Where did January Go?

We have now spent nearly a month in Japan, I cannot believe we are into February already.  If the first month is anything to go by the next three months are going to fly by here in Japan,  the last few weeks have been very busy.

We were invited by Tomoko san to join some students from Longwod Gardens at the Nagoya Flower Market, where we had a talk from Mr Nagata all about chrysanthemums, I was unaware there were so many different types of chrysanthemums.  The Japanese and Americans referred to them as ‘mums’ and it took me a little while to understand just what they were talking about.  Mr Nagata was an absolute fountain of knowledge when it came to ‘mums’.

Mr Maeda - Surrounded by Camellias

Mr Maeda – Surrounded by Camellias

From the Nagoya flower market we travelled to a hidden away little gem of a camellia nursery where we were given a talk by Mr Maeda all about different types of camellias.  Amazingly this nursery was not Mr Maeda’s full time job and as he put it ‘just a hobbie’. I very much enjoyed hearing how in order to obtain some of the more rare species not available in cultivation Mr Maeda would simply negotiate swapping one rare specimen for another.

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The next morning we were up bright and early to start our first full week at the Miracle Planet of Plant Museum.  It was change over time and we set about taking out the Christmas display to be replaced by the Orchid display.  First job was lifting the centrepiece Christmas tree out of the ground using a crane on tracks. Once lifted it was quite a logistical marvel, transferring the fairly large tree onto a forklift truck and quite literally hanging on the end of it to squeeze it out through what seemed an impossibly small doorway.

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Once all the plants from the Christmas display were removed we started constructing a cube like structure for the Orchid display.

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I set to work planting Euonymus japonicas ‘Variegata’ and Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’ in a hedge like formation.

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No more than half an hour after lifting the massive Christmas tree out the forklift was in action again, bringing in a Pine and Cherry tree for the new display.

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Here’s a photo the boys from Hidcote will enjoy, why drive a slow moving mini digger to where you need it when you can just pick it up with a forklift?

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The cube like structure starting to take shape, stain glass windows are almost in place.  The desired effect is a living room.

In amongst the madness I even found time for some digging!

In amongst the madness I even found time for some digging!

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Each individual plant had to be plugged into these holes and wired to secure.

Each individual plant had to be plugged into these holes and wired to secure.

I worked closely most of the week with a guy called Takeshi Nakatsuka (who coincidentally is one of the candidates for the TRIAD next year)  Our job for the rest of the week was to construct these two living chairs, planted up using Dinema polybulbon.

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The moss is pinned in place and the NEL SOL is left to dry.

The moss is pinned in place and the NEL SOL is left to dry.

For the sides of the chairs we had boards cut and painted black, we went about applying a product I had never come across before called the NEL SOL, when mixed with water the soil substance almost has a glue like structure and holds moisture (perfect for attaching moss).

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The finished affect.

 

On the Saturday we went along to the opening ceremony of the Orchid Show, which was a wonderful occasion and gave us a chance to have a look at the finished Garden and some stunning Orchids.

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