Did You
Besides roses, we grow lilies, orchids, holly, stephanotis and maidenhair fern.
Queen of Fashion
June 25, 2007
Blog PictureI just finished reading the book "Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution," a book analyzing the famous beheaded queen's clothing and how it affected history, by Caroline Weber. Did you know that one of the reasons the French hated her was that she was Austrian, a representative of the Hapsburg family? Also, apparently she never said, "Let them eat cake."

Back in those days colors and even flowers had a huge symbolic impact. Black and yellow were the Hapsburg colors, so wearing those was anti-French. Violet and Green were the Bourbon colors, representing the French monarchy. Red, White and Blue were the revolutionary colors, so you could wear those (even if you were a noble) and show your solidarity with the masses.

A portrait of Marie Antoinette holding a rose (symbol of the Hapsburgs) showed her Austrian heritage. (But I didn't know also that she was related to the Sun King, Louis XIV!)

A portrait of Marie Antoinette holding a sheaf of lilies was very French, because the fleur de lis - the lily - was the French national flower. The fleur de lis symbol is a stylized version of the lily.

After the aborted escape from Versailles, where the royal family was captured and held prisoner, Marie Antoinette began to wear violet and green as a symbol of her resistence to the revolution. Even after the king was beheaded, and she wore mourning black, the author of this book theorizes that the black was a reactionary thing to wear because it was part of the Hapsburg colors. So when she was on her way to the scaffold they made her remove her black and wear white instead.

It was impressive how much the author knew about Marie Antoinette's clothes. And amazing how much she spent on them!!!!

By the way, next week is Fourth of July week, which is on Wednesday. So the market will be closed that day. Peterkort Roses will be open at the market on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday that week. So we are taking orders for any and all of those days. To compound the craziness, Saturday July 7 (the famous 7/7/07) is at the end of that week! So that's why we decided to be at the market so much. Let us know if you need something - call (503) 628-1005.


Recycling & Reusing
June 18, 2007
Blog PictureI've been thinking about Dad a lot lately. One of the things I know about his youth is that they "did without" a lot due to not having a lot of extra money and also because of the depression and World War II.

Stuff, including gasoline, rubber, metal and other things that are really really helpful when you are farming, was scarce.

So they learned how to fix everything, conserve things, save things and generally reuse and recycle.

Sometimes we didn't always appreciate Dad's awesome skills as a scrounger and a saver. Especially when having to sort through the amazing quantities of old pipes, rescued objects and ancient metal parts he was always stockpiling.

There were occasions when his packrat mentality paid off. When I bought my 1922 bungalow and we restored the kitchen, Dad had a cache of the perfect black glass cabinet knobs from the 1959 remodel of our old house. They now look quite historically correct and beautiful on my white cupboards.

I know Dad would appreciate the sterlization setup pictured above. This is a big pile of used "coir," or coconut fiber, which we use to grow our hydroponic roses and lilies. After a batch of lilies is finished blooming, the workers empty out the crates into a big pile. Then it is covered in plastic and the steam pipes are turned on. Then it can be reused.

Thrifty, economical, and also green. Thanks Dad!!!!! -----Sandra

New Roses Coming Along
June 13, 2007
Blog PictureDear readers, I am excited because I hear from more people at the flower market all the time that they are looking at our web site and using it for planning orders, and also reading my blog. That is so cool and thank you so much.

Our new roses for this year are mostly all planted and they are growing nicely. We had a few plants die but mostly it was a successful operation.

Above is Mom in one of the newly planted areas. This was the former home of Kyria, a pretty rose but alas not good enough for today, and also some Fire & Ice. We still have plenty of the latter so don't worry. They were both planted "old style" in the ground with water applied through little sprayers at the dirt level.

All the new roses we are planting are in hydroponic culture. This involves planting in plastic tubs, in coconut fiber. Each tub has several plants, and also a couple of drippers which apply water mixed with fertilizer. We have found this method of planting gives better length on the plants and also better yield. They grow better and are more resistent to disease.

The white covering you see in the picture is to prevent weeds from growing. Weed control in the greenhouse is very important because weeds attract pests. Since we are trying to grow as "green" as possible, we want to do what we can without spraying to discourage bugs and disease.

Another advantage of hydroponic culture for roses is that you can plant tiny plants called "stentlings". With in-ground growing we had to buy field-grown plants which needed to be grown outdoors for a couple of years until they were big and tough enough to stand the transplanting process. The new method means that we can get new varieties a lot quicker.

Take a look at the pictures for our new varieties in the Rose Database. They are not available yet for purchase, but they will be later this summer. You can select "New Variety" in the selection criteria to get a list of our newer ones.

It's almost summer!!!!! --Sandra

Dad's Funeral
June 7, 2007
Blog Picture

As you may have read in the newspaper, our Dad, Albert Peterkort, died on Saturday. His funeral will be in Hillsboro on Friday at noon at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 447 SE Third, between Oak and Walnut.

To read a full obituary, please click on "News."

Primitivo and I will be at the Flower Market as usual on Friday morning, but we will be leaving early. Please look for your orders in the cooler.

Thank you to everyone for your condolences. We will really miss him.


In Memory of Dad
June 4, 2007
Blog PictureAlbert Peterkort, president of J. Peterkort & Co., and retired manager of Peterkort Roses, died Saturday, June 2, 2007 at his home in Hillsboro. He was 88. A funeral Mass will be held at 12 noon on Friday, June 8, 2007, at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Hillsboro.

Albert was born August 13, 1918 at home in the Cedar Mill area to Joseph and Bertha (Teufel) Peterkort. During childhood he was seriously ill with meningitis. When the fever lifted, his auditory nerves had been permanently damaged, leaving only partial hearing in one ear. He missed an entire year of school, but recovered his health and graduated from Beaverton High School.

From childhood he worked in the family wholesale cut flower business, which started in 1923 as a small greenhouse operation called J. Peterkort & Co. In 1952 he married Mary Anne Holboke from the farm down the road, and they embarked on a 55 year successful partnership which produced seven children and ten grandchildren. Over the years the farm also grew to over 250 acres, eventually becoming part of the urban area. Seeing that development of the original farm was inevitable, he bought a new farm in Hillsboro and built a new rose growing greenhouse facility called Peterkort Roses (www.PeterkortRoses.com).

During his years as grower for the company, Albert became interested in orchids, especially cymbidiums, cattleyas and slipper orchids. He built up the collection and hybridized new varieties, winning several awards. On his last visit to the greenhouse before he died he was able to view his prized plants in full bloom.

Albert is survived by his wife, Mary Anne, children Sandra (Jim) Laubenthal, Pamela (Jack) Maher, Karen Peterkort, Steven (Anna) Peterkort, Norman (Cathy Garrison) Peterkort, Madalyn (Samir) Rustagi, and Sheila (Jack) Davis. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, as well as his brother Frank and sisters Elsie Peck and Lois Ditmars.

Remembrances and flowers are welcome. Remembrances may be made to St. Matthew Catholic Church in Hillsboro.

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