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Re: shipping bloomstalks?

  • Subject: Re: shipping bloomstalks?
  • From: John I Jones <jijones@ix.netcom.com>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 07:43:29 -0800

From: John I Jones <jijones@ix.netcom.com>

Julia Rankin wrote:
> From: "Julia Rankin" <breckenridge@bnis.net>
> I would be very interested to know how a bloom stalk is shipped and at what
> stage of bloom -- or pre-bloom -- it ought to be picked to arrive 'just
> right'.

Well since I have already been "outed" on this, I will be glad to tell you how
I did it. Actually it all started the a couple of years before. Gail and I
were going on a trip to Italy with some friends only she and they were going
for 4 weeks and I could only go for two and so was going to catch up with them
there after the first two weeks. I won't bore you with all the stories about
faxing to Italy...

I had a gorgeous stem of a red gladiola I wanted to take to her. So I got one
of he FedEx square tube boxes (about 6' square and 40" long), cut one side
loose and made it triangular in cross section. I got a small jar, filled it
with some of those water holding crystals that had been "reconstituted" into
the jelly like stuff. Then I got a piece of rubber glove, stretched it across
the top of the jar, rubberbanded it in place, and cut a small hole in it. Cut
the glad to length, inserted the stem through the hole, taped the stem to the
jar with masking tape, and lowered the whole works into the box from the top.
Filled in with coarsely chopped styrofoam, and voila!  It worked like a champ.
I carried it on the plane with me to Milan, the bus to the train station, the
train to Venice, and the water taxi to the hotel. The "rubber glove gasket"
kept any moisture from leaking out. I presented it to her once we got to the
hotel. It was in perfect condition, and well I'll leave the rest to your
imagination, this is, after all, a family list...  :>))

Skip forward in time, it was still winter in Buffalo (is it ever not?)  and
our erstwhile Irisborer was in gloomy mood. I had met Kathy at Maryott's when
she was in CA for the AIS convention in Sacramento, and she had done several
favors for me so I thought I would send her (her hubby Leonard) a bit of iris
spring. At the moment I can't remember which iris it was, but the only
difference in shipping (aside from the fact that it was an iris not a glad)
was that I cut the stalk just after the terminal was breaking open (not more
than 1/2 inch) and wrapped each bud snugly in toilet paper, and then wrapped
the entire stem in it. I didn't want vibration to tear the edge of the petals
or fans.

I shipped it priority mail (I had turned the FedEx box inside out), with
instructions to open from the bottom.. Kathy related that it arrived in
excellent condition and opened shortly after warming up. I think it lasted the
normal amount of time for a cut iris - which in my experience is at least 7-10 days.

Anyway, that's the story...

John                     | "There be dragons here"
                         |  Annotation used by ancient cartographers
                         |  to indicate the edge of the known world.

USDA zone 8/9 (coastal, bay) 
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Fremont, California, USA

President, Westbay Iris Society
Director, Region 14 of the AIS

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