Did You
Know?
Besides roses, we grow lilies, orchids, holly, stephanotis and maidenhair fern.
Chillin'
July 29, 2009
Blog PictureThings to be grateful for even with the heat wave:

Air Conditioning - up until the last 20 years or so most cars, homes etc. did NOT have air conditioning, especially in temperate Oregon!

Summer food - salads, cucumbers, watermelon, yum!

Basements!

Floral coolers!!! & refrigeration in general!!! - speaking of this the new book "Fresh" talks about the history of refrigeration - mostly about food - check out this website for more information about this fascinating subject...

Cold water on your face!!! - today at the market that's what everybody was doing - splashing it on - especially prior to climbing into an un-air-conditioned truck for the ride back to the farm...

Pictured above - the rose Avalanche - it thrives on hot weather & grows really well in the summer!!!

Oregonian's "Making Roses Last" video...
July 20, 2009
Blog PictureHi blog buddies - thought you flower pros might appreciate the advice the Oregonian is giving to amateurs about making roses cut from the garden last longer...

Here's the link to the Oregon Live video - it is the segment about making roses last...

Homes and Gardens videos

They promote leaving leaves on the top, a clean vase, a diagonal cut, flower food, and...aspirin in the vase!!!

I always come back to any cut is better than no cut...

Plus the biggest problem with roses out of the garden is that the varieties which are great for garden growing are often not the greatest for cut flowers - they are highly scented (which means less vase life) or shatter (shed their petals) easily.

I've noticed that landscape roses often have a feature they call "self-cleaning," which I understand to mean that the dead petals don't remain on the plant. That also means, these roses aren't good for cutting, because the petals are DESIGNED to fall off. That makes them lovely and wonderful for the yard...but not for the vase!!

Pictured above is the Ocean Song rose, a lovely Tantau variety (a rose breeder in Germany), very similar in appearance to the famous Sterling Silver rose. Ocean Song has a lovely shape, that beautiful silvery lavender color, and has excellent vase life.

Peterkort Roses is a wholesale grower of roses and other cut flowers to the trade. We are located in Oregon. If you are a floral professional and wish to order, please call us at (503) 628-1005.

Throw your Bridal Bouquet from a Plane (????)
July 15, 2009
Blog PictureFrom today's Oregonian:

"(AP) A romantic wedding in the Tuscan countryside ended with injuries after an attempt to launch the bride's bouquet from a plane brought down the tiny aircraft.

"Italian police say two people were hurt in the crash of the ultralight plane after the bridal bouquet they launched got caught in the aircraft's rear rotor.

"The flowers blocked the engine, bringing the plane down by a youth hostel.

"Police in the nearby town of Piombino said Tuesday the pilot was lightly injured in Saturday's crash, while the passenger who threw the bouquet had several broken bones.

"The bride and groom were not aboard the plane."

Whuh?? Throw your bridal bouquet from a plane? Did this idea originate at the groom's bachelor party while all the participants were drunk? (That reminds me - go and see "The Hangover," - crude but hilarious).

You just CAN'T make this stuff up.

The rose pictured today is Yves Piaget, a mauve pink garden rose with a lovely classic rose scent. Its resemblance to a peony make it a wonderful substitute for that flower in wedding bouquets and other floral designs. It is one of the best smelling roses in the cut flower business today.

For cut flowers of this rose, professionals in the flower biz should contact Peterkort Roses, (503) 628-1005. We are located in Oregon. The Yves Piaget rose is available from Peterkort Roses at all times of the year, and it is sold in bunches of 10 stems.

For plants of this rose, and it is an excellent outdoor rose for the garden, contact your local nursery. It is produced by the Meilland of France through Star Roses in the United States.

The rose is named for Yves Piaget, the well-known jeweler and socialite of Monaco.

klaatu barada nikto!
July 11, 2009
Blog PictureMelinda from Greenleaf came over to see me at my booth and asked for that rose - "What is it, Naranga?" (pictured here), and she said "That rose reminds me of that movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still - the part where she needs to say the secret phrase to the scary robot to get into the space ship!

We emitted shrieks of glee because this is also one of my favorite movies! But Mel I don't think "Klaatu barada nikto" sounds very much like Naranga. Maybe a little.

Naranga is a cool rose because it is intensely orange, it opens really really well, it lasts, and it has a little scent.

It's been a week to try new restaurants - Portland has an amazing number, even with the struggling local businesses and people losing their jobs, new ones keep appearing.

On Wednesday we went with our neighbors to D O C off of NE Killingsworth. Italian food, a small restaurant with the unusual feature where you enter through the kitchen. Instead of tables by the door as usual and the kitchen in the back, the kitchen is right up there, stove on one side, sink on the other, and you feel like you're in your mother's kitchen because of the checked gingham curtains and shelves of preserves lined up against the windows.

I was tired from Wednesday market and wasn't at my best but in spite of that the pork belly (!) tasted really great and also the salmon.

Then last night we tried out Navarre on N.E. 28th near Burnside. Apparently this restaurant is highly rated - we sat outside on the street and watched the scene. The Priuses (Prii?) were scurrying by like so many cockroaches...

I can't speak for what it's like inside the restaurant but it was a perfect night to sit outside. They have small plates so you can try a lot of things - they are served family style. So we tried a lot of their great vegetables.

Their ordering concept is a little bit tortured, you have to check things off on a list with a felt tip pen, I like the idea but they should lose the pens because one false move and if you drop it you are covered with ink.

The food was incredibly good.

I have one grip with both these places - no flowers at all. Everywhere in Europe and Canada too, restaurants and stores have beautiful flowers. Even if they are not on the individual tables, there is a lovely vase of flowers in the arrival area.

Surely we aren't that poor here in Portland??? I loved that about Fife - they always had a gorgeous big flower creation by my buddy Dena at Innerscapes... Marco why did you leave us for North Carolina?????

Have a great & flower-filled weekend!

Farm Economics
July 7, 2009
Reading the Oregonian's Food Day section today - Leslie Cole writes about price comparisons (for produce) between New Seasons, WinCo, a community supported agriculture subscription, and the farmer's market. Conclusion: the most expensive for the same items was the farmer's market, then New Seasons (only a penny between them), and quite a bit lower was WinCo.

That's if it's all about price...

But it's not always all about price - people want to encourage small farmers and organic/locally produced food is desirable, for those who can afford it.... That's what you are getting at the farmer's market and at New Seasons is an emphasis on locally produced, more sustainably grown produce.

Basically the same dilemma as the flower biz these days - a local, small, producer like Peterkort Roses which uses more organic growing methods - guess what? the cost of production is gonna be higher for the product than with flowers produced on a huge scale in Columbia or Ecuador.

All these are dilemmas we face trying to do agriculture in the U.S. these days. The U.S. is a modern, enlightened country where there is a minimum wage and standards for how workers should be treated. In addition there are controls and regulations on the use of harmful chemicals that do not exist in other countries.

Also, as anybody who has taken Econ 101 knows, production on a small scale is more inefficient than a large industrial-type farm. It's just a fact of life.

Here's what the Oregonian article goes on to say about this subject:

"A higher price tag for Oregon-grown crops at a farmers market, or a chain that buys predominantly from local, sustainable growers, is partly because it costs more to grow food here.

"Oregon's farms are mostly small, with a shorter growing season and fewer economies of scale. Those that follow organic or sustainable growing methods typically have extra costs in production and labor. Our local farmers also assume more risk than a farmer in California with more acreage and more months to turn a profit, says Jeff Fairchild, produce buyer for New Seasons...

"...but local produce will be higher quality as well, he says, fresher and more flavorful.

"Moreover, farmers markets and small chains are fighting to maintain pricing that allows the growers to come back next year....."

I guess sustainability is about more than just the growing techniques - it's also about making enough money so you can sustain your business!

Hurray for the USA!!!! Part II: More Appliances
July 6, 2009
Riffing a little more on the greatness of America as evidenced by our fab home appliances, let's look at the DISHWASHER!

Mom got her first dishwasher in 1959 when Mom and Dad did a major home remodel to accommodate the growing family - 5 kids at that point with 2 more to come! Prior to that she had done all dishes by hand.

The dishwasher has got to be one of the all-time great appliances. Not only does it clean your dishes but it stores them too - clean or dirty!

That dishwasher was well used, finally retiring many years later to a well-deserved rest. In the meantime, any minor repairs or leaks were repaired by Dad using the time-honored rubber band and paperclip maintenance system he favored. Dad's motto definitely was, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and preventative maintenance be darned!

We had our friends Deborah and Robert over for a little barbecue yesterday and they related the sad saga of their dishwasher, which they took to a local appliance megastore for repair. A LONG time went by, and they called to inquire about their missing dishwasher - turned out it had been skewered by the "guys in the warehouse" with one of the forklift prongs. A little forklift soccer on the back dock??? The "new" one they got to replace it is now having a strange problem with the rack system - the plastic coating is melting off - bad dishwasher karma???

We too had some bad luck with a dishwasher. It was our 13th anniversary (ominous music here) and we were planning to go out to a nice restaurant to celebrate - but ended up taking a trip to the emergency room instead when Jim grabbed the dishwasher he was installing as it fell forward, and cut his hand badly on a sharp piece of metal. A lot of blood, waiting and stitches later, we did finally make it out to dinner.....

Weddings weddings weddings....
July 5, 2009
Blog PictureI thought it would be fun to show some of our Peterkort Roses flowers as they are used in REAL LIFE!!!! So some of my flower buddies have sent me pictures...

This boutonniere is made of a Karamel Antike rose plus some beautiful feathers. The talented folks at Passionflower Design in Eugene made it.

This creation was even more beautiful in the picture they sent me because the feathers curl around outside the photo frame you see here. My blog picture function does weird things if the picture isn't square so I had to cut them off.

Thanks to Jewel and Julianne at Passionflower for sharing their art with us.

Flower art is beautiful, and it is temporary.

Some people think, oh flowers, why give them, they only die. I TOTALLY disagree with this notion, because there is nothing more cloying than a casual gift which hangs around your house forever.

Flowers are gorgeous and fresh, they are enjoyed for a week, then they are totally biodegradable and they go back to the earth. They don't end up in the basement or off to the garage sale covered in dust.

Flowers are like the many pleasures of life - intense, beautiful and temporary. Think of a wonderful meal, wine, perfume, a lovely piece of music. (And other pleasures shared with that significant other!) Flowers are part of a life well lived....

Hurray for the USA!!! Part 1: Appliances
July 4, 2009
There's no better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to give thanks for that icon of American life, the refrigerator. In our household, the GE top-freezer has been humming along since August of 1982, when we moved into our house and had to replace the old (bronze) one we found there.

The new one was white, it was basic, and it was an awesome electric servant for all that time. The amount of stuff you could cram inside was only exceeded by the number and variety of refrigerator magnets encrusting the outside like colorful barnacles.

However, refrigerators are like cars in one respect: you don't want them to break down on the job. Our old fridge was running an awful lot, I noticed, and there were these strange NOISES. Sometimes a low moan, or a strange rumbling. The rumbling was not from the ice maker because our fridge didn't have one.

All signs were pointing to a future breakdown.

A year went by, during which Jim and I argued a lot about what kind of new fridge to get. He wanted French doors, I didn't. He wanted an ice maker, I didn't want water leaks in the kitchen. It got to the point where we couldn't even discuss it!!!!

I decided that arguments over what kind of refrigerator to get were probably too petty. If you are going to need marriage counseling, make it over something more important than that - so I told him OK to the ice maker.

I won on the doors though!!!!

Happy 4th of July!

Flower Market Fourth of July Hours
July 1, 2009
Just in case you were planning a July 4 flower pickup at the Portland Flower Market, the market will close at NOON on Friday, July 3, 2009. The market will be CLOSED on Saturday, July 4. Back to normal hours on Monday, July 6.

Peterkort Roses will be open for telephone calls and emergency pickups all day Friday at the GREENHOUSE only. We will be CLOSED on Saturday. Call us at (503) 628-1005 if you have a "flower emergency" or need to order for a future date.

Plan ahead and let us know if you need flowers for the weekend. We will be coming to the market as usual on Friday morning, July 3. But NOT on Saturday, July 4.

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