Friday, July 3, 2015

More from AVSA magazine

Back issues worth another look

African Violet
Question Box from the March - April 2014 issue by Sue Haffner answers a question about "mossing off".  Although she had never heard the term, after further research she concluded it was another name for "air layering".  
She directed readers to a previous issue from May - June 2013 with an article by Sharon Rosenzweig, "Air Layering your leggy African violets." 
For African Violets it would be a way to root a long "neck".  Instead of decapitating the plant and taking your chance that it survives the surgery, you root the bare stem first. Remove several rows of old leaves and scrape the stem slightly. Wrap damp sphagnum moss around the stem and secure plastic wrap at the base and near first row of leaves. Roots will grow into the moss over the next few weeks and THEN you cut the lower half of the old plant off. Genius. 
I'm trying it on one of mum's palm trees!

In an effort to document some of my new arrivals as they become a part of my daily routine of hovering over plants again, I plopped my sample onto the page of one found in the magazine.

I found an example of Jolly Orchid photographed in the May - June 2014 issue.

Rob's Slap Happy was pictured in the January - February 2014 issue.

My first online African Violet mentor was Fred Hill from the GardenWeb site. (It has recently changed ownership and is now called Houzz.) His was a wise voice, suggesting common sense advice on how to coax mom's AV's into living longer and blooming better at my house. It was a running theme with my mom that I would liberate a blooming AV from her overcrowded windowsill and bring it to my house . . . to finish blooming and die. (She always laughed and said she had plenty more!) 

Fred offered practical advice and stayed above the fray when different factions of online groups sometimes failed to play nicely.  Soon after finding GardenWeb I came across a brand new MSN site called Violet Voice. I posted my exciting new find and was promptly yelled at by someone named Spike.  Fred followed me over there anyways and we became some of Mrs. John's first Charter Members.

My last issue of African Violet magazine before my membership lapsed had his In Memory tribute (July - August 2014).
Fred once sent me several leaves of Persian Prince. He placed them in a plain envelope with spacers so they wouldn't get crushed: for the price of a couple of first class stamps they arrived in just a few days and successfully grew on to become beautiful plants. 

I regret losing that one. Perhaps it's time to renew my membership with AVSA in his honor.
Plant pictured is Ma's Melody Girl and I am also growing Jersey Girl Trail.

From the March - April 2005 issue I found Nancy Robitaille's show schedule, "Disbudding For Show" and since I don't have the Grow To Show book, this is the next best thing I can find at the moment.  Not that there's any shows around here!
But I do like to grow out a plant for a while before letting it bloom. 
The African Violet world recently lost Nancy's knowledgeable voice. I counted her as one of my favorite online mentors as well.

Below is the list of most of my new collection. I have several that still need to be entered into First Class 2 manually. My version hasn't been updated since 2013.

Berry Splash (4107) 11/10/1980 (E. Champion) Double pink and fuchsia. Variegated, plain. Standard

Celery Sport Celery: Single blue wasp; Variegated longifolia, bustled. The sport is not variegated. (User Database)

Frosted Denim (8513) 11/09/1996 (S. Sorano) Semidouble light blue pansy/white edge. Medium green, plain, quilted. Miniature

Grape Glory (10531) 04/09/2012 (P. Sorano/Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses) Semidouble-double blue ruffled star/lavender fantasy, white edge. Medium green, plain, serrated. Standard

Jersey Girl Trail (10374) 11/22/2010 (R. Kurzynski) Single-semidouble fuchsia pansy. Medium green girl foliage. Miniature trailer

Jolly Cutie Pie (9712) 01/15/2007 (H. Pittman) Single-semidouble pink pansy. Dark green, plain, pointed, glossy. Miniature (TX Hyb, DAVS 1639)

Jolly Orchid (9719) 01/15/2007 (H. Pittman) Double orchid and white pansy. Medium green, plain, quilted. Miniature (TX Hyb, DAVS 1661)

Jolly Victory (9915) 03/07/2008 (H. Pittman) Double burgundy-red pansy. Medium green, plain. Miniature (DAVS 1669)

Lil Glimpse o' Spring (9932) 03/22/2008 (Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses/P. Sorano) Semidouble-double white pansy/green frilled edge. Medium green, wavy, serrated. Semiminiature

Mac's Elegant Green (MacDonald) Sdbl. white pansies with green edge. Medium green semiminiature foliage. Semiminiature (User Database)

Ma's Melody Girl (9132) 05/31/2002 (O. Robinson) Semidouble coral star/raspberry fantasy, band; thin white-green edge. Dark green, quilted girl foliage. Standard

Ness' Antique Red (D. Ness) Double dark red. Dark green, pointed, serrated/red back. Standard

Ness' Crinkle Blue (8136) 01/19/1995 (D. Ness) Double dark blue star/thin white edge. Dark green, quilted, serrated/red back. Semiminiature

Pixie Blue (2598) 09/16/1974 (L. Lyon) Single purple-blue/darker center. Plain, ovate. Miniature trailer

Ramblin' Lace (6361) 08/28/1986 (S. Sorano) Double light pink star. Variegated, plain. Standard trailer

Ramblin' Spots (7220) 10/21/1989 (S. Sorano) Semidouble-double pink/blue fantasy. Crown variegated medium green, plain. Standard trailer

Rob's Cool Fruit (8608) 05/31/1997 (R. Robinson) Double white pansy/rose-pink edge. Crown variegated medium green, white and yellow, pointed, serrated. Semiminiature

Rob's Heat Wave (7887) 06/02/1993 (R. Robinson) Semidouble light pink sticktite pansy/wide red frosted edge. Medium-dark green, quilted, serrated. Semiminiature

Rob's Love Bite (9039) 05/31/2001 (R. Robinson) Semidouble black-red pansy. Crown variegated dark green, cream and beige/red back. Miniature

Rob's Pewter Bells (7740) 07/06/1992 (R. Robinson) Semidouble silver-light blue large bell. Variegated dark green and white, pointed, quilted. Semiminiature

Rob's Whoa Nellie (8617) 05/31/1997 (R. Robinson) Double fuchsia pansy/white edge. Variegated medium green and white, pebbled, glossy. Semiminiature

SK-Apple Orchard (Kuznetsov) Beautiful "apple blossom" semidouble white blooms with light, rose-pink tips and edges to some petals. Medium, apple-green foliage. Semiminiature (User Database)

Spring Rose (9959) 03/22/2008 (Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses/P. Sorano) Double white star/frilled green edge. Light green, wavy, serrated. Standard

Wizard's Sunstrike (S. Jones) Single white wasp/yellow streaks. Light green, hairy/bustle back. Large

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lapsed AVSA Membership

Looking Back

My last issue of the magazine African Violet was July-August 2014.  Truth be told the final few issues I received before my membership expired went mostly unread. At about the same rate plant care went into a free fall worrying about other things.

I gathered my hoarded past issues onto the table and took another look. Catching my interest first, from the January-February 2014 issue, was A Beginner's Journey with 'Rob's Love Bite' by Jeannie M. Myers.  
This interested me most because I just ordered it! 
It arrived from Travis Violets as a baby still attached to the mama leaf. Included was a full page apology for his shipping delay and quality of plants not being up to his usual standard.  
6 plants arrived including a free, fairly large gift of Rob's Slap Happy. They seem fine!
My order of 8 plants from Rob's Violets also included a plant, Ramblin' Lace, still attached to the mama leaf. There was no note, plus they charged me about $5 more for shipping than the actual cost. That's like another plant . . . so I was a little cranky. I did leave a review on their website in order to receive the 8th plant "free" so my level of crankiness has subsided.

SK-Apple Orchard was the "freebie" and its uniqueness will be interesting to try growing out. Very light green leaves with the outer leaves looking almost like they are lacking something and might very well be the first to go if it thrives. The blossoms look like they came from an apple tree!

Ness Crinkle Blue is my prized treasure at the moment. 2 plants were actually sent! I set a few leaves right away of course.  And one had suckers that needed plucking right away. 
I stuck them in the pot to see if they live . . . 
(Limit Your Collection doesn't count for this one!)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Starting Over . . .


Sometimes it just has to be OKAY to begin again! 
I admit it:
I've killed a lot of African Violets in the last year. Once again, LIFE got in the way. I went from way too many plants to nearly none. Throwing water at them and promising to care for them "tomorrow" is sure recipe for disaster. 

I knew it while I was doing it. 
In hindsight it probably would have been better (easier on my soul) to just turn the lights off and throw everything in the trash all at once, rather than trying to coax the few survivors back to life. Trying to "fix" whatever ailed them - beyond obvious neglect - only prolonged the agony. 


When plant care stops being fun and instead feels like a chore it's probably time to look for other interests to bring joy back into your life. I bought a Schacht Ladybug Spinning Wheel and taught myself to make my own yarn! (But that's a different story on my other blog!)

I’ve paid my penance. 
I proved (to myself) I would care for one shelf of crappy plants long enough. A couple of weeks ago I decided to allow myself the reward of new plants. 
I am (happily) starting over!
2 orders have been placed.  Hopefully those 12 new plants (plus a freebie for leaving a review at Rob's Violets) will begin their journey through the USPS soon.  The first grower I ordered from was Travis Violets.  He replied in an email the he was "swamped" and the last time I looked my check hadn't even been deposited.  

In the meantime, I posted on the Facebook page for AV Nerds asking for help in my search for  Ness Crinkle Blue. Within an hour a kind lady from Missouri offered me one. And then sent me a box containing more than a dozen starter plants and leaves. They arrived ahead of the others . . . 
It has begun! 12 to 30 in just a few days?
Season 2 of the podcast All About African Violets is underway!