Friday, November 19, 2010

November Meeting Minutes!

President Gail P. called the meeting to order 9:03 PM. at Paul's home. Fourteen members were present. The Secretaries report was distributed. No vote was taken on it.
The Treasurers report was read. No vote was taken. The report from September had a minor correction showing interest income from a CD. The results of the show are not known since all the bills are not paid. The club purchased 135 plants from Lyons, sold 108 including 15 to members leaving 27 plants unsold.

The show at Bachmans' had poor public traffic, partly due to Hwy. 62 closed for the weekend. We could use some posters in the store but the cost of $40 for one is to be decided whether we need to makes some. More publicity is needed.

J.S. is going to contact Bachmans' to make a reservation for a show next year in early October 2011.

Gail received a request from the national convention to be held next year in Philadelphia for a contribution for the "goodie bag". Terry L. made a motion of $25 contribution and the club voted to approve it.

The slate of officers was presented. Next meeting the club will vote.

President: Gail P
VP: Brenda

Secretary: Carol S

Treasurer: Mary E

Membership: Jim G

Publicity: Steve G

Directors: Paul H., Sandy M., J. S.

There were suggestions by the membership for future meetings: They included DVDs on growing trailers by Bill Price, Species to Spectacular by Pat Hancock, speaker Dennis Miller about streps or Sharon J., hybridizing by Barb, etc. J. S. also told how successful the Skype meeting was with Dale Martens and it is would be a way of getting speakers from around the world without much cost other than giving a nominal speaker fee.

The time for the next meeting has been changed to noon, January 8th at Davanni's. A notice will be sent to members before the meeting. The February meeting will be either at Jims G. or Gail P. Again, notices will be sent out. J. S. provided some delicious treats.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:34 PM


Sharon J

Mark Armstead from Linders Garden Center gave a very informative talk about the needs of houseplants in the winter. Members seemed very fascinated with the new LED lights that are coming in the future. I think everyone learned a great deal.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October Show

A beautiful fall show was held at Bachman's on Lyndale. The winning entries were spectacular.

 Rows of violets lined the tables.

A couple of memorable plants entered were this Streptocarpus "Silvia".
There are too many lovely plants to show them all but here's one that will impress!

Many beautiful plants were exhibited by club members. New members are always welcome to stop by, join the club or come to a meeting to see what they're all about!


Friday, September 17, 2010

NSAVC Minutes 09 15 10

President Gail P. called the meeting to order 7:10 PM. at her home. Fourteen members were present. The Secretaries and Treasurers report were read and approved.

Fall show discussion: Set up is Friday Oct. 1 at noon.

Email entries to Mary E. by Sept. 27,

Exhibits must be entered before 3 PM. Judging begins at 4PM

Need help with sales. A paper was passed around for signing up to volunteer.

Board meeting is Sunday Oct. 3 at 1 PM.

Members may donate money or gifts towards special awards if they would like to.

A new schedule of awards was distributed and voted and approved by the membership.

Members are asked to donate leaves to sell.

Grocery bags are need for the sales.

Hopefully Jim can bring boxes for sales.

Other items of interest: The treasurer has not received the insurance bill for the club. She will check with Jim if he knows anything about it.

The audit still has not been completed. The committee needs to schedule a time to do it.

A new sheet was distributed asking for hosts/hostesses and treats for upcoming meetings.

Any unsold sale plants can be sold to members at the end of the show at the cost to the club. Roughly the cost is $4.75 for standards, and $12.00 for chimeras. Any plants unsold will be donated to Bachman employees.

Mary K. F. volunteered to make new nametags.

I am not sure if the meeting was actually adjourned. It seemed to slide into Gail and Carol grooming plants.

Carol brought some very delicious treats.


Monday, September 06, 2010

Flower Pollination

 The flowers aren't African violets unfortunately, but this is how the seeds are made, whether in violet or any other plant that makes seeds. See the cool orange sacks on the bee's back legs? One on each side. The bee picked up this pollen at a flower somewhere and in its travels will perhaps pollinate a flower it will soon visit.
Click on the photos, they will enlarge somewhat.... See the powder/dust on the bee's eyes and wing base and legs? All that is pollen too.

How about a comment?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

From Store to Show Violets

The upcoming show has a new category. The GROCERY STORE violet. What do you do with what you typically get at the store?

This one is from the home improvement store actually, but you see a bunch of stuff wrong with it.

It has baby leaves, broken leaves, spent flowers, suckers, what doesn't it have wrong?

 First, the baby leaves come off.

Look for the small leaves that are directly under the largest outer row of leaves. The outer row should logically have the biggest, oldest leaves. When they are little you know that they are from the starter plant and they are babies.
 Take off all the spent blossoms, the  broken stuff etc.
 Look deeper under some of the leaves. See the small plantlet that is starting in the center. It's the little thing with three leaves  and it is NOT the center of the plant, as you can see the center is further back not in focus right now.

 Here is that small three leaved sucker removed. You could plant up that portion to make a baby plant.

One of the lower leaves is rotated to the right. If we reposition it, it might straighten up in a couple of weeks and fill in the gap.

 Toothpicks work nicely to gently move the leaf into the position you want it to be in.
Now the cleaned up, and groomed plant is under lights and we'll see if it can be taken to the show as an example of what you can do with a plant you just purchased from a regular store but want to look like a "show plant"

Please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

June 16, 2010 Meeting Minutes

Ten members showed up for our fun potluck supper. Sandy took the time and gave us a tour of their beautiful garden. It is nice to see spectacular plants especially the Martagon lilies. Her daughter and only grandson were staying at her house so we finally met them after knowing Sandy all these years. The grandson is great, a very busy cute boy!

The potluck turned out nicely. It was a nice combination of appetizers, main courses and deserts all, which was very good.

The club decided to donate $15 each to the Boyce Edens fund, AVSA Building fund, and the AVSA booster fund. The next bank CD is coming due in June but with such a low interest rate of 1% we decided it is not worth the effort to renew it but put the funds in the checking account.

A lot of time was spent revising the fall schedule omitting edged and geneva edges and putting the trailers in a separate section. We may not be asking members for donations and may not give any cash awards, just ribbon awards.



Sunday, August 22, 2010

After the Flower

Perry's flower is now dried and done... the next phase of Perry's intriguing life will having a single leaf (that looks somewhat like the leaf of the little plant sitting to the left of Perry) start to grow. Believe it or not, if you examine the plant next to Perry closely, it has just the one large, compound leaf. The plant goes through it's life like this till it's time for that leaf to die, after hopefully providing the underground corm with lots of energy for the next round of flowering. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 24, 2010



Perry the Titan arum is blooming at Gustavus. The live webcam feed can be seen here.  How awesome to be able to see the bloom of the plant that produces the world's largest flower right here within an hour of the Twin Cities?

Perry is a youngster at only age 17. Sprouted from a seed, the now approximately 200 pound Perry is blooming for the second time in about three years.

Titans either put up one single leaf a year or one single flower then followed by the single leaf. The dead material you can see displayed on the right side of the photo is Perry's SINGLE leaf from last year.
This is Perry's primary enthusiast. Dr. O'Brien of Gustavus. This isn't a short plant folks.

Leave comments at the bottom here, and remember to click on the link for the web feed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

REMINDER! Get that violet now!

Now is the time to get that "grocery store" violet! This October's Fall Show has a whole class for violets that have not been owned over three months! This sort of display is supposed to show the public what can be done to display and enjoy a "regular," "run of the mill" violet that a person could pick up at any retail location that carries plants.

Grab a good one, groom it up..... check very carefully for insects and get it ready for the show... Can you believe it is only 2 and 1/2 months away???

Let us know how it's coming along. Please make comments, just hit the comment button below with the cursor and leave a message for the gang.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy 4th of July

 Always a pleasure to see the fireworks and enjoy a nice summer evening.

How are the violets growing in the hot weather???

Make a comment and share how yours are doing....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Martagons and Meetings

 The June meeting was held at a wonderful home! Here there are Martagon lilies of all sorts and colors. One of the leading hybridizers of Martagons has spent years creating the most lovely and newest forms of this lily! Click on the photos to enlarge them.
 Martagons come in whites, yellows, oranges and, as you will see, some stunning reds.
 Aren't these cool?
 These lilies can do well with a touch more shade than some of the other sorts of lilies that you might be familiar with.
 They are upright growers and certain ones get quite tall and majestic.
 They do well growing with hostas, as you can glimpse in this photo.
This is the greatest part. To keep the pollen from a random source off of a flower that is due to be crossed with another particularly chosen flower, a little bag made of bridal tulle is placed over it. It's very light weight and lets in sun and air, but keeps out bees and insects that may come to pollinate it. This flower will be hand pollinated and labeled and the resulting seed with be harvested and grown out to see what the new hybrid will look like. It can take nature up to 7 years till the newly seeded plants will be mature enough to produce the first blooms. Patience is golden in hybridization! For more information on Martagon lilies email the blog at and you can privately be put in touch with the hybridizer.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

May Meeting Minutes

We had a fun meeting at the Old Country Buffet in Fridley. Nine members and two guests were welcomed to the evening's get together. We all chatted and talked about various things including the lady at the convention that uses bleach to disinfect her plants. No one can believe that such a strong alkaline solution would not harm delicate plant tissue.

The meeting started at 7:00 pm. and there were no changes to last month's minutes. We talked about the upcoming Pot Luck Picnic at S. O.'s house on June 16th, 2010. Everyone brings a dish to pass.

We will try to have the new show schedule ready for the meeting to introduce a couple of new categories and give everyone enough time to prepare their plants for the show.

B. W. asked about who else to send publicity information to regarding the fall show. The AV magazine needs to get the notice by June 1st. Everyone is asked to give B. W. contact ideas.

M. E. took care of the tax exempt materials and it was noted that this needs to be done by January of each year now. Rules have changed in the past couple of years regarding club's status with the IRS. The end of the club's fiscal year is the end of Feb. We need an audit this summer. Our club CD matures and the club will decide what to do.

It was noted that the dues are current. There may be a club matching idea for fall awards. The club will match the amount donated by individual members for awards to be given out at the fall show. This will reduce the financial burden on the treasury. The meeting ended at 7:25 pm.

One member brought a really LOVELY 'Artic Frost' with huge blooms (look back a couple of blog posts) and a problematic baby plant. Discussion was focused on what the problem might be and solutions to make it grow in a more robust manner. Many idea were brought up and it was a good time to learn about different aspects of growing.

A clear deli-style container was passed out with leaves from the leaf exchange being used for the next club contest. The first member to get their leaf to BLOOM will get a ten dollar prize. Other members that didn't get a leaf at the last meeting will get a chance to get one at the Pot Luck.

Hope to see EVERYONE at the next meeting and picnic. Submitted by J.S.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Pretty in White

 Out at the U of M Landscape Arboretum Monday there were some pretty cool sights. One of them was the spider you can barely see on the lower left of the peony.

If it weren't for the bee the spider caught you almost couldn't see it. That's pretty awesome camouflage
Here it is larger. Look at the perfect color match except for the red "v" on it's abdomen. I'm feeling sorry for the bee though.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Artic Frost

This is a violet grown by Terri. Note the giant flowers! The hand in the shot is for comparison purposes and those blooms are over three inches across.

Nice plant!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

TASTY and Fun Too!

WEDNESDAY MAY 19th, 2010 Starting at 5:30 PM

Supper and meeting at the OLD COUNTRY BUFFET in FRIDLEY, MN.

This will be the leaf exchange and general good time get together. A nice meeting to come to if you are thinking of joining or want to check out the club. Everyone is welcome to bring a leaf or two to exchange and we're going to start a club experiment to see who can take a leaf from May, 19th and be the first to get it to bloom. We'll discuss starting techniques and culture at a meeting next fall/winter. Ten dollar prize for the winner!!!!

Email for info, questions, directions, miscellaneous comments, etc.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

How to Plant African Violet Seeds

Here's a "how to do it" for planting African Violet seeds. This is a seed pod from a "chimera" violet called Emerald City. It's got a green and white "chimera" or pinwheel pattern. Here's a visual set of photos about how to get the seed planted.
 Take a clear container from the deli and put in pre-moistened soil mix. Make super sure the mix is only moist, not soggy, drippy, sloppy or soaking.
 Gently pat the soil mix in place, but do not pack it down. A smoother surface makes finding the baby plants a little easier.
 Some people say that powered sphagnum moss will inhibit some fungal problems. It can't hurt and might help, so... rub some long fiber moss between your hands and make a powder out of it.
 Sprinkle the sphagnum moss lightly over the surface of the soil mix.
 This is a seed pod from 'Emerald City' African violet.
Note how small the seeds are when spilled from the open seed pod.
 This is an ordinary pencil and it is magnified SO much that you can see the wood fibers of the pencil clearly and yet the seed is still so tiny. Gesneriad seed is very, very small.

 Using a sheet of white paper (so you can see the seed as it falls) place seed onto the SURFACE of the moistened soil-dusted-with-sphagnum mix in the container. The seed needs light to germinate, so do not cover it or bury it.

Cover the deli box with it's lid. Label and date the box with a Sharpie marker. Put a couple of small air holes into the container. Small holes will allow air to be exchanged, but it won't allow the soil to dry out too fast.

The last photo is a shot of the seed as it looks sitting in it's pod. Think of how peas lay inside their pea-pod. These are just a ga-billion times littler.

Comment on this article please.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Violet Extraordinaire

How about this violet??? Violet enthusiast, Leah, took a regular "store" violet and turned it into a show plant! Excellent flat leaves and symmetry, really lovely blooms! 

Nicely done! Can't wait to see this (and more of it's friends) in the October show!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Before and After...

Ok, so I had to include the "after photo" from the previous situation.

I thought they made a lovely display. : )

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Whoops..... well, this is what happens when you leave the straw ON the winter hardy banana like they tell you to. "Don't uncover the banana till the last chance of frost is over."... "Don't freeze the crown of the banana in the spring."... blah, blah, blah.....

I guess the tulips thought they were planted extra deep. The are not planted in the straw.

Well, you may as well comment.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A "Crown" fit for a King.

How about these two lovely violets??? The bright coral pink of Kate's Rendezvous is highlighted by the pink variegation in the center of the plant. The purple fantasy, called Festival on Ice, also shows the dark outer leaves and the nicely contrasting inner leaves. This type of plant patterning, generously allowed to be photographed from Sharon's collection, is called "crown variegation".

According to the fine folks at Optimara, the crown variegation is defined as:
Crown Variegation: Characteristic of African Violets which develop variegated leaves on the crown. While all variegated cultivars will normally have crown variegation, the term most often applies to those African Violets which have crown variegation only, while the rest of the leaves remain completely green.

Variegated plants usually show the coloration better when grown in a cooler than average environment. Do you find this to be true? What about variegation do you like? Leave a comment.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Not Really a Plant but Where Interesting Plants Are...

Ok, so there isn't any chlorophyll involved with these two photos generally speaking, but while I was out looking for chlorophyll containing things to photograph FOR the blog this fine fellow was sitting about 10 feet away from us at the park. Note it's daytime and actually a little before supper time....

Quiz time, .... do you know what sort of owl this is? Make a comment. It's easy and the link is directly after this post. Just click on the word "comment". Photos enlarge by clicking on them also.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

What's in Bloom Today

I thought it was a nice coincidence that the hibiscus that's been suffering from light deprivation for the last 7 months (since being brought in in late September) had five open double orange blooms on Easter morning!

Hopefully when it goes outside for the summer it won't sunburn too much. They have to have some time to adjust to the brighter outdoor light, or just like your skin, the leaves will burn - sometimes to the point of being so damaged that they will fall off. The plant has to send out new leaves then which takes energy from producing flowers.