Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Plant Lover's Heaven on Earth

Sinningia 'Peridots Darth Vader'
What could be better for a plant lover than two plant shows and sales on the same day? Not much in my opinion. So, I found a friend who loves plants as much as I do, and made a day of it.
 Our first stop was at the African violet show and sale,  put on by the Michigan African Violet society. The event included not only a sale of fabulous African violets and other gesneriads, but also a mini flower show. Having classes about the care and cultivation of African violets was an added bonus. And the best part, it was all FREE! Yes, I said free. Of course, if you buy plants, its not technically free, but that is beside the point. You could see beautiful flowers and learn about them for free, if you could control yourself. I know I did.......
Streptocarpus sale table

The members of the society grow all these gorgeous plants in their homes and then bring them to the sale to tempt we unsuspecting plant nerds. This really isn't too hard for them to do. Who could resist these gorgeous flowers? Not me.

African violet show table

Educational board at the show
African violets for sale

Sinningia 'Peridots Darth Vader'

Euphorbia neohumbertii in desert house

Since this show and sale was held at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, we couldn't possibly leave without making a quick trip through the conservatory.....They've done so much trimming and cleaning up in the plant beds, it was like visiting a new conservatory. I'll show you a couple of pictures.

Myrtle topiaries with New Guinea impatiens

Flowering bonsai at Matthaei

Orchid display

Next, we grabbed some lunch and headed for the orchid show, hosted by the Michigan Orchid Society. Unfortunately, these shows are on completely different sides of town, but its okay; we plant nerds are willing to drive great distances for plants. This event also has a show, which included not only orchids, but also flower arrangements and art pieces incorporating the orchid. And, of course, there are the vendors, selling (hopefully), the orchid you saw in the show that you can't live without.
Let me tell you, the people that attend these shows are very serious about buying plants. You may have to elbow your way to the table to get the plant you're after. Being one of the first people through the door does help. We couldn't be in two places at one time though, so I guess we'll never know what we missed. There was still plenty to tempt us even at the end of the day.

Flower arrangement at orchid show

The classes at these shows are exceptional. They are taught by  people who are passionate about growing African violets and orchids. They show you how to get your plants to bloom, re-pot correctly, and the best lighting conditions to make your plant grow and bloom. The orchid show was also free, if no purchases were made.

I had a wonderful day. I learned more about houseplants, and shared the day with a friend. We talked to the vendors, who grow these plants to sell. They have tips and tricks no one else has  and we learned that by going at the end of the day, they had time to talk to us. They love to talk about their plants and I took notes!
Next time you get a chance to go to a plant show, don't hesitate to go, and of course, take some money for these "free" events.

Rhy. digbyana orchid

Art at the orchid show in Lansing


  1. Beautiful post... I'd love to attend this show!

    1. You can next week, October 18 at Matthaei. Just the African violet show part, though.....