Photos and Slides
Hello LB Garden Clubbers, I had the opportunity to visit a rose plantation outside of Quito, Ecuador earlier this summer. Rose farming is a major industry in Ecuador, with dozens of plantations in the Andes growing some of the finest cut roses sold around the world. At EcoRoses, the plantation I visited, a sophisticated computer system automatically controls watering, fertilizer, temperature and humidity inside 19 enormous greenhouses across 42 acres. Classical music is played 24 hours a day for the roses, and the greenhouses and plants themselves are spotless -- literally. I didn't see one bug or patch of leaf rot ANYWHERE. Perfect plants!
These photos were taken inside the greenhouses as well as the packaging plant. The roses shown in bunches at the end were for sale for $1.25 a dozen! Of course, I was on a plane the next day so couldn't take any with me. The roses were on a plane the next day, also. I saw them on huge packing crates as I was boarding. They are shipped all over the world within 24 hours of cutting.
I've also included a few shots of the fabulous arrangements you see in flower shops all over Ecuador. For $20, you can buy an arrangement that you could never even find at a florist in the U.S. The flower shops in Ecuador regularly mix fabulous roses with exotic flowers found in the country's tropical regions. Because the Andes and the jungle are only a few hours apart in Ecuador, there is an incredible diversity of flora. The lobby of even the humblest hotel or market will boast an absolutely exquisite flower arrangement. This always came as a delightful surprise to me.
EcoRoses employs about 200 people who receive benefits including free transportation, medical insurance, dental care, loans, two meals a day and on-site sports facilities. Every employee wears a shirt with a motivating message, such as "Little things make a big difference" and "To be happy is a matter of attitude." These people really care about their flowers, and it shows. You might enjoy their Web site here which has some very interesting info about roses.
I hope you enjoy the attached photos!
Roses from Ecuador (33 slides: Enter to advance, Esc to cancel)
Slide show of club pictures created 10-28-2011
(13 slides: Enter to advance, Esc to cancel)
The following link is a very clever presentation of all 50 state flowers:
The following link is a very beautiful array of blooming flowers: