2019 Convention – Speakers
Cincinnati Celebrates Gesneriads
July 2 to July 6, 2019
Dibleys’ display at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show in 2018 presented the history of these wonderful plants since they were first discovered in 1818. In her program at the convention, Lynne will share tales of her expeditions into the mountains of South Africa to see and photograph streptocarpus plants in their natural environment. She will also describe the early history of breeding in the UK, commercial growing, and her nursery’s award-winning contribution to breeding and showing specimen streptocarpus.
Lynne attended Brighton University from 1985 to 1988 and received a BA (Hons) in 3D Design and Craft. After university, Lynne joined the family business, which at that time was a mail-order business specializing in Streptocarpus. The business also presented at some of the largest flower shows in the UK: Shrewsbury, Southport, and many of the RHS shows. As the business expanded, Lynne staged exhibits winning Gold Medals at all the major flower shows around the country including the RHS Chelsea Show from which the nursery now holds 29 Gold Medals.
Lynne started her streptocarpus breeding program over 25 years ago and has released almost 100 new varieties, with several receiving an Award of Garden Merit (AGM) from the RHS. In 2010 Lynne introduced Streptocarpus ‘Harlequin Blue’ at the Chelsea Flower Show where it received the title “Chelsea Plant of the Year.” In 2016 Lynne was honored to receive the “Reginald Cory Memorial Cup” from the RHS in recognition of her breeding work with Streptocarpus. In recent years Lynne has also started a breeding program with foliage begonias.
Lynne is a member of the RHS Tender Ornamental Plant Committee and Honorary President of the British Streptocarpus Society. Lynne is also a regular contributor to the Garden News magazine writing features on houseplants. Lynne and her brother Gareth now run the family business, which has an international reputation for the quality of its plants.
Join plant explorer Stephen Maciejewski, botanist John L. Clark, and members of Team Cuba on the 2018 Gesneriaceae Research Expedition to Cuba as they explore and document gesneriads for the Flora of Cuba Project. Stephen has travelled to Ecuador, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Fiji, and now Cuba in search of gesneriads.
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, and Team Cuba’s adventure started in the eastern part of the country around Holguín. They visited varied habitats: pine forests, mountains, waterfalls, desert-like areas, parks, and coastlines. They climbed the mountain El Yunque in Baracoa, drove by Guantánamo, and stayed in cabins on the beach at the easternmost point of the island. They explored many parks, including Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt, visited a cocoa plantation, a fernery, and also met with a local horticultural group.
They were richly rewarded by finding many different, beautiful and rare gesneriads: some that can fit in the palm of your hand, others shrub-like, and some the size of small trees. You’ll see gesneriads never photographed before. There were other plants, too, plus birds, and even endemic land snails in a rainbow of colors. Combine this with knowledgeable guides, friendly people, delicious food, beautiful scenery, colorful homes, old cars, horse-drawn carriages … and you will see that they had an extraordinary time.
Stephen Maciejewski is married to the Green World and is President of Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell Chapter and co-chair of both the Student Convention Grant and the Conservation Committees of The Gesneriad Society. He is also President of the Delaware Valley Branch/American Begonia Society and co-chair of the ABS Conservation Committee. He is the co-founder of the Gesneriad Conservation Center of China (GCCC) and has co-led five group trips to China to share his enthusiasm for exploring and finding new gesneriads and begonias and to build support for their conservation. He continues to exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show – this will be his 22nd year.
How many times have you felt down when your local, state, or even national show rolled around and you had not one plant worthy of entering? If you find this scenario happening to you, this is the program you’ll want to attend!
A commercial grower of African violets and other gesneriads (primarily Streptocarpus), B.J. maintains a large collection of plants for both showing and selling. He works in Lincoln, Nebraska four days a week and drives three hours one-way to his home in Arcadia on weekends to tend his plants. Though time spent with his plants is limited, he manages to grow blue-ribbon plants that frequently go on to win other awards.
B.J. will enlighten you on his methods and techniques in this entertaining, practical program on maintaining a collection when time is limited, and he will show you the steps he takes in selecting and grooming plants for show.
Bruce is from Brooklin, Ontario, Canada. As a Master Electrician, he worked in the commercial/industrial field and is now retired. He is the hybridizer of Streptocarpus ‘Brooklin’s Bubble Gum’ and Streptocarpus ‘Brooklin’s Pink Champagne’.
Long before others were even thinking about doing it, Bruce started converting his wife Beverley’s T12 fixtures to T8 fixtures when he came home one day with a bag of T8 ballasts. He later convinced her to try LEDs to help save money on their electric bills. At the recent AVSA/AVSC Convention in Buffalo, New York, Bev entered Columnea microphylla, which was awarded Best Other Gesneriad in the Show and was grown under LED lights.
Bruce continues to get many questions about LED lights. This “layman’s” presentation explains terms that many of you may not know and may provide some answers about why you might consider converting to LED lights.