African Violet Blog

Welcome to my blog! I plan to blog about all things African violet and related to that end. I hope you will find it interesting, and maybe even learn something new. More importantly, I hope to learn from you, so please feel free to add your comments, critiques, and criticisms at the bottom of the page. Thanks for visiting TheFranklinhouse!

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November 29, 2010

Hello there. When I gave my presentation in Texas at the Lonestar show I brought several plants with me that I showed how I ripped them down for show. Since I tend to be kind of chatty and there was great audience participation, my program ran over its designated time allowance. Because of that, I did not finish re-potting all of my plants that I took with me. One of those plants was Ice Storm, a very lively semimini by Lyndon Lyndon. I just love this plant. It grows into a nice rosette and send up tons of blooms. What I did do in TX was strip down a ton of leaves off of this plant, to show what I would take it down to. I then passed out the few dozen leaves I ripped off to the audience members. As you can see from the first picture showing the plant from the top, that is what I stripped it down to. In the next picture, a view from the side, you can see there were a lot of leaves taken off, leaving quite a long neck.

repotting plant

Next, I will remove the plant from the pot and cut quite a large chunk of soil from the bottom of the root ball. In the next picture, you can see that I leave behind about 1/2" of root ball. I do not trim this down, unless needed to fit back into the same sized pot. The next pictures show the plant re-potted from the top and side, and then the final finished product should look the same from the top as when I started, except now it's properly potted and ready for show.

repotting plant

November 27, 2010

Here are some pictures of some interesting gesneriads from the LSAVC show in Texas earlier this month.

LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention

LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention

November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. We hope you all have a great day together — Andrea and Dwayne.

Here's another chance you get now to put faces to names you might have heard before in the violet world. All dressed up with a banquet to go to, a good time was had by all. At the awards banquet, we were able to see Sue Ramser receive her Paula Foster Achievement Award. It was very touching. Unfortunately, my pictures of that did not turn out. But, hopefully you will enjoy some more people pic's. More plants from the show next post.

LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention

LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention

November 23, 2010

Hello there! Here are some more pictures of the lovely plants that I got to see at the Lonestar Show in TX. I know you love to see plants, just wish you could have seen them in person. Enjoy.

LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention

LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention

LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention

November 21, 2010

Here's more of what you have been patiently waiting for — more plant pictures! I hope you enjoy these beautiful plants. They sure grow 'em well in Texas. In case someone viewing these is not a blog follower, they are more photos from the LSAVC show in Texas November 6, 2010. Enjoy!

show plant show plant show plant show plant

show plants show plant show plants

show plants show plant show plants

November 20, 2010

I am interrupting my Lonestar show news to bring you a special feature tonight. There is now a retail flower shop where you can walk in and purchase named African violets in prime, blue-ribbon condition, right from the store. It is in Crystal lake Illinois and it's called Twisted Stem. My friend John Regan opened his new shop this month, and the ribbon cutting and grand opening was last night. I was able to snag some pictures of the violets, back of the shop where he has his ribbon stash, and some pretty streps. Congratulations John, and best of luck at your new store! Kudos to you for bringing named African violets to a shop in Northern Illinois. Woo hoo!

Click on any photo to see a larger one.

John's shop    John's shop

John's shop    John Regan

November 19, 2010

These are more pictures from the Lonestar show. Of all the new semiminis to me (and by that I mean varieties that are not necessarily new, but I have never seen them shown before), here are my four favorites from the show. I was fortunate to get leaves of Misty Blue Trinket from Hortense Pittman, who always shares generously.
I didn't get into the show room at breakdown quick enough to beg a leaf of Ode to Grace. I probably could have gotten Jolly Lilac, but I had already requested a leaf of Misty Blue Trinket and I didn't want to be greedy. I begged a leaf of Pink Frills, I offered to pay, I pleaded and groveled, but the owner would not even sell me a leaf. Harumph! Anyhow, more show pictures next time. I just had to give special attention to my personal favorites.

Misty Blue Trinket Ode to Grace Jolly Lilac Pink Frills

November 17, 2010

Hi folks! Here are some more pictures from the LSAVC convention last weekend in Kerrville, Texas.

LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention LSAVC convention

November 15, 2010

On Saturday, November 6, 2010, both Dale Martens and I were the featured presenters at the Lonestar African Violet Convention. We brought the Midwest to the Lonestar state for the weekend. Here are a few pictures from those presentations. I had a lot of fun and went over my time limit with all of the audience participation (sorry Dale). I have gotten tons of positive feedback from that program. Thanks so much everyone. I had a great time at the convention.

Andrea's presentation Andrea's presentation Andrea's presentation

(photos by Marjorie Bullard)

Dale Martens gave a wonderful presentation.on her growing techniques and hybridizing marvels of her streptocarpuses. With lots of pictures and a ton of goodies that she gave away, her program was very fun and informative. And, I came home with a few new leaves for myself.

Dale Martens Dale Martens

November 13, 2010

Here are the best design and some pictures of a few designs that got best in class from the LSAVC show this past weekend.

design design design design

November 11, 2010

Here are some people pictures for a change. I thought I'd share the backbone of what makes African violet clubs and events so special; it's the friends you make. I had such a great time seeing old friends, making new friends, and enjoying all things Texas! I hope you enjoy seeing the people that make this hobby a welcome addiction.

Click on any thumbnail image below to see a larger photo.

LSAVS candid LSAVS candid LSAVS candid

LSAVS candid LSAVS candid LSAVS candid

November 9, 2010

Here are the rest of the plants — gesneriads, from the head table at the LSAVC show in Texas this past weekend, plus some pictures of the winning collection plants. You can see the gold AVSA rosette for the best collections, and the purple rosette for the second best collections. Stay tuned, because more pictures will be coming over the next few days.

Click on any thumbnail below to see a larger photo.

LSAVC winner LSAVC winner LSAVC winner

LSAVC winner LSAVC winnerLSAVC winner LSAVC winner

LSAVC winnerLSAVC winnerLSAVC winnerLSAVC winner

November 6, 2010

Today the winner of the "blog contest" I posted yesterday was decided. Tom Glembocki, co-owner of Bluebird Greenhouses came up to me, said the magic words, and was able to tell me what my 10-31-10 post was. His prize, my famous sucker plucker. It's a tool I can't live without, and I use for all of my violet care. Here is a picture of Tom, and of me and Tom, as he gets his prize at the Lonestar banquet today. Conratulations Tom!

tom

November 6, 2010

A big hello from the Lonestar state! The show is lovely, with top growers like Hortense Pittman and Anne & Richard Nicholas, how could it be anything but? So, without further delay, here are some photos of the head table:

lonestar head table

November 5, 2010

Today I have a special shout out to all attendees of the Lonestar African Violet Show. By the time you read this I will be in Texas. I will be giving away a very special prize to the first person who comes up to me, in person, and says “I read your blog.” Plus, you also have to be able to describe to me what was on my post for 10-31-10. The first person, and only the first person, who does this will get a prize from me. I will post this prize and winner once the “win” has occurred. Good luck!

November 4, 2010

Here’s the last batch of plants I have to show you that I am considering for the Lonestar program in just a few days now. (Woo hoo! Getting really excited.) They’re all good for program purposes, i.e. they need grooming before they are show ready. There are only a few days left, so I can’t count on a whole lot more bloom. They are all blue-ribbon plants in my opinion. I should mention that I am not an African violet judge, so I lack a lot of skills in those areas. But, I can usually tell a blue-ribbon plant when I see one. What do you think? All blues?

violets

November 3, 2010

Here are a few more plants I was hoping to consider taking to Lonestar. Keep in mind that the pictures are of the plants pre-groomed, as I want to do the final grooming as part of my program at Lonestar. Also, there are still four days left until they will be shown, so a few more blooms may be open by then. A couple of these are out for sure. Can you tell which ones they are?

violets

Regarding yesterday’s blog entry, I asked if anyone could tell me why those pretty plants, ‘Spring Cardinal’ and ‘Rob’s Jitterbug,’ were out of the running for going to Lonestar. Well, although they have a good shape, good bloom and could be groomed easily to shape, they each have the same major flaw. They are both listed as variegated plants, and neither are showing any, if very little at all, variegation. You may wonder why I let them bloom then. Well, sometimes you just need some bloom. I try to disbud anything I might possibly want to show.
I intend to do that. But, as I will confess to you, I don’t even practice that myself some times. When I get back from Texas and I start to think about the spring show in Jersey/Philly, I’ll disbud everything then, and start my re-potting for that show. My intentions (there’s that word again) are to get my transplanting done by December. Hopefully I can meet that deadline.

November 2, 2010

I am focused on Lonestar this week, and I am narrowing down the plants I have blooming, trying to decide what to take as my “collection.” I have room to carry only three “show plants” on the plane, as I will also be carrying program plants. Therefore, the three have to look GOOD. I like the bloom on the following plants, and I think it would look good for the program Saturday. But, alas, they are out. Can anyone tell me why?

spring cardinal and rob's jitterbug

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Below are comments from our visitors. Scroll to the bottom to add your comments.


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Comments to date: 14. Page 1 of 2.

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2:49pm on Monday, September 5th, 2011

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Ann-Marie   from Lenny's desk (still)

3:26pm on Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Wow, I'm a moron... I didn't see there's a new page. Your blog setup confuses me... One day I'll catch on!

Ann-Marie   from Lenny's desk

3:24pm on Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Have you forgotten about your blog? Blog-neglect seems to be a trend with you Illinois folks...

Ann-Marie   from my desk--Do I ever leave?

9:13am on Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Haha what is John drinking, scotch? Whadda lush!
Then again, maybe I'll start drinking scotch so I can get as many ribbons...

Amy   from AR

3:07pm on Friday, November 19th, 2010

I have Ode to Grace. I'm sure we can work out a payment plan.

Andrea   from TheFranklinhouse

12:09pm on Friday, November 19th, 2010

@Ann-Marie, I tried EVERYTHING! :) No luck.

Ann-Marie   from my desk... still!

11:55am on Friday, November 19th, 2010

Did you try sticking out your chest and batting your eyelashes? :-p

Andrea   from TheFranklinhouse

11:32am on Friday, November 19th, 2010

No! This person just said they wanted to be the only one to be able to work with the plant. I had begged to buy a leaf from him last year from another plant, and again this year, but whenever I ask this person to buy a leaf they always say no. Maybe it's me!

Ann-Marie   from my desk

10:35am on Friday, November 19th, 2010

Did the owner of Pink Frills have another show they were entering into coming soon or what? If not, that was kinda lame not to share or at least $ell you a leaf or 2...


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