« Great Way to Make or Cap a Career | Main | Truth in Broadband »

October 22, 2007

Kelly’s Kiku Show

The Kiku (Japanese for chrysanthemums) Show opened this weekend at The New York Botanical Garden. Daughter Kelly and her colleagues at the New York Botanical Garden have been working on the show for almost a year and it has been in planning for five years. Mary and I went down to the City to see it. You should, too, if you’ll be in the neighborhood. The Botanical Garden, which is worth a full day itself, is literally across the street from the Bronx Zoo (also one of my favorite places). The Kiku Show runs through November 18. 

Img064 The shield of blossoms in the picture is at least six feet in diameter but is nourished by only a single stalk! It was planted as a cutting late last Fall. Kelly and others carefully bent, tied and pinched the tendrils as they emerged. The plants’ growth was tracked daily and their nourishment increased and decreased to guide them towards the right size and maturity for the show’s opening. Mums are Fall bloomers and key off the hours of sunlight each day. These plants had to be fooled with artificial darkness to get them to blossom for opening day – as indeed they did.  The final selection of buds which would open and final pinching off of the others – except for some spares kept discreetly below – happened just before the opening.

Since the show runs four weeks and mums blossom for only two, a whole second cast of plants is waiting in one of the many backstage greenhouses at The Gardens. These plants were kept on a slightly slower track so they’d be in new bloom on their opening day a couple of weeks from now. There are also a few understudies in case anything goes wrong with the plants on display.

We were privileged to meet Yukie Kurashina who, according to the NYTimes article on the show, “trained with the curator of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Japan in order to install the show at the New York Botanical Garden.” The show is patterned after the annual show held at Shinjuku.

Kelly told us an interesting story about Yukie’s apprenticeship in Japan. Normally apprentices are not allowed to ask any questions. However, because she would only be there for six month and then have huge responsibility, the rule was waived so that she could become an expert in accelerated time. Her training, including eight return trips to observe various stages of plant development, obviously worked.

Technical note: instead of the audio tour you can, if you want, call +1.718.362.9561 and use your cellphone to listen to the description of major displays. Only reason I can think to do that at the show, since the audio wand is free, is that you can leave comments on your cellphone. But it’s nice to be able to dialin and go back to listen to some of the commentary. For example, to hear about the Ozukuri described above, dial the number and press 118#. Lots of good pictures and a video on the website also.

| Comments (View)

Recent Posts

The Dynamo of Democracy

What Did the Wisconsin Supreme Court Do?

Keeping Our Republic

Buying an EV in Europe Now Helps Putin and Hurts the Environment

An Overabundance of Caution is Excessive


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Kelly’s Kiku Show:


blog comments powered by Disqus
Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 01/2005