Meetings and Contact

The Vancouver African Violet & Gesneriad Society meets between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. on the third Sunday (unless otherwise posted) of January, February, March, April, June, September, October and November. Meetings are held in the Cedar Room of VanDusen Botanical Garden, 37th Ave. & Oak St, Vancouver.

For more information contact

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Dale Martens' Presentation via SKYPE

It was a great honour and pleasure to have Dale Martens, an expert gesneriad grower and hybridizer, present via Skype to VAVGS on January 18, from her home in Illinois.  Most VAVGS members have at least one of Dale's hybridized plant beauties in their collection so are familiar with her creations.  Dale won Best in Show at the 2014 Gesneriad Society Convention with one of her own hybrid streptocarpus,  'Dale's Polar Canary'.  In her presentation, Dale showed members how to grow streptocarpus, sinningias and espicias for exhibition, with plenty of useful growing and propagation tips based on her own extensive experience.    After this successful Skype presentation, a first for VAVGS, we hope to have more experts from around the world present to us using this technology.

VAVGS Members and Dale Martens (on-screen)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Change of November, 2014 Meeting Date

Due to continued construction in the Administration Building at VanDusen Botanical Garden, the date of the November meeting of the Vancouver African Violet & Gesneriad Society has been changed from Sunday, November 16 to Sunday, November 23. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A new year begins at VAVGS!

Welcome to the 2014-15 year at VAVGS!  Our first General Meeting of the year will be held on Sunday, September 21 at 2:00 in the usual location - the Cedar Room at VanDusen.  The educational topic will be "Show and Tell - Growing Good Gesneriads", an introduction to the enormous variety of gesneriads that can be grown and enjoyed.  So much more than just African violets! 

As usual, members of VAVGS did well at the Annual Convention of The Gesneriad Society held in Nashville, Tennessee in July.  See the link at right to highlights from the Convention, including an interview with VAVGS member Arleen Dewell, who won first prize for the best Sinningia - S. speciosa 'Buzios'.

Have a good year!

Monday, 9 June 2014

2014 VAVGS Show Report

                 - by Iain James

The Vancouver African Violet & Gesneriad Society held its show and sale on Saturday, May 3 in the Floral Hall of VanDusen Botanical Garden.
The Show Table
Photos of more show plants will be available soon by a link from this blog.

The Society opened its first show to the public in 1960 and, excluding the 2010 Gesneriad Society Convention Show, this year's event marks our 53rd show and sale since than time.

The Show was comprised of 106 exhibits entered by 10 exhibitors.  Approximately one-third of Society members entered and staged exhibits for competition.  Entries and member participation in this year's Show reached a 10-year high.  Competition included the following entries: 96 horticultural exhibits, 1 artistic design, and 9 project plant entries. 

In addition to the Society's annual awards, 4 Pacific Northwest Judges Council (PNJC) Awards were won at this year's show.  In the horticultural divisions, Iain James won the coveted Award of Merit (Gold Rosette) for Horticultural and Botanical Excellence with Sinningia 'Peridots Harvest Glow'.

Sinningia 'Peridots Harvest Glow'

The horticultural divisions of the Show included 70 Old World gesneriad exhibits and 35 New World gesneriad exhibits. 
Entries for the PNJC collection rosettes included 2 entries for the Blue Rosette (One Genus), 2 entries for the Green Rosette (Three Genera), and 3 entries competing for the Pink Rosette (Saintpaulia).  Bill Price entered the winning collection of Saintpaulias for the Pink Rosette, while Arleen Dewell won the Green Rosette for a collection of a Sinningia, a Primulina and a Kohleria.  Ken Li was awarded the Blue Rosette for his Petrocosmea collection.
The artistic design divisions of the Show included 1 entry, an artistic planting by John Wrightson. 
There were 9 exhibits entered in the Project Plant Section of the Show.  Arleen Dewell won Best Project Plant in Show with Primulina 'Omen' while Lori Barrington won Second-best Project Plant in Show with Streptocarpus 'Bubblegum'.

Saintpaulia 'Mac's Northern Lights'
All exhibitors won blue ribbons for their exhibits.  These included Lori Barrington, Ken Li, John Wrightson, Joyce Carter, Richard May, Marianne Moore, Bill Price, Arleen Dewell, Iain James, and Jessica Lo. Congratulations to Marianne Moore and Arleen Dewell who led the group in blue ribbons: Each won a total of 14 blue ribbons for their efforts.
Early returns from the sale portion of our annual event indicate that not only was our show a great success but also our plant sale .... well done!


Iain James:
Award of Merit (PNJC Gold Rosette) for Sinningia 'Peridots Harvest Glow'
Second-best New World Gesneriad in Show - Sinningia 'Peridots Harvest Glow'

Bill Price:
Best Saintpaulia in Show - 'Mac's Northern Lights'
Second-best Saintpaulia in Show - S. diplotricha 'Parker'
Best Saintpaulia Collection in Show (PNJC Pink Rosette) - S. ionantha 'Mather Clone',
    S. diplotricha 'Parker', S. shumensis

Arleen Dewell:
Best Old World Gesneriad in Show - Primulina liboensis 'White Vein Leaf'
Best New World Gesneriad in Show - Sinningia cardinalis 'Innocent'
Best Gesneriad Collection in Show - Three Genera (PNJC Green Rosette) -
    Sinningia cardinalis 'Innocent', Primulina liboensis 'White Vein Leaf, Kohleria
    'Silver Feather'
Best Project Plant in Show - Primulina 'Omen'

Lori Barrington:
Second-best Old World Gesneriad in Show - Streptocarpus 'T.J.'
Second-best Project Plant in Show - Streptocarpus 'Bubblegum'

Ken Li:
Best Gesneriad Collection in Show - One Genus (PNJC Blue Rosette) - Petrocosmea
    kerrii, Petrocosmea sericea, Petrocosmea sp. #5

John Wrightson:
Best Artistic Design in Show - Artistic Planting 'Rhythm and Blooms'



Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Annual Show and Plant Sale

VAVGS' Annual Show and Plant Sale will be held Saturday, May 3, 2014 in the Floral Hall at VanDusen Botanical Garden, West 37th Ave & Oak Street, in Vancouver.  This event is open to the public from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and admission is free. 

Visitors will see some beautiful and unusual gesneriads in the show, all of them grown by VAVGS members.  There will also be an opportunity to purchase plants from a large selection - come early for the best choices.  Plants like these aren't available in local retail outlets and would cost considerably more if ordered from growers on-line. 

You may well find starter plants of the prize-winners among the many plants on the sales tables, and you'll love the very reasonable prices.  Experts will be on hand to provide advice on how to get the most enjoyment from these easy-to-grow plants.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Date of April, 2014 Meeting

Because Easter Sunday falls on the third Sunday of April this year (April 20), the April meeting of the Vancouver African Violet & Gesneriad Society will be held on the second Sunday, which is April 13.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Welcome to the website/blog for the Vancouver African Violet & Gesneriad Society (VAVGS), a chapter of The Gesneriad Society.   Members of VAVGS, a non-profit hobby club, are dedicated growers of African Violets (saintpaulia) and other related plants of the Gesneriaceae Family, such as columnea, episcia, sinningia, kohleria, streptocarpus, and petrocosmea, just to name a few. 

Our regular meetings are usually held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the third Sunday of January, February, March, April, June, September, October and November.  The location is the Cedar Room at VanDusen Botanical Garden, 37th Avenue and Oak Street, in Vancouver.  Interested members of the public are welcome to attend their first two meetings as guests; after that, the annual fees are $20 per year.  Members have the opportunity to exchange growing experiences and learn from other members, several of whom are internationally known growers and/or hybridizers of gesneriads. There is an educational topic at each meeting, as well as an opportunity to purchase plant varieties that are unavailable at local retail outlets. 

Each year, in early May, VAVGS holds its annual Show and Plant Sale.  The quality of plants competing for awards in the show is outstanding, and an enormous selection of quality gesneriad plants are available for sale.  This year's Show and Plant Sale will be open to the public from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 3 in the Floral Hall at VanDusen Botanical Garden.  Admission is free.  Come early for the best selection of sale plants.