This just in from Brian Connor about the Saturday program on growing Saintpaulia for Show:
Diane Richardson is coming to give our program along with Marie Burns who will assist Saturday. Diane is President of Baltimore African Violet Club and she was a former President of MAAVS. I once brought a plant (Ma's Turncoat) to a show that somehow wasn't quite a nice rosette but had potential. "Gimme that," said Diane. She ripped off 6 or 7 of the lower leaves to achieve symmetry. Her little hands flew while I cringed. "But now it has a neck," I complained. Diane promptly yanked the plant out of its pot and pressed it down deeper. No more neck. The plant won a blue.
Marie has won so many African Violet awards over the last 30 years it is an achievement. Even today, though she has cut back showing plants a bit, African Violet Magazine seems to often feature photos of her plants at some show or another. She manages to grow some very perfect AVs; I think she is very consistent and pays attention to the details. She told me you should spend a couple of minutes everyday on each plant you intend to show, which is hard for most of us to manage. I don't know how she manages to do that and still lead an active life. But she does.