African Violets

Monday, July 30, 2012

African violets are an excellent choice to liven up a small space.  The diminutive size of these blooms and their velvety texture give them an old-fashioned look and make them perfect for small ornate containers.  To grow African violets, choose an indoor location where the plant will receive diffused light and not get too hot or too cold.  Pot the plant in well drained soil and do not over-water.  Violets do not like soggy soil.  It is also important to keep the leaves dry or spots will develop, so watering from the bottom of the plant is ideal.

There are so many creative ways to display violets.  I have seen them planted in tea cups, vintage dishes, and small cachepots like the one pictured above. They are beautiful on a nightstand, windowsill or small accent table. 

The pot shown here has a special story and is always kept in my studio filled with one flower or another.  Before I began my academic career I spent a year teaching kindergarten and one of the parents brought me this beautiful token of appreciation at the end of the school year.  Originally it contained 23 white freeze-dried roses, one for each student, symbolizing the "23 little lives I had touched that year". Since then, the roses have disintegrated but the pot has stayed with me, a gentle reminder of a year well spent with a classroom full of very special little people.  I often wonder what became of each of them and if now, years later, they remember what they learned in kindergarten...

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