I.Cl.S. Conference - Japan - May 1997

This second report covers a selection of events, starting at the Clematis planting ceremony in Asamizo Park, near Sagamihara City. (Click here for report 1 and report 3.)

Asamizo Park Clematis Planting Ceremony Asamizo Park Clematis Planting Ceremony
The Director of the Environmental Protection Section, Sagamihara City Office, Mr Yamada, invited the president of the Japan Clematis Society, Mr. Takeuchi, the president of the International Clematis Society, Malcolm Oviatt-Ham and the Deputy Mayor of Sagamihara City, to plant three clematis, to celebrate the visit of the International Clematis Society to Japan. The plants chosen were featured on this site last month.


Mount Fuji

For many of us, this was our first visit to Japan and it would not have been complete without sight of one of the most famous mountains in the world, Mount Fuji. We were lucky, whilst it was quite misty as we approached, the weather cleared and we were able to appreciate it's beauty. As a photographer, I would have liked to spend much more time there, it really is one of the most impressive and atmospheric locations you can imagine.


Mr Ochiai

We were very fortunate to visit a number of Japanese nurseries whilst we were there, and the picture on the left shows Maurice Horn and our valiant interpreter, Ms Yasuko Suzuki, with Mr Ozawa at his nursery. He is one of a small but important number of Clematis hybridisers in Japan, and has many new introductions to his name. To name but a few, Yufune, Hanajima and Rougichi are all his.


Moss Garden at Ryoanji Temple

But enough of clematis for now. Lets remember we were also there to see some of the many and fascinating sights of Japan, a country of history and tradition. Last month I showed you the Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Palace. An impressive sight, but from a purely personal point of view, not quite as inspiring as the Ryoanji Temple. It is primarily famous for it's Rock Garden, but I found the Moss Garden even more inspiring. It is so different from anything you'll find in western culture, totally tranquil and very beautiful. It looks as if it is manicured with a very small pair of scissors, one leaflet at a time. Really quite awe inspiring.


Clematis Fusca Tturcz
And finally, a rather self-indulgent shot of Clematis fusca 'Tturcz'.

I own up, I'm "hooked" on Clematis fusca. Ever since our first visit to Uppsala in Sweden, many years ago, when strolling around the Botanic Gardens I happened to spot this "funny looking hairy flower", I've found them a fascinating variety. This was a new one on me, spotted at the nursery of Kozo and Mikiko Sugimoto. A very nice form with a delicate violet hue, a Japanese species but I don't know any more than that.


Click here for report 1 and report 3.

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