Finally, the weather has changed and instead of record high temperatures, including a brand new record of two back-to-back 90 plus degree days in October, we have a seasonably warm evening with a decidedly cool breeze.
The weatherman has promised that every day for the rest of the week, it is going to get a little cooler.
I promise that I won't complain about the cooler weather. I'm ready for it. When it was near 90 degrees on Saturday, I went out and bought a new winter coat. Does that make me a realist or an optimist?
While you think about that, come virtually sit on the front porch bench and we'll talk about African Violets some more.
Yesterday, I posted about my African Violet rescue mission and offered to look up answers to any questions about African Violets in my book, 1,001 African Violet Questions Answered by Twelve Experts and see if we could stump the experts.
Lost-Roses asked "How can they afford to sell such a fussy plant at 4 for $5.00 at the grocery store?"
Too easy for our experts!
"Question 1: Why do you think African Violets are so popular? "..The nominal cost of plants is within everyone's means; for this reason, people have the opportunity of trying out a lot of them..." (Like four at a time!) By the way, Lost-Roses, according to the experts who answered these questions, "The African Violet is a friendly plant." They don't think they are fussy at all!
Kris at Blithewold asked, "I have an African violet that is supposed to have a white bloom with a dark watercolor wash of purple-blue. When it was new its blooms were reliably true to form. Now (years later and a baby from cutting does the same thing) it begins its bloom cycle blooming clear white and towards the end, the last few buds open with the purpley wash. I don't really mind although I think they're prettier with more color and just have been wondering - why?!"
Is this the answer?
"Question 885. Why do blossoms and foliage look so pale and faded? Probably this is an indication of lack of plant food or too little light."
While I was looking up the answers to these questions, I ran across this question and answer which might be on your mind, but you were afraid to ask.
"Question 751. As a new grower of African Violets I am scared to death. Must I expect to contend with the great list of pests and diseases I hear about? Goodness no, not if you use care and precaution. Get in the habit of spraying regularly and act quickly once you do see evidence of trouble. Knowing what the symptoms indicate helps a lot."
For pete's sake, I am not going to spray my African Violets or be afraid of them!
And one final question to sum up the African Violet experience, at least the experience in 1958 when this book was published. To put it in context, it is the last question in the book, and comes after 250 questions about the possible pests and diseases that can attack African Violets.
"Question 1,001. In spite of all of this, don't you think African Violets offer more pleasure than any other houseplant? Indeed I do. The African Violet offers so many possibilities. It satisfies the desire to possess, to dominate, and express maternal feelings to the fullest. It offers freedom of choice, a private little world of creation, opportunity to experiment, to prove theories, to study evolution, to meet people, to join clubs, win prizes in shows, learn parliamentary law, hold office, and start a business, large or small. It always offers something to talk about. In fact, the African Violet has something for everybody!"
Wow, that's a lot to expect from one plant! Or are they describing gardening in general?