Did You
We grow maidenhair fern; it comes in bunches of 25
Tough vs. Tender: Roses???
October 31, 2009
Blog PictureReading the Thursday 10/29/09 HGNW (otherwise known as Home & Garden NW) in the Oregonian... Kym Pokorny writes about Janice Dysinger who is torture testing roses to see which varieties are toughest.

According to her, the best performers so far:

Knock Out, Knock Out Pink, Knock Out Blushing, The Fairy, New Dawn, Sea Foam and Belinda's Dream. Guess what, rose lovers, all but one of these roses is PINK!! Sea Foam is white. Knock Out is actually cherry red but in my book that's pink.

What does this tell you - PINK is the color roses want to be. Other colors, especially YELLOW, are harder to grow. We know this from our 60 plus years of rose growing. The original red roses were kind of pinky purply red. And Yellow roses are always the most difficult, as Norman says, "you're always looking for a good yellow!"

Pictured above is a scene from the 2009 Hortifair in Amsterdam - the Bartels rose booth. I spoke with Goos Bartels, son of the late founder and driving force behind the company today. We are growing their roses Tara, a good YELLOW rose!!!

What I Saw in Amsterdam......
October 29, 2009
Blog PictureWow I've been back over a week and still haven't been able to process everything I saw at the trade show in Amsterdam...

This photo shows a little of the crazy flower scene - Schreurs is a rose breeder and their stand at the trade show was very flowery indeed...

A banquet scene, with some of the chairs covered in roses, and the table completely decked out....

Meanwhile back in Portland our greenhouse chickens are thriving. Thanks to Scott at Frank Adams we now have fewer roosters and so happier hens... and just got a telephone call from Linda at Adams whose former neighbors abandoned some chickens.... Peterkort Roses is now the official "chicken rescue" of Portland!!! (Have to catch them first.)

I will keep you posted....

From England...
October 20, 2009
We have been in England for the past several days after Amsterdam visiting our friends Paul and Sheila in Old Windsor.

All the English gardeners are switching to cyclamens for their pots, and the roses are fading out.

We have visited Charles Darwin's house, the Salisbury cathedral, and Oxford University. From a botanical viewpoint the Darwin house was the most interesting. He was quite interested in plants and had a large kitchen garden and a greenhouse, which have been preserved.

The greenhouse was full of vining plants (he studied the movements of the plants as they twined around their supports), orchids, and carnivorous plants - sundews, pitcher plants and the ones which slowly close upon their victims - having a space-out on their name....

I spied a Lady Banks rose, several rosa rugosas, and a beautiful smelling pink old fashioned rose.

Back to the US today via New York city, where we will have a short overnight.......

Rose Sleuthing
October 16, 2009
Hi Rose junkies - Jim and I spent all day yesterday driving to visit the rose breeders' show houses in the Aalsmeer area. Our goal was to discover the best of the new roses they have created. We saw some beautiful new garden roses and learned about outdoor growing, which is very prevalent in Germany due to high fuel costs. Also checked out more information about the growing of ornamental rose hips.

Today is our last day in Amsterdam. At breakfast at the B & B we met a woman from New York who writes a blog about perfume - had a fun conversation with her about scents and botanical derivations to create famous perfumes.

She told us that the rose scent is supposed to be very calming and good especially for women - I didn't know that! Every time I walk into our rose grading room, the smell of rose oil permeates everything - for me it is more of a nostalgic smell since I have smelled this since childhood.....

Amsterdam continued...
October 13, 2009
We've finally recovered from jet lag... heading out to the Hortifair today. It's amazing how almost every restaurant and shop here in the city has flowers. Most restaurants have flowers on the tables and also a big bouquet in the reception area. For instance, yesterday we ate dinner at an Indonesian restaurant called Long Pura. Each table had a red rose, a sight which I am sorry to say I almost never see in Portland the city of Roses...

Also our B & B has huge bouquets of cymbidiums and anthuriums. Vlad, one of the owners, told us that his friend buys their flowers at the auction. He said that Cymbidiums were only 6 euros for a luscious stem. At this time of year I think these flowers are from New Zealand. That is such a super cheap price.

Reporting in from Amsterdam
October 12, 2009
Just got into Amsterdam for the 2009 Hortifair - the direct flight from Portland is nice but sooooooo long. It was good to get here and check into the B & B in the old part of the city.

We'll have a day to acclimate then go to the trade show at the giant expo called the RAI. It's a huge show with everything from greenhouse parts to new plant varieties - of course I come to see the new rose varieties.

We also will be travelling to the outskirts (Aalsmeer area) to see the rose breeder show greenhouses.

Mostly looking for new garden-type roses.

New Roses and New Chickens
October 3, 2009
Whoa, it's October - you remember about the chickens we got earlier this year - we decided we have TOO MANY roosters and not enough hens - so a friend of mine kindly offered us six of her young Buff Orpingtons.

We went to her house on Parrett Mountain last week and brought them down to the farm. Karen had already prepared a special coop for them - from the old monkey cage (it's a long story, I promise to tell about the monkey later) - and after a warm chicken-scented ride down the hill with the hens calm in the dog kennel in the back of the van, they sedately walked into their new coop.

Yesterday after a day of feeling safe in their new home Karen let them out and they went exploring throughout the greenhouse. Their jobs: lay eggs and eat weeds and bugs.

We're also getting new rose plants - including a fivefold increase in our red garden rose, Piano Freiland. We also planted a new spray rose Surprise, plus a couple of pink/peach unnamed garden roses. Soon to have names, we promise! However these plants are teeny weeny and won't be blooming much until next spring....

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