Tuesday, February 5, 2013

We've moved!

When we started this blog, it was an online space for our newsletter, Petal Tones. Since then, it's developed into its own thing so we're renaming it and moving to:

We hope you will follow us there!

Petal Tones will continue as the official newsletter of the National Capital Area Chapter of The Gesneriad Society, distributed in PDF form and posted on our website.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

African Violet Show in Richmond, Virginia

The Mid Atlantic African Violet Society is holding its annual show and sale from November 8-10, 2012, in Richmond, Virginia.

Location: Sheraton Richmond Park South Hotel, 9901 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, VA
Show: Friday, November 9th, 2012 from 1:00 to 5:00; Saturday, November 10th, from 9:00 to 4:00.
Sales: Thursday, November 8th, 2012, from 3:00 to 5:00; Friday, November 9th, from 9:00 to 5:00; Saturday, November 10th, 9:00 to 4:00.

show table

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Seemannia in the garden

Another gesneriad that summers well in the garden is Seemannia.  These are photos by John Boggan of some Seemannia hybrids growing in his garden in Washington, D.C.

Seemannia bed

These are John's newest creations: complex hybrids involving Seemannia nematanthodes 'Evita', Seemannia purpurascens 'Purple Prince' and Seemannia gymnostoma. John is testing them for use as bedding plants, and hoping for some relatively hardy hybrids. He says he is going to leave them in the ground (!) -- with mulch -- to see if any of them will overwinter.

I especially love the combination here with Tricyrtis 'Sinonome':


Last year, he had his hybrids Seemannia 'Big Red', 'Little Red', 'Red Prince' and 'Dark Prince' in this garden:


Click on the photo above to see more information on John's Flickr page.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Streptocarpus 'Falling Stars' and Ludisia discolor in the garden

Back in June during the garden club event at Behnke's, I met Doug Bolt, a retired USDA scientist who researched animal reproduction. He told me about how he has used Streptocarpus 'Falling Stars' and Ludisia discolor (an orchid) as bedding plants. (Note: they are not hardy in the DC area, and do need to come indoors for the winter.) They had a rough time with the especially high temperatures this summer, but made it through ok. Here are a couple of photos from September:

You can see more photographs of Doug's yard here.

Like many gardeners and plant enthusiasts I meet, Doug has a history with his plants. He says he grew up on a farm in Kansas that produced wheat, beef and pork, and that his mother and her mother were avid gardeners who could -- and did -- grow just about anything that struck their fancy. Growing now in Doug's front yard is the red Chinese hibiscus from his grandmother's living room. In his backyard is the rose bush his father gave his mother when they moved to the farm in the 1930s, and near it is the miniature rose bush he gave his wife before they got married in 1975. He even has the first Phalaenopsis a friend gave him in 1969. He says his aversion to discarding plants is largely responsible for starting to use Streptocarpus and Ludisia discolor as accent/bedding plants in the garden. By spring when the houseplants go outside for the summer, many have overgrown their pots -- it seems obvious to just poke the extra divisions in the ground. And most do quite well.