It’s no secret I am a big fan of Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers. I have been following Floret on Instagram for a while and I am constantly in awe of the beautiful images taken on her farm. Floret Farm grows hundreds of flower varieties and they all look amazing. The picture of their farm truck filled with dahlias is famous. It has been shared by thousands of flower lovers around the world. Pictures of Erin standing in a field of flowers at sunset, her arms full of the most beautiful, seasonal blooms, are my favourite. But even digging up dahlia tubers in the mud looks good on the Floret Farm.
Erin has always been incredibly generous with her knowledge through her blog. Now she shares her views on planting a cutting garden of your own in a brand new book called Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest & Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms.
The Floret Flower Farm
Erin Benzakein is a farmer-florist and founder of Floret Flowers, a family run farm in the Skagit Valley, Washington. Floret began as a flower farm selling cut flowers. Specialising in hard-to-find flower varieties, the Floret farm grows all my favourites. From cheerful daffodils in early spring to fragrant sweet peas in late spring. In late summer, Erin’s favourite flowers are dahlias, just like mine. Other favourites are cosmos and zinnias: easy to grow and super productive. And she grows so many different varieties! These are not your standard supermarket flowers.
Because she wants to make her flowers available to the home gardener, Erin started a seed company. Now, Floret also offers their favourite cut flower seeds in their online shop. But you can also buy dahlia tubers and spring-flowering bulbs. That is to say, when they are not sold out! Floret Flowers also teaches workshops for fellow farmers, designers, and flower lovers and I would love to visit the Floret Farm one day!
Erin is a leader of the local and seasonal flower movement. According to her, using local blooms and other materials when they’re in season will give you the most beautiful bouquets. And I totally agree. When buying flowers, I always look for seasonal blooms. They will be fresher, healthier and less expensive. But the freshest flowers are, of course, the ones you grow in your own garden. And that’s where the book comes in. With her book, Erin hopes to inspire you to get your hands dirty and grow the flower garden of your dreams.
About the book
First of all, the book is full of gorgeous images. Beautiful pictures of flowers and flower arrangements. The images in this blog post are just some of what you can expect to see in the book. So even if you have no plans of starting your own flower farm, if you are a flower lover, you will enjoy this book.
But if you are a flower grower, you will find so much information and inspiration in this book. The book is organised into two major parts. The first part is all about laying the foundation. This includes testing your soil, designing your plot, what to order and what not (not just pretty blooms), and succession planting.
The second part is organised by season so it takes readers through an entire growing year. It starts with spring and the tasks for that season. Then it moves on to spring bloomers, starting with biannuals, daffodils and so on. At the end of each seasonal chapter, there are 3 different flower arranging how-tos.
Favourite flower varieties
There are over 175 different flower varieties featured in this book! While reading the book I kept looking up flower varieties on the website of my favourite seed company. And every time I had to remind myself: I am not good at growing flowers from seed. Even though it’s hard to resist the beautiful pictures and enthusiastic descriptions in the book: Don’t order too many seeds and don’t start too many seeds. Stick to dahlias, they are so much easier to grow!
Of course, I will be growing sweet peas from seed this year, I always do. And maybe I will try growing cosmos this year, and zinnias and, and, and…
See what this book has done to me?
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Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein and Julie Chai (Chronicle Books 2017).
All images © 2017 by Michèle M. Waite.