History of Oregon Coastal Flowers

Hydrangea Ranch

1994
Dec 16

Monika & Patrick meet in Switzerland in the summer of 1994.

Monika & Patrick meet in Switzerland in the summer of 1994.

In 1994, after graduating from college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, studying Dairy Science with a minor in Ag Business, Patrick went to Switzerland to work for six months on a dairy farm and cheese factory.  Monika Zawada was studying horticulture at Agriculture Academy in Lublin Poland, was also under work study in the Italian part of Switzerland in the summer of ’94.  Patrick worked in the German part. They met in the French part of Switzerland with all the other trainees under the CAEP work exchange program with trainees from all over the World.  Patrick was playing basketball..Read More

1996
Apr 06
Apr 07

Artichoke planting of 50 acres.

Artichoke planting of 50 acres.

in 1996, fresh out of college, Patrick Zweifel planted 50 acres of artichokes in a partnership.  That year, April 6, Patrick & Monika Zweifel got married, during the artichoke planting season (our honeymoon was short)

Jun 20

Start roadside flower stand.

Start roadside flower stand.

In the summer of 1996, Patrick & Monika started a roadside stand selling annual and perennial plants. This operated for only 2 years.

1998
Sep 17

We plant our first hydrangeas.

We plant our first hydrangeas.

We planted our first hydrangeas in the spring/summer of 1998.  We propagated in a greenhouse and then planted our first outdoor crop in September on my father’s dairy farm on 3rd St.  We planted blue, white, and purple varieties.  We planted our own crop of artichokes–20 acres–renting land from Bub Boquist.  We sold all our artichokes and flowers at farmer’s markets in Portland and Beaverton.  We also had a Zweifel family pumpkin patch this year.

1999
Sep 15

Monika graduates from Oregon State with horticulture degree.

Monika graduates from Oregon State with horticulture degree.

In 1999 we planted our first calla lilies.  We started with one acre of large white calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica).  The next year we started our first colored calla lilies (Zantedeschia hybrids).  Monika took her horticulture degree from Poland and took 1.5 year of classes at Oregon State to have her horticulture degree in the US.  She graduated this year from Oregon State.  We expanded our sales at farmer’s markets throughout the state of Oregon.

2000
Dec 20

Form strategic alliance with New Zealand Calla Company.

Form strategic alliance with New Zealand Calla Company.

2000 was a busy year.  We form a strategic alliance with Bloomz, a leading New Zealand calla lily company.  We become their favored US grower of new varieties of calla lilies and help distribute their product world wide.  Here is a photo of Bloomz with their associate from Japan as well.  We harvest our first commercial crop of colored calla lilies.  We had a lot of help from our family, my Dad, Mom, and brother Karl.  Even Kyle is seen here in the photo. We continue selling our flowers and bulbs all across Oregon and now into Vancouver, WA, 10..Read More

2001
Dec 13

Baby Nina is born & we buy our new farm up the Kilchis River.

Baby Nina is born & we buy our new farm up the Kilchis River.

2001 was a busy year.  We buy our farm, 64 acres of beautiful land up the Kilchis River, which is now  known as the Hydrangea Ranch.  1 month later baby Nina is born.  Our farmer’s markets  continue to expand.  We now sell at garden shows.  We also add vegetables to our offerings.  Looking back, i’m not sure how we managed to do all these things….. 2001, besides the excitement of our new baby Nina, and purchasing a farm, it was very stressful.  We had a artichoke crop failure on our new farm.  Additionally, when we were at the bank to..Read More

2002
Dec 18

Oregon Coastal Flowers is largest producer of colored calla lily cut flowers in the US.

Oregon Coastal Flowers is largest producer of colored calla lily cut flowers in the US.

By 2002 we have established ourselves as the country’s largest producer of colored calla lily cut flowers shipping nationwide.  We have a major elk problem on our farm.  The elk cross our fields twice per day and we have to try to break this habit, we applied for a US Fish and Wildlife Grant to help pay for an appropriate fence.  We plant 2 acres of flowers under Haygrove Tunnels.  Our markets continue to expand.  We sell at 12 different farmer’s markets each Saturday.  Monika sells in Portland and Patrick sells in Eugene each Saturday.  We have expanded to selling..Read More

2003
Dec 17

Exhibit our calla lilies in the Javits Center in New York City.

Exhibit our calla lilies in the Javits Center in New York City.

In 2003 we exhibit our calla lilies in the Javits Center in New York City.  Companies were exhibiting from all around the world and visitors came from all around the world as well.  In 2001, Sept. 11th, we were on a plane to New York City to this same flower show, however, we were turned around in mid-air after the attacks on New York City.  Here are some photos from this trip. Colored calla lilies are very prone to disease.  Tillamook is a great place to grow these tubers because of the mild climate here (they don’t like it too..Read More

2004
Dec 22

We introduce black calla lilies into the U.S. market. Patrick visits and partners with farm in Colombia, South America.

We introduce black calla lilies into the U.S. market.  Patrick visits and partners with farm in Colombia, South America.

As our farm continues to develop into on of the nation’s premier supplier of calla lilies and hydrangeas, we continue expanding our flower markets, farmer’s markets, and flower shows.  We rent a truck and drive our products all the way to the Philadelphia Flower Show (3 day drive!).  We also start selling 6 days a week into the Portland Flower Market.  In coordination with Bloomz, a leading New Zealand calla lily breeder, we introduce Hot Chocolate, a black calla lily with a black stem into the United States market. In 2003 we planted our yard with topiary plants. Here it..Read More

2005
Dec 15

OCF ships flowers to all 50 states as well as London, Hong Kong, and India. Collaborates with South American growers with trip to Colombia & Equador.

OCF ships flowers to all 50 states as well as London, Hong Kong, and India.  Collaborates with South American growers with trip to Colombia & Equador.

IN 2005 we ship our flowers and bulbs to all 50 states and as far away as London, Hong Kong, and India.  We meet with growers from South America to offer them cultural help in return for access to purchase flowers since they can produce calla lilies year round.  Our season is limited to 3 months and 5 months if we use greenhouses. We visit South America again to build relationship with growers that can provide our market in the winter.  Patrick visits Colombia & Equador and even sees a bull fight.

2006
Dec 21

OCF sells in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Cincinnati Flower Shows

OCF sells in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Cincinnati Flower Shows

We have reached full saturation in regards to flower shows in winter and early spring. We exhibit and sell our flowers and bulbs at these retail flower shows including Portland, Eugene, Seattle, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Washington D.C.  The show season starts late January and extends to early March and sometimes into April.  We ship fedex daily from the farm and we ship using air cargo three times per week.  Here is a photo of our Isuzu box truck full of flower boxes ready to go the the airport: Here is a photo of an elk herd on our property on..Read More

2007
Dec 19

Patrick visits New Zealand flower growers. OCF adds peonies and gloriosa lilies to the mix. Flower show in Cartegena, Colombia.

Patrick visits New Zealand flower growers.  OCF adds peonies and gloriosa lilies to the mix.  Flower show in Cartegena, Colombia.

2007 started with a trip to New Zealand to visit flower growers in the Southern Hemisphere.  It was a great educational trip for Patrick to be able to see leaders in the floral industry. We have started to diversify the farm, planting peonies and gloriosa lilies.  We are the only commercial flower farm in the US to grow a sizeable crop of gloriosa lilies.  We quit the farmer’s markets in 2007, in order to focus on our wholesale markets.  The grind of going to the farmer’s markets each Saturday became old and it was keeping us from working on more..Read More

2008
Dec 11

We ship our first crop of Peonies prior to Mother’s Day. We source additional peonies from all around Northwest to ship nationwide.

We ship our first crop of Peonies prior to Mother’s Day.  We source additional peonies from all around Northwest to ship nationwide.

WE enjoy our first crop of peonies, we timed the Mother’s Day Market perfectly. We cover about 50% of our peonies so that we get flowers prior to Mother’s Day. If we don’t cover, they won’t bloom until after the holiday, and they are only worth 1/3 the amount. Nina has a field trip on the farm. We are good at marketing and therefore able to source peonies from all around the Northwest where they are sold inexpensively and ship nationwide for a higher price. White, in particular, is very popular for weddings.

2009
Dec 18

OCF opens up booth in the Los Angeles Flower Market & holds the first wedding on the Hydrangea Ranch.

OCF opens up booth in the Los Angeles Flower Market & holds the first wedding on the Hydrangea Ranch.

As usual, we stay kind of busy here.  We opened up the year with a new venture–we opened up a booth in the Los Angeles Flower Market.  The LA Flower Market is made up of two full city blocks in Los Angeles.  We started out by driving our 18′ box truck down there once a week, but it became clear that wasn’t going to work long.  By the time i got home and find more product, it was time to leave again. We now contract a 53′ truck each week.  The LA Market is an important source of our revenue..Read More

2010
Dec 16

Hydrangea Ranch builds 30′ x 40′ open sided pavilion and hosts wedding & class reunion.

Hydrangea Ranch builds 30′ x 40′ open sided pavilion and hosts wedding & class reunion.

2010 is most significantly marked with the demise of the calla lily market. South American growers have really bumped up their production and they can offer their calla lilies year round and for about 25% the cost of what we’re trying to sell them for. We are faced with the decision to keep growing or grow without–we decide to phase out calla lily production and focus on diversity of our product lines. We feature flowering branches for the first time.  We continue to add more products.  See photos of all of today’s photos here. Brownie, our beloved white and brown..Read More

2011
Dec 22

OCF loses 85% of calla lily income over 3 years. Kilchis River Pumpkin Patch is born.

OCF  loses 85% of calla lily income over 3 years.  Kilchis River Pumpkin Patch is born.

It’s been a challenging year financially. It takes time to change, plant crops, and then make money doing it, so we are working hard to diversify. Flowering branches is very intriguing to us now. We are cutting flowering branches early, putting them in climate controlled rooms to force blooming early, then we can put in a cooler near the end of the season to hold them back. So essentially we can lengthen a blooming season. We are expanding our specialty forests products–acquiring permits from the OR Dept. of Forestry and harvesting items such as mossy branches and alder poles.

2012
Oct 17
Dec 13

Our first corn maze. OCF helps organize Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

Our first corn maze.  OCF helps organize Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

We continue to diversify our offerings.  2012 is marked by our first corn maze with the design below.  We book 6 wedding this summer.  We continue shipping our hydrangeas and specialty cut flowers & forest products, as well as our flowering branches across the country. Because of our success in the Los Angeles Flower Market we help organize a coop of flower growers to help start the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. 2012 also marks the year that Patrick starting coaching.  He’s having a lot of fun and says that “he was born to coach.”

2013
Oct 16
Dec 20

OCF introduces Pistacio Hydrangea & holds 1st ever Ultimook Race

OCF introduces Pistacio Hydrangea & holds 1st ever Ultimook Race

In 2013 Oregon Coastal Flowers continues to diversify with products as well as agritourism focus.  Some of the crops added this year:  snowball viburnum, snowberries, ornamental kale, limelight hydrangeas, viburnum berries, and many more.  We plant our first pistacio hydrangeas which is a major part of our hydrangea offerings (as of 2020). We host our first ever Ultimook Race, in it’s first year hosting 46 teams. Kids run through a mud pit, 2 river crossings, a monster hill, and of course fields of flowers.  Patrick views his farm the same as a painter’s canvas, and he says he’s “painting his..Read More

2014
Oct 15
Dec 18

OCF finds new niche with Flowering Branches and Agritourism.

OCF finds new niche with Flowering Branches and Agritourism.

Oregon Coastal Flowers has developed into one of the country’s premier suppliers of flowering branches.  The Chinese New Year is the busiest season of the year (late January or early February–different each year).  For the Chinese New Year we sell forsythia, quince, tulip magnolia, peach, and pussy willow.  By the first of February we move into offering white and pink cherry, plum, apricot, and flowering dogwood.  Our niche is that we force them to the stage just prior to opening–and then ship to the customer so they can be opened quickly at the consumer end point.  We can extend a..Read More

2015
Oct 14
Dec 16

OCF introduces yellow magnolia, pink snowball viburnum, &

OCF introduces yellow magnolia, pink snowball viburnum, &

In 2015 we continue introducing new products to the marketplace–many of which are being developed and offered for the first time from Oregon Coastal Flowers.  These include yellow tulip magnolia, pink snowball viburnum, and double red quince.  We are busy planting the Hydrangea Ranch with the most profitable and best selling cut flowers we can find. One of the benefits of selling at the Los Angeles Flower Market is that we sell products from all around the Northwest.  We are able to see what sells best and what sells for the most profit.  Over time you can see trends and..Read More

2016
Oct 19
Dec 14

Tillamook Cross Country wins State. Lunaria & double flowering petaled hydrangeas introduced.

Tillamook Cross Country wins State.  Lunaria & double flowering petaled hydrangeas introduced.

Tillamook High School girls cross country team wins state for the first time every, the 4th state title for the combined cross country program.  The Hydrangea Ranch is home to the THS XC team. Kilchis River Pumpkin Patch continues to develop boasting of the largest corn maze on the Oregon Coast and 4 acres of specialty pumpkins and gourds.  Our product listing continues to grow:  deer and elk shed antlers, red dogwood branches, mossy branches, oak branches, burgundy and yellow cotinus, red oak branches, along with many others. Our most innovative items introduced this year are dried lunaria branches, which..Read More

2017
Oct 19
Dec 21

Hydrangea Ranch pivots into OR Coast’s premier farm recreational events center. OCF is a leader in the industry.

Hydrangea Ranch pivots into OR Coast’s premier farm recreational events center.  OCF is a leader in the industry.

2017 is marked by a 2nd straight girls cross country state title in one of the lowest point total ever at the State meet. The Ultimook Race additionally hosts nearly 100 teams from across the Northwest. The Hydrangea Ranch hosts 9 weddings this summer. While the public eye mostly only sees the recreational value of the Hydrangea Ranch, behind the  scenes Oregon Coastal Flowers is a leading specialty cut flower supplier throughout the United States.  They provide a large percentage of the flowering branches used in the nationwide market.  Additionally, they are known as the main source of white peonies..Read More