirit beyond measure.
Little did I know what a wide and wonderful world of African Violets existed when I typed the word “composting” into the search engine. I hoped to improve my outdoor gardening skills a bit and stumbled across the GardenWeb african violet forum.
I explored the Internet for more!
I joined several groups and enjoyed the friendly atmosphere provided by people who shared a love of this little plant. I found that with just a little courage, joining in on conversations wasn’t so hard. Answers were freely given and rarely was any question considered dumb!
A few basic changes seemed all that was needed. A lighter soil mix, better light source, a little fertilizer and consistent watering habits, rather than the hit or miss routine my plants had suffered in the past. It seemed to be the answer. For the first time in years blooms appeared everywhere at my house!
Maybe it was overconfidence from recent successes. I was beginning to think I had figured out the secret. AVs had stopped coming to my house to die.
What have I done?
Just when I thought I had redeemed myself for killing African Violets all those years, my progress may have taken a bit of a set back this week. I found my Violet Voice Mystery Project plant near death this morning. The plant had gone limp overnight and brown soft spots appeared on the outer row of leaves.
Last week I found a white fuzzy speck on one of the other project plants. I pulled leaves from it, repotted to a smaller size and sprayed them all. A day or two later there was some on another plant. Several plants were isolated together and I feared they were all headed down the same path. This called for more drastic measures!
Maybe I over did it?
Was it the soil drenching & more spraying, damage to the roots when I potted down? Too slow in draining after the drenching? Over use of a systemic addition to the soil mix. Okay. Maybe it was doing ALL of the above in the same week?
There’s still some hope - the center is still green - at least the last time I checked. And I have a few leaves set from when it first arrived in the mail. The other plants seem okay. I’m hoping for forgiveness and one more chance with this Mystery!
Thanks to the generosity of new friends and a b-i-n-g-o victory, trays of leaves are scattered around the house. Anticipation is high as each sprouts tiny new growth at its base and holds the promise of wonderful varieties to come.
And I’ve been humbled.
There’s much more to learn and it will come mostly from trial and error. EXPERIENCE! Will this set back cause me to give up…quit? NEVER! 
I did learn a little about composting as well, so if I have to make that long walk out to the corner of the garden where my compost bin sits, I guess I will have truly come full circle.

Change a few of the basic points and this journal entry would be about the same had I written it for 2012.
Full Circles!

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