First off, I do realise that Erin Benzakein is not a UK grower. She and her team run Floret Flower Farm across the Atlantic in beautiful Skagit Valley, Washington state.
And I also acknowledge (because I set the rule myself) that, strictly speaking, FBWL is confined to promoting makers, growers and creatives from within the shores of the British Isles. But sometimes it’s good to break the rules. Especially when you have good reason.
I have two good reasons. One is that I have gained so much inspiration for my own tiny flower cutting garden from Erin and the Floret resources – and I really wanted to share them with you.
Secondly, the future well-being of our ailing planet is something we collectively share responsibility for, regardless of nationality. Organic gardening and the slow & seasonal flower movement does so much to help the environment and is something we can all do, whether we have a cherished pot or two on a windowsill or sweeping acres of farmland like Erin. It’s important we come together as eco-minded growers to share ideas, inspire and help each other. Whether you’re a flower lover living in Hemel Hempstead or Havana, Floret offers a wealth of inspiration and practical resources to help you grow the garden of your dreams.
I already love Erin’s first book Cut Flower Garden (which is full of great growing advice), so I was very excited to be asked to feature her upcoming new book A Year in Flowers. It launches next week, so I will be reviewing my copy of the book after then. In the meantime, I wanted to let you know about a special bonus video bundle you’ll receive if you pre-order your copy before 11th February.
To give you an idea of the sort of content you can enjoy and take ideas from for your own flower growing, here’s a sneak peek. Erin shares one or two of her inspirations behind the book too.
What are you hoping to accomplish with A Year in Flowers?
Erin: A Year in Flowers is so much more than words on a page and beautiful arrangements. It’s more than a design book. It’s part of something much, much bigger. What started as a spark by a few passionate flower farmers and innovative designers has ignited a global seasonal flower movement. This book builds on the momentum created by those forward-thinking pioneers and the thousands of flower lovers around the globe who are now growing, arranging, and sharing seasonal blooms.
A Year in Flowers is not just an invitation to incorporate local blooms into life’s biggest milestones and everyday events. It’s also a salute to the many dedicated farmers who work tirelessly to grow beautiful flowers for their local communities. My goal for this book is to promote the seasonal flower movement far and wide and to make a powerful statement that local flowers, and the people who grow them, matter.
Favourite plants to grow?
Erin: Three of my favourite foliage plants are tatarian honeysuckle, scented geranium, and raspberry greens.
Narrowing down my favourite flowers list is almost impossible, but if I had to pick just three they would be sweet peas , Iceland poppies, and dahlias.
(Click image above to get Erin’s guide to growing great dahlias and the image below for her guide to growing sweet peas)
Can you tell us a little more about Floret?
Erin: Located in Washington’s beautiful Skagit Valley, our fields are bursting with flowers that reflect the season.
We care deeply about the environment and are committed to conducting our business in harmony with nature. On our farm, we use only organic growing practices and integrate sustainability into every decision we make.
From fragrant sweet peas in the spring to magnificent dinner plate dahlias in the fall and countless varieties in between, we harvest only the best of what is blooming each day. Research and education are at the heart of our operation, and we conduct extensive trials to find the very best cut flower varieties, coveted for their scent, stem length, and ephemeral qualities.
We source these varieties from our own fields in addition to local seed growers, breeders, and the best seed houses in the world and make them available to the home gardener. Our online shop features our very favourite cut flower seeds and bulbs as well as flower arranging supplies and gardening tools. We also teach flower lovers around the world how to grow, harvest, and sell seasonal flowers on a small scale through our 6-week course, the Floret Online Workshop.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ll be reviewing the book soon and will keep you posted via newsletter. Sign up via the form below if you don’t already receive my newsletters and speak soon! If you already know this is the book for you, the links to buy and pre-order it are in the information section below. Remember that if you pre-order before 11th February you’ll also receive a free bundle of videos (details below).
Erin’s book A Year in Flowers launches next week, 11th February 2020. If you pre-order your copy before then, you’ll receive free bonus videos that bring the pages of the book to life. Erin takes you into the Floret fields and design studio to make a hand-tied bouquet using seasonal flowers. You’ll learn how to harvest cut flower garden favourites including dahlias, zinnia and yarrow. There’s also tips and ideas on creating gift bouquets. Get your copy of A year in Flowers here
Are you a maker, grower or creative course provider? Like to list with us and benefit from joining our supportive community? We’d love to hear from you. Check out the packages we offer on our Join Us page and get more details from our Information pack here
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