Did You
Black Baccara is the darkest rose available.
September 27, 2006
Today I was idly staring out the dining room window into the brilliant early afternoon sunny yard. I saw the sunflower volunteers that came up in my front bed. Insects were zooming from one to another so fast...I imagined a science fiction planet where huge flowers grew and produced some kind of wonderful nectar....humans would ride fast flying cars to harvest it....A little bit like Dune but no nasty sandworms. Just sunshine and buzzing around. But in reality would it be more like strip mining? How about a scenario where the first visitors to the planet discovered the giant flowers and harvested them but later came the huge flying factories to strip mine the nectar......boy, what did I eat for lunch today????

Speaking of imagination, please come to the Floral Design as Art exhibition to be held on Thursday October 5 at the Floral Design Institute. Here's the details!

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Also, there is still time to sign up for/schedule on your calendar the Portland Flower Market design show and open house on Sunday, October 8. Click on "News" to the left to get the details!

In recent blog entry I mentioned some confusing things where people had heard something different such as my junior high days of "Lame as a Rob" when it was supposed to be "Les Miserables."

Yesterday when I was checking over the Wednesday orders I noticed an order for "This'll Do Farms." That seemed like sort of an odd and interesting name. However, upon reflection I am sure it is supposed to be "Thistledew Farms."

I had another dream the other day where a beautiful Hayden piece was playing on the radio........I began to fall asleep to the sound of the music.......and I started to see blue forget me nots that somehow expressed the essence of the music. Maybe the piece is in 5/4 time, since they have five little petals??? Apparently there are some people who actually "see" sounds in color. When asked, they describe certain notes as having a purple, red or yellow color.

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My Chocoholic...DOG!!!!
September 26, 2006
Sunny, the voracious yellow lab, did it again last week. She ate both the chocolate bars which I brought home from England for my friend Claudia. So I was forced to confess that these gifts were merely locally bought substitutes not really from there. Also did I mention that we had to take Sunny to Dove Lewis to get saved from death? It was my fault that I left the wrong door open!!!!

Mike, owner of 4-T Acres who grows beautiful zinnias, stock, delphinium and many other flowers who is my next door neighbor at the market, says that dogs can also die from eating raw salmon. Who knew? Sunny came from his farm, a great place to be a dog. (No chocolate or salmon!)

Here's our new spray rose Astral. I displayed it on a Friday so here it is tight and new:

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And here it is a week later all nice and open: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It is a more blue pink than our other comparable pink spray rose, Gracia.

Also please note that I have added our new roses (which are still little plants) to the web site. You can search for them by checking the "new" box in the search area.

I also redid the lilies and added more photos. More still to come.

Window Boxes of Olde England!
September 24, 2006
My kids thought I was crazy (o how many times have I written that phrase!) but I was obsessed with the beautiful English window boxes. Some of the pubs outside were entirely decorated with flowers. Take a look...

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Somehow those big stone buildings of London go all soft and beautiful with a few flowers...

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Look at these pubs!!!

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Here's the "Pride of Paddington"...

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The "Churchill Arms"... Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

and more window boxes...

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Then we saw this window box in Paris (very few - many dead) and Jim said, "look at those nice flowers! Take a picture." So I did but they are PLASTIC!!!!

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Come to the Show! October 8 Sign up Now!
September 22, 2006
You're dangerously close to missing the food deadline for the October 8 market show - we need a head count for the lunch so we'd like to know who will be there by Monday, yes that's this coming Monday, September 25.

It will be fun, there will be food and door prizes all over the market, and a design panel with several people and a commentator.

We want to see you there! I am going to create a massive display of our roses and lilies that will be beautiful. Everyone promises to be on their best behavior!

It's going to be a beautiful weekend - write your check today - if you need a form, click on "news" at left to get one. Life is good.

And gas prices are lower... check this London price from earlier this summer while we were there. Remember that the pound is roughly 1.8 or so to the dollar... and that this is the per liter price, and there are about 4 liters per gallon....that's expensive gas!!!!!!

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Don't worry be happy???? That's what the guy selling the homeless street newspaper kept saying as I was going into the New Seasons on NE 33rd Avenue. Anyway, sign up for the show!!!!!! (nag, nag)

Beautiful (B) & Not Beautiful (NB)
September 20, 2006
Today at the market I heard about a wedding to be celebrated in colors of black and red...with lots of black feathers...the groom dressed in gangster garb...the cake with a skeleton bride & groom... (NB)

I received my copy of Design on a Lime by Anne Ryan today. Her nice husband Tim brought it by the market...thank you! (B) Go to Designonalime.com for ordering information.

While we were in Paris Jim and I did a quick run-through of the Musee d'Orsay and I took some (legal) (flashless) photos of this Manet:

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A clematis and pinks in a glass vase...(B)

Just looking at these is meditative, calming, right-brain beautiful...

Here is Van Gogh and a vase of crown imperials (fritillarias):

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Oh so very B B B!!! The layers of paint give them true oomph and they hit you in the face from the canvas!

I love blue and white porcelain, such as in this Cezanne painting of zinnias. Not such a great picture by me though. I felt a little sneaky taking pictures but it is perfectly okay, they just don't want you to use your flash because it injures the paintings.

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And I hate to say it they are so wonderful in person. The Orsay is a former train station made into a wonderful, huge, labyrinthine museum and it has a LOT of impressionist works.

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Now this is NOT from the Orsay, but from the Orangerie, a small museum adjacent to the Tuileries gardens near the Louvre. This museum used to be the orangerie for the Tuileries palace which was destroyed (burned down I think) during the upheaval following the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian war.

I like this painting because it is small and just a beautiful jewel. Also it reminds me of the rose we grow called Mimi Eden.

What else happened today at the market? Colleen from Plant Enchantment showed me the green praying mantis she found in her car today. I don't know if it was male or female, but I do know that after mating the female EATS the male. Not very romantic. (NB) Would she have a skeleton bride and groom on her wedding cake?????

Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood........
September 19, 2006
A woman received a bouquet of lovely roses at work, but the card mystified her. The roses, it said, were from "A.C. Credmire," a person unknown to her.

When she got home that evening she told her husband about the flowers from this unknown person and he told her they were from HIM.

He had told the flower shop to write, "From a Secret Admirer"!!!!

This story reminds me of my middle school English teacher, who was raving about a book called "Lame as a Rob." I was totally unimpressed by this boring-sounding title until...

I realized...

she was talking about the Victor Hugo novel, "Les Miserables!"

Meanwhile back at the greenhouse our new roses are growing...

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and here is Mom making petals (yes we do petals by the gallon, we need a week's notice though).

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Be sure to sign up for the big design show at the market October 8. Our deadline for sign-ups if you want a lunch is this coming Monday!!!! To get information and details, and a form, please click on "News" on the menu at left. You can download the form, or call or e-mail.

I Love Summer - and my favorite tomato recipe
September 15, 2006
Even though it has been raining and it was COLD last night, let's not forget that it is still summer until September 22 (one more week) and that tomatoes are ripe!

My husband Jim is the tomato king and he loves to grow them scientifically in a tiny south-facing enclosed area in our back yard. My friend Sheila calls it "the tomato gulag" because there is no nonsense here, no coddling, no free-range tomatoes!

In fact, there are wires, there is plastic sheeting, there are drippers and you plants keep your mind on your business - just grow, or else!

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Now does this really look so bad?

We tend to focus on certain varieties which grow well in the Oregon climate. The gulag only has bunk space for 7 plants. This year we had Super Sonic, Sun Sugar, Sweet 100, and a useless "grape" tomato that I had to buy because nobody was growing my favorite mini Roma called Juliet any more.

Our favorite is Sun Sugar, a yellow cherry tomato with incredible sweetness and flavor.

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Favorite Cherry Tomato Salad

Cut each cherry tomato in half. (Prevents embarrassing tomato-sliding accidents.) Add a few leaves of fresh basil, shredded. Dribble your favorite olive oil over the top, add half a capful or less of champagne vinegar, sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Sometimes I like to add minced purple onion, or small cubes of fresh mozzarella.

Delectable essence of summer...

Guess Who
September 14, 2006
Market Mavens: somebody recently had their skin needled with the following tattoo (using a Peterkort stargazer lily to inspire the artist)! The identity - you will have to guess! I am sworn to secrecy! Please note that the following photo is marred somewhat by my camera's flash glare.

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Whooooooo could it be? Hint: it's someone in the grower's market.

While you are pondering that question, don't forget to sign up for the market show on October 8. Click on "News" to get the form and details.

What They're Selling in Paris
September 11, 2006
On our recent trip I drove my family nuts by photographing flower shops and flower baskets everywhere. Come with me and visit the flower shop Aquarelle in the St. Germaine de Pres section of Paris, on the left bank.

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The streets in this area are winding, and everywhere are sidewalk cafes, food stands, book sellers, and produce dealers. This flower shop was what we would call a "bucket shop," out on the street on a large table. Besides flowers in buckets they had a large selection of hand-tied bouquets, in cellophane bags filled with water.

This looks like the rose Suela, with coxcomb (celosia), green mums and snowberry.

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Here is how the bag works; you just buy it, take it home, remove the bag and put it in your vase. It is already arranged and fresh from being in water.

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This bouquet features the rose Ambiance, in a quick arrangement with autumnal shades.

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I loved this arrangement of Vendela roses with snowberry and green poppy pods. The pods have a white sheen on them that glows with the other whites.

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Here are Spicy roses with those spiky things (I forget the name!) (hey I'm a rose grower!), and coxcomb. I love this type of celosia because it is so wonderful and fuzzy like pipe cleaners gone crazy.

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Here is what looked to me like Circus roses with mini brassicas and other fall-toned sprigs.

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I think these are more Suela roses with amber celosia, green poms and snowberry.

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This last one has no roses but it features one of my favorites, a big green recurved mum, plus quite an array of other stuff! How to use up miscellaneous flowers you have!

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I was reading in the Society of American Florists (SAF) magazine for September (Floral Management), that hand-tied bouquets are good for everyday flower sales, because the customer doesn't have to do anything but stick it into a vase, no rearranging needed. This is per Rene van Rems, AIFD.

He says the secret is knowing when to quit. He recommends five different materials, max. Two types of mass flowers, two fillers, one foliage, as an example. Read the rest of this article on page 54 of the magazine. He also has a web site, www.renevanrems.com.

Do you feel like you've been to Paris? No? Would a glass of wine help?? (Maybe with dinner!)

Friday at Frank Adams Wholesale...
September 10, 2006
Wedding season is still happening. Is this the "baby boom echo" getting married? I spoke with a customer who does a lot of wedding flowers, and she is also a nurse. She says this background helps her with brides. "For one thing," she says, "I know the difference between getting-married stress and REAL life and death situations. For another thing, I can use my nursing skills in working with brides." She must have a good bedside manner!

Justin at Frank Adams had a beautiful array of fall-toned flowers on his table Friday. They looked so nice I had to take this picture:

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Our Leonidas and Spicy roses with wine colored dahlias, what could be more lovely for fall. I hope the customer liked it too!

The Portland Flower Market annual show is coming up on Sunday, October 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click on our newsletter ("News") to get the highlights and hopefully a form that you can download if I can figure out how to do it!!!! You can call for information at (503) 289-1500, or e-mail the market at pfma@qwest.net.

September 3, 2006
We're back from our trip to London and Paris. On the plane home the food (not bad really - American Airlines) - with my beef stroganoff I had a roll and a pat of butter. This was French butter, and I was surprised to read on the little foil wrap that it was appellation controlee - like French wine, a registered product of a certain region of the country.

The French protect their local agriculture in many ways. They have subsidies, trade barriers, and also the appellation controllee. So Champagne can only be produced in the Champagne region of France. Everything else is just sparkling wine. Same thing with Bordeaux.

In speaking with my friend Jack of Rosto Garden, another grower who sells at the Portland Flower Market, I have learned a lot about the Dutch agriculture environment. He grew up in a farming area and began his flower career in rose growing. Their method is different. They pool together their resources in several different ways to strengthen their Dutch agriculture. For example, the Dutch auction method ensures that flower growers in Holland have a market for their products, and they can be extremely efficient by producing only one type of flower for the auction. They also share information to a high degree about growing techniques, etc.

Here in the U.S. it is definitely every man for himself, especially in floriculture. In high intensity flower growing environments such as California, they have pooled together to form the California Cut Flower Commission to help their members. Oregon is starting to emphasize local products with special labelling and marketing assistance.

Meanwhile back to work at Peterkort Roses on Tuesday 5:30 a.m.!

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