It’s hard to believe that another year has passed. As I look back on 2011, there were a lot of ups and downs, but the plants themselves seemed not to notice much. They took a little beating before and during the move, but overall they passed the challenge with flying colors. As I had hoped, I did have flowers for Christmas. Many of my plants are beginning to put on a good show. I still have to watch for suckers, but I’m keeping a fairly good handle on it. I’m sharing some pictures with you of a few of my favorites this time around.
With a new year comes a new round of goals to reach. I’ve already managed to fulfill one of them. I picked up a small inexpensive repotting table, and it even came with a stool. The table itself is counter height, so I can work standing up or sitting, which is a real bonus. The plant room is evolving, and I’m happy that I will be opening up another shelf again. Looking around the room, I’m realizing that the 8 shelves I have now might not be enough. What to do? Unfortunately, there’s no more room for another stand (or is there?) Probably not, so I’ll make do with the space I have for now. Luckily, the minis are easier to squeeze in and around.
Another goal of mine is to try my hand at hybridizing again. Years ago, I made a few crosses with mixed results. I grew out many babies, but none of them really made the grade. I’ve tried crossing minis and semis many, many times, but they tend to be much more stubborn. I am absolutely determined that this will be my year! There is a lot of experimenting I hope to do. I’m very interested in finding myself some really nice dogwoods or colored tips. If anyone out there has or knows of any great dogwood or tipped small ones, please share your recommendations. That is one of my favorite traits, and unfortunately it seems to never have been that popular. But, in my mind’s eye, I can envision some really beautiful and unique blooms!
I hope you’ve set some violet goals for yourself too. We can always grow when it comes to learning or sharing. Even if your goal is just to repot a few plants or try to be more consistent with your watering techniques, go for it. Carve out a few extra minutes a day or an hour a week and watch how your efforts reward you. It doesn’t take much, and your violets will thank you.
I heard someone say once that their violet goal was to throw away their plants. WHAT?? Well, our tendencies are to collect all the wonderful hybrids available today, but it’s impossible to have them all. Unfortunately, when there are so many to care for on limited time, it’s sure to burn out a grower eventually. So, if your goal is to weed out your collection and get down to a more manageable number to be enjoyable again, do it. There’s always someone out there who will gladly take your cast offs. Good luck and Happy New Year!