Did You
Know?
Yves Piaget can substitute for peonies in a bouquet.
Visiting Jack and Agnes - Rosto Garden
May 29, 2007
Blog PictureMemorial Day weekend was great. Besides my birthday, we had visits with friends and had breakfast at Zells in southeast Portland. Also Jim took me out for dinner at Fife on NE Fremont, our favorite restaurant.

On Saturday we visited Jack and Agnes of Rosto Garden. Their farm is in Woodland, Washington on the Lewis River. What a beautiful spot! That's Agnes pictured above riding her bicycle back to the cooler after picking an armload of peonies.

Jack and Agnes grow shrubs for foliage and also perennials. In the summer they harvest their peonies, dahlias and other flowers and sell them at the Portland Flower Market. Their market space is right across the aisle from Peterkort Roses.

In the winter they sell their perennial roots. In touring their farm which was very neat in the Dutch manner, I was very impressed with the new and creative items Jack is planting. It must be that European influence - both of them were born in Holland. Also, Jack used to be a rose grower so he knows a lot about what we do, too!

Back to the market again tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

----Sandra

Spring Wonderful Spring
May 23, 2007
Blog PictureMay and June are the months where I wish every day was twice as long so I could work in the yard for hours, catch up on everything I was too lazy to do over the winter, get ready for summer, and generally enjoy spring.

This spring, while a little cold, has been wonderful because the blooming season has been extended. My friends Barbara and Claudia and I went on the Irvington Home Tour over the weekend. And didn't we see some wonderful houses, as well as gardens. What reminded me in talking about the long blooming season, was how many beautiful columbines I saw in gardens! When it's hot they just fry but this year... The new colors are so wonderful.

Also saw a lot of bleeding heart, and those little Chinese flowers in the fumariaceae, related to bleeding heart, they come in blue and yellow - rats, can't come up with the genus but one of the varieties is called Blue Panda.

All these "spring ephemerals" are at their best this year.

It's been a great time to plant our new roses too. They arrive from the propagators as little teeny "stentlings" and the ones we imported from Holland had some shipping damage. Some of them died from the (2 days) of hot weather during planting, but most are okay.

Now the survivors are growing like mad with this lovely warm but not blazing hot sunny weather.

Skipping back to the Irvington home tour, it was as always a great experience to see the grand old homes, with their huge rooms, big staircases and massive numbers of rooms. However, for me it was helpful that there were a couple of smaller (so to speak) bungalow style homes on the tour. I have one of these, so it's good to see what people are doing with them. The only drawback of this tour, as Barbara noted, is that afterwards you have to go back to your own (not perfect) house!!!

What else is happening at Peterkort Roses???? Almost all the new plants are in and growing, but we are still expecting some more late arrivals from Holland, including our newest garden-style rose, Piano Freiland. It's RED! We've been searching high and low for a peony-shaped red rose, and I saw this one last year at the Hortifair. We'll see how it grows in the greenhouse.

It looks like a banner year for weddings again this summer, especially the apparently fraught-with-incredible-meaning weekend of 7-7-07. According to rumor, every venue in town is booked up with events that weekend due to the lucky number aspect of this date, also it's easy to remember your anniversary! Florists are using a lot of Black Baccara that weekend - we're already booked solid on some lengths.

I guess that just means, get your orders in early this year. We want to make sure everybody gets what they need.....

This coming weekend is Memorial Day. That means: Market is closed Saturday May 26, also closed Monday May 28. Primitivo and I will be at market on Tuesday, May 29, Wednesday May 30, and Friday June 1.

See you at Market - Friday will be busy due to the long weekend! --Sandra

Cymbidium Season Finished
May 12, 2007
Blog PicturePeople ask me, "When are locally grown cymbidium orchids available?" The easiest to remember answer to this question is, "Thanksgiving to Mother's Day." Of course there are a few stragglers before and after these dates, but if you want cymbidiums for summer weddings, they need to be ordered from the wholesalers, who get them from New Zealand, where it is coming into winter now.

Since seasons down there are opposite to ours, winter-blooming orchids like Cymbidiums are starting to bloom, while ours are finishing up. It IS possible to force cyms out of season, but difficult and expensive.

The popularity of cymbidiums makes it a little frustrating not to have them during the summer, and some growers do import cyms from New Zealand themselves in order to have year-round availability. But we pride ourselves on selling only our own, locally-grown flowers, so we do not do that.

Our Dad is still not doing great in the health area after breaking his leg a couple of weeks ago. We appreciate everybody's good wishes. ---Sandra

Going Green in the Greenhouse
May 9, 2007
Blog PictureThe latest in "green" growing - we're trying out eggplants in the greenhouse to get rid of whiteflies. Here's how it works: when you use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) like we do at Peterkort Roses, you don't spray pesticides very much. So you have more nuisance insects such as whiteflies. They are a pain.

We found out that they love eggplants to the exclusion of all other plants, kind of like catnip. So you put the eggplants in the greenhouse with your roses, and then every so often you literally vacuum them up. Norm bought a little vacuum to do this. Cool, huh? Anyway, we're trying it out.

Mother's Day pre-week continues. At the flower market it was quite busy today. I am surprised by the number of proms and weddings this weekend too. So short white roses are in high demand. Also purple and pink. But to be different some are using other colors such as orange, as in the Naranga rose pictured above, our newest orange rose, very nice opening and a beautiful bright orange color.

It was a good day - nobody left their order behind, orders were made up correctly, a few minor problems but nothing we couldn't fix on the fly.

Lots of different items available Friday. Give us a call! --Sandra

Fun Events Coming Up...
May 2, 2007
Blog PictureChildrens Fairy Festival - My friend Cynthia from Amano organizes this annual event. It's Saturday May 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Alpenrose Dairy. Check the website at: www.geocities.com/fairyfestival2007

This is fun for kids who have great imaginations and like fantasy (who doesn't?) Free activities include storytelling, live music, a maypole, and more.

Also that dynamo Leanne of the Floral Design Institute is organizing another Floral Design as Art exhibition to take place as part of First Thursday in the Pearl, in June. This fabulous happening will be on Thursday June 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. on NW 17th and Northrup.

Think about entering! Past entries have been amazing. Or just come to see it. More information at the web site: www.FlowerSchool.com

It's not too late to order for Mother's Day. Remember our prices have NOT changed - we are using normal prices for this holiday. Call us right away at (503) 628-1005.

Mother's Day Next Week - Hymn to my Minivan
May 1, 2007
Blog PictureSurvival is the agenda for this week & next week. Here's a shot of the inside of my lovely Dodge minivan. Flowers on passenger seat (when unoccupied by rear end of 16 year old son), big bag of drive-through fast food on the floor. General dirt and slovenliness. A true Mom vehicle.

However, did I tell you I love my minivan? No SUV for me. I glory in the mom-ness, even though my last kid is taller than me and talks gruff.

Here's my favorite van ad - from the back of Newsweek. It's a Honda Odyssey ad laid out to look like a 60's album cover arranged on a background of white shag carpet.

Entitled, "Roadtrippin' Odyssey" and surrounded by psychedelic swirls, here are the songs:

1. You're so Van

2. Whole Lotta' Leather

3. Takin' it to the Speed Limit

4. 15 Cup-Holders of Love

5. Runnin' on all Six Cylinders

6. The Magic Third Row

7. We'll Get There Together (The Navi Song)

8. Honky Tonkin' Soccer Momma

9. Van of Fools

10. These Wheels Were Made for Errands

11. 244 Wild Horses

12. I'd Like to Teach the World to Carpool

My van - it's so out it's in!!!

It's peony season at the flower market - short but sweet. Remember that Peterkort Roses has garden roses such as Yves Piaget, Biedermeier, Waltzertraum and Karamel Antike that look a lot like peonies but are available all year round for reasonable prices, compared with peonies especially out of season. Brides love peonies, and they will also love our garden rose collection. Check it out in the rose database.

Keep on truckin' (ha ha). --Sandra

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