Garden Rows

Tuesday, June 11

African Violets

Once upon a time, I acquired an african violet from a friend. It was in decent condition in a small terracotta pot. Feeling hopeful, yet intimidated by hearing they were easy to kill plants, I did a little research. Supposedly, as long as you have the right set up, African Violets are quite easy to grow! I was living in an apartment with only North and South facing windows at the time, so I thought the light quality would be good. On to the watering dilemma. Feeling cheap, I decided not to buy a self-watering African Violet pot. That would have meant purchasing the pot, and a special bag of soil. Like I said, I was feeling cheap, so I opted for the wick system. I had some 100% cotton batting that I cut into a strip and put in the soil with the plant and the other end in a bowl of water with the understanding that the soil would absorb as much water through the cotton as it needed. I was afraid to water from the top since I thought if any water touched the leaves it would cause rot problems. To wrap this story up, the plant died and I was afraid to every get another African Violet.

Fast forward a few years, I was visiting my cousin Ivy. She had strawberry pot in her kitchen full of happy African Violets! She said it was super easy, mostly she just lets them be. I think her kitchen is South facing, but the pot is in a place where it doesn't get much direct light, just lots of bright indirect light. Well, Ivy, you inspired me.

Once we moved into a larger house where I thought my husband might not notice yet another plant appear out of thin air, I brought home a 50 cent African Violet. Purple with a thin white edge, pictured above. I splurged and got a self watering flower pot. It has been sitting in my South facing kitchen window for probably about 8 or 9 months. It gets bright indirect light all day with a very short bit if direct light. Not only is it growing new leaves, but it has even re-bloomed a few times!

I added another one a few months later, and it is just as happy as the first! When I brought home the purple one, I cleaned it up a little by removing a few leaves. I got a wild hair and stuck one of the better looking leaves in a pot with another plant just to see what would happen...much to my amazement, it grew babies!

I officially love African Violets now! Thank you Ivy for the encouragement you probably had no idea you gave me! We never know how our words will affect someone, so that is why I try to keep mine kind and positive. I hope you are having a beautiful day!

Monday, June 10


It's amazing what can happen in a year.

This time last summer, we were in the process of buying a house. Everything went through with out a hitch. We are now the owners of a house originally built in 1901. It started as a small farm house and a few additions over the years have doubled it's size. The old portion had carpet that we planned to remove and redo the flooring. When we pulled up the carpet, we found an old hardwood floor. It was in decent enough shape that we sanded it down and refinished it. Let me tell you, that is not a fun job. We have also painted a few rooms. That was much more fun, and did not take forever and a day to finish!

Clematis at the back of the house

There are plenty of projects we have planned for the house, as well as the yard. (A garden is among them, don't worry!) Our biggest project completion happened this spring. We got 14 chickens and built a chicken coop and yard.

My husband designed the coop and his dad spent many afternoons in our yard building it. It was quite the Feller project as my father-in-law was assisted by all three if his boys at various stages. We are all pretty proud of it.

The coop is made of reclaimed barn wood. I love the old look it gives the little building, almost as if it has been there for decades.

Rudy the Rooster says "Hi!"