The rose pictures immediately below were taken in our field the last week of May 2014. Click on the picture to thumb thru.
Making wreaths and selling Christmas trees is our winter custom in Gig Harbor. Solstice wreaths for you pagans, you know who you are.
Raft Island Roses is a family business that has been operating since 1997. We started selling in small markets in Pierce County. After we expanded we wanted to be the largest supplier of Roses in Washington State. At our highest year we had more than 15,000 roses for sale. We found, however, the more you have the higher the expenses. Apparently when you hire more people you have to pay more than just their base salary. Who Knew? Since then we have flucuated our inventory from year to year.
Currently we have more of a hands on approach. Mike orders all the roses. Prunes all the roses, canes and roots. Sprays all the roses and until May, when the calvary of one woman army arrives, Brittany Hayes, Mike feeds and waters them. As well as helping all the customers and organizing. Those who have been to the nursery know Mike does a poor job with the "organizing" part. By the end of the summer Mike looks like this.
By summers end Mike is, to quote a friend at the market, "half crazed from spending so much time in the sun". Many have said Mike needs a tent around him. But people that know him personally know he is uncontainable, undefineable, and unshakeable.
While summer time is the most important time of the year for us, because it is when we get paid, it is also in many respects the most relaxing. Look at this picture Mike snapped of his daughter Alice.
Or this shot of daughter Olive.