Friday, April 16, 2010

What Violets Want.

Here's the story. Judge for yourself. To quote Randy Newman in his Theme Song for the once good TV show Monk:  "I could be wrong now.... BUT I DON'T THINK SO!!!"

The home in which we raised our kids had a green house window in the kitchen (with a little help from us). I kept at least one violet growing there at all times since they seemed to be perpetually in bloom. We lived there 17 years. I think I had two violets that whole time, transplanted several times, I didn't even know about the trick with the silk ribbon in the soil poking out of the center hole of the pot to wick up the needed water from the saucer. I would meet people who had the hardest time growing them and I would wonder why. For me it was effortless. When I fed them, it was almost too much, they got bionic looking, violets on steriods, it was almost creepy there were so many blooms, like they could get up and step out of that pot any minute. Not restful. Anyway, we eventually moved (it turned out really well in the end but you know that's where I raised my kids so I still refer to it as "home" when I talk to them). We stayed in Georgia briefly, the house was gorgeous but no greenhouse window. There was a lot going on in our lives at the time and frankly I don't remember if I had any violets anywhere let alone how they did.

A couple years later, we moved back to the West coast (we drove cross country but that's another fantastic story - well the story isn't fantastic necessarily, but the drive was). First we rented. I got some violets. They didn't make it, I figured it was for lack of a kitchen window. Eventually, we found a crazy old house, bought it and immediately put a greenhouse window in the kitchen. I was home! Again, I got a violet. Again, it didn't make it. This time I was puzzled. After all, I had a Greenhouse window now (can you tell I'm not a real gardener)!! I got another one that soon stopped flowering and wouldn't start again for over a year. Feeding did nothing. This time I couldn't bring myself to toss it. On a whim, I put it in a room with a Western window, my kitchen window, you see, faces due East. Drum Roll, are you ready? Not a week went by and it had several flowers!! two weeks went by and look at this picture! I mean look at it! This is no photoshop concoction. The very violet in a normal pot, no silk nothing in it! I didn't even feed it.

Ok here goes: my first greenhouse window, where I raised my kids, yep, you got it, it was a Western facing window! I'm still stunned it would make such a difference. But it does.

Now I realize this does not constitute scientific evidence but it's enough for me: violets want Western Sun. Just remember that ok, no more of those silly pots or tricks and wives' tales. How do you grow gorgeous blooming violets? Western exposure. Got it? Good. Have a great weekend and long live the West.

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