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Re: Japanese Irises in Pots

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: Japanese Irises in Pots
  • From: CEMahan@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 12:47:03 -0700 (MST)

In a message dated 97-02-28 12:29:47 EST, you write:

<< In his book on Japanese Iris, Currier McEwen explains how in former times
 in parts of Japan iris were grown in pots in order that they might be
 brought indoors at bloom time so one could contemplate the beauty of the
 flower as it opened, but that as the pace of modern life has quickened,
 this is seldom practiced any more.
 Jeff Walters in northern Utah (Zone 4) >>

I agree that what Currier wrote in THE JAPANESE IRIS could be interpreted in
the manner Jeff has done above, and to this extent the book is a bit
misleading.  Actually, and Currier says this in the book also, Japanese
irises are grown in pots far more extensively in Japan than in the U.S.  When
Currier quotes Hirao as saying "that only about 10 percent were grown that
way" in 1964, he is referring to the "bringing them indoors for viewing"
aspect I believe.   

Actually, Japanese irises are grown in Japan in pots far more than they are
grown in the open ground.  This is for several reasons.  One, the soil in
pots is easily replaced, and Japanese gardens are too small for moving the
irises to new locations every 3 or 4 years.  Two, it is easy to put the
irises in pots into a spectacular landscape "picture" when they are in pots
and in bloom.  Three, more irises can be grown in pots than in the open
ground in very small gardens---then the pots can be stacked on shelves when
not in bloom.  Four, it is traditional.  

If any of you have been to Meiji Shrine Gardens in Tokyo when the acres of
Japanese irises are in bloom, you have seen vast numbers of irises in bloom
seeming growing out of the water in the "lake"---actually the "lake" is
formed by flooding two small streams at bloom time---it is very shallow.
 Then the Japanese irises are placed in the water in large pots.  When bloom
is finished the dams are removed from the streams, the lake goes away, and
the hundreds of pots of Japanese irises are removed to a nursery.  But for
several weeks in June it is one of the most gorgeous displays imaginable.
 Clarence Mahan in VA

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