Did You
We grow maidenhair fern; it comes in bunches of 25
Struggling with Modern Technology...
August 31, 2007
Blog PictureLearning by doing is definitely the way to go. For example, this blog.

I've learned for one thing that I need a new digital camera! It's difficult to get the colors right when taking the pictures.

But the above shot of Sweet Avalanche is, shall I say, sweet. This is definitely the color. The reds are very difficult and also hot pink...

It's the last day of August so my last opportunity to blog for the month. Also my son Sam's last day at the flower market today - he helped us all summer which is saying a lot for a 17 year old to get up at 4:30 a.m........

I added a new florist to the Links page today, Martie from Space Design gave us her info. She's a regular visitor to the flower market and buys our flowers. The Oregonian recently wrote up her business in the Home & Garden section.

Have a wonderful weekend - the Portland Flower Market will be closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday September 1, 2 and 3. Peterkort Roses will be there next week Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday September 4, 5 and 7.


The Dogs that Ate My Car
August 28, 2007
Blog PictureOut at the farm today, making petals, trying to work on the books, scoring a few veggies from the garden...

As promised, above is the Tropicana picture in "living color" - so much nicer than black & white as in yesterday's entry.

Norm had a totally new haircut, sort of the "retired marine" look. It is short!

Also his two dogs did a number on their car. There was a squirrel hiding under the hood, and the two dogs went nuts. There were teeth marks in the metal! Cathy thinks they may have been at it for two hours.

They tore off the license plate, chewed rubber fittings, and basically destroyed the paint job in the front of the car. Luckily it is an old car... but still.

When she got home it was a mess but the dogs were still at it. The squirrel leaped out when she opened the hood!

It's wild kingdom out there...........

It's All About Color
August 27, 2007
Blog PictureOne of the benefits of time off is that you see things differently when you get back.

I was pondering on "color" and what a wonderful aspect of my job it is.

When you think about it, roses have a very wide color spectrum. We even have a green rose, Supergreen. The only color that doesn't exist is blue.

Apparently a gene-splicing company is working on a blue rose, no luck yet. There have been rumors over the years but they have not proven to be anything but blue smoke...

Meanwhile plenty of people will sell you a blue rose, dyed of course.

I remember very well when we got a color TV at our house when I was growing up. My grandparents had one first, and I remember seeing this amazing phenomenon when I was 6 or 7. Then we got one, it had to be 1961 or 1962.

My favorite show was Walt Disney's "Wonderful World of Color." Remember the theme song? "The world is a paradise of color....color...color...color....." accompanied by lots of beautiful pictures. The NBC peacock was the starting point. And the main sponsor for the show was of course Kodak.

We take the color in our lives for granted... it's so easy to have color now. A long way from Henry Ford's "any color as long as it's black" Model T car days.

So I made today's photo black and white.... it's our new rose Tropicana. My next blog entry will show it in "living color!"

Have a beautiful and colorful day... --Sandra

Back to Portland
August 26, 2007
Blog PictureComing home from a vacation is always interesting.

First of all, there's your house when you walk in. Suddenly you're transported back in time...to when you left. Whatever was undone is still sitting there, ready to cause guilt.

Even though I'm often not one of them, the people who clean up their houses before they go on vacation have a point.

The longer you can put off the visibility of the daily routine, the longer the blissful sense of still being on vacation will last.

Then there's all the mail and the phone calls. The wonderment of just how much junk mail comes in during the week. And stupid phone calls from people you in a weak moment may have given money to in the past, then they never leave you alone.

All your real friends know you're gone of course and they don't call.

Anyway, a long way of saying we're back.

Above is Mom in the middle of a big petal making episode, what a good sport!!!!

Memo from Central Oregon
August 25, 2007
Our last day in Central Oregon.

Here's the latest from the Wall Street Journal...

According to "The Numbers Guy," Carl Bialik, weddings are not the budget drain some surveys suggest...

Although several surveys indicate that the average American wedding costs almost $30,000, in reality the typical American wedding costs half that or even less.

The problem, according to this columnist, is that the average is skewed by the people who fill out the surveys, and also because a few humongously expensive weddings mess up the average.

The bottom line is that around 2.2 million weddings take place each year.

The article also quotes Rebecca Mead, who has published a new book entitled, "One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding."

She says that the surveys tend to take into account only brides who are self-identified to be in the high spending group.

What are the conclusions for people who are in the business of bridal flowers?

I would say, you can conclude from this that there are many many weddings that are relatively modest affairs. Not every wedding is going to have a $20,000 flower budget.

Accordingly, those lower budget weddings can also be beautiful with lovely flowers, but the florist cannot always afford to spend a lot of time on them...

The Peterkort Roses web site is designed to accommodate brides who want to do a lot of searching and dreaming on their own.

As a "Bride Friendly" flower web site, PeterkortRoses.com allows brides to look at rose varieties and think about the kind of look they want in their wedding flowers. Then it's a simple matter to let the florist know which varieties they favor.

So even if you don't have a super giant wedding flower budget, your florist should be able to get you fresh, locally grown roses for your wedding.

Central Oregon Adventures
August 21, 2007
I'm reporting from my remote location on vacation in Central Oregon and I don't have the photo connection hooked up so no new photo with the blog today.

Our first day here yesterday was miserable and rainy but the diehard golfers played 18 anyway. I caught up on my sleep.

Today we hiked in McKenzie Pass to Mattheu Lake over a major lava field with the rocks crackling and crunching underfoot like pieces of broken dishes.

Highlights in the fungus department were a cool coral type fungus and orange fruiting bodies of slime molds - very unusual to see a slime mold, very weird plants. Other than that we mainly saw bugs. Very few birds and NO animals.

A few wildflowers were blooming such as the wild lupine and asters. Once we got away from the lava field and into the woods there were lots of huckleberry plants, no berries on them though since they were so tiny, and in one spot I saw some plants that looked like wild strawberries. I looked at the flowers but I couldn't decide for sure what they were. Did you know that strawberries are in the rose family? So that was the rose I saw today.

Speaking of roses, I've been thinking about constructing a "rose table of equivalents" like they have in cookbooks, so if you don't have a certain ingredient you can substitute something similar.

For instance:

Prestige by Peterkort Roses is very similar to the Opium rose.

Our new rose Tropicana could be used for Circus.

Looking for Sterling Silver? Try Ocean Song.

Maria Theresia is a good substitute for Cecile Brunner

Ambiance looks like Feria. Ambiance could also pinch hit for the Peace rose.

Sweet Avalanche is a substitute for Candy Bianca

That's all I can think of right now..... Look in "what we grow" for more information about these roses!

Farm Weekend with Mom
August 18, 2007
Blog PictureLast weekend Mom stayed with us for two days and Jim was playing endless golf so we had some adventures.

I wanted to go look at Cistus Nursery again on Sauvie's Island, and Mom is always game to look at plants, so we drove over there. It was a beautiful day.

No sign of the chickens that used to roam around at Cistus, but I did buy a pittosporum, the variegated one Pittosporum tobira I think it's Shaina??? Anyway it doesn't get very big. Also a really cool variegated poet's jasmine, which hopefully I won't kill. Karen predicts it will last one winter at the most. Pessimist!

On the way back we stopped at the Pumpkin Patch and ate lunch at their cafe, where I took the above picture of Mom with the Campsis radicans, trumpet creeper. I want to buy one of these to climb all over my garage and attract hummingbirds, but it has to be the Chinese one with the bright red flowers. I was disappointed they didn't have it at Cistus, have to keep looking.

We bought some Peaches & Cream corn at the farm store there and then I thought, let's go the movies tonight! The Real Dirt on Farmer John was showing at the Hollywood Theater so I thought Mom might get a kick out of it. Here's the real Farmer John in the photo below,

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He has a small (20 plus acres) farm in Illinois which used to be a 300 acre farm but due to farm troubles of the 80s he had to sell it. The film chronicles his life and emergence as a successful proprietor of an organic subscription farm, part of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement.

He is near Chicago, so his farm produces vegetables that are packed in boxes and delivered each week to people who subscribe to his organic produce service.

It's definitely a niche business, but one which we also at Peterkort Roses see as related to what we are trying to do - produce high quality locally grown flowers for the local market. Organic roses - now that's a challenge. I know there are famous distributors who say they are organic. But I also know how difficult it is to produce a rose without some extra help. Every bug in the world likes to eat roses, and they are notoriously susceptible to disease as well.

We are using Integrated Pest Management, so we use biological controls (bugs to eat bad bugs) and we also must use some spray. But never EPA-restricted ones. So the milder sprays only are used, and we try to avoid it.

Norman has also seen the movie about Farmer John. Here's Norm in the greenhouse, savoring an Avalanche rose the same way Farmer John is tripping out on his onion above:

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What did Mom think of the movie? She didn't appreciate Farmer John's hippie trippy aspect very much. But she could really relate to his struggles to keep the farm and also his family, especially his Mom.

If you've come across this blog and are curious about what Peterkort Roses grows, click on "What We Grow" to the left to search through our different products. If you are interested in our Integrated Pest Management look at "Green & Local" .

Have a good weekend!!! --Sandra

The Rose Hit Parade
August 16, 2007
Blog PictureI am a very curious person and so one of the things I really like to know is what varieties of roses people are searching for on the internet.

Peterkort Roses grows quite a few varieties of roses for the wholesale market. It's fun to know which ones are on the "Hit Parade."

Here is a brief list of what roses seem to be popular now (on the internet anyway): Metallina, Sweet Avalanche, Black Baccara, Peach Avalanche, Akito, Beauty by Oger, Vendela, Leonidas, Mi Amor, Mimi Eden, Ocean Song, Naranga, Talea, Yves Piaget, and in the non-rose category, japhet orchids.

Peterkort Roses grows all these varieties. If you want to know more, click on "What We Grow" on the list to the left. Pictures and more information are available. We are a wholesale grower to the trade. Our small farm is located in Portland, Oregon, so we concentrate on the local market mostly, but we will ship.

For more information, please call (503) 628-1005.

Rose Petals for Sale
August 10, 2007
Blog PictureI finally got around to adding rose petals to our list of items for sale. It can be found in the "What We Grow" section of our website, under Other Products.

This is a new product for us because in the past there was another rose grower in town (our cousins Oregon Roses) who have now switched their business to mostly wholesale greens. They don't do rose petals any more.

But rose petals can be fun. Yesterday we were working on a big batch of them, and it was my son Sam, his friend Will, Mom, and me. Then Karen came in from the orchid house, and pretty soon Sheila, from Seattle, walked in. She was waiting to pick up her son from a sleepover with his cousins, so she decided to work on our petal project for a while. It was a petal party!!!

You can get rose petals from Peterkort Roses. We like it if you order a week or more in advance. We will do mixed colors. We sell the rose petals in gallon increments.

If you need rose petals, call us at (503) 628-1005. Wholesale only, of course, and they must be picked up at the flower market or the greenhouse. We will ship to our customers as well, usually via UPS. You have to call us to find out the price.

Today was exciting because we had the first examples of some of our new roses. We sold them all so I don't have updated pictures for the web site yet! We had Tara, which is yellow, Tropicana which looks like Circus, and Sweet Avalanche, a rose that looks like it might be extremely wonderful. It is shaped like the Avalanche which is white, but it is pale pink. It looks a little bit like Candy Bianca, but bigger. I know people miss having Candy Bianca, which Oregon Roses used to grow.

August 4, 2007
Blog PictureCheck out this interesting moth I saw last week on the Hollywood Library building. I haven't tried to identify it. It gets a lot of points for protective coloration - it looks just like a dead leaf. And it was pretty big.

Out walking the other morning my friend and I spied a very bizarre bug, a large beetle with black and white stripes. Even the antennae were striped. Too bad I don't have my camera when we do our early morning walk. It was a very strange and cool looking bug.

Final bug story.......today my husband and his backpacking buddy got back from the Elkhorn Mountains in Eastern Oregon. They hadn't been there before. It's close to Baker City, off I-84. It was a pleasant trip, not overly buggy, at a high elevation. At one pond they watched frogs catch flies, including a large horsefly that was still buzzing as the froggy gulped him down. Yummy!

At Peterkort Roses we actually BUY bugs (yes believe it or not) as part of our Integrated Pest Management program. We let them loose in the greenhouse to help wipe out aphids, spider mites, whitefly and thrips. It helps cut down on spraying.

Hope you're having a nice bug-free day! --Sandra

Roses that Look Like Peonies
August 2, 2007
Blog PictureGood morning! I vaulted out of bed today at 4 a.m. and was wide awake, chipper and unbelievably energetic. Of course that ignores the fact that I fell asleep on top of my bed fully clothed last night and was still like that, with the light on, when I woke up. Maybe this is good??????

Anyhow, you might want to take a look at the August Peterkort Roses newsletter (click on "News" in the green box at left). The subject is roses that look like peonies, a very sought-after new look for cut flower roses.

Peterkort Roses is currently growing six different roses of this type, with two more under test or newly planted. We are growing French and German garden roses, no English ones as of yet. I'd like to grow them, plus some Oregon-bred ones from Heirloom Roses.

That's in the future. For now we have Yves Piaget, Helga Piaget (Cream Piaget), Maria Theresia, Karamel Antike, Biedermeier, and Waltzertraum. We are still testing Augusta Luise, and we just planted Piano Freiland.

Check out the pictures of these roses in the newsletter.

Beautiful Roses in France
August 1, 2007
Blog PictureMy friend Linda of Joy of Flowers loaned me a lovely book called A Treasury in L'Hay-les-Roses: The Roseraie du Val-de-Marne.

A giant rose garden in France containing JUST roses begun in 1894. Today it has 15,200 plants arranged in thirteen collections:

1. The Formal Rose Garden - a fancy layout around an ornamental pool

2. The Avenue of Historical Roses - a selection of roses retracing the most important moments in the history of the rose

3. The Avenue of Botanical Roses - wild roses, growing naturally

4. The avenue of hedgerow roses - Rugosa roses

5. The avenue of burnet roses - large rose bushes with delicate foliage - I'm not familiar with this type of rose, wondering if this English translation should be saying something different...

6. Garden of gallicae roses - the only roses known in Europe before the 1700s

7. Avenue of Malmaison roses - dedicated to Josephine, Napoleon's wife (whom he divorced they diplomatically don't say), whose garden at Malmaison was famous

8. Oriental rose garden - roses originally from the far east

9. The ancient horticultural rose garden - crosses between Gallicae and Oriental roses from 1850 to 1950, probably a different English name

10. Modern foreign rose garden - roses from England, the US, Germany, etc.

11. Modern French rose garden - A BIG display of French roses

12. Avenue of tea roses - dating from the 1800s, not hardy in the French climate, planted against a south exposure wall

13. Mrs. Gravereaux's rose garden - named after the founder's wife, a selection of modern roses grouped by color.


Sometimes people at the Portland Flower Market ask me, what is the ancestry of this rose? It's a big, big, very big question, as you can see from the above. And do I know the answer???? I only know that most of our roses are hybrid teas, the spray roses are floribundas, and I really don't know the crosses that lay behind the new garden roses we are now beginning to grow.

The rose is a huge, huge genus, with many species and countless hybrids.

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