June 30, 2009

almost ready....

by Carol G.

Well, I’m getting pretty excited as I finally get things together for the Convention. It’s my first, after growing gesneriads for forty years! I have to channel all that excitement somewhere, so I have been propagating plants like a mad woman. It’s a good thing my colleagues are tolerant, because gesneriads have taken over the lab.

I was planting for numbers, so when I read that each scale on a Kohleria rhizome could produce a plant, of course I tried it. I put most of them down in February. Not one has come up in time for the convention, if they ever do come up. You can see them in the background of the plants for the sales table photo, all covered to keep them humid and help them grow fast.

I had ordered 50 violet leaves for a workshop I gave in May, so I potted up those that were left for the Convention as well. Next came the leaves. I wish I had not divided my streps in Feb., as most of the individual plants are now small, and many could not afford to lose a leaf, especially because I started as many leaves as possible then.

For the last few days it’s been a lot of work getting all the tags in their pots, and packing everything up so it won’t move too much for the drive to Silver Spring. But on the bright side – more shelf space!

Carol G.

The 2009 Gesneriad Society Convention Is Beginning!

Today is the start of the Convention and we are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Hilton Silver Spring. Registration hours today are 2-4 PM and 6-7:30 PM in the Mezzanine Foyer (half a floor up from the hotel registration desk). See you there.

Nell Hennessy
Local Convention Co-Chair

June 28, 2009

Creating Smaller Strepts

by Brian C

One of the talks I am really looking forward to at Convention is the Gesneriad Hybridizers Association (GHA)Wednesday night [8:30-10:00 PM] program, "Creating Smaller Strepts." This talk is open to all. Imagine companion plants for mini Sinningias and AVs! Strept fans take note of this really interesting trend in Strept hybridization! Pictured is 'Heartlands White Gold,' hybridized by Dale Martens. The whole plant is about 8" in diameter, the size of one leaf on a good sized Strept. My photo skills are especially challenged by white flowers, but it gives you an idea!

Hybridizers Meeting Wednesday 8:30 pm

Did you know that the Gesneriad Hybridizers Association's newsletter earlier this year featured an article by Tim Tuttle (who will be speaking at the Convention) on hybridizing Petrocosmea? Did you know that the seed list was some 350+ long? (I think 376, but I may be off by a few dozen!) Membership in the GHA is only $8/year.

While sifting through my shelves recently, I found quite a few Sinningia hybrid seedlings from GHA seed, including the one pictured here, which I believe is Patrick Duffy's PD 05-09, Sinningia (leucotricha x sp Doris F3 (Jon Dixon)).

GHA will be meeting during the Convention, and the meeting is open to anyone. Wednesday evening, 8:30 - 10:00. The featured topic is hybridizing for smaller Streptocarpus, and ... there will be a raffle too!

blogging from Leesburg, VA

Well, here I am picking up plants (for the sales room) in Leesburg, Virginia, from Al (http://orchidexchange.com) who has been graciously plant-sitting/growing for me. He's doing it anonymously, except that I think credit should be given where it's due :-) And I figure it's time to test the post-by-email feature on Blogger.

June 27, 2009

links for weather, parking etc.

Some quick links for Convention travel planning:

Weather forecast: 10-day forecast at Weather.com, 5-day and local details at Wunderground.com

Info on Silver Spring: SilverSpringDowntown.com

Parking garages in Silver Spring: Map of Garages
(Town Square Garage on Ellsworth near Fenton is probably the closest, with entrances on Ellsworth Avenue & Roeder Road.)

Petal Tones' map of some points of interest: Petal Tones' Google Map

Dining/local guides (note the dates of the reviews):
Washingtonian Magazine's restaurant pages (their page on Silver Spring is from 2004, but most reviews for individual restaurants are more recent)
Washington Post's Going Out Guide (restaurants, entertainment etc.)

Metro (subway) map - click through for bus

Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the mall

Artomatic (local artists' show)

Rock Creek Park (DC section map, Maryland section map)

June 26, 2009

Speaking of Dr. Alain Chautems....

One of my plants that will not be going to the show is Sinningia speciosa AC 1503 (the intials "AC" standing for you know who), grown from seed from The Gesneriad Society seed fund. It's one of my favorites - the flowers are always upright, it doesn't go dormant, and is gently fragrant. This photo is from April - it's now just finished another round of blooms, just a bit ahead of "schedule."

June 25, 2009

Dr. Marisol Amaya-Marquez, Dr. Alain Chautems and Dr. Silvana Martens-Rodriguez

by Larry Skog

The awardee of a 2009 Gesneriad Society Elvin McDonald Research Endowment Fund grant is in DC now working with me at the Smithsonian on her research on Columnea. Dr. Marisol Amaya-Marquez will be attending the convention next week, and I hope that local chapter members and convention attendees will have a chance to meet her. She is from the National University of Colombia in Bogotá.

Another visitor, Dr. Alain Chautems from the botanical garden in Geneva, Switzerland will arrive for the convention this weekend and undertake some research at the Smithsonian on Monday and Tuesday next week. He is a specialist in Sinningia and relatives, as well as Nematanthus and Codonanthe. He has done a lot of work in Brazil with the convention speaker, Mauro Peixoto.

Another convention speaker, Dr. Silvana Martens-Rodriguez, has arrived back this week from her field work in the Caribbean. She said she saw a few more gesneriads on her latest trip to the Dominican Republic, and will be speaking on pollinators of gesneriads in the Caribbean.

Larry Skog

The Gesneriad Society 2009 Convention

by Andy

This is all very exciting; A new blog site - I've never blogged before!
I'm also a new member of the National Capital Gesneriad Society. Yahoo!!
And last but not least, there's a major convention in town next week!!!
As a “NewBee”, the convention is going to be real exciting for me. I understand it’s going to be a pretty big event. Here's some of the things I’m looking forward to:

1) Helping where I can. I don’t know much about shows, judging or conventions, but maybe I can do something to help out and be a part of things.

2) Meeting some friends I’ve only chatted with over the internet. There’s some great places on the internet to learn about Gessies and meet new friends. Places like Gfiles, Streptrade, etc.

3) Getting to know our society members better. So far, everyone at the NCGS has been great! Lets talk and get to know one another better!

4) Spending some Gessie-time with my friend Karin. Karin’s my buddy who likes to help me out and keeps me out of trouble! Although, now that I think about it, she’s the one that got me into all this!!

5) Sales! I don’t have room for any more plants, but you know I’ll be walking out of there with lots of new treasures!

I'm interested in hearing from others out there - Leave your comments so we can all feed off the excitement!

See you at the Convention!


June 24, 2009

we're live!

As announced in the July issue of Petal Tones, we now have a blog space to go with the newsletter. Final Convention preparations are underway, and the weather forecast is looking good!

June 17, 2009

a new space

...a possibly temporary new online space for Petal Tones.