Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kickstarter stole my idea.......

Sinningia 'Prudence Risley' grown by Bobbie Lafashia
Story # 35, Part II,

Kickstarter stole my idea……..

      If you followed the ‘Prudence Risley’ story then you know that I worked the exact model that Kickstarter has created to fund ‘Art’ projects.

      Kickstarter is based on matching donated dollars in exchange for a reward from the “Artist’ once it is produced.

      I should ask for my share.


      Ideas are the easy part.
      Executing is the hard part.

      The originators of the Kickstarter phenomenon deserve every dollar they can make from this funding service!

Monday, June 25, 2012

First Flower ---- Sinningia 'Kristobel'

Sinningia 'Kristobel' ---- First Flower ---- 25 Jun 2012

Story # 31, Part IV

     These flowers are a glowing neon rose color!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The 'Prudence Risley' Project!

Sinningia 'Prudence Risley' grown by Jon Lindstrom

 Story # 35,

The ‘Prudence Risley’ Project!

      The ‘Prudence Risley’ project all started when I decided that this red trumpet flowered Sinningia could be sold if we only could produce them.

      Tissue culture was the answer.  If we could get the variety established in a Tissue Culture lab perhaps small numbers could be produced.  At the time, two years ago, I was establishing a working relationship with Dr Jon Lindstrom, Associate Professor of Horticulture at the University of Arkansas.  He agreed to attempt production of ‘Prudence Risley’ if I could make a donation to his Sinningia research at the University.

      So where to get the money?

      My idea evolved to offer shares in the project which would help support his Sinningia hybridizing research (an implied goal of the Gesneriad Society).  In exchange for a $20 share, a donor was entitled to a ‘Prudence Risley’ plant when they could be produced-------possibly a wait of a year.

      The project was presented to my three local plant chapters------ Delaware African Violet and Gesneriad Society, the Liberty Bell chapter and the National Capital Chapter of the Gesneriad Society.  I was happy that many individuals saw that as a worthwhile bet and bought shares at $20 per plant.  When the goal of $1,000 was near, the Delaware AVS chapter donated the shortfall.

     This all worked out.  ‘Prudence Risley’ was successfully produced by tissue culture and the donors got their plant.  I thank all who helped.

     Since then tissue culture production has continued and the ‘Prudence Risley’ project allowed a new hybrid to be introduced to the plant world.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

What's it doing now?

Sinningia 'Kristobel' -- 22 May 2012

Sinningia 'Kristobel' -- 10 May 2012

Story # 31, Part III

Commission me, Part II

Streptocarpus 'Cape Essence'
Story # 34, Part II

Commission me!

      What would it be worth to you to get to have the very first release of a new Streptocarpus or Sinningia?

      Amazon.com sends me e-mails announcing new books for my Kindle. Often I read the reviews and get interested in ordering it, when I finally notice that it won’t be released until some future date.  That usually stops me since I want it now, not next week.  Since they can’t run out of e-book copies, why do I need to reserve one ahead of time?

      Physical goods are different.  There is a finite limit to how many are first available.  When xSinvana ‘Heartland’s Maverick’ first came out of tissue culture and was for sale in flower, did anyone care?

      Everybody likes the new and different.  If I had heard about a new plant, I would try to get it and expect to pay a premium for it.

      If a new plant was commissioned and successfully produced, that would be a very big deal and some people would pay a lot to get the first ones.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Commission me!

Streptocarpus 'Silvia'

Story # 34,

Commission me!

      Everyone wishes that: ‘If I only had the money I would do xxxxxxx. ' 

      The lottery is self-sustaining.  It's worth playing just because somebody always wins and it might be you.  The biggest payouts get the most players even though the odds of winning are statistically the same whether you buy a ticket or not--------approaching zero.

      If I had a million dollars I would hybridize Gesneriads full time.

      Established craftsmen or book writers, who have earned a reputation from a life time of work, sometimes get commissioned to create new ‘Art’.  With an advance, the theory is that a talented artist can create without worrying about making a living.

      If someone commissioned me to give them a different Streptocarpus, I could do that in one year.  If it needed to be different and better, that might take three years.  If it needed to be the best ever, that would take a lifetime.

      The odds of someone commissioning me to create a Streptocarpus or winning the lottery are about the same.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Saintpaulia 'Pixie Redhead'
Story # 33,


      ‘Had I more time, I would have said it with fewer words’.  This is my version of a quote credited to several famous authors -------- “If I had more time, I would write a shorter letter.”

      I admit that I look at an article to see how long it is before starting to read it.  I don’t want to get bogged down if I don’t have much time.

      In those days before e-mail and cheap phone calls, the only way was to write letters to my family when I was in the U.S Air Force and stationed in Southeast Asia.  A letter took about three weeks for a round trip.  I was a very lazy writer with short cryptic sentences, so I’m not sure if anyone really knew what I was talking about.  I mostly wrote so I would get some mail back.

      Fortunately, blog writing has developed as a medium for short reports of ideas.

      Just a bit-sized story!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Story # 32,


      Sports people know OT as overtime.  It means that time has run out with the score tied and we have to play more to see who wins.  When OT ends, the usual comment is: ‘Too bad somebody had to lose this one’.

      I’ve been considering using OT the way it is meant on the Gesneriphiles chat room, which is ‘Off Topic’.  This is supposed to warn you that the writer has something to say about a topic not related to Gesneriads.

      In my case, it could be an idea or plant not related to Streptocarpus or Sinningias.  Since specialty plants are infinite I will want to talk about some of them and where to find them.

      But mostly, since they are my topics, I can do anything I want.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What would happen in 3 days?

Sinningia 'Kristobel' - 11 June 2012

Sinningia 'Kristobel' - 14 Jun 2012

Story # 31, Part II

     What happens in 3 days?

     Plants grow while you aren't watching them!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Sinningia 'Kristobel' with first buds!

Story # 31,


      There is excitement when you see a plant flower for the first time.  Hybridizing plants is the ultimate game of anticipating that first flower because it is truly unknown what it will look like.

      The case of Sinningia ‘Kristobel’ is half way there.  Although not common, a few people have seen it flower and we have a picture of a well grown plant.  The anticipation here is seeing how plantlets grown from tissue culture will turn out.  So far they are budding on short young plants.  If the bud count continues to build as it grows, it is going to be a spectacular plant.

      You can anticipate that I will show the progress of S. ‘Kristobel’.

      Check in occasionally.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What's a Blog?

BIS -- Sinningia 'Georgia Peach'

Story # 30,

 What’s a Blog?

      I admit that I could not guess what the term Blog evolved from. 

      When I found that it was from ‘weB log’ it makes sense, but I still could  have never guessed it.

      Recently I was asked what a military ration is called.  I had K-ration, C-ration and MRE.

      So what’s a MRE?  Meals Ready what?  The military has initials for everything.  The deceptive trick is they leave words out.  Meals Ready to Eat.

     In my Air Force days I was continually sent on short assignments away from home base.  To be going ‘TDY’ was so commonly used that the original words were forgotten----  Temporary DutY.  Not to be confused with going 'PCS'------- Permanent Change of Station.

     Blog is a verb or a noun as in: I blog a Blog!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

One Streptocarpus........., Two Streptocarpus.........

Streptocarpus picked for sale -- Gary's Specialty Plants
Story # 29,

      One Streptocarpus………., Two Streptocarpus………

      I have found myself avoiding the so called correct plural form of Streptocarpus, which some dictionaries list as Streptocarpuses.

      It’s hard not to smile when hearing the Christmas song: ‘All I want for Christmas is a Hippopotamus’.  Part of the cuteness is when the girl has to add another syllable to sing Hippopotamus es.

      You are welcome to say:  All of the sheepes, the mooses, the deers and the Streptocarpuses, but--------------

      I prefer to keep it at one Streptocarpus………, Two Streptocarpus………

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sinningia 'Party Dress' ----- What about the Buds?

Sinningia 'Party Dress' with buds
Story # 25, Part II,

      I had not seen Sinningia ‘Party Dress’ for myself ---- live in my greenhouse, until now.

      The flowers are big and whirling pink.  The buds are many.

      What’s not to like?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sinningia 'Paper Moon' is coming back!

Sinningia 'Paper Moon' grown by Gary's Specialty Plants
Story # 28,

      Sinningia ‘Paper Moon’ is coming back!

      Actually, ‘Paper Moon’ was never here in the first place.

      This hybrid Sinningia selected by John Boggan is a cross of S. pusilla ’White Sprite’ and the species S. schiffneri.  S. schiffneri is described as getting few flowers, so ‘Paper Moon’ must have gotten all of its flower power from ‘White Sprite’.   I see flower clusters of 6 – 8 flowers per leaf axil.  This should allow for a very long flowering period.

      In most series of promoted plants, white is the weak sister ----you need some but not many.  White Petunias are the staple to go against red Geraniums, but solid white is seldom used.  An exception is made if somehow a gardener learns that white Impatiens are the last color to fade into the evening’s darkness.


                Remember ------- Nothing is sold until it has a name and a use!

      S. ‘Paper Moon’ has a main stem with the flowers coming out from under the canopy of leaves.  It is a cute little plant that may find its place in Table Top Gardens, planted with more shocking colors.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sinningia 'Colorado Sunset' ---- Orange flowers on dark green foliage.

Sinningia 'Colorado Sunset' grown by Jon Lindstrom
Story # 26,

      Sinningia ‘Colorado Sunset’ ----- Orange flowers on dark green foliage. 

      Sinningia ‘Colorado Sunset’ was selected for production to be a showstopper.  Orange is a bright color.  Bright is good!  It is capable of getting many flowers open at once and putting on a show to attract the eye from a distance.

      In a Table Top Garden this bright orange can be contrasted against green ferns and bronze Begonias.  If we had white it would even be brighter.

      Sinningia ‘Paper Moon’ has been overlooked because it is a neutral off-white and it is seldom seen.  Maybe it should be revived and used in combination plantings with ‘Colorado Sunset’ or the red ‘Prudence Risley’