Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pixe Runaround Sport: A Great Trailing Chimera

I'm not a huge fan of chimera (striped) blossoms as they are difficult to propagate and aren't very useful in my hybridizing program.  However, I came across this trailing chimera a couple of years ago and it quickly became a favorite of mine.  I should have a few for sale on eBay this summer.

Monday, March 28, 2011

eBay: A Pretty Good Outlet for the Larger Grower

I am often asked if I only sell my violets on eBay and the answer to that question is largely, yes.  There are of course some exceptions but those usually involve the selling of blooming extras at my gift store.  Why do I only sell my violets on eBay?  Here are the main reasons:

1.  I don't have another outlet.  Unlike like other growers, I don't maintain a separate website for the violets.  I suppose I could but I'm sure given the lack of free time that I have I wouldn't be able to keep it current which would only serve to frustrate me and my customers.

2.  I like to sell on eBay because it allows me to sell what is available, when it's available.  How often do you order from a grower via a list only to get a bunch of substitutes?  By selling on eBay the buyer is NEVER disappointed with substitutes...they will ALWAYS receive the variety they purchased...always!

3.  I like to sell on eBay because I can usually get a fair price for my plants.  I know the word "fair" is rather subjective but consider the time invested in raising a starter plant.  It takes me about 8 months to grow out a plant to the size that I ship.  Consider the labor involved and the cost of the supplies (electricity, water, fertilizer, etc...) required to nurture the plants.  So yes, I feel at a minimum I should be able to charge $1.00 for every month I care for the plant.  Growers who are selling plants for $3.50 are just nuts...plain and simple. 

4.  I sell on eBay because I can reach a much larger audience.  Any seller who thinks they can drive as much traffic to their website as eBay can drive to an individual listing has lost touch with reality.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Great Semiminiatures for Show

Here's my list of "Must Grow" semiminiatures.  Pssst...Kurt...these are semiminiatures!

1.  Precious Pink (Pittman) - I don't care, it's still the reigning champion hands down!
2.  Dean's Cupid (H. Hobbs) - You've probably never grown it...and shame on you!
3.  Beginner's Luck (Pritchet) - Hortense Pittman gives it a thumbs do I!
4.  Rob's Fuzzy Navel (Robinson) - The name is creepy but the plant is awesome! 
5.  Sweet One (Pittman) - A lost treasure.  Picture perfect.
6.  Pat Champagne (Pittman) - Great lady...great plant! 
7.  Jolly Frills (Pittman) - D'oh...just look at it!  AWESOME!
8.  Irish Angel (Egenites) - Class never goes out of style!
9.  Bogeyman (Scott) - What?  You've never seen it?  Newbie!
10.  Ness' Crinkle Blue (Ness) - No, I didn't forget about this perpetual winner!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Great Miniatures for Show

I was going to do a "Top 10" but once I started listing varieties it was not possible to limit it to ten.  They are presented in no particular order.

p.s.  Ann-Marie gave me grief for not adding comments on each one like I did the semis so I've come back and added my two-cents!

1.  Cloud Puff (Pittman) - This girl kicks butt. need to grow it!
2.  Honey Puff (Pittman) - Sweet!  Get it...Honey = Sweet?  Nevermind!
3.  Jolly Orchid (Pittman) - Heaviest blooming plant I've ever seen - no kidding.
4.  Windsome (Pittman) - Look at the picture - nuf said!
5.  Petite Jewel (Pittman) - Definitely a jewel of a plant.
6.  Petite Tart (Pittman) - Don't let the "plain Jane" description fool you.
7.  Rob's Chilly Willy (Robinson) - Really nice - really!
8.  Jolly Diamond (Pittman) - Oh, aren't you growing this one?  Fool!
9.  Petite Blarney (Pittman) - "I don't like girl foliage" - that's what I used to say!
10.  Tamsen (A. E. Adams) - You've probably never grown it...and you should!
11.  Damas (A. E. Adams) - OMG!  Can't believe this one isn't on everyone's shelf!
12.  Precious Red (Pittman) - Hortense's BEST miniature (did I just say that?)
13.  Texas Space Dust (Pittman) - Oh, Hortense's 2nd BEST miniature!
14.  Pink Dove (Sorano) - Overlooked but not overrated.  Grow this one!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Caught Up?

I must say I was quite surprised when I discovered I had potted up all the starter plants from my leaf trays.  That's not to say in another 6 weeks I won't have another crop to deal with but for the moment - I'm caught up!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Introducing, "Chuckles"

Yes, it's been far too long since I posted anything and even longer since I had a new release.  I've been playing with this plant for about three years now and finally decided it's worthy of releasing.

The plant is named in honor of my faithful four legged companion Charlie.  "Chuckles" came to be when I was taking pictures last year and told Charlie to "smile".  He obliged so I've called him "Chuckles" since.  The formal description is:

Chuckles (D. Hoover) - Double white star with pink center/eye.  Medium green, quilted foliage.  Miniature.