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The Joy of AVs

Posted by lucille Houston (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 20, 08 at 17:29

The Joy of AVs
Thread Started Today at 4:05pm

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There seem to be several separate and not necessarily related ways to enjoy AVs.
The first, of course, is to grow them as well as possible and enjoy their beautiful blooms. As one's expertise increases, one can learn to propagate and derive a sense of accomplishment from those skills and have even more beautiful flowers around the house, and have some to give to family and friends.
Another joy that some participate in is showing, and I imagine there is a lot to do in getting the plant ready, and it must be fun to go to the shows and look at who is winning what show and to try oneself to enter a judging. I can only imagine what a wonderful feeling it must be to actually win at a show after putting in time and effort and bringing in a beautiful plant to show off.
Then, there are the Collectors who must have gigantic collections. They prowl Ebay and are familiar with going prices, vendors, and where many kinds of AVs can be found for sale.
It is fun to collect but sometimes, looking at posts I've seen, collectors can really go off the deep end and not only spend exhorbitant amounts of money, but they can also demean the AV they get to being simply an acquired trophy. It certainly doesn't happen that way all the time but it seems to me from looking that sometimes it does.
Then there is the dark side of the AV hobby, the politics. It seems to me, and I am only a beginner, that sometimes when people get too 'into' who they know and what they know, they turn their back on the real deal which is growing the violets for the pure joy of it, making real friends, and helping others especially the new, with information.
I am going to enjoy the plants I have, to hope that the leaves I have grow up to plants, and I am going to try to make sure that I grow them always, for the joy of them


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The Joy of AVs

Hi lucille,

That's an interesting commentary. It seems that you have spent a lot of thought on it. I don't quite get it though. What's your point? Please dont take this as a criticism. This is not a flippant comment, but a sincere question. Im just not sure what you are trying to accomplish. Are you trying to open up a discussion on all of those points or are you making a declaration? Or Both?

Larry


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RE: The Joy of AVs

Thanks Larry, I was curious myself but scared to ask :-D


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RE: The Joy of AVs

Just observation. When I had my AVs decades ago, the different facets either were not there, or not apparent to me. And of course there was no internet in the days of yore to share info. I've learned a lot about AVs in the last few months and made online friends, and have seen amazing diversity: microminis to that picture of the giant 'Tiger' and have talked to newbies as well as people who have enormous knowledge and experience.


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RE: The Joy of AVs

Hi Lucille,

Having grown African violets for decades I can say that not much has changed over the last several years. Except for the advent of the Internet and the ease of finding and purchasing a variety of plants, I can't say that there is any difference now than there was then with the hobby. Even without the Internet there was quite a network for trading plants and yes there were people who had to have the latest and greatest. I also don't think there is much difference in the hobby of growing and hybridizing African violets as with any other. I think it's basically human nature. You will find the fanatics as well as the jerks. Most violet, and plant people in general, are very nice. In fact, I find African violet and gesneriad growers to be some of the nicest people I have ever met.

Larry


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RE: The Joy of AVs

I agree, the people I have met recently have been lovely. I think that since I've read how to propagate with leaves, I'm going to get some of my 'non violet' friends involved by giving them some of the leaves which will hopefully root (there are extras).
One thing I see more of now than I did way back when, is the availability of info about wicking and watering, I don't remember so much of that from the last time I had AVs.
And, of course, Ebay. What can I say. I got 60, count 'em, 60 leaves from Ebay (talk about going off the deep end, lol)and I am totally happy with the prospect of having so many nice AVs if they pull through and root.


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RE: The Joy of AVs

Hi Lucille,
I can appreciate what you are saying. I have been growing for over 25 years now and because of this I have made many new friends not only in the area where I live but also here on the internet. As for the thrill of winning a show, in my mind anyone who enters a show is a winner. As an AVSA judge, I and my fellow judges always try to encourage participation in a show and when we get to a class of Novice growers we seem to be most generous with our judging. I do know that not every grower here can join a club because there are areas in the US where clubs are far and few between. To those people I say, "join AVSA and come to a convention at least once to meet and greet the host of people who share our love of AV's".
Fred in NJ


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RE: The Joy of AVs

Lucille,

It's all a matter of perspective, but 60 doesn't put you in the deep end yet......LOL

I have found 'violet people' to be some of the most generous people I know, with their friendship, their knowledge, and their plants.

I thank God for the internet, because this has been for me the best method to research information about culture and resources that is available. It has directed me to incredibly helpful websites, including this one, and e-bay has been a wonderful resource in the past, as I pretty much felt alone here in Maine. But through those resources and a lot of hard work, we now have an AV club here with a great group of people.

There are many 'movers and shakers' in the violet world, and a lot of very hardworking people dedicated to growing the best plants available. Hopefully as you expand your own 'collection' and experience, you will meet many of them and become one.

Barbara


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RE: TMore Joy of AVs

Lucille,

By the way, are you aware that you have TWO AV clubs in the Houston area? If you check the AVSA website, you can find the contact information under 'affilliates'. I really think you would find some of the most gracious people there, learn a lot, and experience their generosity. Check it out!

Barbara

Here is a link that might be useful: AVSA website


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RE: The Joy of AVs

Thanks for the link!! I think when my life calms down (not to get too off topic but I have just been the victim of an identity theft and things are a mess for me right now) I am going to look into local clubs and make it my goal to go to at least one show this year.

Don't tell me people buy MORE than 60 leaves at a time, I thought for SURE I was way in the deep end, lol....


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RE: The Joy of AVs

Nope Lucille I don't think yer in the deep end...
I think yer in the same part of the swimming pool as most of us :-D


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RE: The Joy of AVs

I don't understand what you mean by "the dark side" and "politics"? In general, violet people are wonderful people. Go to some AVSA events - everyone is more than eager to share their knowledge and joy at growing AVs. Go to a local club meeting and you will be amazed at how generous the members are to share leaves and extra plants. I have been in the hobby for decades and I haven't been to the "dark side" yet.


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RE: The Joy of AVs

Lucille, I know exactly what you mean. One thing I discovered since joining GW 4 or 5 yrs ago, the (few) fanatics aren't limited to one type of plant. They assume they have a corner on the market on certain issues.
Actually, I haven't seen it here on the AV forum, but a few other forums, (not to mention names) have gotten out of hand..battles regarding soils, misting and Superthrive.
Some people get technical about soils, and if one doesn't agree to use their mix, like I said it gets out of hand. Certain people use 5 syllable words, give soil and fertilizer breakdowns..To the novice it makes the joy of growing greenery complicated, when instead it should be simplified.
Like I mentioned to Fred in another thread, our ancesters grew plants/foods in heavy soils, and most/many of those plants are around today. No special soil or soil less mixes, or fertilizers containing chemicals..(Not way back when anyway)..Plants should be fun..when we have to worry about every little technicality, it's a job, not enjoyment. Toni


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