Update From Russia
As you will recall from her previous articles, Shirley Sanders, of Shirley's House of Violets in San Antonio, TX, has been in contact with her violet friends in Russia, spreading the word about African violets.
The following are excerpts of a recent letter Shirley received from her friend Irina Danilina. Irina wrote about Shirley and Sandy's violet business, which was published in two Russian magazines, "The World of Violets" and "Flower Growing".
Dear Violet Friends Shirley and Sandy!
Before my articles were published there had been only two others on African violets. The detailed story about your firm has, for the first time, familiarized Russian growers with the American type of violet business.
I am extremely grateful for the concrete information you provided and the colorful pictures I used as illustrations. This has found many thankful readers and helped to satisfy a hunger for information. Some people have taken up English to be able to subscribe to and read the African Violet Magazine.
I can also add that it has been a pleasure to work with you. You work very efficiently, never ignore orders and always fill them on time.
At our annual Fall Exhibition in Moscow in October, we were pleased to learn that the overall interest in African violets is increasing. Violet lovers from other territories of Russia came to Moscow specifically to visit the Exhibition.
Violet lovers here have formed a stable interest in the mini varieties. 'Rob's Mad Cat' and 'Rob's Hallucination' were especially popular. Also, for the first time, interest has been shown in the trailing varieties. Two years ago growers actively refused these violets. Visitors very well received Tanya Blinkina's correctly grown version of 'Santa Fe Trail', which was presented at the Exhibition.
The most beloved varieties, though, are still those
with huge blooms, fantasy varieties, and unusually colored blossoms with contrasting borders. A sensation was created by newly presented, 'Suncoast Secret Fantasy', 'Rainman', 'Fredette's Risen Star' and 'Country Quilt'. We sell the leaves off the exhibited plants and one of the visitors could not help crying when she realized that there were not enough leaves of the 'Suncoast Secret Fantasy'!
For the first time, we used the Internet to advertise the Exhibition, with very good results, as well as the traditional newspapers and ads on TV and radio. I have been participating in the Exhibitions for 10 years, and this one was the most successful.
I am grateful to our new Chairwoman of the club, Nina Tchernyshova, who is a very talented leader. I am also grateful to the American violet friends, constant contacts who have broadened the violet collections of Moscow African violet lovers, and have made those collections more attractive and diversified.
Special thanks to you, Shirley and Sandy Sanders, Cathleen Graves and all others who have established contacts between the violet lovers of both of our countries. Maybe the time will come when we will be visiting each other's exhibits!
Irina Danilina Moscow
• april 2000
african violet mazagine