Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans, and just plain thank you to my non-American friends. Thanks for your patronage, your patience, your input, and your friendship. That’s what makes this endeavor worthwhile (otherwise I might have given up LONG ago!).
Now I have a special surprise for you: I visited one of my suppliers in Japan at the beginning of October, and my selections are finally here. The process was not without its usual bumps in the road, but hey, I’ve got new plants and that makes us all happy. I also visited one of the famous fukiran pot makers and I will be offering a new selection of pots as soon as I take some pictures. I can not tell you how hard it will be to part with any of them. Here are some I could not afford to buy:
This is the first time I have visited Japan without the backdrop of the Grand Prix. I spent the week at my friend Sasa’s greenhouse, choosing plants, observing his techniques for potting and fertilizing, and asking a thousand questions (thank you to my lineup of translators!). He did a couple of things that I found surprising—like pulling off bottom leaves when roots pop out above them. He says that encourages the production of new shoots. Certainly his plants are lovely and huge which makes it impossible to argue! Sasa prides himself on growing plants strictly from Japan. With a few exceptions, his fukiran are divisions of named varieties, not seedlings that resemble named varieties. You will see this reflected in some of the prices (although many prices have dropped!), but you also see the difference in plant quality, I believe.
Another thing I found surprising was the number of large plants that are “created” by arranging growths. Glenn had told me that the Japanese fully approve of pulling apart plants and repositioning the fans in a way that makes the plant more balanced; this was confirmed on my trip. If you have ever had a growth die off in the middle of your otherwise beautiful plant, you will see the wisdom in this idea. I say this also because I have heard people complain that they have sometimes unpotted their plants only to find that they didn’t receive a single three-growth plant, but two plants potted together to create a larger plant. If you have ever repotted fukiran, you know that sometimes this separation happens naturally. Varieties like Seiryujishi fall apart when you touch them. Others, like many of the colored-flower varieties, seem to not want to separate at all. Please know that if you receive a plant that is actually more than one plant, it is not an attempt to fool or short-change you. I will try to let you know if we end up in that situation with something you’ve requested.
We will be having a Cyber Monday sale (thanks, Nicki, for that suggestion)! Vandaceous hybrids and Pleurothallids will be 10% off (I will refund you 10% on PayPal). Sale is limited to what’s in stock, but email me if you’re looking for something you don’t see. Speaking of which, you can download the most recent price list here. It’s never finished, so always ask if you want something that is not on the list. We ship Japanese species year round unless we expect snow delays. In very cold weather, we include a heat pack. We may decide not to ship warm-loving plants in the dead of winter.
Another thing that ships all year is art. My friend Robin Street-Morris is an amazing artist whose work we are featuring here because of her love for orchids, including Fukiran (Glenn has many of those masterpieces). Her work has won awards at numerous shows including the Japan Grand Prix. I am a huge fan, and I know you will be, too.
I’m trying to do a better job of writing more on Facebook and Twitter, so if you haven’t friended us or followed us, consider doing so. I’ll be posting some special plants for sale on Facebook next week.
European customers: I intend to send plants to Europe in May or June 2017. Depending on how CITES goes, I may be able to offer plants later in the year, too. Please read our European shipping policy, and then contact me by email with orders. Sorry, you can not order through the website.
Winter Growing Notes
We all know that fukiran tolerate low temperatures in keeping with their temperate origin. Few of us, though, keep our fukiran out in the cold all winter; they come into the house/greenhouse. Many people ask about winter rest for fukiran, but a dry rest is not in keeping with their natural growing conditions. They receive rain and snow through the winter, but because it is so cold, the plants grow slowly. In your growing area, pay attention to how fast the plants dry out and water accordingly. Your house actually may be drier than in summer, and plants may need water more often; let your orchid be your guide. Fertilizer, though, should be cut back to once a month or so.
Because leaves drop in the winter, fukiran get more light in the winter than in the summer—of course it’s less intense because the sun in farther away (tilt of the Earth). We pull off our extra layer of shade cloth which creates a much cheerier greenhouse.
Best wishes to all of you for a safe and happy holiday season.