About

Rob & Olive Ma RobinsonGardening, particularly indoor gardening, has been a large part of each of our lives since we were adolescents.  Growing and selling plants for a living had been a life-long dream for both of us, and we both gave up careers as adults to pursue our dream.  Pursuing this common dream is what introduced us to each other.  We each operated our own plant business and continued to meet each other at African violet conventions.  It was “love at first sight”.

It’s a modest life, but it’s rare that one can live one’s dream.  We hope you can enjoy these plants as your hobby as much as we enjoy them as our livelihood.  Photo at left:  in our glasshouse, 1998.

ABOUT OUR PLANTS

  • 10-time winners, Best New Cultivar award, African Violet Society of America national show.
    12-time winners, Best Commercial Display, AVSA national show

  • Regularly featured in hobbyist publications, including The African Violet Magazine.

  • Our plants have appeared on the covers of international hobbyist publications in Japan, Australia, Sweden, Russia, Canada, Taiwan, among others.

  • Prominently featured in numerous major newspapers, such as the New York Times and The Washington Post among many others.  Also featured in national magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Indoor and Patio Gardens, Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening, People Places & Plants, as well as foreign gardening publications like Gardening Guide (Japan).

  • Featured many times on local and nationally syndicated television, and on programs such as Martha Stewart Living Television.

ABOUT THE OWNERS

Dr. Ralph Robinson
“Rob” has been growing and exhibiting African violets since 1975.  Formerly a college professor, he bred, grew, and sold African violets part-time while teaching.  He gave up teaching to grow and sell violets and related plants full-time in 1991.

  • Former Senior Judge, African Violet Society of America.  Past president of New York State AV Judges Council.

  • Columnist for African Violet Magazine, and contributor to numerous national gardening publications.

  • Awarded Bronze Medal by African Violet Society of America (1997), for lifetime achievements in breeding of African violets and scientific contributions.

  • 4-time winner Grower of the Year, New York State African Violet Society.  Winner of numerous Best in Show awards at local, regional, and national conventions.

  • Served on boards of African Violet Society of America, and numerous state and local societies.

  • Frequent speaker at national AVSA and TGS conventions and to clubs and businesses throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the far east.

Olive Ma Robinson
A native of Taiwan, Olive has been seriously collecting and growing plants since 1986.  Olive owned and operated ‘Violet Fun Greenhouse’, a small, urban nursery in Taichung, from 1996 until marrying Rob and emigrating to the United States in the spring of 1998.

  • Former Judge, African Violet Society of America (the first to be accredited in Taiwan)

  • Served as director, African Violet Society of America

  • Awarded Bronze Medal by African Violet Society of America (2011), for lifetime achievments.

  • Grower of the Year, 2002, New York State African Violet Society.  Best in Show winner for her designs at many local, regional, and national, conventions.

  • Multiple winner of Best Design in Show at (inter)national AVSA and TGS convention shows.

  • Only person to have won both Best Design and Best Commercial Display at AVSA convention show.

  • Served as President, Providence College of Taiwan Flower Arranging club.

  • Served as secretary, Taiwan AV Club and as board member, African Violet Society of America

  • Frequent speaker on violet culture, design, and container gardening at AVSA and TGS conventions and to organizations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the far east.