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50th ANNIVERSARY OF MOSCOW INDOOR PLANTING CLUB (Affiliated with Moscow Society of Nature Restoration and Protection)
Antonida Gaft, Peter Lapshin, Olga Lazareva, Moscow, Russia
Virtual journal about anomalius forms of succulents "Cultivar" www.cultivar.ru: issue 5 (21), November, 2003
Floricultural Society was established in 1953 at the Moscow affiliate of the USSR Nature Protection Association. Initially, it had a status of an amateur society. In 1983 the society was reorganized into Moscow Indoor Planting Club. In 2003 the Club celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Among the Club's goals there are: teaching the natural sciences, popularization of household plants by holding plant shows, studying practical floriculture, introduction of new plants into window gardening. The members also work on other tasks that were declared upon the Club's foundation, these are: growth of the plant collection, selection of the best plants and preserving them for future generations, development and teaching the most efficient methods of growing plants from different families and genera. This is supported by public meetings, conferences and lectures on household plant growing.
The Club has organized tours to the Stock Greenhouse of the Main Botanical Garden of Russian Academy of Scienses, Moscow and Botanical Garden of Moscow University named by Lomonosov. Besides regular lectures, the Club has been hosting consultations for general public, where people could ask questions and get qualified answers form practicing floriculturists. During such meetings the members have been trading plants. From early 80's to early 90's the Club held two-year training courses called "Floricultural University". These courses attracted many additional members. In 2002 floricultural courses for general public were resurrected. These courses have attracted many additional members. In 2002 floricultural courses for general public were resurrected. In 1987 the Club had about 100 members.
In late 2001 Moscow Indoor Planting Club launched its website (in Russian only). The site has the following pages: meetings schedule, encyclopedia of household plants, consultation with floriculturist, catalog of related Internet resources, and forum on practical floriculture. The average web traffic is now about 400-500 visitors a day. For the last two years, the members of Moscow Indoor Planting Club have been hosting horticultural consulting section of the Internet server "Women's Passions" (www.passion.ru). They have answered more than 2500 questions of the site visitors. You can read them at the Club's website: www.lapshin.org/club/consult.htm.
Through several generations, Moscow houseplant hobbyists have been keeping their traditions by teaching natural sciences and popularizing household plants. The first household plant exhibition was hold in 1955. At that time the choice of plants was really poor and the only available printed publication on the subject was the Soviet magazine "Floriculture". The Club's plant shows have always been popular and very well attended. There have been long lines to see exhibit and to buy valuable plant materials.
For the last few years the Club membership has been actively growing. At the shows, the members exhibit numerous new and rare plants. All day long they consult show visitors on all aspects of household floriculture. From September 8 to 14, 2003 the Club was holding the anniversary plant show. At this show the following plant categories were competing: Marantaceae, Crotons (Codiaeum), African Violets (Saintpaulia), other Gersneriaceae, Cacti & Succulents, Bromeliads, Ferns, Araceae, Fici, hanging plants, pseudo-palm trees (Dracena, Yucca), beautifully blooming plants, trees and shrubs, rare and exotic plants, long-living plants, most undemanding plants, compositions.