Some very kind friends just brought me an African Violet plant. They were giving it to me to help me feel better after my first cataract surgery, which went fine, by the way, and it's a very pretty one:
Now, AVs and I have a history.
Many years ago, back when houseplants were the newest and 'in-est' thing, I got one or two at the grocery store and I liked them. They actually grew, which was more than you could say for other houseplants such as, for example, the Diefenbachia which had a new leaf every three years, or the Snakeplant which sat there, month after month, needing dusting but never doing anything that anyone ever noticed.
So I got another African Violet.
And another one.
And another one...
Then I discovered you could make more plants by nipping off a leaf and putting it in water. To my delight, in a few weeks there were baby plants at the bottom of the stem. I separated them and planted them and pretty soon I had several dozen African Violets.
This was fun!
Found out there were white ones.... pink ones! Dark reddish ones, doubles, semi-doubles, ruffly ones, miniatures, giants... I went wild. I joined the African Violet Society and entered AVs into local plant shows (and, yes, won some ribbons).
Soon I needed lights to grow more AVs. We had a house we'd bought partly because it had a large finished 'rec room' in the basement and we thought it would be perfect for our daughter and her friends to play in. Ixnay on that, though, they refused totally to play 'in the basement, yuck'. Apparently there was a rumour of spiders. We allowed tricycles. No good. We installed a ping pong table. Nope. We bought a terrific doll house and dolls. Nope again. Finally it just sat empty. So I took it over and built long shelves and hung lights and before you could say 'African Violet, miniature, dark red, variegated foliage', I had several thousand plants and a serious watering habit.
A few years later we decided to move (for other reasons) and to my surprise and relief the people who bought the house wanted the plants too!
Since then I have not allowed African Violets across the door step.
Thank you, Lynda and Gord!