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Blue Rose Sightings????
March 22, 2007
Blog PictureMy son Sam sent me a web reference to a blue rose, noting that now Florigene has extracted a pansy gene into a rose to get a blue rose. They had pictures but they did not look real, they looked like Vendela dyed blue. This is commonly done, because Vendela takes up dye well.

Earlier Florigene has used this same technique to get the purple carnations, with a blue petunia gene.

The Wall Street Journal recently carried an article about this, noting that biotech is now in the garden, "Genetically modified ornamental plants are in the works. The challenge now: avoiding the 'Frankenflowers' label."

The sidebar to the article (by Bart Ziegler), was entitled, "Re-Engineering the Rose." It noted three examples of modifying genes in flowers: to get unusual colors, for hardiness, and for new looks. The continued quest for a blue rose is definitely on this list.

As we know, the rose genotype does not contain a gene for the blue color, although roses come in all the other colors. (Just look at the market cart for Peterkort Roses some time!) So they have to use a gene from a flower that does have the blue color. A couple years ago I read an article about using an animal gene to get this color, but this effort did not pan out. Also this is kind of the Frankenflowers thing, don't you think?

Shown above is Jennie Greene's design from our Moscow roses which she featured for Valentine's Day. Jennie is a florist who operates out of a transformed shipping container parked in a lot in the Pearl. She's always getting "artistically curved" cymbidium stems from us to use in her sculpteral designs.

I'll be on vacation visiting my sister in Nevada next week for spring break. See you in April!

Sandra

St Patricks Day - Green Flowers
March 13, 2007
Blog PictureWow the booming business in green flowers yesterday at the Portland Flower Market was amazing. Just a casual check around revealed Bells of Ireland, green-dyed carnations, Love Lies Bleeding (except in this case it is bleeding green blood because they were green and not red), green roses (Peterkort Roses has Supergreen!!!), green poms, and of course green cymbidiums. Lots more too.

The orchid pictured above is the cymbidium Dr. Lloyd Hawkinson 'Piedmont.' Isn't that a great mouthful?

A lot of cymbidiums have great names. I'm not an expert but I know it has to do with the names of the parent varieties, and each seedling, if they are good enough, has an individual name. So they end up with these names which are mouthfuls, like racehorses or show dogs. I like to think the cymbidiums are the show dogs of the flower world.

Here are some of my favorite cymbidium names:

Sleeping Dream 'Castle'

Yowie Flame 'Heather'

Christmas Beauty 'St. Francis'

San Francisco 'The Beat'

Aren't they great?

My latest project is working on a web site for the flower market. I think we need one!!!! It will have helpful info like hours, maps, applications, etc. Let me know if you have ideas. We are in the early stages!

Cymbidium special is still on.

----Sandra

Mi Amor! Is Here
March 1, 2007
Blog PictureNo, this isn't some hideous flashback to Valentine's Day... I am just bragging about our new rose which is finally ready. It's pink and has a big head, which is a good update for us. Mi Amor! is from the Dutch breeder Schreurs. All their new roses have an exclamation point (!) after the name. Peterkort Roses also grows their Cool Water! and Aqua! varieties.

It was funny, after they started doing the exclamation point, others started adding their own punctuation of choice. Another Dutch breeder, Lex, uses a "+" Peterkort Roses grows their Avalanche+ , Prima Donna+, and Talea+ . Usually we forget about the +++!

This picture of Mi Amor! is from my little digital camera. I have the whole bunch on the dining room table and they are still looking good after more than a week. Also I smelled a sweet smell from them today, so they have a slight fragrance, even after that long. They opened up nicely too. Their outer petals, some people call them "guard" petals, are slightly greeny. It gives them a slightly dirty look when they are first seen, when in a tight bunch. But they opened up a nice pretty pink, on the warm spectrum of the pinks.

I've been thinking, maybe I should note whether a rose is in the "warm" spectrum - with yellow undertones - or in the "cool" spectrum - with blue undertones - or neutral. Hmmm, maybe a new wrinkle to add to the web site next time we update it...

See you Friday..... --Sandra

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