When this african violet was given to me, I brought it home, thinking, "Well, I 'll give it a shot."
I have never lived where the light was right for african violets. They are quite particular. With this said, I must tell you that I was a charter member of the Junior African Violet Society in my neighborhood when I was still in elementary school. There was an older woman a few houses over who grew prize-winning violets and she agreed to have her home invaded for meetings on some agreed upon schedule that now alludes me. What I DO remember is that if we arrived too early, we had to sit quietly and wait for her soap opera to be finished. And that every meeting had refreshments.
My mother grew beautiful african violets and my brother and sister successfully tend to those now. But as I said, this is the first one I have been able to get to bloom. It sits in a very high window in the hall bathroom, which is on the north side of the house. It is, in fact, the only window on the north side. I was so excited in December when I noticed buds on it when it was getting its weekly watering. This weekend, I counted twenty blooms. Mama would be proud of me.
This other plant is a Christmas cactus. They also can be picky. B's brother gave him this large one many years ago when it outgrew their porch. One year it was truly amazing, simply covered with blooms. The next year, squirrels developed a taste for it or thought there was something desirable in the pot. At any rate, they all but destroyed it. This year it is back. Not like it was, but maybe one year.