Monday, March 5, 2018

Chinese Money Plant for Sale...

Chinese Money Plant

          The Chinese Money Plant, Pilea peperomioides, is available for sale at Meadowbrook Farms retail area at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

          This plant is in high demand and elusive.  Don't miss your chance to snag one.

This made my day...

          These nice words came to me from Susan Sturdee______

     "Just wanted to let you know that your plants are fantastic and are making me very happy. I went to the Philadelphia Flower Show and found your plants at the Meadowbrook Farms display and I bought gesneriads and a creeping Peperomia and a few others. Can't say enough of the quality, size and price. I will look forward to finding your plants from now on. Thank you!"

Sunday, February 25, 2018

As seen at Longwood Gardens...

Primulina 'Rachel' in Longwood Gardens conservatory 

  Primulina are invading Longwood Gardens, one at a time.

            This is the first sighting of Primulina ‘Rachel’ on display near the door to the tall foliage house.  Specimen plants show up randomly throughout the conservatory.

            Nice to see that P. ‘Rachel’ is worthy.

            Primulina are often for sale in the Longwood Plant Shop.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Can you tell the difference?

Primulina 'Silver Frosted Jade' - comparison
Top --- 'Silver Frosted Jade'  - Leaf propagations from a silver mutation of yunguensis

Bottom --- yungfuensis - Leaf propagations from the original yungfuensis

          So far, I see no difference?

          Is this a chimera?

Will I have to start studying the botany of chimeras?  And studying the propagation of chimeral plants?

          It's too soon to say.  Hopefully, the top plants will grow out with silver leaves.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

I agree with Bill and Melinda Gates, O. T.

Grandma listens

          Bill and Melinda Gates released their annual letter and it contains a huge slam at President Trump and his policies. Here are some excerpts:
"For decades the United States has been a leader in the fight against disease and poverty abroad. These efforts save lives. They also create U.S. jobs. And they make Americans more secure by making poor countries more stable and stopping disease outbreaks before they become pandemics. The world is not a safer place when more people are sick or hungry [but] President Trump proposed severe cuts to foreign aid."

 "The America First worldview concerns me. It's not that the United States shouldn't look out for its people. The question is how best to do that. My view is that engaging with the world has proven over time to benefit everyone, including Americans, more than withdrawing does. Even if we measured everything the government did only by how much it helped American citizens, global engagement would still be a smart investment."

"The duties of the president of the United States is to role model American values in the world. I wish our president would treat people, and especially women, with more respect when he speaks and tweets. Equality is an important national principle. The sanctity of each individual, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender, is part of our country's spirit. The president has a responsibility to set a good example and empower all Americans through his statements and his policies."

          I am an optimist.  Bill and Melinda Gates are optimists.

          Please click on "their annual letter" above to remind yourself that the World can be a better place.  And that America is already a great country.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Worth Repeating

Where do good ideas come from?

Story # 123, O T,
            Where do good ideas come from?

            When a new product or service shows up, the common reaction is one of two things --- A.  Why didn’t I think of that? or  B. I had that idea years ago.

            I’ve said before that there are only two parts to work ---- deciding what to do and doing it.   But what to do?

            SethGodin has the answer to “Where do good ideas come from?”  They come from bad ideas.  Try many things and improve the ones that work.

            JamesAltucher gives out advice freely and you can latch on to anything you like.  One of his recommended tricks is to write down 20 ideas a day ---- Good or bad.  At the end of a year you would have thousands of ideas collected.  Maybe there are some good ones worth trying among them.

            SteveBlank teaches how to run a start-up business.  His simple revelation is that a start-up in not a small version of a big business.  He preaches that you must get out of the building and ask customers about your product to see if it is what they really want.

            Humans are very poor at predicting the future.  That’s why nobody can pick the business ideas that will work.  Apparently, smart venture capitalists bet on losing ideas every day and hope the few winners compensate for the losses.

            The only thing that we know for sure is that ideas are a ‘dime a dozen’ and only execution can prove them right or wrong.

     How can you update this story from 3 years ago?

                    Start small, start now!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Asian Violets have Cool Sophisticated Leaves.

Primulina 'Hisuke' with cool sophisticated leaves.

Marketing for everybody.

         “Asian Violets are like African Violets, but Better”.  I thought that this saying was perfect.  But not so.

         I’ve been working on a marketing workshop with Seth Godin, a Genius logical thinker.  Seth argues that “better” says nothing.  Every product is better, but in fact, consumers don’t all buy your better plants.  They buy what they consider important to them.

         In a discussion group, a woman offered her view:

     Why not just “Asian violets are African violets for sophisticated people”?

     You may be onto something by thinking about marketing to people with a more sophisticated sense of aesthetics. I imagine walking into a friend’s apartment, rolling my eyes at her African violets, and thinking,      “You’re smarter than that, dammit!”

            I told her that I laughed out loud.  Since I have friends that grow African Violets, I hadn’t considered that African Violets are not up with the times.

         I think that Asian Violets (Primulina) have a more sophisticated look and that may be the distinction to separate them from African Violets.  Violets are the leading flowering houseplant in the World.  That is not likely to change any time soon.

         “Asian Violets are like African Violets, but with cool sophisticated leaves.”

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sinningia 'Li'l Georgie' - Perfectly Grown

Sinningia 'Li'l Georgie' perfectly grown by Judy White

Sinningia ‘Li’l Georgie’ is an amazing plant.  You can follow the history by reading through my blog stories.

Today, celebrate the success of my friend, Judy, who has grown this plant for three years at her kitchen window.  Yes, it has flowered out occasionally with a brown top, but with patience, it resprouts from the tuber and gives you this.

Could everybody do this?  No.  You must pay attention and water once in a while.

As she should be, she is proud of her success.  As a grower and promoter of ‘Li’l Georgie’, it is inspiration for trying to re-establish production. This plant is too good to not see it available to everyone.

The other Sinningia 'Li'l Georgie' grown by Judy

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Anniversary Issue...

Sinningia 'Prudence Risley' grown by Gary's Specialty Plants

My anniversary story is early this year.   I usually miss the date, so here it is now.

            This blog started April 8, 2012 --- soon to be six years ago.  Thank you, Google.

            I’ve reread many of the stories.  Many are irrelevant or time sensitive (fleeting).  Some are actually very good.

            My form is a picture and some words about a single idea.  My inspiration is Seth Godin, who has had a daily story over 7,000 times.  Only a genius can do that.

            That first post said: “My target reader will be, first of all, me.”  This has taken the pressure off.

            Forcing yourself to write an idea is so much more exacting that a bunch of jumbled thoughts.

            I should have started sooner.

Monday, January 1, 2018

This is too important not to repeat,,,

Another Historic Day for Primulina

EIGC Booth - Primulina will be a common houseplant !

            History by definition is everything that has happened previously.   The significance of events is what people remember.  Ancient history is mostly guesswork and only comes to life if some enterprising author weaves a story from fuzzy facts.

            Computers with infinite storage have changed that.  Now, every event will be recorded forever.  The only thing left is:  ‘Does it matter?’ and ‘Does anybody care?’

            On July 26, 2016, Ellen Wells reported on Asian Violets (Primulina) as a possible new houseplant.  The original story inTropical Topics is copied here:

Gary’s “Next Big Thing”
I keep asking about what folks think will be the “next big thing,” the next tillandsia or succulent trend. “Asian violets,” says Gary Hunter of Gary’s Specialty Plants in Drumore, Pennsylvania. Gary is in the miniature plant business and is a regional grower of small houseplants. His biggest business with small plants is through Longwood Gardens’ plant shop, where they sell hundreds of mini plants each week, all year long.
Gary’s latest project is working with these Asian violets, the common name for Primulina, a genus in the Gesneriad family. “Primulina are like African violets, but better,” writes Gary. “Primulina species and hybrids have been in the hobby world for years but have never been grown commercially.” The reason, he continues, is that these plants take up to a year to flower, eliminating them as a commercially viable flowering plant. “What I was missing was that they could be sold as a small, variegated foliage plant in 6.5-cm pots and fit with our assortment.”

That's Primulina Loki pictured above. Precious! Gary likes these Asian violets so much that he believes they’ll become as popular as African violets, if not more so. Not convinced? Check them out yourself at next week’s Eastern IGC Show at the Valley Forge Casino Resort outside of Philadelphia, where Gary will have a booth. Or check out Gary’s BLOG, which is full of great information.

            The significance is that this is the first known reference to Primulina in a commercial horticultural trade magazine.

         The commercial barrier has been broken and has been recorded here as a historic event.  The facts are preserved.


Still, nobody cares.  But Asian Violets are too important to ignore.

            We have enough good species and hybrids to start.  If we can move Primulina from a minor, minor-crop to a major, minor-crop, they will be a success.

            In rereading this quote by Ellen Wells, it jumps out at me as suspect.

            “Gary likes these Asian Violets so much that he believes they’ll become as popular as African violets, if not more so.”

            Almost every African violet grower, amateur or pro, just laughs at that.

            I’m confident that I’m right.  The future will decide.