My first attempt was someone’s discarded bookcase that my husband retrofitted with fixtures. It would have worked ok if I’d been able to adjust the distance between the shelves. I also didn’t realize that violets need to be gradually acclimated to the intensity of artificial lighting. Since I just threw my plants on this new stand, I had nothing but problems from the beginning. Unless I restarted every plant from a leaf and allowed it to “grow up” under this new lighting, the plants simply freaked out and never relaxed again. Months passed without improvement.
I remember the absolute thrill of attending my first real violet show and having the opportunity to shop the sales tables. Club members were selling many items for violet growing, not just plants. One of the items for sale was an actual Flora-Cart, probably circa 1950, but complete and perfectly functional. Even broken down, I knew it would be tough to fit that thing in my little car, but I bought it for $100 and somehow got it home. One of the best investments I’ve ever made. My little Flora-Cart hums along to this day.