what colors do you suggest for gift-giving?

fortyseven_gwOctober 12, 2013

Hi Linda, and All,

Hope this does not sound like a naive question ...
when choosing a new violet to give as a gift to a man
(not just a spare plant
grown from a leaf),
would you suggest a deeper color, such as a dark
burgundy or a red?
Or else, something really out-of-the-ordinary? (Such
as one of the Wasps with weird names.)

That is, not one of the "pretty, fluffy" ones with
a girl's name, but one of the ones named
something like "Toxic Spill" or "Poison?"

Perhaps there is a survey somewhere on this
forum that has been done ... as it seems that
many questions that have occasionally flitted
through my mind have been tackled here
in more detail than I ever would have imagined.

I suppose if I got out more and went to some
life AV shows, the question might answer itself
through a simple
process of observation.

It seems that people have particular favorites
at particular times. Just wondering if there is a
trend. (For a widowed woman friend, we are trying
to duplicate a specific shade of lavender-periwinkle
that reminds her of her sister's vintage AV. I got a few possibilities,
we are awaiting bloom. For a man
friend, also widowed, we replaced his wife's plants
that had died with the same colors. Now he wants
to branch out a little more into other colors but is not
aware of the realms of possibilities.)

I hope this question doesn't sound too "interior decorator-ish!" It is more about getting people interested in
expanding from a few window-sill plants to a real


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In my experience, it's not so much the color as the breeding.

For gifts, I would recommend Optimaras, as they tend to be the toughest and easiest to grow.

Optimaras come in all of the common AV colors.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:54AM
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bragu_DSM 5

guys might not all be interested in the flowers

something with a large leaf that is interesting with perhaps some color on it or under it

plus a subs to avsa so they could get the mag ...

too practical?


i enjoy a mag subs for bday or xmas

of course you could go overboard and get him a 3 month optimara of the month thing


    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Great advice, I had not thought of that! (optimara of
the month ... and interesting leaves rather than blooms)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 1:05AM
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If there is one named "toxic spill", I want one too! And I'm a lady :-P

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 10:02AM
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bunnycat(z6 NY)

You can find (Ma's) Toxic Spill at the Violet Barn. Olive Ma Robinson is "Rob's" wife.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 12:45PM
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I think a subscription to the AVSA magazine would be most beneficial to someone who is trying to go from a casual grower to a hobbyist. That being said, I agree with Dave on this one (gasp!). I look for an interesting leaf as much as a pretty bloom. If the symmetry of the plant isn't there, the blossom is rarely enogh to redeem the plant.

I have one AV I'm about to toss because the foliage is very unattractive, even though it has a very pretty, almost chimera-ish bloom. I think it is trying to be a girl leaf, but it has no symmetry and just ends up looking sloppy.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Hi Lisa
i kind of like having a few of the messy-looking ones myself!
They can be unpredictable and make the well-behaved
ones, by contrast, look good.

What is the one that you are going to "toss" called,
or is it a NOID?


    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 2:00AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Hmm - are you sure that the guy in question wouldn't prefer ball tickets or case of beer?

I second an Optimara Idea. With Bronco Colors of course.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 7:10PM
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Hi Irina
Thanks for the tip!
(Not sure I could find an orange violet!!
I could get a Red '49ers violet, but the reds
are hard to come by. I tend to hoard them for
myself when I get one.)

I ended up ordering one from Optimara, and one
from LLG (along with a couple for myself)--
a very dark two-tone blue-purple, and a true dark purple-
with a variegated leaf edge. He definitely wants violets, he
likes to go to orchid shows and such. I know he likes

I read your blog, about your family of squirrels eating
the plums and the drunken worms.
we had a family
of squirrels sitting in the apple tree, taking three bites
out of each apple, then practically pelting us with them.
They were very tasty apples.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 1:31AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Joanne -

The dog just killed the squirrel. I told my hubby- and he said - it was probably a young inexperienced one. And I proudly said - nope, it was a bull squirrel, the arrogant alpha of the tribe.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 1:39PM
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HI Irina
I read an older thread of mystery animals eating AVs
and saw that you and your hubby transported 23
squirrels to a different
abode, only to have the new population increase.
Sounds like you have an interesting life with critters.
I am getting
ready to plant daffodils to repel gophers. I don't know
of a squirrel repellent.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:31AM
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Daffodil bulbs are poisonous and somehow the animals know this. You do not need a repellent of any kind. Just don't eat them yourself.....


    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:35AM
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Oops-sorry. I read that wrong! Anyway, plant daffodils and the critters won't bother them! (Landscaper trivia!)


    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 12:43AM
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Hi Linda
I might be daffy about AVs, but daffodils are not on
my diet! We're planting the daffodils to repel gophers,
and also to beautify the grounds and because they
have a fragrance that I enjoy. I am wondering if it
is worthwhile to fertilize and spray the apple and pear
trees, only to have the squirrels eat the fruit.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Honestly-it is so much trouble and so expensive to maintain fruit trees and fighting the critters is a battle we will never win. I think it is best left up to the professional growers.

It's a shame though, the fruit in grocery stores taste like yuck. Years ago, I was traveling through Amish country in Pennsylvania at peach time. Best peaches I ever had but it is an experience, I fear, I will never be able to duplicate.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 12:56AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Hear, hear -

Apple and cherry trees - are an exercise in frustration = between squirrels and robins... there is nothing left for us. Squirrels eat my zuks and somebody else eats my tomatoes - but usually there is plenty left for me.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Here's my best tomato growing story-A few years ago I had a few plants of 'Sweet 100' cherry tomatoes planted. Every evening I would note which ones would be ripe the next day. The next morning when I went outside to pick them, they would be gone.

Since I have four dogs, I didn't think a squirrel would be brave enough, or survive long enough, to dine on my tomatoes. So, one day, very early, I watched from the window to see who the culprit was. And I discovered him. It was my Golden Retriever! He would nose around my tomato plants and carefully pick only the ripe ones and have himself a little tomato party.

Since I love him more than tomatoes, I let him enjoy the rest of the tomatoes that year. I think I got one tomato from four plants. And, I haven't planted any tomatoes since then.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 12:24PM
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I love this story, what a visual! He was just doing
what he saw his Mama Linda doing!
The apples where I Iive from the grocery stores
are amazingly beautiful and flavorful.
My one apple tree produced very delicious fruit, also.
Irina, maybe your squirrels eloped and are honeymooning
in my backyard. A few weeks ago, I noticed only one,
now, there are two cavorting virtually in mid-air.
I fear there are a few more than two ...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 5:00PM
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