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January 11th 2016

Why We Created Floret Seeds

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Floret

Floret_ZinniasIf you’ve been following my flower-filled journey here on the blog or on social media, then you may know how special tomorrow is going to be –for our whole family and team here at Floret. I’ve been dropping little hints over the past few weeks (let’s face it, it was really hard to hide my excitement or keep this secret to myself) about our newest project:  Floret Seeds.

Today, I thought I’d share a little of the backstory on how and why I decided to venture into the exciting world of seeds (plus dahlia tubers and a few of my other all-time favorite flowers) and why this endeavor is so near and dear to my heart.

FloretValerieHarrodEvery season our little farm puts on numerous flower variety trials, in the hopes of discovering new treasures to add to the garden. Through the process I’ve had the opportunity to grow thousands of new varieties, many with uncommon colors that aren’t widely available on the market to see how they perform.  In doing so I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with some of the world’s best seed and plant breeders and have learned so much about what goes on behind the scenes to create the flowers we all love.

Over the past year I’ve been writing a book on growing and arranging cut flowers. As I was filling the pages, I was reminded over and over again that so many of the very best varieties for cutting  (those with long stems, unique coloring, a delicate appearance, strong fragrance, easy to grow, etc.) are quite hard to come by–especially for home gardeners, small scale growers, and floral designers starting their own cutting gardens.

Specialty varieties that flower lovers and floral designers covet simply aren’t easily available, unless you’re willing to wade through obscure text-heavy catalogs organized by latin names or spend a lot of money on bulk seeds in order to meet a suppliers’ minimum order. Most gardeners only need 50 to 100 seeds of a particular variety, not 1,000!  And for growers with a longing to cultivate flowers in softer color palettes, not just the screaming shades found in the seed aisle of big box stores, it can be tough going.

Floret_Sweet PeaMy editors emphasized the importance of making the book accessible and approachable to home gardeners. Given this challenge, I had to make some difficult choices. I had already invested so much into highlighting my favorite varieties throughout the book. When faced with the prospect of scaling back on some of my beloveds because seed sources weren’t readily available, I knew I had to do something. And that something was a dream I’d had in the back of my mind, and on my list of long-term goals.

But it had always remained just that: long-term. Something that was still far off the future, and certainly not one that should be attempted while also trying to meet the crazy book deadlines. But, like anything worth doing, the timing wasn’t ideal. So, after a lot of soul searching and research, Chris and I decided to take the leap and bring my long time dream of bringing Floret’s own seed line to fruition.

floretdahliaOnce we gave it the green light, I called on my contacts to track down the highest quality seed on the market. I brought in sweet peas from renowned breeders in England and New Zealand, who have been honing their craft for decades and dozens and dozens of other treasures, hand selected from around the world.

We spent hundreds of hours working through all the details, getting all the proper permits and paperwork together to be able to import seed here to the U.S., working on packaging design, shooting all the photographs for the shop, drafting seed descriptions, figuring out all the technology to support it, developing shipping protocols, carving out space in our lives (and studio!) to support it all…and the list went on…and on… and on.  Let me just say that a lot of love and labor went into each and every little package of Floret Seeds!

IMG_9016Tomorrow we’ll be throwing open the doors to the Shop and make all 100 seed varieties, including my tried and true favorites, 30 sweet peas, 40+ dahlias tubers from our own certified organic stock, plus anemones and ranunculus available to flower lovers in the U.S.

You’ll find unusual varieties, gorgeous custom color blends and perfect packet sizes to stock your cutting garden. Some notable highlights include a blush pincushion flower, inky purple sweet peas, an apricot foxglove that flowers the first year from seed, giant tangerine poppies and adorable peach and blush scabiosa zinnias that floral designers are crazy about. It is so exciting to be able to offer these new varieties and colors and reintroduce some heirloom varieties that few gardeners have ever seen or grown before. I’m thrilled to be able to bring these babies to an even wider audience and can’t wait to see the beauty that blooms in gardens across the country this season.

IMG_9775If you pop over to the shop, you’ll notice that it’s fully stocked, but before you start filling your cart, here a little secret: In celebration the launch of Floret Seeds, subscribers to our newsletter will be getting a super awesome special offer in their inbox tomorrow morning bright and early–so if you aren’t already on our list, be sure to sign up today and save BIG tomorrow.

16 Comments

  1. New Year’s Dreams, Plans & Hopes | Fresh Homestyle on

    […] and custom storage cabinets to organize all the pretty little packets of Floret Seeds.  (Learn more of the back story of why we created Floret Seeds here).  There’s still a lot to do, but we have made great progress and will open the virtual […]

    Reply
  2. thmahar on

    Wahoo !!!!!! Just placed my seed order from the east coast! at 12.03 i hope I won a calendar!!!! I would be thrilled.. I am so looking forward to seeing these beautiful
    flowers grow in my gardens!

    Reply
  3. Michele on

    Look forward to a new source for flower seeds!

    Reply
  4. Roseann on

    Erin, you’ve had one hell of a year. I’m so impressed and I can’t wait to grow some of your favorite varieties. Thank you for all that you do, you inspire!

    Reply
  5. splendid market on

    congratulations! So exciting. Those coral colored zinnias are stunning.

    Reply
  6. KM Porche on

    Wonderful news! I just ordered seeds from your shop last week. I am thrilled with this new endeavor & cannot wait to order dahlia tubers from Floret. Thank you from a home gardener.

    Reply
  7. Tracy on

    So Excited!!!!!!

    Reply
  8. Tania on

    AAaaaaaaah! It’s like Christmas all over!!

    Reply
  9. Caitlin | Our Natural Heritage on

    This makes so much sense, I can’t believe I didn’t realize that’s what was going on when you were dropping all those hint last year :) I am so excited for you, and for my own future gardens!! Best wishes – you guys have such amazing attention to detail – I know these will be some incredible quality and incredibly beautiful flowers!

    Reply
  10. Kari on

    This is so cool! I ordered some seeds from your shop last week. I’m super excited at the thought of ordering more…. Thank you for the beautiful selection you offer!

    Reply
  11. Susan on

    Brilliant! Not only do you grow fabulous flowers you are quite the business woman. Congrats to you on the fruition of you hard work! I have to start with just a few seeds this year but next year I will be buying many. Thanks for this beautiful selection, it has already made my “seed hunt” easier. p.s. the sweet peas… oh my.

    Reply
  12. Maya on

    Its all about dedication to grow organic flowers in our traditional way. Superb dedication for growing organically by you pretty women.

    Reply

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