October 17, 2007

The Harrington babies are doing great!

This past weekend, I transplanted the last of the "Harrington babies" from the leaves....
WOW... I am so excited!!!
I sent out many Harrington babies last week, to Violet Voice members who are participating in our group's growing project. Of course, I saved several of each variety for myself! :)
This photo is of just a small portion of one tray!

October 14, 2007

Progress Report on the African violet jar:

In May, I planted a small clay 'strawberry jar' with extra plantlets of Darling BlueTrail.
Well, I must admit to having a terrible time keeping it watered!
At first, it was just like any other potted AV. But sometime in July, I began to notice it needed water every day... of course, it didn't get water every day!
I finally decided to really soak it, pot and soil, then fill the little saucer with water.
That worked fairly well... and by the middle of September, I began to see a bloom or two.
My other 'regularly-potted' Darling Blue Trail plants seem to love to bloom, so I am hoping with cooler house temperatures this fall... and maybe a larger saucer, these plants will soon begin to bloom more.

But this experience has been fun, and if I can find the way to care for it, I will do this again!

September 17, 2007

Window Plants Are Growing!

This is a fact that we should all keep in mind: African violets DO grow at a fairly fast rate, so don't get discouraged! And we don't have to buy large plants 'just so we can have blooms"! If we would just have a LITTLE patience, the blooms will appear in no time!
This is my bedroom window this morning (mid September):

and here is how it looked six weeks ago (late July):

There has been many blooms in the window before today, but I just didn't take time to take a photo!
~~~ So this 'photo diary' of this window has taught me a lesson I don't want to forget: our plants will bloom, so don't get in a hurry. Just go about your life, and one morning they will greet you with lots of blooms! ~~~

August 26, 2007

Lots of Babies... Harrington ones too!

August has been busy on the ranch... and on the plant shelves!
Every two weeks, more babies need transplanting from the mama leaves.
July and August saw the number of trays on my plant stands DOUBLE!
Here is one shelf of young starters:

For anyone interested in the Harrington varieties: they are doing fine and I have transplanted babies from just over half of the leaves... and reset some of the leaves, of course!

July 28, 2007

Still working on the outside...

(To view all posts of the NEW YARD WORK , click THIS LINK, so you get to a list of only the posts about the yard, which begins with this post, and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom left of this post!  You will begin with the first post and work forward to the most recent yard and garden post.)

The inside decorating details have been put on hold until the winter brings a little break in the barn chores.... but we are still working at the outside grading and finishing.

John showed me how to put the tractor into forward and reverse gears... how to raise and lower the bucket... and turned me loose around our new house! Yikes!!

I hauled 32 bucketloads of dirt around our house.. into certain areas on the south and west sides. I decided to concentrate on two sides of the house this summer, and will work on the other two next summer.

I don't need any more dirt, but I do need another back and set of hands! It is all 'hand' work from now on!

But I am ready to begin on the step, patio, and walk to the driveway!!!! Yippee!!

July 27, 2007

My, how they have changed with TIME!

We all know how SLOWLY our violets seem to grow! It seems like I am always waiting for a new plant to bloom, and it seems to take YEARS!!!
In reality, African violets grow at a reliable pace; and before we know it, there are many blooms to give color to our windowsills!
Case In Point:
In March, I found time to repot my few tiny violet babies, and ordered a few leaves to root.
Here is a photo of my entire collection of African violets in May 2007:

One month later, in June 2007, they were blooming and beautiful:

And here is what my violet stands look like in July:
(The plants from the window, plus a few new ones, and babies transplanted from the leaves rooted in March! )

So, they aren't as slow growing as we think!
It is simply that WE are impatient! :)

The cart in the window is again filled with new plants in isolation:

I also have a shelf of rooting leaves... 181 leaves!!!

We can go from having NO VIOLETS to having TOO MANY VIOLETS much quicker than we can imagine!!!!! WARNING!

May 13, 2007

Violets in a strawberry jar!

One of the 'growing methods' popular in the 50's and 60's was planting African violets in strawberry pots. I have found several small strawberry pots that seemed just right for violets. One was just the right size for my extra plantlets of Darling Blue Trail, a semiminiature trailer. Today I 'planted' the pot... and we will see how it grows!

Note about Harrington varieties:

Due to the number of emails I have received about the Harrington varieties, I am adding this note to say: YES, there should be Harrington varieties available this fall. But, I will be offering them to Violet Voice members as part of a fall/winter project. So, if you are interested in Harrington varieties, you will have to join our project! Watch for it to begin sometime in September 2007.
I understand several vendors do presently offer some Harrington varieties, and in the past week, several Harrington plants have brought fairly high prices on Ebay. Cedar Creek Violets will be selling Harrington varieties in spring of 2008.

May 11, 2007

Roof and Paint Finally Finished!

Yesterday, the paint and roof crew left...
The roof is now tight, we hope, and the siding is all one color!

It is so strange to have the house all grey... we have looked at it so long as two-toned!
Time to begin on the landscaping and planting. With all the other ranch work that is to be done, I know I should keep my projects to a minimum. Plus, it will be nice to live in and around the house for a little bit before we start adding permanent features!
I am hauling tractor-buckets of dirt, manure, and sand in around the house... more photos to come soon!

My Search For Harrington Varieties

I began my search for D. Harrington varieties in April by posting a request for information on several internet African violet groups. Wow, what a response! I have several vendors who are selling me plants/leaves, and the ever-generous members of the online groups have volunteered for more sales/trades!
The best part of all: I received an email from Delores Harrington herself! Besides the wonderful opportunity to learn more about this interesting person, I received a box of leaves directly from the lady herself! Here is a photo of the leaves, set on May 10th!

I gave them the best spot on the light stand, and they are in my 'most trusted' leaf-starting domed greenhouse!
This is my pet project this year, so I will be posting updates!

To recap the past 10 months:

Last summer and fall, we began work on our new house ( http://montanaranch.blogspot.com/ ) ---and my violets were totally neglected. I literally shut off the lights and never looked at them for over four months. I did save a few of my favorite varieties and several new ones.
In January of 2007, as I moved the plant stands into the new house, the one remaining tray of survivors looked very lonely!
I did some serious thinking and decided to slowly buy or trade leaves... and did allow for some impulse Ebay purchases!
Over the past two months, I have purchsed about 50 leaves, and my friend Loxi lead me through her house, begging me to take leaves off some of our old favorites! Several varieties on my 'most wanted list' came up for auction on Ebay, and I now have plants of Sybil, Apache Sweetheart, Blue Aura and Edna Fischer!
Here are my 'leftovers' from last year... that doesn't sound as complimentary as I would like. These varieties really were tough and strong... and survived alot of abuse!

Now the challenge is to find the place in the new house that is ideal for growing AVs!

April 26, 2007

Windows Replaced

Today, the glass guys came and replaced the two damaged windows.

February 20, 2007

Having Fun!

I still haven't done much for serious decorating, and over half of our furniture, clothes, books, etc are still in the old house, but we are HAVING FUN in the new house!
Here, John and Grant play a game of pool:

Nope, it doesn't play as nicely as it looks, but it's quality is not bad, considering we ordered it from walmart.com!
More soon, I hope!

January 22, 2007

Still Moving In

YES, I know it has been over a month since I updated this site!
We actually moved the beds and slept in the new house for the first time on December 15th. But soon I got the dining table moved over and we slept and ate in the new house for a week before the stove and fridge were moved.
THEN: with no phone to the new house, the computer stayed in the old house, plus the tv~! So, my menfolk wanted to spend their evenings there! But now we have nearly all those 'important' things in the new house! :)
Here are a few photos... nothing fancy, and please remember I am taking the 'decorating' part slowly! I want to live in the house a bit before I start painting, putting up moulding, etc! (Honestly, our finances are also a factor. Some of my ideas will just have to wait until there is money in my pocketbook!)
Here is a photo of the dining area, looking from the kitchen sink:
(sorry about the pile of seed catalogs... it is that time of year!)

Below is a photo from the opposite direction, facing the kitchen sink:
(we had apple fritters, so you can see the maple syrup bottle on the table!)

This photo was taken in the same place as the one above. I simply turned to the right. The blue blanket on the floor is the dog's bed, and you can see it in the top photo of the dining table, and in this photo of the living room.

The photos seem so small! But I don't have time to resize them today! I will add different ones as more changes happen.
>>>There are several more rooms through the arch on the left... photos of them soon. And I am sure the furniture will be rearranged many times over the next year! :) I lived in the old house 19 years, and it changed at least nine or ten times!!!! Hee, hee!
We are still having some 'problems':
The roof is still losing shingles.... and it seems the 'titling' and 'taxing' process is going to be a long one! Bills for the construction work are still coming in.
And at one time we had TWO insurance policies on the house... not yet sure ONE of them is in force!!!!!
But, I did get some curtains up last night... and it isn't very far to the old house if we need something that isn't in this one!
More photos soon, I hope!