I hope that you are staying warm and well this frosty February. I have been back in the States a full 24 hours now after a 10-day, action-packed trip to Japan. I feel almost normal. Almost. But I have to tell you, the trip was very fruitful in terms of plants and pots purchased. You are going to be hard-pressed to pick your favorites.
The plants still have to clear US inspection before I can provide you with a new list of varieties and prices. And there are a LOT of plants. There will be some additional varieties on the list and some price changes—some up and some down. I bought a lot more Dendrobium (Choseiran) this year, and plenty (I hope) of Sedirea japonica (Nagoran) “minmaru shima” which I sold out of pretty quickly last year. If you like Sophronitis, a genus that is Brazilian but grown almost exclusively in Japan, I bought some stunners this year, and you are going to do a little happy dance. The traditional pots I bought, well… I’ll just say that if I could afford it, I wouldn’t sell a single one. Here’s a basic list of what I bought:
Neofinetia falcata (Fukiran)
Dendrobium moniliforme (Choseiran)
Sedirea japonica (Nagoran: standard, minmaru, and minmaru shima)
Sophronitis coccinea (red and yellow)
Soph. cernua (orange and yellow)
Cymbidium goeringii (Shunran)
Plastic Neo pots (traditional and inscribed; available now)
2014 Art of Tradition and Evolution of Fukiran (book, $40, available now)
2015 Calendars ($25+shipping, available now)
I’m including a few pictures of our trip, many of which were taken at the Japan International Grand Prix Orchid Festival’s 25th Anniversary. I warn you—once you go to a show like this, you will have a hard time being thrilled with the displays at other shows. You will be spoiled for life, but you know what? It’s totally worth it. I think the displays this year were even more magnificent than last year, and I have a picture of the Grand Prize-winning orchid. The winner receives $25,000 and a new car. Start working on your entry for next year.
Plants aside, Japan is a place that I would go back to in a second. It’s beautiful, fascinating, welcoming, accommodating, and pretty much without flaws, at least from a visitor’s standpoint. The food is beyond great, the people are friendly, the scenery is breathtaking, the city is impeccably clean, and there is essentially no crime. Yep, it’s pretty hard to take! The only thing that is hard to adjust to is the time difference, but it’s do-able. Much harder coming home than going over, so that’s good.
Once the plants make it to Michigan, I will be working hard to get them checked in and to prepare the new list. We’ll also be working on adding all the new stuff to the website, but while we work on that, you can still email me any time with an order.
Stay warm and think springy thoughts,