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Re: Shows and transportation, etc.

In a message dated 96-11-20 15:26:07 EST, Arnold wrote:

<< Dorothy Fingerhood denies special treatment for iris she transports 
 to shows, but I'd like to know how she (or any of you) go about 
 packing stalks and transporting them so they will arrive safely... . >>

Arnold and other iris transporters--Sorry for the tongue-in-cheek reply!  The
truth is,  transporting irises to a show is such a pain in the neck that
every year I ask myself why I do it!  I am fortunate to have the
"Irismobile,"  a Honda station wagon that looks very much like a box on
wheels.  With the back seats folded down, it is a decent iris transporter.  I
have never had to use a regular sedan, and don't know how folks manage, but
some do.  One year, a couple of us rented a panel van for the show-- ideal,
but expensive.

I have about 33" of height in the wagon.  The TB, JI or SIB stalks are cut
that long, the irises are wedged firmly into individual wine bottles
partially filled with water, and the bottles are wedged firmly into boxes
with cardboard partitions (obtained from liquor stores).  EVERYTHING must be
wedged as there will be all kinds of motion once you are underway.  Smaller
irises, IBs, MTBs, etc. are somewhat easier; use juice bottles in shorter

Another good container is a bucket filled with rolled up newspapers.  Take
about 6 pages, fold in half, roll fairly tightly, and insert lengthwise in
bucket.  Continue until bucket is loosely packed.  Pour in some water.  The
papers will swell and you may wedge the iris stalks quite firmly between the

The closest show to me is over an hour away; I have successfully carried
irises on a 3+ hour trip.  Our shows in NY typically have 100-150
bloomstalks; depending upon how close we come to peak bloom.  Entrants may
make as many entries as they like, observing  rules in the show schedule.
 Usually, a few people enter a lot, and a larger number of folks enter a few.
 I am usually restricted by how many I can transport, and will chose the best
ones.  In a bad year, we will all bring whatever is in bloom, just to have
SOMETHING on the show bench.

I find showing nerve-racking, but fun.  Other folks think it is just nuts!
 It takes a lot of effort, a lot of attention to detail, and some good old
luck to do well.  And you must be resigned to the fact that you will likely
lose at least one good stalk to some kind of transporation accident!

On the plus side, our show, held in a shopping mall, is traditionally THE
biggest attractor of new members to the group.  The public really does enjoy
shows.  I think flowers tend to attract folks much like animals do--they are
great ice-breakers!

Dorothy Fingerhood
(Newfield, NY)

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