Illinois African Violet Society – Behind the Scenes


My state organization, the Illinois African Violet Society, had its annual spring show yesterday.  Those of you who are show growers know that a show is truly a group effort.  Ours is no different.  We pitch in and help each other wherever and whenever we can.

“. . . you really smoked the competition…”
This year we were in a mall – Stratford Square Mall – in Bloomingdale, Illinois.  They’ve invited us back next year and our club’s new VP is already negotiating for a date!  Our show was a little smaller this year, but no less fun.  This was the first year in many that we did not win the AVSA Special Show Award (often called the SSA), but circumstances were such that many of us did not bring the number of plants we usually bring nor enter the number of designs.  I only brought one plant, a trailer I’ve been growing that came in to bloom early enough that I felt it could go.  You’ve seen it many times in the Look at What’s On the Stands.

Here it is in its box, ready to leave the house.

Annie's Cajun's McKenna Trail is packed in a box with shredded paper to keep it stable and upright.

Annie’s Cajun’s McKenna Trail – on its way to the IAVS 2018 Show.

And here it is in the Honor Court as Best Trailer.  It was the ONLY trailer in its class, so its blue ribbon automatically made it best-in-class.  Since it was the only trailer in the show, and was best-in-class, it was Best Trailer.  As the late Kent Stork said to me in the past, “Annie, you really smoked the competition in that class!”   :-D

Annie's Cajun's McKenna Trail. Best Trailer on the Honor Court with all the winning ribbons at the IAVS 2018 Show

Annie’s Cajun’s McKenna Trail. Best Trailer on the Honor Court at the IAVS 2018 Show

And here is my dish garden.  Much to my dismay, the vendor we ordered sale plants from would not ship any blooming minis because they had a show our weekend.  One of the members gave me a small mini with only one blossom.  I gratefully took it, but I learned a lesson:  Wait to put the plant in the design until the morning of the show.  The one little blossom was spent by morning  :-(  I left it alone and the judges were kind.  They could tell what had happened. It did get a blue, even with what was left of the one blossom, and it was best-in-class.  I was awarded a Judges’ Special Award for it because I think the judges liked my landscape plan.

Annies Entry in the Design Competition with its ribbons.

Annie’s Dish Garden – IAVS 2018 Show.

We had a very unique and very beautiful set up in the center court of the mall

Looking down at the IAVS 2018 show from the upper level of the Mall.

IAVS 2018 Show – from the upper level of Stratford Square Mall

Here is the Best-in-Show and Best Standard plant:  Ian-Minuet

The best in show plant, Ian-Minuet, with the winning ribbons.

Best In Show and Best Standard: Ian-Minuet. 2018 IAVS Show.

I’m trying something new in this post – following is what I’m calling a “Shorty.”  I did a video walk through of the show.  The sound is not great because a mall, is a mall, is a mall, is a very noisy place  :-D  Even so, I hope you will enjoy seeing our show.