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March 1st 2013

Your requests please

Written by
Floret

ranunculus

Oh, so much has happened this winter! So many dreams are taking shape, so many ideas are gelling, so many exciting trips are planned and some really great projects are finally in the works.
But before we get going down those crazy roads and the season begins to unfurl in earnest, I want to take a little time to check in.

harvesting anemones

Stepping forward, I would like to come at things with more intentionality and more focus.
I want to start sharing my best kept secrets and most tried and true methods. I want this space and my site to be filled with useful, inspiring content.

helleborus

So here’s the deal. I want to know what YOU would like to see more of in this space. Do you love touring the fields, learning about new and unique varieties, do want to know how to put together a simple garden inspired bouquet or how to cram a million flowers in a tiny plot…?

Even if you’ve lurked here and never commented before, I want to hear your voice!

94 Comments

  1. Teri on

    Well, I’ve been a lurker here for just about a month and I really love your entire site. I do find it very inspirational. I have a large cutting gardent that I started a few years ago in order to provide bouquets for the nursing home in our town each summer. Hubs and I are youth leaders and each Saturday in the summer (when flowers are blooming and weather permits) some of the youth girls come over and create great bouquets and then we go delivering to the nursing home. I LOVE growing and sharing flowers and secretly – ok, maybe not so secretly anymore – I would love to be a flower farmer on a larger scale and offer a U-Pick flower farm like my friend does in Donahue, Iowa. I would love to see more of the fields, learn more about what you start from seed, what you start with plugs and your timing with succession plantings.
    I realize this reply is at the very end of many, many replies. so not sure if you’ll see it or not, but I’ll still be here reading!! Great job on on your blog! Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  2. Tracy on

    Perhaps this has already been requested, but I would value looking at a calendar, or a timeline of yours; when to start seedlings, (in and out of the hoophouse), or succession planting, fertilizing, harvesting specific flowers, etc… If you drew up a calendar, and on each date it listed what priorities, or jobs that needed to happen and when, that would be incredibly helpful. I have made so many mistakes in my own flower venture, and I wonder if I will ever get it right!!!! Thank you for allowing your readers to chime in! You are an inspiration.

    Reply
  3. Karyn on

    I’m a little late on the reply, but one thing I liked in your Flickr stream were your little captions! I know it would be extra work but I would love to see the photos with a description of the flowers or just little notes. I love your blog & new website btw…. very inspiring!!! Thanks :)

    Reply
  4. spring bounty @ Floret Flower Farm on

    […] that you shared regarding this blog. If you’d like to read what others wrote, head on back to this post for all of the goodness. There ended up being 90 replies and every one of them was amazing! I am […]

    Reply
  5. [email protected] on

    Hi Erin, I’m with the others and want all of it. I’m particularly interested in the mechanics of growing and harvesting and varieties. I’m trying to pluck up the courage to plough a field and plant flowers. Thanks for the inspiration. Alison

    Reply
  6. Geles i namus on

    Hey,

    personally I would like to know more about orchids and to gel some usefull tips about the growing of these flowers. And I think it would be usefull if all of us would share some original ideas about gardening decorations :)

    Reply
  7. Yara on

    Erin, I love your new website and blog… I have been following you for sometime and find everything you post very inspiring! I have a background in floral design and I am a backyard grower for a friend who has a design business in Portland, Oregon. I would love to hear more about your planting process- not that I want you to divulge any secrets, I just find it fascinating how these amazing flowers and floral arrangements start out as tiny little seeds and bulbs and I love to watch this progression in nature through the seasons. Thank you for inspiring me:)!!!

    Reply
  8. Lisa on

    Your arrangements and bouquets are so incredibly lovely; I can’t get enough of them and am always inspired by your designs. What I would really like to know is what kind of greenery you use to create the lush and natural look. Thanks Erin!

    Reply
  9. Rondi Anderson on

    So how do you know when something is best to pick and how to make it last. What varieties grow best and how much work it really is? I dream, but know that I need more reality.

    Thanks for asking. Thank you for sharing. It is a blessing!

    Reply
  10. Jamie lynn on

    I would love for you to share…… the “nuts & bolts” of the specialty cut flower business, what has worked for you and what has not…..garden methods that have worked best for you for different plants….the varieties of plants you grow…….and how can I order fresh flowers from you here on the East Coast!! :-)

    Jamie

    Reply
  11. Sadie on

    I love your blog, and have been reading it for the past year, dreaming about my own flower farm. Your photos and posts are always beautiful, thank you for all that you share. I find the tidbits about growing on a small plot and new varieties especially interesting.

    Reply
  12. Jo on

    I have been guilty of lurking, lusting and lazily not commenting for a very long time! My husband and I are in the process of looking at land for his landscaping and my (hopefully) growing business in a preservation area in the UK. Whilst we are not blessed with glorious sunshine (EVER) I hope that we will have some polytunnels and geenhouses and intend to focus on cultivating heritage seeds and bulbs so that they don’t get lost in the mists of time. Any blogs on your working methods would be absolutely brilliant. You are an inspiring lady with an inspiring family, keep it up!

    Reply
  13. Julie on

    I absolutely love your photos of arrangements!! It’s also fun to see your gardens and how you lay everything out…strips of flowers with grass paths. My biggest question is how do you do it all? You have to be uber organized!! Have you considered writing a book like Lynn and the Arnoskys!! I’m pretty sure if you just put photos of your bouquets in it, the book would fly off the shelves.

    Reply
  14. Amanda Cook on

    Would love to see how you grow a large number of flowers in a small space.

    How to create relationships with florists, grocery stores and brides, and market your products to them.

    When to order seeds, bulbs, and how to financially plan for all of it.

    How to manage spacing for each item.

    Floral arranging hints and tips.

    Thank you so much for sharing your helpful information thru GFM and your blogs.

    Reply
  15. Leah on

    Hi Erin!

    What is your most efficient harvesting technique? Is it best to harvest in the morning? Do you clean your flowers in the field, and make small bunches, then transfer to buckets in your truck?

    I’ve worked as a vegetable farmer for about three years, and now that I am expanding to flower farming, I need them handy tips!

    I drive through Mt. Vernon close to every weekend to the San Juan Islands where I am growing flowers this year, and I think that maybe one day I will catch a glimpse of a flower in the field at your farm. Although I think that’s pretty doubtful! :) Best of luck as the season kicks off!

    Leah

    Reply
  16. Frances on

    How to grow billions of flowers in an 8×12 plot would be spectacular.

    Reply
  17. Wanda Fox on

    I would love to see how you pack a million flowers into such a small space! Amazing. Your arrangements are like you are inside my head. Keep the fun stuff coming.

    Reply
  18. Shawn on

    Hi Erin,

    I agree with everyone’s comments. I check in with you as often (or more) than I do my own mother. I am a landscape designer and your work is inspiring! Thank you for that. I would love to learn more of the realistic business details. Reveal all the dirty secrets of farming! Inventory, rotation, how to irrigate, how to space, harvest etc etc etc and especially share ingredients to your amazing bouquets! You have such a talent. Share your thoughts on color, texture and season offerings. I love how real you are – thank you for sharing your beautiful farm and family! That being said, would love to bang spades and turn dirt with you! Keep rockin it girl!

    Reply
  19. elizabeyta on

    Can I just say “yes!”? Everything you described, I would love to learn more. Your blog has inspired me to plant more and play more with flowers.

    Reply
  20. Anouk Dupraz on

    All of it !
    I’ve read all your articles in GFM, seen all your marvelous pictures, learned so many things and improved everything in growing my flowers by reading all you shared so nicely. So thank’s for all you’ve given us. I’m so grateful !

    Reply
  21. Taylor on

    east coast grower here. one of my favorite parts of this job is getting to meet all the other plant nuts out there. getting to peek at their methods and their favorite selections. there is a lot of tradition in horticulture & i’d love to get to know your metaphysics–your preferred way to start seed of specific species; plants you think of as being under appreciated or unknown; your thoughts on growing conditions, etc. as someone invested in continually learning as much as possible about the art and science of growing, this blog is always an inspiration. thx and best wishes

    Reply
  22. Lauren on

    I would love to hear more about how you balance farm life with other busy-world-things like school. My husband and I are embarking on starting up our own little subsistance farm soon and would love any advice you can share.

    Beautiful photos as always :)

    Reply
  23. Shannon on

    As a vegetable farmer (who wants to incorporate more and more cutflowers into our business), I’d love to know more about increasing efficiencies with cut flowers, specifically post-harvest and bouquet-making. Your blog (and Growing for Market articles) are super inspirational to me! Thank you.

    Reply
  24. Edi on

    Anything Eriness

    Reply
  25. Julie on

    Hi Erin. I love your Blog and turn to it every time a need a flower fix. Your sweet peas inspire me to do better in my garden. I love hearing about all you do so looking forward to your coming spring very much. Lots of smiles from Julie in hot and dry Western Australia. Xx

    Reply
  26. Katie on

    Would love the behind the scenes look at the farm. Growing techniques, tricks of the trade, varieties, etc. I designed for events for over 10yrs and locally the pickings were always thin. In SC we have a long growing season, but humidity reeks havoc on crops. I just signed up to apprentice with a local mini farm with dreams someday to own a flower (with a side of veggies) farm. Enjoy reading your blog, seeing the photos and learning!

    Reply
  27. Reese on

    Hi Erin,

    All the things you suggested would be informative goodies to read! I’m curious to know what inspired you to start your business and what the process has been like for you?

    I’m considering starting a business (not floral industry) and would like a female entrepreneur’s perspective on starting a new venture.

    I discovered your blog last week and can’t get enough! I’m so impressed and inspired by what you do with your flowers and farm, your photos and also by the warm spirit that comes through in your posts.

    Your photos are gorgeous and thanks to you I’m looking into taking that online class.

    Reply
  28. Rachel Nafis on

    I am an amateur organic vegetable farmer (we have a 20 member CSA) but am trying flowers for our boxes for the first time this year, inspired by you! I could use all the practical tips you can offer! Arranging, growing, tools, methods, seed starting, soil amending, your growing resources, how you learned… EVERYTHING!

    Reply
  29. Heiress Emma on

    I like your blog exactly the way it is. Love it. As the first commenter said, the only way to improve on it would be to actually be at your farm.

    Love the photos, love your reflections on running a business, love the insight into flower production.

    Seriously, I just love it.

    Reply
  30. Rose on

    I have been lurking for several years. You are an inspirational to me. So this year I am taking the plunge and starting my own cut flower garden and design. It will be a very small one but I hope to expand on it later down the road. I would love to learn how to cram “a million” flowers in a small place and the care and handle of them. What perennials would you suggest to grow and foliage would be very helpful too. I live in zone 5b in good ole central Indiana. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

    Reply
  31. Abby Gaddis on

    I like just what you’ve been showing- the day to day-your thoughts- your plans -your dreams- and I love the pictures!

    Reply
  32. Mandy on

    Thank you so much Erin for the constant inspiration! I cant believe you want to give us even more than you already do.

    I am a veggie and flower grower in the south…moving more towards flowers due to the increase in demand for us to do weddings. I was recently thinking about the amazing book you could write on post harvest care and Your tricks to keeping flowers fresh for a long vase life? What do you do to keep some of the more delicate flowers from wilting..in a vase or in a bouquet? New varieties and growing techniques are always love too!
    Thanks!!

    I love following your articles in Growing For Market as well!

    Reply
  33. Little White Dove on

    I would dearly love to see things like you putting together a posy (step by step). You have such a unique and lovely knack to get a posy looking perfectly balanced yet a little rustic and organic too.. winning combo! I love the addition of things that are a bit unusual like branches, seed pods and even food… I use whatever I can find in my garden to make a posy, mostly to fill it as I don’t have a flower farm in my backyard – as much as I’d love one! But I think the addition of these items add texture which is terribly underrated and something I adore in a posy.. So, some tips on how to make a fab posy using whatever is at hand in an average garden would be awesome!

    Oh and just keep doing what you’ve been doing – it’s been fabulous!

    Thanks Erin, love your new website and all the gorgeous photos… it’s my dose of beauty for the day when I visit.

    Little White Dove :-)

    Reply
  34. K.Young on

    This is my first visit here and I find it incredible. I came from Georgianna’s. Please keep doing all that you’re doing.

    Reply
  35. Anja on

    Thank you for all that you already share. I also follow you in Growing For Market, and read your articles with great interest. I would like to read more about everything… but as a grower myself the practical tips and tricks are like food, I eat it greadily! Your best varieties and good suppliers are very interesting. I LOVE pictures from the field and greenhouses. I sometimes feel a bit too human when it seems that you and your family have eight arms and eight legs, with all the work you are able to do…
    And I would really like your recipe for making and using compost tea, it seems like you use it regularly. And do you divide your plants into groups of needing a lot of, normal and not so much fertilizer?

    But the most important thing is that we are all so grateful for all your writings and sharing. Thank you so much, and the best of luck with your new farm adventure, this growing season and everything else. A big hug from Norway :-)

    Reply
  36. jessa on

    Keep doing what your doing! Your blog is lovely and can only get better.

    Reply
  37. Emily on

    I enjoy reading your blog and GFM articles and have improved my operation because of it! I would love any tips you have for improving efficiency. A few videos would be awesome…like those Ball series you posted on Facebook ….but with you! It’s pretty amazing you share as much as you do. Thanks for your generosity!

    Reply
  38. Katie on

    Hi Erin! I’ve been a big fan of your blog for awhile, and want to say thank you for sharing your experiences and the beauty of your farm and life!! Would love more info/tips growing, especially harvesting, and how you work your magic to get the crazy amount of flowers you do in such a small area- and of course, lots of pics!! I just moved to an old 5 acre horse farm in upstate NY, and am growing (fingers crossed!!) the flowers for my wedding this fall- your blog has been so inspirational; I’m considering taking the experience and turning this place into a cut flower farm! Thank you!!
    Best,
    Katie

    Reply
  39. Judy on

    I would love to learn how to make a bouquet.

    Reply
  40. Nina on

    Yes to all of the above :-) I’m really interested in the practical things, like when to pick the flowers for maximum vase life, how you prepare the plots, examples of good, hardy varieties (because I live in Finland… Maybe your zone 6 or 7?) and of course lots and lots of your dreamy arrangements and pics!

    I’m looking forward to following your season!

    Nina

    Reply
  41. Evee M on

    As a hobby gardener, I would love to see beautiful and unique varieties of flowers that could be planted in the home garden and tips for creating easy table arrangements. But I also love to see how you are growing your business—it is so encouraging to see someone living their dream.

    Reply
  42. Leah on

    Erin, Your farm and business is an absolute inspiration! I love your “messy” hand tied bouquets and photos of your studio. My hubby and I have a 100 year old farm house on 1 acre of land in PA. I am a wedding florist working out of our home. I am so inspired by your blog, that I am going to start a cutting garden this year. I’m so excited for spring!

    Reply
  43. Ann E on

    When you have a spare minute and need a break, would you please drive south to Camano Island.1405 Arrowhead Road. And drag my daughter, Bekka, back to your flower farm for the day! Oh, before you drag her back with you, go see her gardens and her chicken coop!
    Now, point her at some buckets of flowers and tell her to get busy and give you some flower designs like she did in the European Flower Shop in Boulder, Co.
    She is stuck as a server @ Diamond Knot! (U of Colorado, Urban Environmental Design and Planning.)
    I love your new fresh look! Ann

    Reply
  44. Maureen on

    Love all your photos – mostly, I would like planting details – the space you use, what you grow, growing, pruning. Fascinated by how much you grow and how productive you are with what you do grow. An inspiring business!

    Reply
  45. Sarah P. on

    I love reading everything you post; I drool especially over pictures of your tightly-packed fields and learning how you fit everything in!

    Reply
  46. nanne on

    what a lovely gift to your readers! thank you!

    i’ve gardened for years and love the entire process from starting seeds to harvesting vegetables, cooking them & cutting greenery & flowers for arrangements. it would be great if you would chronical the the day-to-days at floret flowers farm…how you choose your plantings/seeds, the growing process, the end results of all of that work.

    besides that, just give me pretty pictures :)!

    Reply
  47. Sacred Bough Farm on

    Oh my word!! First of all, it’s been said a hundred times, but THANK YOU a million times over for all that you do and share with us!! I have read every word of yours that I could get my hands on and there is never enough! You are my absolute inspiration and personal flower goddess, seriously! It was finding your site and reading your GFM articles that gave me the jumpstart to take my own plunge into flowers! I’ve been a lurker on your blog for a while but had to jump out of the woodwork at this request!

    This year I am starting a flower farm on 1/4 acre in Downeast Maine and my list of questions and what I’d love for you to share could probably fill a book! Here’s a sampling:

    -anything you want to share about intensive farming, spacing, double cropping, etc
    -planning successions, which crops are best for successions and which not so much
    -your favorite varieties (of everything! lol)
    -RECORD-KEEPING this is huge… would love to hear more about your crop planning schedules, the notes you keep during the season, etc
    -organic post-harvest procedures
    -how you approach bouquet-making and any tips
    -marketing… how did you start? did you do cold calls to florists? would you share more about your subscription service?
    -your soil fertility program… loved the fish compost info. i believe i read in one of your articles that you use biodynamic preps in your compost? would love more info on your compost teas, feeding schedule, do you foliar feed, etc?
    -pricing…. how do you determine prices, do you reference the ASCFG price list, what other growers in your area charge, or…? do you keep cost production records for each crop?
    -and i’ll second what someone else mentioned, captions under your photos with varieties named would be fabulous!

    I am so thankful you are in this world and so generous in sharing what you do, I go to your blog and browse through it time and again when I need extra inspiration or to fill these dreary winter days with color and beauty. Just seeing the photos of your flowers and bouquets makes me cry sometimes…. I can’t even imagine being there in person. I hope some day we will have the chance to meet. Sorry for the epic length of this comment, I hope you made it this far! A million thank you’s and green blessings for a bountiful season!! Katie

    Reply
  48. Roxanne on

    Erin, you are doing a terrific job, both with your business and your website. Although I have made tens of thousands of bouquets over the last two decades, I am still paranoid about letting them not be in water. Hence, I have avoided doing wedding flowers which must be out of water for hours and somehow still look fresh. Do you have any particular techniques for keeping flowers looking fresh OUT OF WATER? Keep up the good work.
    Thanks,
    Roxanne

    Reply
  49. LeAnne on

    Erin,
    Your site is such inspiration! The photos so brighten my days and in this gray Washington weather is so needed. I would love to read more about your day to day farm work, what your planning, planting, processing. but really any information you give wonderful. And the photos, yes please!
    So all in all anything and everything.
    Thanks,
    LeAnne

    Reply
  50. Kelly (Botanique) on

    Erin, you are like the fairy godmother of flowers! Everything you share is inspiring, including this request that you are putting out. You are so very generous with your knowledge, and that my be the most inspiring thing of all. Personally, I love seeing your floral designs, your farm/the fields, and information about how to grow lots of flowers in small spaces/intensive growing techniques. I also love reading about your family and life- it puts things in perspective. Thank you for the gift of you!!!

    Reply
  51. Margo Geddes on

    Hi Erin,

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now after reading your essays in Growing for Market. I would love to hear more on how you balence the growing of all those amazing blooms with weddings and wholesale. I’m enlessly impressed with your fortitude! I have a small flower patch (1/2 ac.) that is slowly getting bigger. I too would love to hear more behind the scenes stories. My background in plants stems from estate gardening and nursery work and i struggle with adapting what i know to good farming practices at times. Love watching your business grow!

    Reply
  52. Carol ann on

    Dahlias

    You have the most stunning Dahlias ever!!
    Everyone has a different method for fertilization what is yours, lots of nitrogen or no etc etc……..
    How far apart do you plant them, they look 6 inches apart??How many in how big a bed……details details please!! Your hands down favorites, your new varieties you just ordered, everything Dahlias please they are my favorite!!! How you store them………….the list goes on and on………….thank you so much !! Carol ann

    Reply
  53. Monica on

    Hi Erin! I’d say how to cultivate flowers for the cutting garden, interesting varieties to choose to always have flowers to bring indoors, their needs, how to keep it tidy without spending all day long in there, sowing (flowers and also vegetables) etc… and then, anything you want to share! :)
    Thanks so much!
    Monica x

    Reply
  54. Shari on

    I’m just a home gardener and a voracious appetite for flowers and beautiful plants.

    I’d be interested in the timing of your planting. When you start seeds for which plants & where.

    Your “dirt recipe” :) I live in a very rocky place.

    Anything on putting bouquets together. I am puzzled sometimes as to why some stems wilt immediately and some last well.

    Definitely how to cram a million flowers into a tiny plot.

    Reply
  55. Elizabeth on

    For those of us who grow our gardens in city yards, I would love advice on what to grow in shade and part shade that makes nice bouquets. Also, if you ever have the time, I would really like to learn about other flower farms around the country- especially near Saint Louis, MO. It seems crazy that I can’t find a farm nearby so sells fresh cut flowers. Thank you so much for all that you share with us!

    Reply
  56. mj on

    your photos alone are an inspiration.
    some things:
    1. how do you go about pricing?
    2. tricks for timesaving in the garden, tips, tools, materials that make things run smoother… for example how do you stake 3k dahlias??
    3. tips on the more formal side of arranging for wedding work.. i’m pretty good with the combos and colors, not so much with the ribbon, hand tied stuff and making of corsages/bouts…. wish there was a good hands on class where I could take on this stuff… I do mostly farm market and roadside stand, but want to access the higher revenue of weddings..
    4. more on the fine art of rotating crops thru the season/covercropping etc.
    ps. i will try to share any of my tips too!!
    whew thats a lot..

    Reply
  57. LeeAnn on

    I found your blog a few months ago when I did an internet search for cut flower farms. I was missing my own cut flower garden and needed a photo fix of what spring has in store for me! I fell in love with dahlias two years ago and have kind of gone crazy with acquiring tubers. Last year was a mixed year of results (some disease and the need for some sort of support structure). What have you found works best to support your dahlias when growing in rows? I have a modest cut garden (30×40) and it has brought so much joy to my family and neighbors with its gift of beauty all year long. This year I hope to help a friend fundraise a portion of her adoption costs by donating fresh flowers for her to sell. So I am very interested in learning how to deliver quality flowers. I am always experimenting with plant varieties, so I am always on the look out for objective reviews on species and varieties. I can not wait to continue reading what you’ll be doing this summer. Go family farms!

    Reply
  58. Atelier Carmel on

    Hello Erin,
    I think someone hit the nail on the head, you should just write a book!
    What makes your blog so interesting I think is the variety of subjects you cover… Gives us the real picture, how many different facets there are to what you (we!) do. It’s not just “playing around with flowers” as I’m so often told. I’d be really interested in what type of greens and fillers I could grow myself. The growing season here in Quebec is crazy short, so local growers are few and far between, and super unreliable (not the best fro weddings!). I’ve come to accept that I can’t grow any of my own flowers, but maybe I could produce my own interesting greens, which is what’s hardest to find at the wholesalers anyways… I live in the city, so basically I have about 20 sq/feet to plant! I’d love to know what varieties will have a great vase life and will produce lots, how to cut and condition them… I’d also love to hear about how you deal with clients and their requests.
    There!
    Thanks for sharing with so much heart :)

    Reply
  59. Michelle Verville on

    Oh my gosh Erin, I want to know everything. I love seeing your fields. flower arranging. Seed starting, Planning. Flower storage. Work shop. Varieties. Basically everything you do is completely fascinating to me.

    You are my savior!

    Reply
  60. Kendra @ A Sonoma Garden on

    Hi Erin, I’d love to hear more on the technical part on tips on growing flowers and arranging flowers. But really just photos for inspiration is enough for me!

    Reply
  61. farmer on

    All of the above as well as the names of varieties your using under the picture would be helpful.
    I’m in love with your unique creations,absolutely stunning!
    We have a small cut flower side to our heritage farm here in Nova Scotia.

    Reply
  62. Corina on

    Hello darlin’,
    I’m blown away by seeing all the people who commented on this post. You are truly an inspiration to many (myself included), and it is amazing to see how much you offer to others. Here is what I would love to see in your blog:
    We all know that being a farmer, mother, home schooler is crazy busy, with lots of stress and deadlines and hard, hard work.
    I would love to read abut how you balance it all (or not). What do you do on a daily basis for your self care? How can you inspire us, model for us and remind us that doing all you do requires radical self care to stay sane?
    Now there’s a challenge, huh? I’ll be there right with ya, trying to do the same once our crazy season starts!

    Much love,
    Corina

    Reply
  63. Debora Galaz on

    Erin, you are such an inspiration! My question to you is about growing lilies in crates. What is your potting soil mix made of ? How many bulbs per crate? In general about the process. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your generosity!

    Reply
  64. Jody on

    Erin – I’ve loved following your family’s flower adventures (and tons of hard work!) for the last few years! I’d love to read more about your growing practices (I loved the post about fish compost (-: ), your sources for plant material (the dahlia farm in CA is great to know about), and new flower varieties are always fun to learn about. So exciting to see what this year holds for y’all!
    -Jody

    Reply
  65. Kathleen on

    I want to know everything. But, first I want to see how you design for weddings and events. Do you try to go completely green with little or no plastics and foam? How does on the mechanics of the consultation go?

    Reply
  66. Leslie on

    Photos, photos, photos!…I love every flower-filled one of them. Thank you for a peek into your hard-working, lovely, fascinating life.

    Reply
  67. peoniesandpolaroids on

    We’ve just come by our first garden and don’t have a clue what we’re doing, so any advice you’ve got about growing any things (especially flowery things for cutting and putting in vases, because I’ve convinced my husband to give up a small square of his fruit and veg garden for such purposes.) is more than welcome.

    But really, I’ll take anything you’ve got.

    Reply
  68. Christin on

    Hello again from Texas! Oh the hellebores! The modest beauty. Really digging what you’re doing here on the blog. Would love to hear your story, how you got into flowers/farming etc. I’m an inspiration junkie ;) Can’t get enough of new flower varieties. I’m also interested in how to make the most of a small plot. Like a back yard plot. Hope to be able to tour your farm when I make it up that way. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  69. Andrea Clemens on

    Hello Erin,

    Just wanted to say Thank You, for all that you do, create and are willing to share with us! Since the very first day I read one of your articles in GFM, I have been completely inspired by everything you do! I am very interested in the bouquet making and arrangments. I believe that all of our locally grown flowers really set us apart from the other designers…I’d like to learn more. I am a flower farmer in SE Wisconsin, I grow on a one acre plot. This is my second year in that space. I just quit my job this winter to fulfill my flower farming and designing and to finally be home with our two children, Cedar (almost 5) and Ruby (2.5). I started learning about flower farming in 2005 and can’t believe it has been 8 years and I am finally back in it! Furthermore, I am super ecstatic about my new position as Fair Field Flower grower co-op’s new customer service manager!
    Lots of love and blessings your way,
    Andrea

    Reply
  70. Elisabeth S. on

    Hi Erin!

    I’m one of the lurkers and have enjoyed following your beautiful life on your blog for a very long time.

    You mentioned some of the stuff I love to read about, but tutorials on how to make an Erin Benzakein bouquet would make my day!
    Also, tips on how to handle the more fragile kind of flowers you grow would be cool, I’m thinking about the Hellebores and how to avoid them to collapse, what to do with the sap from the daffodils when you want to use them in a bouquet with other flowers. The aquilegias have a reputation for having a short vase life, yet you grow huge amounts on your tiny farm, what’s the deal with them?
    I have read some of the books you recommend and they do have some tips on these problems, but I want to know what Erin, does :)

    Oh yeah, and I’m dying to hear if you bought your dream farm yet, soo exciting!

    Elisabeth from Denmark :)

    Reply
  71. Lynne on

    Can I say all of the above, lol!!

    I’m very interested in how you grow so many flowers in a small amount of space….and I love to see pictures of the flowers too.

    Reply
  72. Sue on

    Hello, I’m admitting to being a lurker, but I do find your blog so inspiring and beautiful. I would love to hear your growing and arranging secrets (- although I live in Melbourne (Australia) where our rainfall is quite pathetic next to yours!)
    Your flowers are gorgeous- something I’d like to aspire to (dream on!). Pleeeeaase keep blogging with as much detail as you like – it motivates me to make more of my garden and get off my butt – and being more focused! You never know where it might lead.
    Anyway, thank you! Sue.

    Reply
  73. Julie on

    All of the above! I’d love to grow more flowers in our tiny space, design drop-dead gorgeous arrangements from our home-grown flowers, plus, I’d love to know more about your varieties and suppliers. Still, though–I adore your site for the day-to-day stories, cute photos of the kids helping, your family just mucking about. It’s inspiring to see the beautiful work you do while still having a great family life. Cheers to all of your new adventures this year!

    Reply
  74. A Garden of Threads on

    I would love to learn how to put together a simple garden inspired bouquet and how to cram a million flowers into a tiny plot. Your fields of flower is so inspiring. Take care and have a fabulous weekend. Jen

    Reply
  75. Paulette Phelan Kelly on

    Been lurking for some time and LOVE what you do! I would like to kow how to put together a garden inspired bouquet, Please!

    Reply
  76. Jane McGlynn on

    I am so inspired simply by looking at the bouquets you create, such a talent, not to mention incredibly jealous of all the beautiful flowers that you can grow there. Living in Australia, I just like to watch & read what you are all up to !

    Reply
  77. Ariana Salvo on

    I would like to learn about how to get started with my own flower farm. What steps to take, how to plan out a garden, etc. I live on Prince Edward Island in Canada, and my dream is to have my own farm here, and I would like to have part of my farm be flowers. Seeing what you do is inspiring, but how does someone who is just getting started take the first steps?

    Reply
  78. Yvonne on

    Wow what an invitation, thank you. Firstly I would like to say that you are the person who inspired me to start on my floral journey. We moved 18 months ago and have a little land so we started our veg garden however I also grew some sweet peas and guess what did best. I got so much pleasure from cutting them and giving them to friends and family. Whilst researching cut flower farming I came across Floret and was blown away by the story of you and your family, the gorgeous blooms that you nurture and your lets make it happen attitude. Of course this does not answer your question… I love seeing the fields, tips on the natural garden bouquet would be great oh and photography. To be honest I am like a sponge ready to soak up your enthusiasm and wisdom as I develop my cutting garden and my own instinctive floral design skills. Oh I have a voice hurrah xxx

    Reply
  79. FlowerLady Lorraine on

    I personally like reading about and seeing your wonderful photos of all that you do there.

    FlowerLady

    Reply
  80. Sam on

    I love the blog as it is but if you wanted to make me really happy I would devour any content on how you put together your bouquets (they’re GORGEOUS), how you grow – things like that post on fish compost! – and also how you negotiate with customers and decide on your prices. I also really really love the photos you put up here and think that just photo stories of your days would be great. Perhaps you should just write a book?

    Reply
  81. Olivia Jeffries on

    I’m planting up about a 1/4 of my allotment with annuals for cutting to give as gifts over the summer and I would love some tips on making some simple bouquets – yours always look so wonderful! :)

    Reply
  82. Roz Smith on

    I would love to see ALL of those things. I find them all fascinating. I am considering starting flower farming here in the UK. There is a great demand now for locally grown flowers and not those imported from Holland! I am not a florist, more of a gardener, so would appreciate some lessons on how to put together inspired bouquets. Thanks

    Reply
  83. Delphine Chouteau on

    Hi Erin,
    I have been lurking in here for a while and never commented but now’s the time…So yes I would love to know it all! I am in the “thinking phase” of setting up as a small flower farmer in the foothills of the Pyrénées in France and am scratching my head about what to do! I’ve been in touch with florists locally (Toulouse) and they are interested by a local production and diversity. I am trained in Horticulture (but not flower production!) and very interested in a permaculture approach of growing. And also like you I am a mum of two (2 and 6) and am wondering how the hell will I be able to manage!
    So I want to know very specific details like:
    How many stems can you pick on average in an hour or in a week? (if that’s even relevant!?) How much do you need to plant,!!!?
    And also do you use the cool bot system for your cool store or do you know anyone using it?
    Thanks for your time and your beautiful inspirational blog! (so much more than just flowers…)

    Reply
  84. Heather M. on

    I’m just starting a little cutting garden and would love to read posts that might help with that. I also love reading updates that just make note of what’s blooming at what time, small observations are great and you always have wonderful photos. Looking forward to seeing what’s to come!

    Reply
  85. Sas on

    All of the above!!!!

    Reply
  86. Estie on

    Hi Erin
    Have been following your blog for quite a while from sunny South Africa. You are such an inspiration!
    I would love to learn more about your organic methods, especially how you deal with pests and diseases, as well as some step by step instructions for your beautiful bouquets, centrepieces and other flower arrangements. Some info on conditioning techniques would also be most welcome!
    Estie

    Reply
  87. George Orser on

    love the field shots and the green house pics, would love to hear more about varieties: propegation and special seed starting tricks, design basics and i think its safe to say we all love seeing and hearing about your special family and life on the farm(new farm?)

    Reply
  88. Jakkelyn on

    Is it selfish to say I’ll take one of each? This Summers focus for my own floral business is a stronger partnership with our local growers and building (hoping) for a tighter knit ( and less competitive) communtiy between the wedding and event florists in Ct.

    I’ve teamed up with another designer and we’ve decided to build some raised beds and grow items that we’re using in multiple weddings this Summer.Some are sun and some shade. Mostly filler Items like dusty miller, fern varieties ,hopefully begonias and passion vine.

    The cramming a million flowers into a tiny plot would be so incredibly informative/what you consider some of your best practices.

    Very much looking forward to your words,photos and watching your dreams unfold. This place is truly wonderul. ps- I’m falling in love with aprons all over again as your collection is pretty outstanding..

    Reply
  89. Henrietta on

    How to put together a simple garden inspired bouquet, it is something what I can do at home. Your bouquets are so gorgeous and of course “normal” people don’t have like million different varieties and pieces like you have but I would like to know how to make small but gorgeous with flowers what we can find around us:)
    Have a great weekend

    Reply
  90. Kim Spears on

    Erin, I am a newbie to your site and am IN LOVE with your work and your oh-so inspiring blog. I am just starting out growing, with the intention of continuing to expand my cut flower garden in the hopes of having a larger floral farm one day. That being said all of your posts where you share tips about the ‘how to’s’ in terms of planting, growing, care, pest tips, spacing, watering, mulching etc etc etc. I am trying to absorb it all right now! PS – my hubby is an aircraft mechanic and ‘sheet metal guy’ so it sounds like our guys have had similar professions :) THANK YOU for continuing to share everything you have learned along your way !! It is truly appreciated :) PS – I am friends with Clare Day, who was the one who told me about your work !

    Reply
  91. Tara McHugh on

    all of the above! I would also love to learn about what hardy greenery is easy to grow and vines:)

    Reply
  92. Marie on

    I’d love to hear about your work day, every now and then. A little operational behind-the scenes.

    Inspiring? You are.

    Reply
  93. Julie H on

    All of it.

    I think the only thing that would be better than your blog would be actually seeing your flower farm in person. Since we can’t, seeing it here is wonderful.

    Reply

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