On Thursday 2nd November, when the Mitchelton and Districts Garden Club meets at the Enoggera Memorial Hall, Althea and Barry Connor will be the guest speakers and they’ll talk about African Violets.
In the late 1800’s this plant was found in Tanzania by Walter von Saint Paul whose father sent some of them to a botanical garden to be scientifically studied, hence the name, Saintpaulia, is an alternative name for African Violets which have a variety of forms and several species. As well, many hybrids have been created.
African Violets are very fussy. If they are not happy with conditions they’ll just wilt and die. They cannot tolerate temperatures less than 16 degrees Celsius and require good light such as near a window, away from direct sunlight and drafts. To maximise indirect sunlight a location facing east to south east is probably the best. Some growers have found African Violets like being near a T.V. or in the bathroom or laundry where there’s a humid atmosphere. They like to have their roots confined in a pot of moist (not wet) potting mix. Using a wick through the potting mix, then through the drainage hole in the pot is a successful method of letting the plant absorb moisture from a saucer of water. Sit the pot on stones to raise it above the water and only replace the water when the contents of the saucer have dried up. Never let the pot sit in the water. In spring or summer it’s easy to propagate African Violets from healthy leaves, and once you find a suitable growing situation, you will be rewarded with interest and colourful blooms for many years to come.
In October there’s a lot of maintenance work for gardeners. Shrubs will need attention; spring bulbs will need nourishment to store for next year’s flowering; lawns will require mowing more often and garden beds should be enriched with compost and fertilisers before mulch is applied. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the calendar month, and commence immediately after morning tea which is served at 9.45 a.m. Visitors and new members are most welcome. It is pleasing to note three exhibitors, Vera, Hedy and Glenys, who became members this year, received award cards for their exhibits on the show bench at the September meeting.
The Memorial Hall is situated at the corner of Wardell and Pratt Streets, Enoggera. It is accessible by wheel chair and close to public transport. For more information please phone Pat, the president, on 3356 1256.