Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

Sometimes you never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.  ~Dr. Seuss

Our theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week is:  Nostalgia.
Our instructions:  For this challenge, show us what nostalgia means to you — perhaps a moment or scene that makes you feel wistful, happy, sad, or somehow longing for the past.

My Grandma Helen had an emerald thumb.  She could grow anything, but her specialty was African Violets.  At any given time, she had over 600 (yes, six hundred) violets thriving in her basement greenhouse.  That was her home business.  And I spent countless hours down there with her, soaking up those violets.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but those moments turned to memories, and I will always carry them with me.

There has never been a time in my adult life that I haven’t had at least one African Violet in my house.  They make me wistful and happy.  I’ve had tons of people admire my violets and ask me how I get them to look so good.  And my answer is always the same — I ignore them.  African Violets aren’t difficult to grow, as long as you follow the Gospel According to Helen (see below).

The Gospel According to Helen:

  1. Africa Violets thrive on neglect.  Seriously.  Ignore them.  My violets bloom their heads off.
  2. If a violet is blooming, it’s happy, happy, happy.  See #1.
  3. Violets love to sunbathe.  Don’t expect them to bloom if you put them in a room that doesn’t get sunshine.
  4. Never water a violet from above, always from below.  Grandma Helen had her violets in plastic pots (lots of violet aficionados use Dandy Pots), but I have mine in those  ceramic, two-piece, self-watering pots.
  5. Violets hate getting their leaves wet.  See #4.
  6. You can be pretty rough with a violet, so don’t be afraid to re-pot them.  They will forgive you.
  7. If you’re still reading this, here’s your reward.  I’m about to give away Grandma Helen’s secret recipe.  But she would want me to tell you, for the sake of your violets.  Always water your violets with Magic Blue Water (that’s what I called it was when I was a little girl).  It’s really Volkmann Brothers Constant Feed fertilizer.  But I swear, it’s magic.  I keep a gallon of the stuff mixed up at all times.  You can thank me later.




  1. Grandma was the BOMB. She and grandpa could grow anything. I miss them so much- this nostalgia made me cry! Such wonderful memories though- love you prima!! ❤️


  2. I remember learning about those violets…I have always had a charcoal thumb, so no plant thrives in my care….but man the memories of all of yours and your grandmother explaining “the gospel” sure does make me want to try again. Whenever I see African violets I think of you guys! 💞


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