The Virtual Circle will be a series of Zoom presentations offered as a benefit of AVSA membership
The first Virtual Circle meeting will be Nov. 12 at 3:00pm Central Time
Registration will be posted in October, on this page
There is no charge for AVSA Members, but donations are always welcome
Click the icons around the circle for details about the Virtual Circle
Registration is limited to 290 participants. Sign up now by clicking the button below.
Kathy’s timely program will be focused on “Preparing Violets for Show,” a topic in which she is well-versed. She will share elements of the care and grooming of show violets, based on her environment and experience, and how she packs her plants for travel to local shows and for flying to conventions. Her audience will be well prepared for the upcoming winter and spring shows, including the AVSA Convention show in Phoenix, Arizona, taking place April 21-28, 2024. (We may even learn how she deals with a symmetrical, heavily blooming palm tree that dreams of being a blue ribbon winner!) At the conclusion of the program, Kathy will take questions from the attendees, so remember to make note of your questions as they occur to you and be prepared to learn and enjoy!
Kathy has “palm tree” African violets. You know, like the ones on your plant shelf with long necks because they needed to be repotted two months ago. Isn’t it fun to learn that the same people who grow African violets that win Best-in-Show at the AVSA National Convention are just as human as the rest of us?
With a background in 4H, Kathy got involved in horticulture at a young age, and enjoyed both working with plants and the competition 4H offered. She was babysitting for a neighbor, who, on learning how much Kathy admired plants, gifted her with an African violet. Upon learning that a local African violet society was having a show and sale, Kathy decided to attend, and promptly fell in love! The rest actually is history, as she has been growing African violets since 1975, and is still an avid outdoor gardener as well.
Her first African violet society included a number of more senior women who gave pointers and guidance to the younger members. These mentors made a lasting impression, and Kathy, who is friendly, personable, and more than willing to share her wealth of knowledge and experience, is happy to offer the same non-critical guidance to those new to this wonderful obsession. Learning from others is as important as teaching. Kathy has always grown in appropriately sized Solo cups. She remembers working with miniature AVs that aspired to be semis or small standards until, at a presentation by Dr. Ralph ‘Rob’ Robinson (owner of The Violet Barn,) mentioned removing the bottom row of leaves as plants grew to train them to stay within their proper size. She walks the talk, knowing that sharing information is key to ensuring the success of those around us, and thus the future of African violets.
When deciding which of her plants are good candidates for upcoming shows, Kathy focuses on the first quality judges look for: symmetry. Next, she looks for those African violets that bloom heavily, and considers not just the number of blossoms, but whether there are multiple blooms on the stalks. She also likes plants that are “compact” but not necessarily small. A larger plant with good symmetry and foliage in nicely spaced layers is, in its own way, compact rather than rangy.
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