Did You
Know?
Our roses can be used as cake decorations.
More About Names
March 24, 2008
Blog PictureSome plant & flower names are so wonderfully perfect. For example, "Thundercloud" flowering plum - a pink flowering tree which blooms in the early spring when the clouds are often dark and opalescent - then the leaves are dark purple. Perfect.

Also we have a rose called "Spanish Dancer" which I've always loved because it looks just like a ruffled flamenco skirt with red rick-rack.

The above tree is from the neighborhood (it's not Thundercloud) - when I was a kid we had one in the yard. We used to call it the "Ring Around the Rosy" tree because we'd do that around the tree. Don't ask me why!

Also from the 50's - I had a turquoise cotton top with ruffles and red rick rack!!!

This must be nostalgia day.

Felt sorry for Sam's girlfriend this weekend because she's never had an Easter basket. Poor deprived girl. So I made one up for her with items at hand. 1) - most important is the candy of course! 2) A rosary, and 3) explosives. Just kidding, really just a couple of party poppers...

We're still trying to decide what to plant this year. Definitely another bed of Helga Piaget, the white garden rose. Probably some Tamango, a dark red spray rose. Katy Teufel of Oregon Roses had some plants that she couldn't use so we are going to adopt them. It's going to be a minimal planting year but hopefully we'll add lights to another area and have more & better Avalanche, Sphinx Gold, Tara and Revival.

Out & About
March 14, 2008
Blog PictureHere's Kathy from the Floral Design Institute in Portland showing off a "rose ring" made from a Lydia spray rose flower, a pearl center, some ivy leaves assembled using a ring made of floral wire. Very pretty. Also like your bracelet Kathy!!!!

This is the type of thing which J. Schwanke will probably be showing at the prom & wedding design show on April 6 at Greenleaf at the Portland Flower Market. The show costs $25; call Greenleaf to reserve your spot. I'm going!!

Marlys from Trinette's showed me a great regional dinner schedule for the restaurant Fenouil on NW 11th Avenue in Portland. These are special Sunday dinners including wine for $43 per person - family style dining!

March 30 is regional cuisine of Alsace-Lorraine, April 27 is Perigord Regal (southwest France), May 18 - An Evening in Auvergne, and Cena Cubana on both June 22 and June 29th.

Yum!!!!

We're going wine tasting at Everyday Wines tonight with our neighbors. That's always fun and you bring your own food!

Have a great weekend!

A rose is a rose...
March 11, 2008
Blog PictureI was driving back from dropping the kids off at school for the carpool, and musing about things. (Other good places for musing: in the shower, on the bus, while lying awake in bed at 3 a.m....)

Thinking about what makes a rose a rose... We know from Shakespeare (Romeo & Juliet) that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. So forget the name... let's concentrate on the rose...

How do you know it's a rose? Because of how it looks, but roses can all look different. Compare an Yves Piaget with an Akito... Different color, yes. The shapes are different, Yves Piaget looks like a pink peony while Akito is a classic slender spiral rose shape.

Do you have do get down to the DNA? I know someone who works for a strawberry farm in California. His job, and I couldn't believe this when he told me, is to test the DNA of various strawberries to see if anyone has stolen their patented varieties....yes, you can tell something as slight as a genetic variation in a strawberry, a plant that does not have the wide variation of the rose...

It is interesting to compare the rose with the strawberry...they are in the same plant family, believe it or not, the wonderful rose family. So are cherry, plum and apple trees, blackberries and raspberries.

The strawberry has generally been selected by mankind over time for two characteristics: tastiness and large fruit. More recently shipping ability has become important. So strawberries tend to look quite the same.

The rose, on the other hand, has been selected by mankind over time to produce a huge selection of colors. The color variation in the rose flower is incredible, from the Supergreen rose which is an apple green color, to the new rose Fiesta, which is kind of yellow with multicolored stripes! Leonidas has petals with the outside golden and the inside bronze. Classic Cezanne is white with hot pink edges.

In the past the rose was also selected for the "classic" shape - the spiral with a long bud. More recently newer shapes have been coming into favor - the Quatre Coeurs or "hearts" shape with quartered centers, the Yves Piaget and Helga Piaget peony shape, the ball shaped bud such as Waltzertraum, as well as ruffles and scalloped edges.

It would be interesting to have the finances and ability to do DNA tests of all these roses to see how they relate to each other and what their ancestry might be.

You can do that through various companies for humans. I admit to some curiosity about this - just what would the DNA reveal???

Well, so much for musing!!!

Sandra

What's Happening at the Farm....
March 5, 2008
Blog PictureHere's Karen, Norman and me at the farm with the Mi Amor roses growing beautifully...

The big thing that is happening right now is that the cymbidiums are in full bloom - time for the cymbidium special. Call us at (503) 628-1005 for details.

Karen is trying to figure out how to get a pesky bird out of the greenhouse which is persistently sitting on the flowers and messing them up.

Norm attended a seminar on the latest techniques to prevent insect and disease problems in the greenhouse. It's a challenge because we are trying to be as green as possible, use beneficial insects, do all the strategies to avoid spraying.

Plus when we do spray we have a policy of never using restricted entry pesticides. So we use the mildest ones. He got the latest university research on new techniques.

We finally have better internet service at the farm so we can start to implement our computerization at the flower market. That will mean faster writing up of orders, less math errors, and hopefully all around speedier service.

I know it will be a challenge, these conversions always are, but I think it will be a great tool for us. And although I appreciate the brain exercise of adding up columns of numbers, sometimes when we are busy the numbers don't add up right!

Also we finally got our poster produced. We are selling them for $5 each. They include pictures of all our roses with names, also some of the lilies and a few other products. The colors are pretty good, of course nothing substitutes for seeing the real thing, and it's amazing how colors look different in different light - some roses even change from season to season!

See me at the market if you'd like a poster!

Sandra

Why We Love Flowers, continued...
March 1, 2008
Blog PictureYesterday I noted that the book, The Florist's Daughter, by Patricia Hampl said that we love flowers because they die, they are not permanent.

Other reasons we love flowers, in my opinion:

* They smell good

* Their complex mathematical formula of their petals is pleasing to our eye and brain - like crystals, classical architecture, etc.

* They are living things that we can bring indoors to enjoy and remind us that it will not always be winter!!!

If you have entered this web site via the blog, welcome to the Peterkort Roses web site, www.peterkortroses.com. We are a wholesale flower growing company in Oregon, USA.

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