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African Violets brighten a January Garden Club Meeting
African violets
African Violets were the interesting topic of the recent Garden Club meeting led by club member Connie Schuld.

Ten members and one guest, Renita Chasteen, enjoyed the recent January Garden Club meeting. Delicious refreshments were served by members Sharon East, Jeannine Girton, and Pam Sweeney. Garden Club President Nancy Williams opened the meeting with the reading of “The Gardener’s Creed.”

During the business meeting the Rose Garden Chairperson, Alice Young, reported that plans for the new rose garden in the City Cemetery are still in the initial stages, and will still require many steps including actual plans for the layout of the garden, needed supplies, and possible financing. Cemetery personnel will care for the current rose garden throughout the winter months.  

The Garden Club’s newest member, Connie Schuld, presented an interesting program on her hobby of raising African violets. Along with photos of her many grand champion and blue ribbon entries of African Violets in the Barton County 4-H Fair over the years and the potpourri she makes from mixing dried blossoms of the violets and fragrant oils, Connie told of how she first began her collection of African violets in Great Bend by carrying moistened leaves of violets home with her on an airplane wrapped in moist tissue and packed in a suitcase on an airplane. She explained how African violets are propagated by planting a single leaf stem in potting soil.

They should be watered with room temperature water, preferably from the bottom (but Connie waters them carefully from the top when the soil dries). They should be kept in small pots, in warm conditions, but not direct sunlight. Some keep African violets under heat lamps throughout the winter months. African Violets can be transplanted if they become root-bound in a pot.

African violets come in many shades of blues, lavenders and pinks, and Connie’s favorites are the pink ones.

The next Garden Club meeting will be on Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. in the Cottonwood Extension Office. The program will be given by Jeannine Girton and the hostess will be Connie Schuld. Visitors are invited and welcome.