Did You
Know?
Peterkort Roses grows several different German garden roses. Click on "What We Grow"
What's Happening at the Farm
February 24, 2007
Blog PictureThis is my sister Karen in the cymbidium house. She's holding a stem of Valya Craig, a beautiful cym. We have two types, one with a plain strawberry lip and one with markings. They are both wonderful. Karen is now focusing more on orchids which is great because she is whipping them into shape.

When we moved our whole collection (thousands of plants) from the old farm near St. Vincents they got a little jumbled up. And the only time you can tell what they are is once a year when they bloom! So she is grouping them and labelling them.

Also repotting, the gargantuan task that never ends, is happening. On Thursday when I was out there Norman went to get a big load of composted leaves. That's one of the elements of their growing medium.

We had a visit from John Clements of Heirloom Roses. He saw our web site and was interested to see that we are starting to grow more garden-type roses. He is a rose breeder who has developed his own line of old-fashioned roses. Check out his really beautiful web site at www.heirloomroses.com

Outside my window it's pouring. Have a nice weekend anyway! ---Sandra

Fairy-Tale Weddings get Disney Treatment
February 22, 2007
Blog PictureThe Wall Street Journal reports today that the Walt Disney Co. will be coming out with a line of wedding dresses and accessories. The gowns, designed by Kistie Kelly and priced between $1,100 and $3,000, will go on sale in June. Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine and Ariel are the inspirations with several dresses each.

Cinderella gowns will have "classic glamor," Snow White is attuned to younger brides with a look of "sweet elegance," Ariel has "sultry allure," Jasmine is "bohemian chic," while Belle is attuned to the slightly older bride, with "stylish sophistication." Let's not forget Sleeping Beauty, whose mantra is "pretty romance."

Your chance to be a princess! Apparently they are also doing costume jewelry for each princess, including crystal tiaras, with other accessories following in October such as dresses for bridesmaids and flower girls, also shoes.

The dresses will be unveiled at New York's Bridal Week in April. 500 boutiques will carry the dresses in North America, with forays planned into Europe and Japan.

No word on Prince Charming.

Princess brides would be especially charmed with our garden roses for their bouquets, I think. Check them out in the Rose Database.

That's the latest word on weddings for now. Bravo show this weekend! --Sandra

Romance and Nostalgia
February 21, 2007
Blog PictureToday as I drove away from the flower market a beautiful waltz came on the radio (classical 89.9 fm) - it was called Souvenir d'Aix-les-Bains by Offenbach. He went to this French spa and wrote this piece as a "souvenir."

That led my musing mind to a rose called "Souvenir de la Malmaison" a rose from 1843 known as the Queen of Beauty and Fragrance. La Malmaison is Napoleon's mansion where his wife Josephine had her famous rose garden, doing much to popularize the growing of roses. Another glorious souvenir to commemorate a memorable place.

When you think about these beautiful souvenirs, all the t-shirts and plastic tchochkes quickly fade into oblivion.

Today we saw the first cutting of our new rose "Mi Amor." A large headed pink, slightly salmon, with a touch of greenish tint to the outer petals.

Also we finalized our order for new rose plants for our spring 2007 planting. Pretty soon they'll be growing in Holland and California. What varieties are we planting? Stay tuned.

Sandra

Another New Year in the Flower World
February 19, 2007
Blog PictureOne florist customer said to me today, "I hate the dead time in January before Valentine's Day. To me the new year begins now."

That is a sentiment I agree with - because really the flower year starts out with spring, appropriately. Time for a new year review.

First, the accomplishments of Peterkort Roses last year -

1. We continued our conversion to hydroponic growing for the roses. They grow best that way with much better, longer stems. In 2006 we converted another 14 rose beds (that's one greenhouse) to hydroponics.

2. New varieties - we increased our Prestige (our newest red rose) from a half bed we tested in 2005, to add seven full beds. Also some new varieties: Amalia, Astral, Maria Theresia, Augusta Luise, Talea, Karamel Antike, and Mi Amor. These were all planted sort of late so we have only seen Amalia, Astral, Karamel Antike and a little Talea so far.

3. Lights - made great strides here. These are grow lights that we use during the darkest months. An expensive project, and we had to install a new service ($$$) to serve the west side of the greenhouses. Norman was out on the backhoe digging a trench, the electrician was seen daily, and PGE got to know our layout well. Results are new lights in five rose ends (half a greenhouse), plus lights on the lilies, which brings me to...

4. We converted a whole greenhouse which used to be roses into lily production. So now we are growing asiatics, orientals, LA hybrids and stargazers. We are still learning this type of growing but the first year was encouraging. We had our first crop for Mother's Day in 2005.

5. Developed a sterilization area outside where we can use steam from the boiler to heat up the coconut fiber and reuse it. The lilies grow in this, also the hydroponic roses. It's made out of ground up coconut shells.

6. Discovered a new biological control to use against thrips. We are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which is a growing technique where you spray less and use more beneficial insects to control the bad bugs. Still fighting thrips and whiteflies - which used to not be a problem when we sprayed a lot. Proud to grow roses without a lot of nasty chemicals. 7. In customer service we worked more on refining our system so that we know ahead of time if certain varieties will be available. I like to promise and then deliver, so that is very important. We pride ourselves on our system of special orders - very important with weddings where color is so important. Still working on predicting availability better for Valentine's and also for the lilies.

So that's a little wrap-up of what's been going on out there in the Peterkort Roses greenhouses.

Today's cymbidium is Lionello "Vivian Mors," a very clean white with red lip. This cymbidium is available now - let me know if you want some stems!

See you Wednesday! --Sandra

Valentines Debriefing
February 16, 2007
Blog PictureEveryone who came into market today had a Valentine story. Ken of All Seasons says, "No more all nighters for me!" He stayed up late figuring out the routing for their deliveries the next day.

Janice and Mindy of Broadway Floral said that a woman called, in tears, saying her roses were terrible. They were mystified because she said they had baby's breath with the roses, and they don't use baby's breath. She brought them in and was embarrassed to find out that they had come from somewhere else, her husband had not told the truth! Mindy said, "They probably didn't have a very nice Valentine's day."

Keith of Beaverton Florist was happy with his Valentine's day. It was better than last year and he felt really good about it.

Upcoming in the next week are various wedding shows, so we have already sold out of most of our garden roses for next Wednesday.

Plus, in yesterday's blog I noted that there would be a nice bunch of Karamel Antike out on the table on display, along with the beautiful Amalia. Well, when I showed up today it was gone! Bruce said someone bought it. I guess that's good but I was hoping a few more people would be able to see it. The ones I have in my bedroom here at home are truly fantastic. They start out as roundish balls and open up so cool. You can see pictures in the rose database (click it in the green box to the left.)

Today's blog photo is the cymbidium Lagoon "Braemar." I call this the wedding mint orchid because it is very very pale green and very very pale pink in the lip.

See you Monday! --Sandra

Enjoy our non-chemical-laden Roses
February 14, 2007
Blog PictureWow what a barrage of media attention this week to the chemical treatments received by imported roses. Luckily we have an alternative if import roses give you dermatitis. Our Peterkort Roses are not dipped in nasty fungicide and we use integrated pest management, a low chemical alternative to standard flower growing. Plus let's not forget that our flowers are grown here in Oregon where they don't require jet airplanes to get to you if you are a northwesterner.

Valentines is over for another year and thanks to the nice (ok not icy) weather and our new lights we had a lot of flowers to sell.

One of the coolest things that happened was that Amalia was blooming for Valentine's. That's the rose pictured above. It is pink on the inside and red on the outside. When seen from a distance it glows.

I have a bunch on display on the market table right now. Take a look when you come down.

I also have some of our newest garden rose on display, Karamel Antike. Just watch it open up over the next few days. You will be surprised.

Meanwhile Norman and I are negotiating with the plant people in Holland and California for our new plants. We have decided to pull out the Kyria and some of the Fire & Ice to make room. Also we are going to replant some of the Red France.

Stay tuned for pictures of our new varieties - we are trying out a lot of pink roses to see what is best. Also some new sprays and another new garden rose.

Happy Valentine's Day!!! --Sandra

Yes I had to work today (Saturday)
February 10, 2007
Blog PictureI'm not whining...I had to work today when I usually don't, but it was fun (after I woke up).

1. Didn't need to arrive until 7. I usually get to the market by 5:30.

2. Met some new people who recently joined the market. One guy who does dried botanicals was really interested in the fact that we are a local grower.

3. Ladies from Lilly Pilly said they had discovered our web site and found it helpful - that was nice to hear! They are excited about our new garden roses. I am looking forward to seeing Augusta Luise. It's a cool shape and color but so far with the low light conditions it doesn't want to bloom. I think this spring it will show us its stuff.

4. We sold out of our lilies. That was nice.

5. Barbara from Wildwood Design was interested in a cymbidium. Her cell phone camera memory was full so I took a picture with my digital camera and e-mailed it to her. She wants to show it to a bride with a March wedding. I love technology!!!!!

6. Took several orders for Monday 2/12. That is beginning to look like a monster day. We still have some roses available - due to good weather and new lights we have the pick is increasing every day. If you still need stuff, call. We especially have a lot of short roses. (503) 628-1005

All in all a good day. Only one customer didn't arrive to pick up his order - we put it in the cooler. That's what we do if you arrive late or want to pick up the next day.

My featured cymbidium of the day is called Valley Gem "Mayfair." It's a bright yellow with a nice red lip.

Since the cymbidiums are in bloom it's a good time for a greenhouse tour. Let me know if you are interested!!!

Sandra

p.s. almost forgot to mention that although Frank Adams, Greenleaf and Billingsley will be open on Sunday 2/11, the Flower Growers market won't be open. Primitivo will be dropping stuff off tomorrow however, so if you are desperately in need of something please call. On Monday the market will be open regular hours 5:30 to 3, then on Tuesday special extended hours 5:30 to 3:00. (They usually close at noon on Tuesdays.)

Omigosh, here it comes!!!! (Valentine's of course)
February 7, 2007
Blog PictureValentine's is one week away. It was pretty busy at the market but the real push will be Friday, Saturday and Monday for roses.

Alert: We still have roses available, beautiful locally grown flowers from our greenhouse (thank you beautiful weather last week!) Including: Red Velvet, Fire & Ice, red sweethearts, a few Prestige. Also we have Akito - the good weather pushed them ahead and we have them in all lengths.

Plenty of miscellaneous colors. If you need crooked/short roses let us know. We have some Yves Piaget garden roses available and also some of the new tawny yellow Karamel Antike.

I put up a picture of Kachuma "Painted Cave" (the pink cymbidium in today's blog) because this is one of my favorites and they are starting to bloom.

We still have lots of cymbidiums available for Valentine's Day. They make your customers happy because ours are local, grown in our very own Hillsboro greenhouse, so they are super fresh and they will last a long time.

We are picking three or more trays for each market day but if you want specific colors it's best to order ahead.

Today our new rose Amalia made its debut - it got a lot of attention because it really looks Different - pink on the inside and red on the outside of the petal. Really a pretty rose. I had three or four bunches and they all were sold so I couldn't put them on display or take a picture yet. It's the perfect color for Valentine's Day I think.

This is the rose I saw 2 years ago at the Hortifair in Amsterdam and I thought, that is so beautiful - we have to plant it! We will probably have some at the market on Friday - see for yourself!

Sandra

Cartoon of the Week
February 4, 2007
Blog PictureOkay, this was in the Oregonian last week. Get on their speed dial!

Ted is getting lots of advice from his friends at work about how to celebrate his wife's 40th birthday.

See you at the market!

Sandra

Add Scent to Rose Bouquets
February 3, 2007
Blog PictureSome florists are buying roses such as Lavande and Yves Piaget to add to rose bouquets at Valentine's Day. They are scented so it adds to the "wow" factor when the recipient gets the flowers. Other roses in the bouquet may last longer but the memory of that first impression is what counts!

We still have some Lavande and Yves Piaget available - let us know soon...

One designer made a bouquet of Ocean Song, a rose which has the beautiful pale lavender color of Sterling Silver (no longer available). To add scent she inserted some Lavande roses. The customer was thrilled!

Here's a view of what's been on the market table - a branch of Yowie Flame "Heather" cymbidiums, with a structural pyramid of Black Baccara roses.

See you next week at market! Sandra

Barb's Birthday
February 2, 2007
Blog PictureInside the Peterkort Roses greenhouses, things are growing under this nice winter sunlight. Also our new lights have been turned on to give the roses and lilies an important winter boost. So there is greenery, buds for Valentine's roses, warmth.

Outside the greenhouse, everything is dormant, slightly frosty (especially down in the shady creek bed, where the frost hasn't melted for a week). Birds are around, singing in spite of the cold.

Meanwhile at the Flower Market we celebrated January birthdays recently, including Barb from Teufel Holly Farm. Here she is with Ken and Ruth, flower market friends who bake birthday cakes for us. We also celebrated Pam's birthday, from Clackamas Greenhouses. Mary baked her special Texas chocolate cake this week.

Just in case you think all we do is eat cake, somebody brought carrot sticks today. But usually it's coffee cake and candy!

Valentine's day is almost here. We still have some miscellaneous roses available including Black Baccara, Fire & Ice, Kyria, and a few others.

Cymbidiums are coming on strong in the greenhouse so you might want to get some - call us or let me know at the market. Our phone is (503) 628-1005. They can be picked up a few days before the big rush, to give you time to organize. They keep really well so that might help during the crazy time.

See you at the market!

Sandra

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