African violets on display

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African violets of all shapes and sizes were on display Saturday for the Fantasy African Violet Club’s exhibition and sale.

Club President Thad Scaggs said the event — held at Oak Hill Hospital’s Partner’s Club building at 11375 Cortez Blvd. — not only showcases the flowers but also aims to gather new members for the Spring Hill group.

“It’s hard for us to get people to join,” Scaggs said, adding even more so for young people, but the group provides helpful instruction for individuals who want to “learn to grow better plants.”

Scaggs, who “fell into” growing the violets about 20 years ago, said that African violets and other plants of the gesneriads family are often kept as houseplants, but many varieties grow well outdoors in Florida.

Scaggs said the club has 12 members but just a few years ago had about 40 and was the largest in the state.

April Zbrozek, 25, is the youngest member by far, and the self-professed “plant lady” said she started getting into violets about two years ago.

“The speckles and streaks on their faces are so interesting to me,” Zbrozek said of the plants.

Zbrozek said the “generation gap” provides her mentors with more years of gardening experience to glean from.

The event continues into Sunday, from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

Scaggs said the club meets every second Saturday of the month at Oak Hill, with the exception of March 9, when Scaggs and the group will give a presentation at the Spring Hill Public Library, 9220 Spring Hill Blvd., from 2:45 to 4:15 p.m.

More information on the Fantasy African Violet Club is available by calling (352) 398-1679. (352) 544-5283