Revisiting the African Violet

This former Catholic school girl is feeling a bit guilty about only posting on Wordless Wednesday, so here I am writing this late one night while I have a foster respite watching a movie quietly. Luckily, she has been here before, and she likes that I post plant stuff, so I am having a great night. Few kids I know would ever let me get away with this. Whew!
So our only real activity planned this weekend was to attend a plant sale up the hill from the house. Now don’t laugh, or cringe—because I know that many of you might do both—but it was an African Violet sale. In my defense, the sale also include other Gesneriads too: Streptococcus, Episcias and others. (I bought something called an Alsobia so we’ll see what it turns into!)
I only say all of this because African Violets are such a love/hate plant topic. My mom HATED them. Her mom loved them. Funny that I love them too, but I suspect it skips a generation.
This is only one of many of the tables set up today at the church where the Mt Hood Gesneriad Society held its bi-annual plant sale.
If you do not like all of the purple, here is a little bit of pink with some amazing variegation. I seem to have misplaced its name, but it helps to show how important leaf variation can be since when there are no blooms, it helps to add interest.

This little one reminded me of tiny violet blooms. Since it is in the semi-mini category, it is a bit different than your regular standard class.

(Did you know there are trailers too and that they are small? The foster girls LOVE them so much because they are so tiny and cute. That works for me!)

I was miscalculating when I took this picture and had the camera on the wrong setting. This is a standard I think by the name of Garden Party. The leaves are ruffled too and these remind me so much of lettuce leaves so I hope they will be safe in the home.

This is a Streptococcus. It goes by the name of: Frosted Pink Flamingo. I could not stop laughing when I saw that title. Luckily I convinced my friend to purchase this one so I know I will get some cuttings. She is a good friend that way.

As a child of the 1980s, anything that looks like it has a splatter paint look really softens my heart. I suppose there is a bit of Jackson Pollock in there too. This one is called: Fantasy Maker. Now that I think about it, the name sounds like a 1980s record album too. Maybe Aldo Nova was connected to it?

After the sale we took my friend home and I captured this picture of a rose bush she has banned to the farthest corner of her property. It has to be one of the strangest hybrid rose colors I have ever seen. It is blooming now, all alone, in front of her berm/compost/yard debris barrier. It was pretty funny to see it standing there ablaze all by itself as we drove up.

After we’d arrived home, and eaten lunch, I took another good look at my houseplant loot. This little frilly one is called Bishop. It reminds me so much of parrot tulips and since my husband loves those, I knew he would love this too. (My husband has serious Rococo taste. It is an Italian thing and I suppose I have a bit myself.)

Then I also admired my new Genetic Blush. It too has to be one of the most ridiculous names of today.

African Violets named after American Indian tribes are another odd thing. This is called Arapaho. I would have preferred Shoshone or the little Cheyenne girl but I probably should not seek to acquire African Violets named after the tribes my husband and I are descended from. That somehow really trivializes what happened to Native America not that long ago. Naming is a funny thing.

Speaking of naming, here is Macavity the Mystery Cat. She is my elderly queen, not so much into gardens anymore, but once long ago, she was my little dirt ball who loved nothing more than to sleep in the garden with me nearby reading. Now she roams the indoor houseplant jungle instead, and she was happy to see more greenery arriving today.

8 thoughts on “Revisiting the African Violet

  1. I neither laughed nor cringed. Couldn't think of why you expected readers too, either. I enjoyed this post so maybe you should feel guilty more? 😛

    She is colored like Macavity but your description is more of Grizabella.


  2. Nice post. I like African violets, but don't grow them because, well, I don't know why…

    Your husband has good taste in blooms. The flaming parrot tulips are my favorite too. There's a black flaming parrot that I love but only lasts a couple of years in the garden.


  3. How can it be that there are people who don't love African violets? With velvet leaves and romantic flowers! Cherished by generations! I love your choices, and I think there must be an African violet to bless the soul of every person on earth. Those who don't love them haven't found the right one yet.


  4. That banished rose looks like my (cherished) Burning Sky. I was looking for some 'new blue' roses, but don't like the chilly jacaranda coloured ones.

    There have been a couple of posts about the name Indian Paintbrush. Might you one day write more about naming. It is one of the treasures of blogging that we can step inside each other's heads, walk in each other's shoes, and live each other's lives – for a moment.


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