Tanashi azalea from Saitama Prefecture


Today we would like to introduce Tanashi azalea (Rhododendron L.) grown by Mr. Shimizu, Hanahan, Saitama Prefecture.

Tanashi azalea, propagated by crossing Rhododendron kaempferi, is named after the growing area of “TANASHI” city, Tokyo (now belongs to Nishi-tokyo City).

Because Tanashi azalea grows slowly, it takes four to five years before the next harvest. And, after harvesting, it needs to be placed in the greenhouse for about one and a half month to make flowers bloom. Due to this time-and-effort-consuming cultivation method, the number of grower is decreasing year by year.

Even under these circumstances, Mr. Shimizu steadily provides Tanashi azaleas in good volume, and from this year he standardizes them by length for easy use to buyers.

The harvesting period will end in the end of April. He also cultivates other cut branches such as cherry blossoms and snowballs (Viburnum opulus Roseum).

Why don’t you use this cut branches for spring flower arrangements?

Original article written by Mr. Ikegami, translated by Fuchu

Enjoy Japanese sweet pea

Sweet pea, Lathyrus odoratus, one of the legume family is a tendrils-climbing plant. Growers make it bloom beautifully and vertically straight. They make a lot of effort for the work, because it is an annual plants and naturally blooms in spring with twisting vines. This time, we will tell you about the cultivation of sweet pea.

Sweet pea has been cultivate in Japan for a long time since Meiji era(1868-1912) originally as an ornamental plant. Then, commercial cultivation of cut flowers began in the middle of the Taisho era(1912-1926). Around this time, Mr. Ishijiro Araki established the foundation of cultivation technique for sweet pea at Tamagawa glasshouse floriculture complex in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo.

How to grow sweet pea

Cultivation of sweet pea starts from raising seedlings. Seeds are taken care at low temperatures after soaked in warm water to promote germination. By adjusting this storage period, it is possible to shift the harvesting period from the beginning of winter. Planting will be carried out from late August to early September.

After planting, flower buds appear from the 10th nodes, but it is necessary to make the stock strong for long-term harvesting. By picking those early flower buds until it grows with the 14th nodes or more. It becomes possible to harvest about 20 stems from one strong stock.

Under the summer sun, the vine grows quickly to a height out of our reach with stems bent and vines twisted, when growers do not take enough care. To avoid that, growers lower each stem to a height of easy work for them and fix it to a net or pole. (Therefore, you couldn’t find slightly bent stems when this work is just done.)

In addition, the cultivation of sweet pea needs careful control of the amount of solar radiation and temperature. Since it is native to Sicily, Italy, the optimum temperature for growth is 15 degrees C, and the limit temperature of wilting is -3 degrees C. And it needs more than a few hours of sunshine consecutively a day. So, if the amount of solar radiation is insufficient or the temperature is too low, all buds could fall at once, and that could cause a sharp decrease in yield.

Furthermore, the stem shape changes depending on the amount of water absorbed. If growers supply too much water to the stock, the stem would grow faster, but it would become thinner and softer, and that could lead to a weak stem which can be bent easily, the internodes could be expanded, and flowers could be scattered on sight.

Thus, sweet pea id cultivated with a lot of work and careful management. So what is evaluated as “good quality”? Please let me tell you the tips to distinguish it.

  1. The stem is solid
  2. The internodes are clogged
  3. Large flowers and strong scent

To keep the vase life
Sweet pea is vulnerable to high temperatures and high humidity. Please note that in a hot and humid environment, Botrytis may increase and flowers may have dark spots or may fall off easily.

Edited by Y.Fuchu

Keio Sakura from Yamagata Prefecture


Keio Sakura.  the Japanese cherry blossom tree fascinates people with a lot of pale pink flowers and a dignified presence. From Yamagata prefecture where it still snows quietly, KeioSakura is announcing the beginning of spring.

“The winter-blooming flower”
KeioSakura is a same variety of SomeiYoshino, the typical cherry blossom tree you can find in early spring all over Japan. You can enjoy KeioSakura even putting cut branches into a flower vase because it splinters into a number of twigs with many beautiful pale pink flowers. Inaturally blooms in spring like SomeiYoshino, but prominent technique of growers in Yamagata prefecture enables Keio-Sakura to bloom even in winter. “Winter-blooming cherry blossom tree, ahead of early signs of spring, gains popularity in Japan coloring New Year’s Day and other winter events.

 

“Mechanism to bloom flowers in winter”
KeioSakura starts to bloom by misunderstanding that spring has come when it is exposed to heat in the greenhouse after harvested from the field. Growers take advantage of this natural characteristic and can uninterruptedly continue shipping out from late December till Aprilby adjusting timings of harvests and treatments in the greenhouse. It gives a surprise to people all over Japan by the fact that blooming Keio-Sakura brings spring earlier from the snowy country like Yamagata prefecture.

“Tip of decoration”
Please pay attention to the following pointsWhen you take good care of KeioSakura, the flowers will not wither easily and can last long.

  1. When you put it in a vase, you should split the cut end of the branch verticallyThe surface area contacting with water increasesand that facilitates easy water uptake.
  2. When you use the flower food – the post-harvest preservative, you can enjoy blooming flowers more because flowers open wider than usual. It can also have an effect of making the pink color more vivid.
  3. You can enjoy Keio-Sakura longer when it is decorated at the indoor entrance, where the temperature is lower than in other rooms with heaters.

Source:
Oishi Yamagata Suisin Kiko(Yamagata Specialty products Promoting Organization)
http://www.yamagata.nmai.org/perorinshun/vol112_keiou04.html
http://www.yamagata.nmai.org/perorinshun/index.html

Translated by Fuchu

 

Flower farm Tsukasa “carnations”

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Flower farm Tsukasa, which we receive flowers from for the third year this season, grows carnations in the mountains of the Izu Inatori district of Shizuoka prefecture. The growing area of 4,630㎡ is at 300m above sea level. The cultivation volume is currently about 600,000 stems with 26 varieties.

The area has an advantage in cultivation of being cool even in summer at high altitude, and that contributes to earlier harvesting than other growers in the southwestern region.

While stable cultivation is getting difficult due to global warming in recent years, Flower farm Tsukasa is trying to avoid bad influences from the climate change by making full use of technology in production. In addition, they are targeting for stable cultivation by working hard day and night so that customers can purchase with confidence.

Why don’t you use flowers from Flower farm Tsukasa, as you can always choose flowers from their well-balanced variations?

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Original article written by Mr. Sano, translated by Fuchu

Traditional New Year flower decoration

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Item:Cut pine tree, “Senryo” (Sarcandra glabra)
Growers:
Cut pine tree
Mr. Shioiri Katsumine, Mr. Hasegawa Akihiro (Ibaraki Prefecture)
“Senryo” (Sarcandra glabra)
JA Kochi Geitosougo (Kochi Prefecture), Mr. Endo kozaemon, Mr. Hasegawa Matabe (Ibaraki Prefecture)

We displayed Cut pine tree and “Senryo” which have been traditionally important items for the Japanese people to celebrate the New Year’s Day.

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  • 201207SE111

matsu Since pine tree is an evergreen plant which does not lose its leaves all year round, it has been regarded as a lucky charm, symbolizing long life.

In addition, it is displayed on the entrance gate of a house as a mark to welcome the “Toshigami-sama”. Toshigami-sama is a deity based on Japan’s Shinto-ism who is thought to visit each house on the New Year’s Day to bring happiness to people. The deity is also said to rule agriculture and brings a good harvest.

matsu Annual special auction for Cut pine tree was held on December 6.

matsu Variety Introduction
Please pay attention not only to the product lineup but also to the auspicious names.

”Syoryu” literally means a rising dragon. The dragon is a symbol of good luck. “Fukurai” literally means fortune coming. Both are auspicious names suitable for New Year’s celebrations.

✤ Mr. Shioiri Katsumine   “Nebikimatsu” (pines with roots)  

  • 201130M106Shoryu Nebiki
  • 201130M108Fukurai Syoryu Nebiki
  • 201130M110Miyajima Goyo

✤ Mr. Hasegawa Aklihiro  “Nebikimatsu” (pines with roots

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  • 201130M114
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It is said that Sarcandra glabra was named after “a lot of money” because it bears many little red or yellow fruits in Japan’s cold season – and that is preciously equivalent with a lot of money. Since it has such a lucky name, people decorate it on the New Year’s Day wishing business prosperous and good luck with money.

*When we say “Senryo”, “ryo” (両) is a unit of money used in Japan until the Edo period. “Sen” (千) means 1,000 in Japanese. 1,000 Ryo is currently $ 1.2 million worth.

Annual special auction for “Senryo”, “Kokematsu” and “Kokeume” was held on December 16.

✤ JA Kochi Prefecture Geitosougo 

  • 201207SE100Sarcandra glabra 7Bunch 90㎝
  • 201207SE103Sarcandra glabra 5Bunch 90㎝
  • 201207SE106Sarcandra glabra 4Bunch 90㎝

 

✤ Mr. Endo Kozaemon 

  • 201207SE117Sarcandra glabra 1st class
  • 201207SE120Sarcandra glabra 2nd class

✤ Mr. Hasegawa Matabe 

  • 201207SE114Sarcandra glabra Special grade

✤ Sarcandra glabra is quite easy to wilt.
Therefore, we recommend a special watering method to smash the stem to increase water uptake.

Please take a look at our Instagram

We propose the traditional Japanese culture of flowers by decorating Cut pine trees and Sarcandra glabra at home, wishing for a Happy New Year!

Translated and edited by Y. Fuchu