Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wind Chills

As I was just waking up to the radio this morning I heard that there was an -18 below zero F. wind chill this morning. We were supposed to bundle up for work and keep the kids warm at the bus stops too. I was thinking back to when the weather was a little more favorable and I thought maybe a pretty picture of one of the winning violets from the National Show that was held here in Bloomington, Mn would be a good way to bring a little "sunshine" into an otherwise chilly winter day.

I don't know which entry this was, but if anyone would like to let me know I would be happy to give this grower some well deserved credit for such a lovely entry.

The questions for the day are: What are your show plants looking like today, right now? Are they disbudded? Are you keeping them actively growing and fertilizing heavily to increase size, are they on a break? I would appreciate a photo or two of someone's prospective show plant for next spring show as it appears today. Send me an email and I'll put it up as soon as I get it. Think warm thoughts today!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Books, books and more books

This lovely design done by Barb W. started an interesting search for books. I'd happened upon a title called Floral Design Concepts with African Violets and Other Gesneriads by Ruth J. McCoy copyright 1985. I wondered if I could find this book that was probably out of print. After a lucky bit of looking, I found the usual sites available to purchase used books and I found a site by Nancy Robitaille that lists a lovely variety of African Violet related books, some of which I didn't know about. (Please click on the highlighted title of this post Books, books and more books to automatically get this link.)

Nancy's site asks viewers to select the books that they've read and give them a rating. There will be a Gesneriad book poll as well. You might enjoy this site if you are interested in books related to growing, showing and designing with AV's.

What design books have you thought useful or valuable for designing? Let us know. (Thanks to Sandy O. for the great photo.)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Frozen Flamingos

Brrrr. It's cold out there for those poor flamingos that forgot to migrate! Some of the more genteel ones have chosen quarters indoors to keep their feet warm and their favorite snacks (streps) growing. Today's Problems and Solutions query: What indoor home temperatures seem to work best for winter growing? Is warmer better? Or, is keeping things on the cool side preferred by your plants? Let us know what's working for you.

African violets are quite adaptable to ordinary home conditions but what is ordinary? Some homes have a much more stable temperature environment, some vary from warmer in the day to cooler overnight. Some folks grow them in the basement under lights which may always run towards being cooler. Is the temperature as much of a factor of vigorous growth as perhaps humidity, proper nutrition or factors like soil consistency? In other words, does the temperature really matter much?

(Thanks to the festive holidays flamingos that were willing to dress up in their best bows for the photo op.)