Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Begining

Streptocarpus hybrid
Springtime for me, begins as the future year's catalogs start their seasonal migration to my mailbox. The detailed e-searches can reward the diligent searcher many treasures that he did not even know he needed. I've always been fixated with plants,the first plant fascination for me, was the genus Viola. I was very young when I discovered the amazing plant family in my own family's garden. At five or six years old, I had discovered as many varieties growing in the garden. There was a long row of White violets growing under a louvered fence, a back walkway to the courtyard had a beautiful wine- red variety,at the back of the property, where my mother had planted thousands of choice Narcissus,were a sea of confederate violets always crowding out the less powerful lavender downy violet. I told my parents I wanted to collect violets,this seemed like an odd but acceptable hobby for a six year old. I was a very lucky child to have been encouraged to pursue horticulture as a passion. The next year for Easter brought a basket full of Sainpaulias (African Violets) that my mother thought would pacify my growing plant needs. The great world of Gesneriads has been a source of some wonderful experiences with growing. Daily care yields amazing results. It's not that any part of their care is difficult, just specific. If my life is going well, the Saintpaulias do well...if there is too much stress for too long, the violets show the wear,but resurrection is as easy as striping the leaves and re potting the crown for a glorious rebirth in a few weeks. I am so grateful for the time I've been able to spend in the natural world,Horticulture is a food for all the senses as well as the soul. At Hiddenfield Farm where I live and garden now, I always take time in the spring to search the woods for violet treasures,the thread of green pleasure continues...

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