Looking for a good Toronto, Ontario source?

newhostalady Z6 ON, CanadaMay 4, 2014

Anyone know where I can buy African Violets in Toronto or near Toronto, Ontario? I would like a few special ones. I am also having a hard time finding trailing african violets. I would prefer to buy in person, but would also like to find a good Canadian online site.

Is there any place I could buy larger specimens?

Any help would be appreciated.

This post was edited by newhostalady on Sun, May 4, 14 at 11:32

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froeschli

Hi there,
I am in Toronto as well. You just missed the avsc convention last week, there were lots of vendors there! One of them was Tina from bloomlovers.com - they are located in Quebec and ship worldwide.
Other than that, there is supposedly a sale scheduled in September at the botanical gardens (Toronto African violet society).
You may also want to check with the lakeshore African violet society. (I have to admit I've only made it to one meeting so far).
Harster greenhouses (anthoflores) is in dundas, on (I think).
There is also aca's violet tree in Mississauga (brownlie) - I've read you can visit there by appointment and buy violets, but I've never called. If you find out anything, let me know, I love some of their varieties.

Other than that, I am going to wait and see if anyone has other sources :-)

Karin

This post was edited by froeschli on Sun, May 4, 14 at 13:13

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:36PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Thank you Karin for responding to my question.

It sounds like the convention was the place for me to acquire some beautiful new african violets.

I am not sure whether I am willing to go to the Toronto Botanical Gardens in September. I thought I could find something closer.

What could I expect if I were to come to the Lakeshore African Violet Society's meetings?

I found Doris Brownlie's name associated with the Lakeshore African Violet Society. I also found an email for her. I guess I could try and email her and see what happens. I would be happy to report back to you should I make an appointment and visit there.

Thanks again for your information!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:27PM
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froeschli

I only went to one meeting of the lakeshore African violet society, and that was in January. They had some materials for sale, and a few plants for show but noone had brought leaves etc to share (could just be because it was January) they talked at some length about plans for the convention and then watched a video on hybridizers - that's when I had to skip out because DH was waiting to pick me up. Nice people though, especially considering I am not a people person.
They were a bit shocked to learn I didn't have any named varieties though :-p

Doris Brownlie is a very nice person, and you couldn't believe the wealth of information she has on everything, she literally knows and has known everyone who is anyone in terms of African violets (ok, that was my impression at least).
Let me know if you get a hold of aca. I might call them myself soon too.

Btw, it sounds like you are in the same area as me, the botanical gardens were quite a hike from my place - I actually took a train across the city to the danforth and cycled up (the gardiner was closed the weekend of the AVSC convention, and the hotel where it was held was just a bit farther).
Anyhow, if my leaves make it, I'll trade you some plantlets :-)

Karin

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 2:04PM
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quimoi

So people can send stuff from Poland to the U.S. but Canada and the U.S. can't do violet leaves?

Diana

This post was edited by quimoi on Mon, May 5, 14 at 16:59

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 3:06PM
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froeschli

As I understand it, to send plant material across the border, you need a phyto sanitary certificate. Usually cost prohibitive if just two individuals want to share leaves.
Someone i was talking to who was going to a gesneriad show in the us, and bringing plants for sale, said he had to take a percentage of all his plants to the airport/customs office to get checked out and get the certificate. Which would render them ok to take to the USA, but there was little to no hope of being able to bring plants back to Canada if they didn't sell.
Vendors like bloomlovers probably get everything inspected once per shipping date, that way they don't need a separate certificate for each order. Lyndon lion charges for the phyto separately (if I remember correctly) and they don't guarantee that things shipped internationally will actually arrive.

Not sure how eBay vendors do it, probably similar process / included in s&h, or they just hope to fly under the radar....

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:06AM
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quimoi

Lyons does sell in Canada though. (I just had a bad experience with an "express order" placed at the beginning of April so I was paying attention to what they were doing.)

Well, that's a shame. Thank you.

Diana

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 9:22AM
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fortyseven_gw

Was if Lyon's you refer to? Just wanted to clarify. They have good customer service. Perhaps it was another vendor. J

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 2:58PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Karen, I will let you know if I get in touch with aca. As for trading plantlets, I am afraid I don't have any. I used to dabble in african violets years ago, had a couple of plant lights etc. Life became more challenging and I gave it up. Now ever since my sister gave me an african violet last year, and it has remained gorgeous, I am interested in purchasing a couple of nice ones and I am looking for trailing ones too. I don't know what the names of them are. But I do know all the names of my hosta!

I will be doing some research into which ones grow well and are popular. I am looking for variegated leaves.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:18PM
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fortyseven_gw

How many hosta? Are some variegated?
Welcome! AVs are just as habit forming! Joanne

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:03PM
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froeschli

I have one mini trailer. Pixie runaround (sport). Apparently it's a chimera. Blue and white and has some variegation. When I decide to groom it, I'll try and root some crowns (it has several just now). I also have a bunch of variegated leaves rooting - all depends in whether they make it though. I'd be happy to share :-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 8:22PM
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newhostalady Z6 ON, Canada

Joanne, you ask "how many hosta" do I have? About one hundred. "Are some variegated?" Absolutely! Do you have any? Thanks for the welcome.

Karin, I would love to have a piece of your trailer. Let me know if it turns out you have any to share and how I can compensate you.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 11:37PM
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quimoi

Lyndon Lyons Greenhouse. Placed an "express mail" order on 4/2, Received most of it 4/30 after a long distance phone call and an email. Shipping charge $26 (plus phone). Happy Late Birthday, Diana.

No it was that Lyons.

I have variegated hostas too, but nothing too spectacular. I used to pick them up at the stores. However there is now something called Hosta virus x so I haven't done that for some years. I am just okay with what I have. I like the blue ones. It has a name but I forget it now.

Karin,

I have always eyed that trailer. You know I'm not hinting because of the country :) Of course I have so much blue and white. Since VG cancelled those two big orders I've been debating trying elsewhere but it's late.

Diana

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:18AM
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froeschli

well, i just bought it at the convention, it has no blooms yet, so i cannot be 100% sure on if it will bloom true. plus, with all the issues i have been having, i am hesitant on touching an apparently still healthy plant until things even out again... i may just take off a small part to root as a backup.
when you start losing optimara's you really start doubting your growing...
i am debating on placing a another bloomlovers order, but was going to wait until the leaves sprout or not. i believe the two leaves i lost may just have come from one bad plant. same happened when i tried to root some of mine that were already "over the hill" so to speak...

Karin

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 11:31AM
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quimoi

Optimaras aren't actually foolproof. A good fool can kill them.

At one time they were tough, but now some of them aren't so hardy. I restarted everything last fall and had a few "iffy" labels, etc. One was a little thing marked "Optimara Silver Edge" that was in a tiny pot and simply would not bloom. Almost everything else had come around but not it. Finally, I got tired of it and stuck it in the window and it got buds.

It appears to be O. Idaho, which is described as a small standard and is indeed, white edged. It's doing okay now but it really didn't seem to be a tough one. Chico (?) came right along like a real trooper and is now just Chico :).

I had one of those Space Violets that was a small not very hardy plant. I can't remember which one because all the names sound alike.

I killed some of my plants through sheer neglect, including one of my Coras. Now I'm trying to get babies from the other one. I see photos of ones that aren't so nice. Most everything I took leaves or crowns from has made it though, which shocked the heck out of me. Now I wonder if I should have tried to revive some of the dead ones.

You should actually isolate something even if you do buy it from a trusted vendor at a convention. Not that I've ever had the good fortune to do that, but that is the conventional wisdom. Some people don't even keep the plants, just start them over.

Diana

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 12:28PM
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fortyseven_gw

Regarding hostas, interesting to know how many people like to have. I do not have them where I live now.
Diana, thanks for the feedback and Happy Birthday!
Karin, it's the weather, not you. J

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 1:29PM
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quimoi

The thing with hostas is they keep multiplying. My husband planted all kinds along our walk so we have to duck around the giant ones in the summer. A more sensible person would have planted all small ones but he's never quite figured out that things grow up. It's always been a fight to get him to plant stuff away from a building or wall. At least they are easier to find the names for than violets. The big ones bloom. I have a small one that blooms too - it was the last one I got and came from Parks. (The bigger blue one is "Halcyon" Some of them are Sieboldiana elegans, maybe even the ones we're ducking around at the walk)

100 is a lot :) I don't think we'd make 20 varieties. Maybe 10 or so. I did scrounge around a lot. I never got Sum and Substance because the virus started then.

Thanks for the birthday although it's a bit past. The Lyon's order missed it too. I'm just older, no wiser.

Diana

This post was edited by quimoi on Wed, May 7, 14 at 15:31

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 2:46PM
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froeschli

Diana, the optimara i was so upset about was little inca - it had survived for years on so much neglect, then i changed some things, it finally bloomed wonderfully (that's supposed to be a good thing, right?), and then just went downhill... it can't have been a fussy plant because of all the abuse it took in stride. but this winter it just started acting wonky. In a way losing it isn't too bad, because now i have a reason to order "named" leaves of it, but still it really irks me.
i try to isolate new purchases, but mostly after a few weeks i just end up putting it next to the others on the shelf...
i am looking at a second setup for my office, with a terrarium so i can properly isolate new plants though...
or keep "important" ones under quarantine.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 3:17PM
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fortyseven_gw

Seems that hostas are like violets, can't have just one! I might put some in, but local store had a small selection of only three varieties. I looked at their violets from a local nursery. They were not O's and some had thrips. The store also had locally grown O's. I showed the two I found with thrips to the plant manager. It is a store that regularly carries AVs from various local nurseries as well as lots of other plants. I once bought a violet from them that had thrips. After that, when they get in a shipment, I check. I do not buy AVs from them anymore. The manager understood how contagious thrips can be. Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Thu, May 8, 14 at 11:56

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 4:11PM
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quimoi

Karin,

My chimera did the same thing to me. It never did much. Then it bloomed through the neglect period and just when it looked like it was going to start thriving, it went "off." Now I've beheaded it but I don't really have much hope for getting it back.

Optimara Tennessee II has started birth marking. It's new so that's a disappointment. I guess I just have to start it over.

I'm going to order some Optimaras but not sure what. I hope they turn out well consider the cost, but I can't haunt Lowe's all the time.

Diana

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 6:31PM
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froeschli

Ok, I did it. Pixie runaround (sport) had SIX crowns over a less than 2" span. No wonder I felt overwhelmed just looking at it. I took them all apart and put them in separate containers - I hope they make more sense if I get to watch them grow out. Three crowns had some roots, the rest need to make new ones....
Now I'll be crossing my fingers ;-)

Karin

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:37AM
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quimoi

I just double checked it and I believe I did order this one. I know they're supposed to have multiple crowns but that does sound like a lot in a small space. No wonder it doesn't cost a lot like most chimeras. You'll be in business if they all grow :)

I should watch eBay, I guess. I'd like to try another one but I won't try to order from Lyons.

Diana

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:58AM
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fortyseven_gw

Hi
With Pixie Runaround, if the crowns root, might be a good thing to donate the extras to the AV club if you get to go again. Just got an order from Lyon's, all looks good. They were backed up with orders, but still shipped in a timely way. The plants are in bloom. The box was badly shaken by the postal system.Their packing is very good, usually, nothing moves inside the box.

Lots of plants in stores around me, but many have thrips. The stores throw out the plants with thrips and do not take new deliveries from the suppliers.

Joanne

This post was edited by fortyseven on Sat, May 10, 14 at 11:18

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 12:52PM
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froeschli

Just FYI, according to their schedule, the Lakeshore African Violet Society is meeting tomorrow. then next month they have an awards dinner, then they take two months off.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 11:49PM
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fortyseven_gw

Are you able to go? Joanne

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:23AM
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froeschli

I am undecided still. but thinking about it.
i am probably going to go back after the two month break. if we are still living in the area, which is not looking likely at the time.
On the bright side, the town we've been offered to move to, has it's own African violet society as well :-)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:29AM
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fortyseven_gw

Good, the African Violet world will still be available.
Joanne

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:50AM
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froeschli

Just got a reply from Aca's violet tree - apparently they are not in business anymore, but will probably be selling at shows again next year.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 1:04PM
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fortyseven_gw

Sad when hybridizers must retire. J

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 2:29PM
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froeschli

It should inspire some of us to pick up where they left off...
Maybe If I don't kill all my plants before next year I'll think about it - there is a sad lack Of suppliers in this area...

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 4:38PM
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quimoi

Brownlies have seemed rather elderly in the photos I've seen of them. I'm sure they're at least my age.

Cape Cod is another one that has been around for a long time and will be missed. They have slowed down quite a bit but who can blame them?

If the eBay price keep going batty, maybe it will get people interested. I guess I'll keep growing funky looking Arctic Frosts and cheesy Lowe's plants if that's where I have to buy.

Diana

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 5:34PM
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aegis1000

Bloomlovers in Quebec has a multitude of young plants (plugs) and leaves for mail-order.

I've ordered from her (Tina) many times ...

Check out her plant pages ... and send her an email with what you would like to order. There is typically a note saying whether a particular plant may be available as a plug.

She also sells on e-bay ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Bloomlovers link

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:41AM
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fortyseven_gw

Thank you. I hope to place a small order.
Joanne

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 11:13AM
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quimoi

If you hear anything, please post. I tried to add to my order and got an automated reply. Then I got a cancellation of a Paypal request (never got the request).

I am assuming she is swamped with getting orders out and I believe mine is due to ship fairly soon. I'm hoping to hear something. The original one went in Feb. but then VG bailed on me.

I'm sure happy I ordered some things from Travis back then instead of counting on VG. You know though, it seems wrong to have to order Blue Dragon 3 different places to actually get 1. I can't keep doing that sort of thing.

Diana

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 12:08PM
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froeschli

I wrote to her just last week and got a personal reply. But she is doing a mothers day sale today, so she was probably busy.

I will be placing an order with her later in the year (when I have my plants stabilized again).

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 12:44PM
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fortyseven_gw

I also received a reply. She said she has been at many conventions and catching up with email and orders. J

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 12:55PM
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