Did You
Know?
Leonidas is also a brand of Belgian chocolate.
Ode to the Black Locust
May 28, 2009
Blog PictureAll over town this week you can see the black locust trees in bloom. And their scent!!! Sweet, soft yet with a lilt that evokes wonderful memories...

We had two in our back yard at the old farm, and there was another one by the old rose grading shed. A spare refrigerator truck was parked there, and once my friend Lynn and I were riding the horse Joker (aptly named since he had a habit of shying at sudden noises). The truck's refrigerator unit started up, Joker swerved sharply to one side, and we were both on the (ouch) gravel driveway!

That tree is still there, somewhat damaged by the construction of the Tri-Met parking garage, but it's alive. Look by the Sunset Transit Station as you whiz by on the highway...

Don't forget that many customers prefer locally grown flowers - consider adding this to your web site. Feel free to link to the www.peterkortroses.com web site!

Teleflora Class "Weddings for Today's Bride" May 31
May 26, 2009
If you are going to be in Central Oregon on Sunday, May 31 the Teleflora organization is presenting a seminar on wedding flowers by Susan Ayala AIFD.

It's on Sunday, May 31 2009 from 10 to 3. Registration starts at 9. Lunch is included. The venue is Schilling Solar City Gardens on 64640 Old Bend Redmond Highway.

Cost for Teleflora members is $25 for pre registration or $30 at the door. Non members are welcome; cost to them is $35 for pre registration and $40 at the door.

Reservation deadline is, eek, tomorrow May 27, 2009. To guarantee lunch you must pre register.

For reservations contact Marti Penske of Burkhardt's Flowers (503) 645-6492. For inquiries contact Anna Aram, Autry's 4 Seasons Florist, (541) 382-3636.

All florists are welcome, and scholarships may be available.

Beautiful Portland Evening
May 23, 2009
Went to a wine tasting yesterday at Gem Wine Cellar on NE Broadway. What a gorgeous evening - we sat outside under a maple tree. Cote du Rhone wines were on the list and in spite of the fact that I wasn't into dissecting every little flavor essence yesterday (or maybe because I wasn't into it) the experience was great.

Really funny also because we ended up sitting next to and chatting with a fellow Sunset High graduate who started out as a contractor at the coast and then became a high school English teacher when he felt that construction was getting too tiring. It was fun reminiscing about all that and hearing about the challenges of teaching Romeo and Juliet to high schoolers.

We were talking about books we were reading and I was recommending the Patrick O'Brian books about the British Royal Navy ("Master and Commander" was made into a movie with Russell Crowe) when a car with a bumper sticker "Aubrey and Maturin for President 2008" drives up and parks right in front of us. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are the main characters in the books. It was one of those evenings of coincidences I guess.......

Market Closed Saturday, Sunday & Monday 5/23-25 2009
May 22, 2009
Hey if you weren't sure, the Portland Flower Market will be closed for the 2009 Memorial Day weekend May 23 through 25. So although the market is usually open on Saturdays, and also on Mondays, that will not be the case this weekend.

Peterkort Roses will be back in the market on Tuesday, May 27 2009 bright & early!!! (that's 5:30 a.m. if you are wondering!!)

Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

If you have a flower emergency this weekend, please call (503) 628-1005. The Peterkort Roses greenhouse will be in full operation as usual on Saturday May 23. You might be able to go out there and pick something up if you need it. We are located in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Chicken Report
May 21, 2009
News Flash!!! The Peterkort Roses chickens have started laying eggs. There's a lotta crowing going on out there -

Speaking of chickens, we visited Missoula Montana last weekend to attend the U of Montana commencement. Our niece Helen just graduated. She lives in the country and they have Plymouth Rock chickens - they are heavy layers and are built like little tanks, short legs and really wide bodies. Helen's roommate gave us some eggs to take home - they are huge, like duck eggs.

They also had some new chicks of a French breed called chanticleers. They have almost no comb because they are bred for cold weather climates, and combs and wattles are easily frostbitten. I think a couple of the oddball assortment we have out in the greenhouse is of this breed.

So that's probably all you want to know about chickens for today!

Butchart Gardens Visit
May 13, 2009
Blog PictureJim and I toured Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC a couple of weeks ago. Our son is attending college at the University of Victoria.

I hadn't been there in years, and never in the spring.

Really gorgeous spring bulbs. One of the workers said it was at the beginning of its spring peak - the week before everything had been still in bud. Just like in Portland, Victoria's spring was late this year.

The picture is a bed of lily-flowered tulips with pink and blue forget me nots. In the background, a Garrya elliptica (I think that's the right name), it's a native Pacific Northwest plant. The tassels hanging down were last year's old and dry ones but they still looked good.

Speaking of late seasons, this year at Peterkort Roses we still have lots of cymbidium orchids. Usually they are finished by Mother's Day. Still have lots of beautiful green 49er Alice Anderson (a variety developed here in Portland and named after a local lady.) Give us a call to get some - locally grown - (503) 628-1005.

White House to Hire New Chief Florist
May 12, 2009
The weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal carried a large article by Amy Chozick in the Decorating section about the upcoming retirement of 30-year White House florist Nancy Clarke.

It was full of interesting floral tidbits:

Did you know that...

Some of Michelle Obama's favorite flowers are forsythia, oncidiums and cymbidiums. She also likes branches.

The White House floral shop is located on the ground floor near the kitchen.

A recent Cinco de Mayo party for the Mexican ambassador featured arrangements with three colors of hydrangeas, as well as sunflowers and curly willow, in copper urns.

The White House florist has a staff of three and decorates everything from the White House itself to Air Force One and Camp David when they are in use.

When James Buchanan's niece returned from a visit to England in the 1850s she brought back the latest style - using fresh flowers. Before that, wax flowers had been in vogue for decorating the official residence.

Jackie Kennedy liked French-inspired arrangements (who knew?), Nancy Reagan loved Venus peonies, Barbara Bush enjoyed informal arrangements with flowers such as bluebells, while Hillary Clinton preferred tropical flowers like pincushion proteas. Bill Clinton loved Ambiance roses. (Peterkort Roses grows this rose - check our Rose Database if you are unfamiliar!)

The article in closing quoted New York designer David Beahm. "It's time to shake things up a bit," he said. "He envisions bright, symmetrical designs of locally-grown flowers arranged in some of the antique vases in the White House collection."

I'll take this article to the Portland Flower Market and post it on the bulletin board for anybody who is interested in reading more...

Love U Oregonian's Green Tip
May 9, 2009
Blog PictureYesterday's Oregonian Green Tip column by Matthew Preusch carried the headline, "For Mother's Day, try buying flowers grown closer to home." Love you!!!!

"Have you calculated the carbon footprint of those carnations you're getting Mom?

"If you already make the extra effort to shop for local foods, why not buy local when it comes to flowers this Mother's Day, too?

"This is the City of Roses, after all, so there's no need to get Charming Unique pink roses from Ecuador. (you tell 'em Matthew!)

"This time of year Willamette Valley growers also offer tulips, lilies, Snowball viburnums and other varieties.

"But not all florists make a point of featuring local growers, so it's a good idea to call your favorite shop ahead to ask about their selection, or you can simply go to a farmers market to buy direct.

"'It's something that's important to me, so I push it,' said Mardee Brennan, owner of the 95-year-old Lubliner Florist in downtown Portland. Brennan said there is no discernable price premium for local flowers.

"Buying local helps area growers stay in business, but it also cuts down on the copious amounts of fossil fuels used to bring flowers here from California and even South America.

"And with local flowers you have a better idea of the quantity and quality of pesticides sprayed on the flowers you're giving your mom at brunch on Sunday."

That says it all.

Into the Archives
May 6, 2009
Blog PictureLooking through Dad's collection of American Orchid Society Bulletins with Karen yesterday...we found this great photo of Princess (now Queen) Elizabeth in her wedding gown in the February 1948 issue...

Here's the description of her bouquet:

"The Royal Bouquet was composed of three types of White Orchids. The center of the bouquet, which was oval in shape, consisted of eight White Cattleya Orchids. Drooping from the lower part of the oval, on long stems, were three or four White Cypripediums, and drooping still further were two sprays of White Odontoglossums. There were also two or three sprays of near White Odontoglossums at the top of the central oval, and three short ones at the sides. The whole effect was very light and fairy-like, the daintiness of the Odontoglossums taking away any semblance of weight which the Cattleyas and Cypripediums might have given.

"The stems of the Orchids were bound in thin white silk ribbon, and the foundation of the bouquet, into which the stems of the Orchids were placed, was a tiny ball of moss, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, covered with white heather. The stems of the Orchids were reinforced with thin wire, which enabled them to be placed in position on and around this central ball of heather, the Cattleyas and Cypripediums being placed in position first, and the Odontoglossums last.

"We took great care to make the bouquet as light as possible in weight so that the Princess could carry it easily and without fatigue. We paid very special attention to the balance of the bouquet, because, as you will readily understand, a heavy or badly balanced bouquet could be very tiring for a bride to carry, especially if, as was the case with Her Royal Highness, she would have to carry it for a considerable time. We, therefore, used the very minimum of wire, with the result that the weight was negligible. The handle itself was fitted into a small sheath of white silk."

Sixty years ago.... the bouquet was created by Longman's Ltd., The Florists in London. Interesting to compare this bouquet and the emphasis on the weight with some of today's club-like creations!

Love her Dress!!!!
May 5, 2009
Blog PictureWe attended the St. Marys 150 anniversary concert a couple of weekends ago. The music director, Kathryn E. Briggs, wore a spectacular gown of satin with black trim, its color some would call "puce" but we thought it was exactly the color of the Metallina rose! The picture doesn't show the color true, but you can see the gown. It was like a Viennese ball gown with tiers. A big black bow in the back too.
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