Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Look at What's On the Stands . . .

It's been all about the plants this weekend again  :-)

Last weekend the Illinois African Violet Society held its annual judged show and sale, and yesterday I took a day off of work and drove down to St. Louis to help judge the Metropolitan St. Louis Council show at the Missouri Botantial Garden!  Wow!  Some absolutely gorgeous plants and designs!!  I was honored to have been invited to judge.

Shout out to Sue M. who took Best in Show with a nearly perfect miniature called Precious Red, which was hybridized by Hortense Pittman.  Sue - it was so great to meet you!  Congratulations on your Best in Show win!!  I got to meet other former watchers of my podcast, and I got to judge with two excellent judges.  In addition, we had some excellent clerks, and I think they learned a lot listening to us judge the collections and designs.  I learn every time I judge.  It's always an adventure.  :-)  I've judged twice this year - which is a welcome change because it had been at least four years since I'd been invited to judge a show.  There just aren't that many in the Chicagoland area any longer.  I did spend a lot of time in the car yesterday - 4 1/2 hours down and 4 1/2 back. 

Being at shows nearly always brings me some motivation where my plants are concerned - and it's embarrassing to admit that it's been nearly a YEAR since I have done any major repotting.  This means that my plants have just be surviving - not thriving - all this time.  The only good thing about this is that I know which ones are the hardy ones now!

I did come home from St. Louis with three varieties to add to my collection - two old favorites that I'd like to try again:  Ness' Crinkle Blue, and Sassy Sister.  Both are semininiatures.  We'll see how they do  :-)  I also got a start of a Rusian trailer, Lituanika, from my friend, Joyce Stork.  Joyce said it wasn't a good plant for her - we'll see how it does for me.  It's a semiminiature trailer.  These additions bring me back up to 23 varieties.

Let's take a look at some of what's on the stands  :-)

First - species rupicola.  This plant was in a 5" pot that was literally crumbling.  It was an old pot and plastic can get brittle over time.  Now it's in what's called a pan pot, which is not as deep - violets are happier in squatty pots like this.  It's a 7" pan pot.  I groomed a LOT of leaves off of this plant.  Again - last week the judges were kind because a LOT of leaves had mars or were damaged in some way, but there were so many blossoms that I think a lot of the flaws were hidden.  This is why it's so important to give your plants consistent care - you can avoid a lot of those kinds of problems by regular repotting and consistent care. It doesn't really look like I took a lot of leaves off at all.  I am also considering switching out the 3-shelf stand for the 4-shelf that's in my guest room at the moment.  Rupicola and the hybrid behind it, Jersey Snow Flakes, are both so large now that they are a little too close to the lights for me - both could very much do with being a little father away, and the 3-shelf stand would afford that opportunity.

Next, two trailers!  This first one is Champagne Pink.  I have plant of this growing in my office, too.  This was in a 3" pot and now it's in a 5" pan pot.  I groomed it, but as soon as it's settled here and growing well, :I will groom it again.  I didn't want to take too many leaves all at once.  I've had trouble with this plant not holding its crown variegation.  We'll see how it does this summer.

And this lovely specimen is Cajun's McKenna Trail.  It had also been in a 3" pot, and is now in a 5" pan pot.  If you look at the photos from last weekend, you'll see that I seriously groomed this one, too - but it will also be groomed further once it's settled and growing.

And here's the domed tray with the leaves from last week, this week, and also a couple from existing collection plants.  I'll just leave these alone for a few weeks and cross my fingers  :-)

And here are two plants that I got as leaves last year at National.  By rights - and had they had better care this last year - both would be much larger by now.  They are both still in Solo cups because I was waiting for them to bloom.  Neither was very cooperative until I moved them out to the sunroom.  This is K's Tipsy Spritzer - one of the most gorgeous plants at National last year.  I was so thrilled to get a leaf from the hybridizer!  I'm dying for that blossom to open!  This is a good sized plant now - it was separated from the momma leaf and potted up in October, so it's growing well, and as soon as that blossom opens and I see, it, this will get groomed and potted up.

This cutie is Paula's Fidgety Frankie.  She did tell me it was slow-growing - it was separated from the momma leaf in October and potted up.  It's small, but it's about to bloom, I need to get a description from the hybridizer to make sure it's blooming true.  Crossing my fingers!

I'm happy to have gotten so much accomplished today - there are still eight plants left to repot, but they've waited this long, they can wait a little longer  ;-)


Anonymous said...

Your violets are lovely!! The care that you have given them definitely shows. My violets seem to be making a comeback as the basement is a bit warmer now that we have warmer temps outside. I may have to bring the plants upstairs as soon as I can find some room so that they can grow even better. Love your new additions. There is always a violet that is on my wish list, but I have succumbed to your motto of "Limit Your Collection". The violets are so much more enjoyable when there are fewer on the shelves. You are so right about having enough time to take care of them properly. My legal tender is my time. I have more time in the world than ever before, but I am careful as to how I spend it. :)
Janice H.

P.S. Have you remembered the name of your friend Dana's yarn shop?

A :-) said...

Yes - they are WAY more enjoyable when you can actually enjoy them :-)

I've got a message in to Dana about the shop :-)