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Floral Design as Art Happening Next Thursday
May 24, 2006
The Floral Design Institute is hosting a First Thursday event called "Floral Design as Art" on Thursday, June 1 from 6 to 9. See below for more information.

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Please note, the Portland Flower Market will be CLOSED for the entire Memorial Day Weekend. That means not open Saturday May 27. Also not open Monday May 29. So Peterkort Roses will be at market on Friday May 26, then again on Tuesday May 30. Let us know whether you want your standing order Tuesday, Wednesday, or both.

Here's a cute red teddy bear arrangement created by Sharon M. of Bales Thriftway floral department using our roses. This was a fund raiser for her charitable group Epsilon Sigma Alpha.

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Today I did my civic good citizen thing and reported for jury duty at the Multnomah County courthouse. Had to abandon Primitivo early at the market and lickety split downtown. I had intended to change into "nice" clothes but abandoned this idea due to lack of time - and my L.L. Bean waterproof shoes set off the metal detector. I think they have steel shanks or something.

Anyway it was anticlimactic because I never did get called into a courtroom. I was kind of looking forward to it, but also dreading getting called for a long trial. The last time I did jury duty some time ago you had to report every day for 2 weeks! Now it's just one day. In Washington County you just call in.

Karen, Orchid Woman
May 19, 2006
Blog PictureMy sister Karen is the orchid woman extraordinaire. She has adopted Dad's collection and worked to improve it. Every day before the market she cuts the Cattleyas, which enables me to say with confidence, "these orchids were freshly cut yesterday!"

When we moved our orchids back in the 80's from the old farm near St. Vincent's on Sunset Highway, the pots were all basically loaded onto a truck and brought out. That caused some organizational difficulties - they were all mixed up!

It's taken Karen YEARS to get them all back in order. Especially since the Cymbidiums only bloom once a year, that's the only time you can really tell them apart with 100 percent certainty.

Her other gargantuan task is to repot them. It's never-ending - when you finish the job it's time to start over again. Some of the Cymbidiums are busting out of their pots.

It's a jungle in there!

New Wheels at Clarence Walker Florist
May 17, 2006
Blog PictureWhile making a delivery to Clarence Walker today on my way home from the market, I saw their pretty new vehicle covered with flowers. If you have a van driving through the Portland area this is a good and inexpensive way to advertise. Helps justify the price of gas.

The concensus at the market seems to be that Mother's Day was a good holiday for the florists. As usual, lots of people wait until the last minute to order. So the phones were ringing off the hook Friday and Saturday. It got so busy that those with wire service machines sometimes had to turn them off.

I noticed that pink was extremely popular this year. And then, the Monday after Mother's Day, yellow was the big color. Pink backlash????

This hot weather has made life interesting at the farm. On Monday the power was intermittent so Norm had to start up the generator and run it for several hours. PGE was having trouble finding the source of the outage - trucks were driving up and down 219 looking for the problem. I guess they finally found it.

Several customers told me they were having cooler problems. This definitely happens at the onset of the hot weather. And of course, it's hard to get service when everybody is turning on their air conditioning for the first time and finding out it isn't working.

Cymbidiums are so Over
May 16, 2006
Blog PictureCymbidium season is over until Thanksgiving. Look at the empty greenhouse - just a few things left and the heat is wiping those out.

Of course you can get cyms grown elsewhere - southern hemisphere where it's winter now, such as New Zealand. But our own local ones are off until later.

Our season runs from Thanksgiving until Mother's Day.

Cleaning up dead leaves, repotting, and reorganizing are the activities now. We also bought some new plants this year and they need to be worked into the collection.

Ode to Mom
May 15, 2006
Blog PictureThanks for everything Mom - for raising seven children with a trowel in one hand and a wooden spoon in the other......for teaching us about gardening and growing......for letting us have our "space."

We had a great barbeque at the farm yesterday on that delicious day.

I worked on "de-mintification" of the flower beds. One of us, whose name shall not be MENTIONED, planted some mint several years ago. Now it has to be eradicated. Like de-Baathification, this is difficult because it has underground roots. It runs, it hides, it conducts insurgent warfare. The strategy: pull it out root and branch and let it sizzle on the hot sidewalk. Then throw it into the fire! No composting for you, mint baby!

Happy Mother's Day (Ommmmmmmmm...)
May 12, 2006
Today was better than Wednesday as far as the stress level. Of course at 5:30 this morning as I was snarling on the phone at Norman it seemed worse.

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But I apologized, and now the busy-ness has been transferred to the florists who are selling lots of mommy-pleasing flowers and gifts.

Finally home and time to eat lunch.

The picture is a soothing green, mossy stalagtite-thing that I saw at the Hortifair in Amsterdam last November. I thought it looked calming.

Rockin' & Rollin'
May 11, 2006
Blog PictureIt's the week before Mother's Day and there are lots of proms and weddings. So we're busy, which is good. Also it's our second week of having lilies so that's a new wrinkle. Yesterday we had two giant tubs of lilies and they were gone by 8:30. Mostly Asiatics but also some LA Hybrids, otherwise known as Royals.

Jennie Greene Designs is celebrating her one year anniversary in business in Portland. Jennie is ex-Midwest, ex-New York, and now has a spot in a remodelled shipping container on a parking lot on NW 23rd and Pettygrove.

A friend of a friend e-mailed me this picture she took after one of Jennie's classes - the rose is called Sphinx Gold.

I'm getting ready to head out to the farm and see what we've got going on for tomorrow's market.

Steven has been cultivating the ground where Mom, Karen and I plant our humongous vegetable/fun flower garden. Mom is all about corn on the cob (Dad loves it), Karen is getting serious about melons and tomatoes; she's got some started in the cymbidium house. I'm starting some kohlrabi, purple cabbage, red onions and marigolds on the back patio where it's warm.

One of the fun things about working outside in the summer pulling the never-ending weeds is that Sunny (my dog) also enjoys digging in the garden. She's almost as good at catching mice as the cat.

Our old farm cat, Monkey Face, unfortunately got really sick last fall. In the cat world there is never a vacancy for long, and the new cat, Limpy Cat, quickly moved in to take his place. This cat has one bad leg and is maybe an abandoned cat who has learned to shift for himself. I don't think he'll be invited into the house to drink water out of the bathroom faucet, like Monkey used to do. He has a scrappy tough-guy look.

Mother's Day Hours at Flower Market
May 6, 2006
This coming week, May 8-14, the Portland Flower Market will have special hours due to Mother's Day:

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Monday May 8 - 5:30 to 3 (normal hours)

Tuesday, May 9 - 6 to 12 noon (normal hours)

Wednesday, May 10 - 5:30 to 3 (normal hours)

Thursday, May 11 - 6 to 3 (normal hours)

Friday, May 12 - 5:30 to 3 (normal hours)

Saturday, May 13 - 6 to 12 noon (normally 7 to 10)

Sunday, May 14 - CLOSED

So I guess the only day having special hours is actually Saturday.

Roses are still available. We are sold out of pink spray roses. Possibly there are still some Mimi Edens though. Pink is very popular this year.

A large number of high schools seems to also be having proms next weekend. So we are getting sold out of small white roses pretty rapidly.

A Fun Day for Kids at Alpenrose
May 4, 2006
My friend Cynthia M. is organizing the second (I think) Fairy Festival for kids at Alpenrose this Saturday. I know I would have killed to go to this when I wuz that age. I distinctly remember desiring a magic wand BADLY.

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I think this is a cross between a Renaissance fair and Harry Potter's Diagon Alley. So where's my costume???? Too bad I'm more fit for the Old Crone look at this point!!!

May 2, 2006
We've been picking lily of the valley for about two weeks now. This job has mainly gone to Mom but sometimes Karen and I do it too.

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I borrowed this pretty basket from Mom to use at the market, but I need to give it back when the season is over (soon) because it's the basket they use to carry canning jars down to the fruit cellar!

Back in the 70s when I was a teenager - now I'm really dating myself - one of the big perfumes was "Muguet des Bois" which was of course lily of the valley perfume and boy did I love it.

They don't make it anymore but "Jessica McClintock" is almost the same, maybe a little nicer because it isn't as "green." (Can a perfume be green?)

My Brother Goes to California...
May 1, 2006
Norm spent a few days in California 2 weeks ago schmoozing with his fellow flower growers and learning some new things. This was the spring International Cut Flower Growers meeting, held in and around Pismo Beach. (What happens in Pismo Beach stays in Pismo Beach? Just doesn't have quite the ring to it.)

Anyway, part of these meetings is touring local growers' greenhouses and stealing their ideas. Of course most of these guys are huge compared with us so it's always somewhat awe-inspiring.

He visited a bouquet making operation, where a LOT of ladies were making thousands of bouquets...

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Saw a very good efficient rose growing operation...this is their grading room...a lot more mechanized than us...

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Looked at a rose grower who is going into calla lilies in a huge way...look at this enormous greenhouse full of them...this is about the same way we are growing our new lilies...

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Tromped around in the hot sun from greenhouse...

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to greenhouse...

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to greenhouse... Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

and of course the fun part...

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I'm a big believer of continuing to educate yourself and also that your peer group is a great source of encouragement, news, support and information. Also they have a new rose variety display where we can see the latest & greatest varieties...

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