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February 1st 2016

Six Important Questions To Answer Before You Get Started Growing Flowers

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floretfieldshotIf you’re new to flower growing or you’ve dabbled for a little while and now you’re ready to get serious, spending a little time getting clear is an absolute must. Today, we’re going to do a little assessment to figure out what you’ve got to work with, what limitations you have to consider and what your flower needs are. These details are critical in making a good, solid plan that will reward you with a successful, flower filled season.

So, before we dig into the nitty gritty how-to posts, I want you to take a little time and answer these six important questions. The process will help narrow down your choices and you’ll get really clear, really fast. From here planning will be so much easier.

Ok, here we go:

erinwalkHow much space do you have to work with? Even if you only have a few pots on your deck or a small garden plot in your backyard, it’s still possible to have fresh flowers in your life. But before you go hog wild ordering up a storm, it’s important to get an idea of how much good growing ground you can actually set aside.

Almost all of the flower varieties we offer in the Floret Shop prefer full sun, so try and find a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. If you only have a shade to work with, don’t worry – I’ll give you some suggestions for varieties that like those conditions too.

You’ll want to go out and take measurements of the space(s) you have to work with so once we dig into the planning steps you can be as accurate as possible. I have a two-acre field map, with every single bed and hoop house drawn out. This really, really helps me stay in touch with the actual space I have to fill.

How long is your growing season and what’s your climate like? Factors like where you live and how long your growing season lasts will dictate what varieties will grow and thrive in your area. For instance, one of my farming friends in northern Vermont only has 90 frost-free days in which to grow flowers! So they stick to cool weather lovers that are fast to flower and anything heat loving and tender must be grown in a hoop house. Another grower friend is gardening in the high desert. Spring lasts just a few short weeks, essentially jumping from winter right to summer. Cool weather-lovers like Sweet Peas and Honeywort must be grown under shade cloth, otherwise the high temps and high light will fry their tender growth.

Even though our farm is tucked into a valley with a pretty long frost-free growing season April 15- October 15, we rarely get temps over 90*F in the summer. So things that thrive outside for most gardeners like Basil, Tomatoes, Peppers and Cockscomb, must be tucked into a hoop house for us, otherwise they never fully ripen.

We’ll dig into climate specific recommendations in the upcoming posts, but take this time now to think through and better understand the climate limitations in your area.

larkspur1How much time and energy do you have to devote to this project? This is the question I hate to answer the most! While I’ve figured out how to squeeze ridiculous amounts of flowers into our tiny plot of land, I still haven’t cracked the code on adding more hours into the day. If you work a full time job, have to travel to your cutting garden, or your days are filled with wrangling little people, beware of biting off more than you can chew.

When I first started growing flowers I was also a young mom. The majority of my days were filled with keeping a very inquisitive preschooler occupied and her wild toddler brother out of trouble. As my passion for flowers grew, so did my frustration with how little time I actually had to devote to growing them. I remember crying in my weed-filled garden more days than I can count because I just couldn’t keep up with it all.

As time went on I found some great ways to manage the workload and eventually keep up with it all, which I will share with you soon. But what would have helped me more than anything back then was to take it a little easier. I thought I had to do it all, RIGHT NOW, which created a mountain of work and stress for myself.

How much money can you invest in your garden this season? While growing your own flowers will reward you with both a bounty of blooms, and if you’re in business, some cash too, getting a garden set up does require an initial investment.

If cash is tight or you’re just starting out, one of the best ways to get your feet wet without breaking the bank is by growing annual varieties from seed. Depending on the size of garden you have, a pretty small investment in seeds and compost can reward you with an incredible abundance of flowers and foliage just a few months down the road.

During the early years, in hopes of increasing our farm’s revenue, we doubled our growing ground. But in the chase for more income, we failed to account for just how much money was required to get a new two-acre field set up and in working order. With the land already rented and ready to cultivate, we naively skipped the most important steps to growing great flowers (feeding the soil and providing steady water) and instead just threw thousands of small seedlings in the ground. That year almost did us in!

It’s important to remember that whatever space you’re going to cultivate, you also need to factor in compost, fertilizer, some type of irrigation, plus seeds and bulbs.

campanulaWhat are your floral needs? Whether you want to grow truckloads of flowers for mixed bouquets, interesting ingredients to supplement your floral design business during wedding season, or just have fresh flowers for your home, your needs should define what varieties you choose and how many plants you ultimately grow.

floretbackfieldLastly, WHY are you growing cut flowers? I know this probably seems like a silly question, but during the height of summer, when the mosquitoes are thick, and the flowers are blooming faster than you can cut them, remembering this one simple thing will help to keep things in perspective. It’s your north star.

For me, growing flowers helps me to be more centered and present in the moment. I have a tendency to live in the future. Flowers pull me out of my head and into the right here and right now. I also LOVE to share the beauty and magic of them with other people. Nothing brings me more joy than handing someone a bundle of blooms.

One Final Note: It took a lot of time and energy to put together this series of posts, with the hope that they will inspire you and help you to grow more beautiful flowers. But without your participation, feedback, or questions, the team and I are unable to know if we’re on the right track. I’m all for blog lurking (reading without ever commenting) but in this case; I would really appreciate your full participation.

Here’s my request, would you please take a minute and leave a comment? Even a few words would be great. I would love to know if this was helpful, what questions do you still have about the topic, what are you struggling with, and are there any tricks or resources you love that you could share with other readers.

I read every comment. If you submit a comment and it doesn’t show up right away, sit tight, we have a spam filter that requires we approve most comments before they are published. Lastly, if you feel like this information is helpful, I would love it if you would share it on Facebook or any other social media platform. Thanks in advance. I can’t wait to dig in with you!


  1. Annika on

    I am coming back to this particular post because it’s my first year growing a dedicated cutting garden after many years of perennial gardening, urban & rural veggie farming, starting my own landscape design/build company, being a flower thief/fairy for my home and friends, and growing flowers for our own wedding last summer. With the cold and wet this spring (Seattle), more than half of the seeds I planted haven’t come up and those that have seem to be irresistible to slugs. Add in a few colds, my wonderful busy 2.5 yr old, and the busy season in landscape design work… and the idea of selling summer herbal/floral subscriptions from my own garden is floundering a bit. I also got really excited about expanding the cut flower palette to us more herbs and native wildflowers to integrate with my pollinator garden designs, but germination rates have been discouraging for that test area of the garden too. So I really needed to revisit this post and re-answer the questions about time, space, money and motivation. Happily, it still feels like I can do it with a few upgrades, more hope/faith/determination and, perhaps most importantly, more networking and outreach to others in this field of work. (I do dream of taking a workshop with you one day too.) Many thanks for everything you do!

  2. Lenore Messick on

    Wow, what a great resource to stumble across! I really appreciate your focus on making time and space for growing in a busy life.

  3. Cole on

    Thank you so much for moving me and keeping me inspired to explore something meaningful to me – although flowers are special to me for family reasons being in he garden with the soil and getting my hands dirty renews my spirit and brings so much joy to my life that what I earn from it doesn’t matter – because I’m focused solely on the rewarding feeling I have crating something beautiful, loving and peaceful that I can (hopefully) share with others. I have a small portion of land that was lost to some decaying trees so here’s to hope, peace, joy and love 💗

  4. Mandy Reid on

    Hi , I live in Tenterfield in New South Wales in Australia. We live in a small town on the Great Dividing Range . We are 850 metres above sea level and I am starting a very small flower farm. Our climate suits cold climate plants so I have planted 70 peonies along with sweetpea, foxgloves, asters, larkspurs, hydrangeas, trellis for clematis, cornflowers, dahlias and roses. It’s very exciting and we are now heading into winter so I’m hoping that spring will bring bumper crops of flowers. After investing in the peonies I had little money left so I’ve had to use seed for all the others. I suppose all I can do is learn by my mistakes….but I am so excited!! Cheers Mandy

  5. Gabriela on

    Thank you so much for your generosity!! I’m seriously thinking about starting this season.I’ll have more questions then!

  6. Tracy Shelton on

    As is was reading this post I was thinking about what a gift your writing is to flower growers! The content was so very clear, concise and personal. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience with those of us who are in great need of it! I found this post to be very helpful and informative!

  7. Liz on

    Thank you for your honest and thoughtful posts. I am just starting a small flower garden (my first year!) to see how it goes. I have always grown vegetables but it is a dream of mine to someday make a career out of vegetable growing. Can you share more information on how you earn a living and actually found ways to sell your flowers? Also, more tips and tricks on starting from seeds would be amazing…I am having so much trouble and can’t figure out what on earth the problem is!!!

  8. Renee on

    I am so so glad to have found this blog/website!! I have the thought of starting a cut garden to start giving bouquets to family/friends, and eventually working up to selling. Thank you for all your wise words of wisdom!

  9. Esther Geneser on

    Thanks so much for your existing…I am sorry my english are not too good…I just want to thank you and your team for all the advises and ideas you give. I was born in Brazil but moved to Denmark for about 22 years ago. All my life I always loved to work with plants and now finale I have my own big garden with is open for visitors from may to september every year. It`s wonderful to talk to people who share the same interest. I have a small farmershop in my place and it would be wonderful to sell fresh flowers direct from the garden in the shop. Since I found you I just get more and more excited to start my own little flower business and I`m so thankful for all the help you give to beginners like me.

  10. Becky Culbertson on

    Thank you for your blogs, your photos, sharing the lessons learned, etc. I have been watching for a while now, and have been inspired, perhaps even challenged, to start a cutting garden this year, specifically for my son’s wedding. It is something I have wanted to do for many years (I have been flower gardening in decorative beds with primarily perennials for an equal number of years…) I arrange flowers for weddings and events just a few times a year, and it can be hard and expensive to find the unique blooms I am looking for, so growing them is the ideal solution. My son’s wedding is the perfect excuse to get my feet wet. I am learning so much from your articles and your book, but am still a bit uncertain about how to be sure that I have blooms at the correct time. I understand looking at the number of days, and counting back from there, but don’t know for sure how long I will get blooms from a particular flower. I may be sending you some emails, or calling on the phone. Please let me know if I become a pest ;-) Thanks again for all the helpful information and inspiration!

  11. Tessie Richardson on

    I am in northern Vermont also and looking for a mentor. I have quite a good head start (a 50 foot greenhouse) and years of gardening experience, however it has been most veggies. Veggie growers are in no shortage in northern Vermont, so I am slowly making my way to flowers and devour all reading available so thank you very much and flower on!!!

  12. Maninder Sandhu on

    Been reading your blog for a while now . I live in northern India where the peek flowering season is January to March . Loved your blog on sweet peas . I plan to grow limited variety of flowers for seeds this winter and found your blog on getting the field ready very informative , especially making template for burning holes in to ground sheets . Hope to visit your farm one day .

  13. Elyssa on

    I have just recently started researching cutting gardens and I have enjoyed the information I have gained from your readings. I live in Northern Pennsylvania, and am hoping to have my own cutting garden next summer, it is a little late for me to plan for one this summer. I have always loved flowers, and am going to love trying this out for myself.

  14. Jill Baldschun on

    Blogging is like “therapy”…possibly more beneficial for the blogger as they give a little innerspection to their own life/ work. You have to just put it out there and hope that your words “mean” something to the reader. – And Erin, your words are a light in a dark place of fear and self doubt to the hopeful flower farmer. Thank you for sharing!

  15. ML on

    So helpful thank you!

  16. Kea on

    I currently live in NZ with 2 small children just as you have described not enough hours in the day and as quickly as I plant the small helping hands pull them out, we grow Hydrangea flowers for the export and local market but am starting to like the idea of growing more for the end user/ or florist within our neighbourhood, we have 5ac mostly under berries and foliage plants but needing to scale back to go forward in a more manageable way. Heaps of inspiration here I thank you for you time and knowledge that you so willingly share.

  17. Ebony heron-norman on

    Hello from nz..florist by trade and avid Gardner looking into growing specialty flowers for market..would you recommend starting off with only couple of varieties in bulk,(looking at flower farming 2acre block).your instagram posts have inspired me to follow the star, I’m ready to go forward with buying seeds..any advise before I invest my time and heart into it. ⭐️..thinking of starting with hellebores ,sweet pea,and dahlias..also want to plant out lambs ear ..exciting to be corresponding with you..stumbled onto this page in the midst of researching x

  18. Anna Truessel on

    Hello from Switzerland, just a couple of days ago your book was in the mail box. I totally love it. There are so many beautiful pictures, I can hardly stop to browse through it. I found out about floret on instagram and instantly new I need to order a copy of this book
    My garden passion has a lot to do with my grandmother. While we were growing up, vegetables and fruits came mostly from the garden she tended to. She was also very passionate about flowers – mostly about dianthus barbatus (don’t know the english name). The passion about plants was right passed to me from a young age on. Right now I live in a big city (well, big for Switzerland :-)) and I’m fortunate enough to rent an allotment plot. This year I decided to grow flowers instead of vegetables because I just love to taking them home and enjoying them a bit longer.

    Your tips are very helpful. I’m trying out dahlias, zinnias, cornflowers and many more. Let’s see where the flower adventure is taking me.

  19. Lani from NC on

    I would like to grow beautiful flowers for my home and to give to friends to make them smile. I love flowers and am thrilled to find your blog and learn the best steps to have my love happen before me.

  20. Trish on

    Thank you for this post! I have 5 acres and wanted to earn money from our land – I tried vegetables but my heart wasn’t in it 100%. I’ve worked as a florist and really enjoy spreading the joy of flowers! It clicked! Why am I not growing flowers? Now down to the nitty gritty of it all. Your post is setting me in the right direction! Thank you!!!

  21. Adrienne on

    Hello, from Vancouver Island in Canada. Last year I followed your advice on your blog about planting and growing zinnias. They were beautiful. Your book has now inspired me to build one more raised bed for cut flowers. I have had many different gardens in my life but have never allowed for one for cut flowers alone. Your six questions are good. About to turn 66, I have to wonder how long my older husband and I will be able to maintain the half acre that we currently own. My answers, most likely different from most, lead me to build just one more raised bed, on the south side of some cedars with which we share the land. The biggest problem? Hungry roots. And the answer: line the bed with really heavy landscape cloth. And cross your fingers! Why do I want to grow cut flowers?
    I just remembered a poem given to me by one of the gardeners at Stanley Park in Vancouver, at least forty years ago. ( ! ) I was working in a bank when he presented this, typed on a small slip of paper; now yellowed and frayed:
    “If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
    And alone to thee two loaves are left;
    Sell one, and with the dole
    Buy hyacinths to feed the soul.”

    Old Persian philisophical poem ….. (his notation)

    Grow hyacinths! And larkspur and anemones and … ( mine )

    That about sums it up for me.

    • Team Floret on

      Love this, Adrienne! Thanks for sharing!

  22. Elizabeth Rose on

    As a quilter who focuses on botanical designs, my plan is to actually grow the flowers and vegetation that are first on the design wall, then stitched into six-square-foot quilts. Having a practical overview, particularly the six essential questions to establish a clear vision and pathway to success, is wonderful. Many college-bound now want to take a quilt with them on their journey and genuinely want flowers to brighten their rooms: I’m imagining graduation parties with garden bouquets and a quilt to match.

  23. Amy on

    I would like to grow cut flowers for my home and possibly enough for my kids to sell a few bouquets on the weekends. I have always loved flowers and plant started annuals from the local greenhouse. I don’t find much variety of cut flowers and nothing unique. I love your photos and I’m ready to try dahlias and your recommended varieties.

  24. Andrea H. on

    You are such an inspiration to me and have been for a number of years now. Thank you so much for all the advice and tips you offer so selflessly. I have been gardening for years down in L.A. in my tiny four 4×8′ beds, and now have 6 acres in the Portland, OR area. Last year, the ducks and geese did ALL of my seedlings in, and it was devastating. This year, we have a fence around our 80’x87′ plot and I have already taken your plotting advice with the rows, spacing, etc. We are still waiting for the soil to dry up a bit – what a wet winter it has been! – and I am hoping for a little more energy to face a summer of gardening, harvesting, and putting together bouquets. It brings me so much joy just to see the seeds come to life and then gift bouquets to my friends and neighbors. As a homeschooling mom of 4 little children, I am easily overwhelmed and discouraged that I just won’t be able to get this flower farming dream take off. But, perhaps, as per your blog post and the six important questions, this is not the time for me to go bigger. Maybe, though, I can begin to infuse a love for fresh seasonal flowers into my children. I think I can accept that. Anyway, congratulations on all your successes – I hope one day I can have your courage, diligence, and dedication!

  25. Sarah on

    Hello! I’m a horticulture student at Massey university way down under in little New Zealand. It’s my final year of study and your blog has inspired me soooo much. I’ve struggled to find something I think I’d like to do in the future, and you’ve given me some great ideas. I’m super excited!

  26. Nicky P on

    Hi, Im from the UK and own by English standards a larger than normal garden. Last year I threw myself into creating my first cutting garden which resulted in cutting down our only Oak Tree, asking a friend to help me make some raised beds with wood and digging , up strips of turf and amending clay soil and making the 3feet strips required to access the annuals I intended to grow en masse. My conservatory became my greenhouse, piled high with anything I could get my hands on to sit trays of seeds, potted up Dahlias and anything I decided to try nurturing from other peoples gardens.
    The family traisped through scattered pots and soil to reach our fridge which unfortunately was in the area I worked in away from the main kitchen.
    Two of my three boys complained about the mess but not very much. My husband, looking back I think tried to pretend none of this huge endeavour was actually happening.

    Im continuing again this year, throwing out the mistakes I have made and keeping some that worked !. I did all this work initially because I had to. Ive always been a keen gardener but never really touched annuals ( yes I know horrifying in hindsight) nor Dahlias. So here I am reading your blog , having been already inspired by your photographs as reference to choosing my UK Dahlias and looking up the advise you give on growing Sweetpeas ( sorry I forgot to mention I have actually been growing those for over 14 years) I realise what a great resource you are. I also feel a kind of on the same page kinship, for if nothing else, the love of flowers and how they call those who have that bug to grow them. Annuals have opened up a whole new world for me and perspective. I have bought your book which is soon to arrive on my doorstep and I look forward to wading & zooming into your pictures to study them closer and read the pearls of wisdom you have on offer in your blog. A very special place to have found Floret.

  27. Jennifer Voegeli on

    I just discovered your gorgeous, beautifully written, practical, soulful, and profoundly helpful book at our local Barnes and Noble a few days ago, right when I needed you most. :) The information and layout are just the resource I need at this new, major change/juncture in my life and garden. I’m a passionate gardener and landscape designer who moved from Il to my dream location of Bellingham, WA last Fall. My garden/ landscape in IL was wooded and shady, which I loved, though I always longed for a sunny spot to expand my repetoire of flowers for indoor arranging. My new garden here in WA (while small) is mostly South and West facing, and I am SO excited to be able to incorporate sun-loving flowers for indoor arrangements! But the garden is also all front yard, so has to looked planned and landscaped. Where to start? What to do? How to rock it out from the get go to produce enough flowers to create a “sidewalk garden” full of happy flowers that will bring pleasure to neighbors walking by, and help create friendships in my new hometown by welcoming guests in and sending them off with a bouquet? Your book, and website, (both so beautiful) are my new trusted source of how to proceed and take best advantage of my first Spring in a new landscape to make the most of this coming growing season, and the years ahead. Incredibly time saving to know the best cut flower varieties versus years of trial, error, and frustration, setting me free to focus on designing them into a more traditional landscape. Your book is helpful to growers in any zone, but loved the serendipity that your farm is just down the road in Skagit Valley, where we are enjoying weekend trips this Spring to see the hundreds of acres of daffodils in bloom, while looking forward to the hundreds of acres of tulips coming in April. Thank you for your good work helping to spread beauty and joy.

  28. Robin on

    I only want to grow a personal cutting garden. I work full-time and am the breadwinner of the family so I know I must limit myself. This will be my first year planting a cutting garden. I tried hard to read about your bulbs and to pick easier flowers to grow. I love being outdoors and therefore this is a great adventure for me because the only thing that keeps me inside is the cold! The 6 important question are good ones and while I had already been thinking about most of them, it was good to revisit and sure up what I am doing with myself!

  29. Jackie hubbard on

    I have been dreaming of growing flowers for so long, but with moves, remodeling a home, and needing to landscape, having babies and acting for then grieving deaths of some family members, timing has never been on my side. I pre-ordered your book and fell in love with and thought, hey I can do this, and I am starting now. I started sowing my seeds last week and am now just so worried that I am not doing all that I needed to or can to get them to sprout! I don’t have flourescent lights for my little tray greenhouses but am providing light through windows and bottom heat with heat mats and occasionally my clothes dryer when it is running. So a couple of things that I would like to find out more about is detailing the days between sowing and sprouting–what should I expect? Is it normal to feel like I am already failing to help these little seeds grow?
    Secondly, in the beginning, how did you find customers and a way to start selling your cut flowers to individuals, stores and/or florists? (Any other suggestions on where to sell? Farmers markets? Where would you suggest starting?) I feel like there is a real need and opportunity in Utah because there aren’t any floral markets, but our growing window is shorter than a lot of places. There are a lot of amazing florists here. How do I approach them and price flowers? I LOVE your book, and am sure you will continue writing and I will continue buying your well thought out and beautiful books. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, wisdom, success and even the small “failures” you have had along the way.

  30. Leah on

    When my first order of seeds arrived this year I was ridiculously excited. My family patiently looked and listened as I looked up pictures online of what I was growing to show them. The only thing they cared about was that I was happy. They don’t get to see a lot of that. I’m a novice gardener (at best), but I have found a great peace in growing flowers. I am chronically ill, with several incurable and progressive diseases, so I spend most of my time at home. Last year I had more bouquets than I could give away and flowers filled every room in my house. It is something I can do…not well, and frquently not successfully, but I am doing something, and every now and then I surprise myself. Your resource guide has become somewhat of a Bible. Although I’ve already over soaked my seeds. I’m not giving up hope. On them, or myself. The dahlias came yesterday. The future suddenly becomes colorfully goal-driven. Thank you for the amount of time and care you put into the blog, the special smile-bringing surprises tucked in my order, and the knowledge and guidance you generously share. You don’t have to be chronically ill to appreciate that. Thank you! ~leah

  31. DazzyD on

    I’ve been growing flowers in pots and vegetables in ground in Northern California. The early blooms in spring emotionally gratify ahead of the warmer weather. The small investment continues to pay off. Thanks for the blog post of six essential questions, as I begin to plan a new in ground flower bed!

  32. Robin on

    Thank you, this post is really helpful! I grew up in Texas and struggled to keep any and all plants alive. I just had very little knowledge and couldn’t compete with the heat and the blazing sun. Now, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The first thing I noticed upon moving here: the abundance of flowers, everywhere. I was amazed and inspired! Even after three years here, I’m still amazed. I’ve started growing a few plants on my patio: Japanese Anemone, Autumn Joy, Rosemary and Lemon Balm (I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see these thrive!). I would love to grow some more flowery flowers, but have been hesitant to dive in. That’s why I’m here on your site: dipping my toes in. Thank you so much!

  33. Valerie Jessup on

    Hello Erin, I found you through Martha Stewart’s Top 10 American Made business winners congrats! However I am not the gardener, my sons are (29,32). They relocated to NoCal, I live in VA (very close to Wollam Gardens) and because they love West coast life we anticipate starting a flower farm of our own in the future.
    So besides reading your newly published book (boys too), digging through info on website, learning to be a small business owner, just wanted to reach out & thank you for jump starting a dream of having a FAMILY run business. We travel to the “other” coast as much as possible. It would give us great joy to someday meet, enroll in a workshop, or just visit your flowers.

  34. Tammy Blythe on

    I just received your book and it’s my garden bible. I love the way you explain in detail “how to” plant, care and Vase life. I received my seeds and made a few mistakes but it’s okay because I know now the right way to sow my seeds. I just can’t wait to share photos of gorgeous flowers with you and your Team.
    Thank you for taking the time to blog and giving Gardeners and Floral Designers like me the opportunity to grow their own flowers.

  35. Missy on

    I’m in the beginning stages of making my flower farming dreams come true. We recently purchased my husband’s family farm and have 10 wonderful acres in Iowa! However, I am the Mom with a four-year old and two-year old boys, and work part-time. You are so very inspirational to me, I have a ton of support, however lack in the time department.

  36. Damien on

    I love your blog and I just purchased your book. My wife and I love flowers and have a dream to grow flowers for a living. We have three children and would love to get them involved and someday inherit the business. I get so overwhelmed when thinking about how much there is to learn, especially since we’re just starting to grow our own flowers this season! But I know it all starts with that first step. One issue for us is that we currently rent a townhome. We have a backyard, but not sure what we can get away with. We’re starting this weekend with an 8×4 bed. We started a seed tray, but I’m not 100% certain I’m doing it right. Some sites say you need a fluorescent light, and others say it’s not necessary. Your advice would be much appreciated! Anyway, thank you so much for what you do.

  37. Lindsay on

    I used to have a philosophy that if I couldn’t eat it I didn’t want to grow it, which is why I’ve only really grown vegetables up until now. Last year, something shifted and I started to become more interested in flower growing as well and your book and website have been a wonderful inspiration. I even have a small seed order from your store on its way to me this week! I am very much looking forward to my first season growing flowers and I appreciate the knowledge and inspiring words you have put together for beginners like me. Dig on!

  38. Mary on

    Your information is helpful. I am looking for some venture, love flowers but don’t know how to start…thank you.

  39. Kate Rosekrans on

    I loved reading your blog just as the snow is receding from my yard and garden beds. You gave such thoughtful advice. It is a very good reality check on planting a garden and getting to carried away with the romanticism of it.

  40. Cari on

    I’m just discovering you and so excited. I ordered your book off amazon the second I saw it in Better homes and Gardens. I live in the PNW and have been waiting for inspiration for my outdoor beds!! Thank you!!!

  41. Twozdai on

    Hi Erin,

    About a month ago I stumbled on your site looking for sweet pea seeds – and you’ve more than inspired me. I might be a little obsessed right now, trying to drink in all the amazing information that you share in your blog, site and book. Thank you for following your passion and for sharing all that you do. I can’t wait to read more of this series of post! My sunny yard in edmonds also thanks you.

  42. Marilyn Palmer on

    I came across your book on Amazon, by accident (?) and have been swept up with a desire to increase my flower garden, which has, until now, been largely dedicated to berries and veg. While I don’t think I’ll be digging up my asparagus, rhubarb, black currants, strawberries any time soon, I’m now planning my raised beds to included MANY more flowers. Your book has helped me think more carefully about the range of colours and varieties I want to grow. (I’m searching the web for a tuber or two of Cafe au Lait dahlia but have missed the narrow window here – everyone is sold out!)
    I’ve sold fruit, veg and flowers from my farm stand for the last couple of years and am looking forward to offering my neighbours more beautiful bouquets this year.
    Thanks for all of the inspiration!

  43. Tomiko Takeda on

    Your book and especially your story about your grandmother and her flowers took me back to my roots! Flower garden galore!! It’s like a re-awakening and I love it. Thank you! With the help of your book, website and blogs I’m beginning with seeds this Spring and hopes for cut flowers. It’s my version of “seeds to table”! The space is small but it has a refueled purpose! So happy to have found you and your flowers! Best wishes for continued blossoms.

  44. Julie on

    Hi! Iive in Colorado and am a passionate perrenial gardener! I started growing veggies 3 years ago, I love your wiser advice about taking it easy, and growing over time! Even a small backyard garden can get overwhelming with kids and work. Each year I make a new section. I learn what I like, what works and I grow a little more. I have family in Mill
    Creek and your farm is #1 on my list next time I am in town. I will look for a class or something to sign up for. Can it wait to see it! – Julie

  45. Megan Sousa on

    This is exactly what I needed to read! I have a small patch of garden space that is 10 feet by 20 feet that has some shade but mostly sun. I live in the Central Valley of California where there are many crops grown. I do work a full-time job, although I do not have children so I feel that I could devote some time to my garden. I have already invested a small fortune into my little flower paradise, in hopes that I will grow an abundance of fresh flowers for my friends and family.

    This is the first time that I am trying to grow my own Cutting Garden, and I am really hoping that I can do it. I guess my biggest fear after planting my bulbs/seeds is that nothing will grow! I Just recently planted everything this last weekend and I feel that all of my work and preparation will be worth it as long as I see those little green leaves breaking ground…Most of all, I really want to grow Dahlias, these are my favorite flowers and I planted a whole bed of tubers for them.

    Floret, if you have any suggestions about what I should be growing in my tiny plot for my area I would greatly appreciate your suggestions!

  46. ann smith on

    I love reading all of your blogs and learn a ton, and especially liked the practical tips and encouragement on NOT overdoing when you work, etc . I live in zone 4 so can’t put flowers in until late may and have a 15 by 8 foot garden. We do the basil and tomatoes and have lots hardy perennials (monarda). Like your zinnia and cosmos idea for us. Thanks

  47. Teri Palmer on

    Erin ~ your post was most informative to me and honestly just as exciting. I live in SC and have always grown flowers within my vegetable garden. We have 17 acres with 4 of that having a pond. After reading and gleaning your book and also turning 60 I have my sites on doing something for me, something I would love to get up in the morning and do. I still work a full time job but am thinking and anticipating retirement in a few years. So I want to start small and perhaps when I do retire I will have a bit of knowledge and experience in flowers to perhaps make a go of it in local farmers markets, florists and even grocery stores. I think the information on the soil is most important as something we tend to forget about as in with vegetable gardens, as one year they do great, the next they don’t.
    Look forward to all your posts and blogs. Thanks.. LOVE YOUR BOOK!

  48. Danielle on

    Thank you for such a great article! After reading through some of the comments, it seems like I am the only person who fears what lurks between the branches. I am very eager to start my own, personal cut flower garden. I’ve research which flowers are most successful in my region, which type of soil would help nurture my little garden, and I’ve also decided to go against my natural inclination of biting off more than I can chew. Yet, I am still afraid. I’m not afraid of the process. I’m afraid of the snakes and possible rodents that I will likely encounter. Are there any recommendations for deterring little animals for getting into my garden?

  49. Cassandra on

    Just received your book on Friday and had gone through it from front to back by Saturday! Wonderfully written, well organized and VERY inspiring. I’ve just purchased a few packets of seeds and am excited to start my own small flower garden. You have covered the topics I need to get started, and I thank you for that!

  50. Cristina Urrutia on

    I am eager to start my first flower farm but don’t want to get over my head . This year I will be in the planning stages and just grow for myself . I have a full time job in the bee industry and my land is being used as an apiary , which will benefit my garden greatly .

    I live in Northern California and am thinking it’s too late to start?
    What do you think ? Or anyone reading this .

    • Team Floret on

      Christina, it’s definitely not too late to get started. Just start small and try out a few fast growing annuals like zinnias or cosmos your first season. Good luck!

  51. Laura on

    Oh boy I have gone down the rabbit hole! A friend and I were recently talking about gardening and I am new to this world in general, and cut flowers in particular. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing all this information! I can’t wait to grab your book!

  52. Kelly Scawin on

    Thank you so much for sharing your passion and knowledge. I have been dabbling with cut flower gardens for two seasons now and both have produced very different results. I can’t wait to read each blog as it’s making me focus more on what i actually want to achieve by having a cut flower garden. I can’t wait to get my hands on your book and planner. Thank you

  53. Kayla on

    This was so helpful! I just bought your book and a packet of the stock flower seeds and am SO excited! I have just started to read your blog, so you may have already done a post on this- when it comes to the important parts you mentioned such as compost, irrigation, feeding the flowers and providing steady water, and in another post on starting seedlings you mentioned using fish emulsification- can you provide more information on all of this and the best places to buy? I think that is the part causing me the most concern! Thank you SO much for sharing your beautiful passion!!!

  54. Lily on

    I have cultivated flowers in Santa Fe, NM and I am now considering getting back into it in Minnesota (moved here last year). I have been working in agriculture for 5 years off and on in NM and AZ (Whipstone Farm is the best!) and I am still learning about the season here and how long/short it is, where the good soil is. I have forgotten how much I loved growing/picking/arranging/learning about flowers and I want to grow cut flowers for sale one day. Your words will help organize me as I struggle through an 8 hr/day, 5 day/week job that doesn’t involve flowers or the outdoors. I too want things to happen RIGHT NOW and your blog will help me plan a little more (and your book which I am about to buy). Thanks for giving me a gold standard to live up to and please keep educating me.

  55. Sonia Hoffpauir on

    Thank you for sharing your passion and your hard learned lessons with us. You are definitely right on track! Everything from your beautiful photos, your book, your story, and your knowledge is inspiring. I’ve been dreaming of a life similar to what you are living, especially being more present in the moment. Once I found your blog and book… I’ve set my dream into action. I don’t know much about growing but I do know it’s right for me. My goal is to have a flower farm, sell to the locals wholesale and retail and become a florist. Can you share any insight about things to grow in this hot summer weather in Louisiana and how to grow flowers that prefer cooler weather? I received a signed copy of your book! Thanks again! Happy Growing to you as well.

  56. Mia Walters on

    I came across your Instagram and followed the link to your blog. So beautiful and inspiring. For the past three years, I grow wildflowers in our front yard for the bees and butterflies. I just used a seed mix and don’t necessarily know what all the different types of flowers are, but have learned a lot this past few years. They usually bloom in spring and withers by summer. Meanwhile, the neighbors love that every couple of weeks, new sets of flower bloom. This year I started cutting them to give to various people in our lives and it is amazing how flowers can instantly uplift anyone’s moods. I wanted to start putting more effort into growing actual cut flowers. One thing I notice in your photos is that the stems to your flowers are thick, long, sturdy and clean. Is there a trick to growing flowers with robust stems?

  57. Claire on

    As I take the small steps to starting my own little flower farm, I am devouring every word you write as I try to figure out our own little space in far flung Zimbabwe! Thank you. Thank you for all you share.

  58. Heidi (Pittsburgh, PA) on

    Thanks for writing your blog and for all the helpful information on your website. I found your site after reading an article in a magazine recently (can’t remember which one at the moment). I have enjoyed everything in your site… mostly the photographs! Always beautiful and inspiring. I am now about to start my hand at growing a fees flowers from seed after a few years at vegetables. I am looking forward to Spring! Thanks for your efforts here!!

  59. Dawn Stoutz on

    Halo there. I am also a mom of two kids, a three and five year old. I recently left my job to spent more time with them. I would love to reunite with the working force in the future though, but this time on my own terms. I would prefer having the kids around and still do my passion, working with flowers. I can actually see them enjoying the farming while I attend to the flowers at the site.
    Your post made the dream feel so real and current. I appreciate the tips and I will use it wisely.
    Thank you.

  60. Julie Aarsvold on

    I love reading your blog! it’s so beautiful and informative, i have a good sized full sun garden that is getting out of control, so i have to reign it in a bit, but i love your ideas and your pictures are just stunning. i will start small to make the most of my space and using your guide and book will help me, thank you for sharing your ideas and inspiring others! i am so glad that i found you!

  61. Monica on

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us! Your stories are a delight and an inspiration to me. I live in BC, right across the border, thus share your climate, so am keen to learn about what more I can do with my patch of earth in this part of the world. I love cooking, so am very interested in herbs, too. Thanks again!

  62. Alecia on

    I just stumbled across your blog in the wee hours of the morning last night (when the house was quiet and mom could spend time alone)…and your site was a visual of just what I’d love to be doing! I’ve had so many ideas about how I’d love to grow the flowers I harvest and sell, but there is little in my area that looks like that; I actually didn’t even realize it’s called “flower farming” until last night! I’ve also been drawn to only the unique, beautiful and timeless varieties, looking to do something different. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few of the seeds I just started were also found in your list of flowers. Finding Floret is truly a blessing! Thank you for sharing. Thank you for giving this mom with a dream some beautiful inspiration and guidance!

  63. Marissa on

    Wow! Thank you for this wonderful blog! I am brand new to the flower growing world. I went to a farmers market last summer with friends who were selling baked goods, and the booth across from us was selling the most gourgeous flower bouquets, and that sparked an interest for me to start growing some flowers of my own. We have a small homestead farm in western WA, and I would love to use some of our “extra” space to start a flower garden this year. I think this blog will be a huge help to me! Maybe in the near future I could have my own buisness of my own!
    I look forward to reading more in all my spare time;)

  64. Phoebe Reid on

    I’m moving later this year so right now my flower planning is all a dream for next year. I’ll be a backyard smalltime flower farmer only with hopes of beautiful blooms for myself and family and friends. Your guidelines and tips are fantastic! Totally helping me to make sense of what I want and how to plan it out. And I love your line about getting out of your head and being in the moment – I can relate. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and experience. And I’m loving your book too, by the way :)

  65. Victoria Clark on

    You are speaking my life in this post. Great questions to start with. I am very much waiting for some of the other posts you have said you will do soon. Love the enthusiasm with growing! It’s keeping me going on this trip. I hope to be planting by next year. This year is planing and getting money together. So you have a fan from Georgia!

  66. Kufro, Allison E. on

    I came across your book today thru the Taproot Magazine email. It’s synopsis encouraged me that perhaps I actually could grow flowers to make bouquets for the house and friends, so I headed to your website. I’ve never had the confidence to even attempt growing flowers until your book descriptions inspired me! I live in Safety Harbor, FL and am hopeful I can produce some beauty without too much effort and expense. Expense is what keeps me from indulging on bouquets now. So thank you for this post! Also, I never would have left a comment if you didn’t outreach and directly express your desire and the rationale for them, lol. I’m headed off to explore more of your site now.

  67. Melody on

    Thank you for making these cut flower how to posts! I live in Davis, CA and have been a vegetable gardener for years, but I’m going to be starting a cut flower garden this year for the first time. I’m very nervous, and your posts are great.

  68. Tuu on

    Hi I enjoyed reading your post.
    I live in the desert in Israel and I’m pondering growing more flowers in my garden.
    Do you have any ideas of how to help the flowers to last longer after they are cut, and not just droop.

  69. Celia on

    What helpful questions to ask myelf..thank you! These guidelines are appreciated for some of us who are not experienced with this flower-growing project stuff. It’s a little deceiving to say ‘oh I’m growing flowers for my business’ as if it’s twinkle toes. NOT. It’s kinda scary actually.

  70. Amanda on

    Thank you for posting! I love looking through your pictures and thinking through what I’d like to grow at home. Looking forward to digging through some more posts!

  71. Terri Caldwell on

    Hi, my name is Terri. I have 3 6’x8′ raised bins. I live in the California Sierra foot hills, Jackson. I have a passion for gardening and love roses. I ordered your book today after I read your recent article in Better Homes and Gardens. I work as a therapist for Home Health and am with sick and elderly people every day. Gardening and sharing ” the fruits of my labor” bring much joy to so many, especially me. I look forward to leaning from you and visiting your farm. My sister lives in Tacoma. I’ll be watching for workshops. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and skills.

  72. Jen on

    I am so excited to learn from you. I absolutely love to garden. Giving floral bouquets is one off my favorite things to do. I am building a new home so I am seriously considering making a spot just for cut flowers. I will need lots of advice since my lot of only 0.38 acre. Once the home is built I will have much less to work with.

  73. Caroline Hulse on

    Wow I’m so jealous. You seem to have what I have always dreamed of. I live on a farm and my flowers seem to creep farther and farther out, taking up more pasture, but I would love to have your knowledge to grow lots and sell in my area. We live in Northeast Missouri, zone 5. I would like to learn more about hoop houses so I can start earlier. Love your book.

  74. Jacqueline on

    I truly appreciate such honest questioning, and your down to earth experience and advise. It seems like a no brainer, I want to grow flowers because who doesn’t love flowers!? But the deeper I get into gardening, of any kind, the more I learn just how much time, dedication and up front cost it realistically requires… I have a 4 year old daughter and a nice sized yard, with too much shade, in the sunny Okanagan in BC. Our growing season isn’t exactly long but it is hot. I’m also a beginner florist. You’re blog, calendars, seeds, and now book(!!) add so much inspiration to our life, and little garden, everyday. Thank you, truly so much!

  75. Britt on

    I’m a single mama of two and self-employed. I rent a small duplex apartment in a low-income neighborhood and just acquired about 1/10 of an acre lot down the street. I want to farm. I know I do. I volunteer on a farm right now and it’s my joy. It’s so hard. But I want it. I want to start with flowers. I found you on IG. I need this book. I need some hope. Today was hard. Thank you for this post. I know I can make it happen. I know I can provide for my babies in a resilient and beautiful way.

  76. Lynn Burns on

    Erin, to say I am inspired by your story or willingness to share your valuable tips and information is an understatement! I was raised by a Mom who always had the most beautiful gardens and always managed to relocate her beauties every time we moved! My husband and I are empty nesters with a sweet, little brick cape living in upstate NY. We have a few flower gardens in our yard that I would love this year to nurture to a place where they provide beautiful blooms throughout our limited season. I am really excited to get planning with your valuable tips and inspiring photo’s! Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge and for sharing your most personal memories! Warm Regards, Lynn

  77. Julie on

    Oh I do love this! Thank you for the pointers!

  78. Elissa on

    Hi! I just ordered your book, and I’ve been reading every word of your blog. I’m a beginner, and I just ordered some zinnia seeds because they sound hardy! Thank you so much for all the information. Please keep it coming!

  79. Kaylee on

    Such a great article! I know most of the flowers you grow are annuals, but I’d absolutely love to know if there are any perennials you recommend. I’m in Zone 5, so flowers have to be somewhat hardy to get through our winters, and in an ideal world I’d love to plant only gorgeous annuals, but truthfully I’m not an amazing gardner and my time is limited with a new baby and work so perennials are just about all that gets planted around here.

  80. Alicia on

    I found this post so helpful. I have just gotten into cut flowers in my garden. And only recently came across your article in better homes and gardens on cut flower gardens. I have since gone right into the deep end and ordered the book, received my seeds and am getting started with some seeds. So reading this post today was just in time to remind me to slow down and take a moment to evaluate things. I have a small backyard with a couple of raised beds I’ll be using this year one measures 4′ x 16′ and the other 4′ x 8′. I can’t wait to see how things go this year. Thanks so much for all the thought you put into the site, I’m on here all the time learning new things.

  81. Brittney on

    Yes this is so helpful! I would love to have a small flower bed in our soon to be next homes back yard. Saving all these tips! Thank you for taking the time to write them! I think this will give me the encouragement and guidance to put a plan into action.

  82. Laurie on

    Hi Erin! I first saw you in Home & Garden magazine. The article about Sweet Peas drew me in. I have had a Love for them for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately my attempts at growing them have been disappointing. With all this new information I feel better equipped….but am curious…is it possible to grow sweet peas in a large pot or wheelbarrow with any success? What recommendations do you have?
    Thank you for already doing all the plant research and finding hardy, lovely blooms that are available for purchase with all the instruction and stories included throughout your site….it’s Fabulous!

  83. Keara on

    I’ve gardened since I was about 17 years old, but I’ve always done a vegetable garden which I thoroughly enjoy even if I’m only slightly successful. 😀 I’ve only planted a whopping 5 flowers in my entire life (which my husband accidentally mowed)! Since I discovered Floret Farms on instagram, I haven’t been able to stop dreaming of the flowers I want to grow! I’m so excited to read your book and get some much needed information on how to make it a reality! Thank you for sharing all your valuable information! And keep on making my IG feed beautiful!

  84. Kristin Schroeder on

    Great content, can’t wait to read more and check out your new book!

  85. Kathy Kangas on

    I just ordered your book off Amazon and it hopefully comes soon . I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and have loved growing flowers my whole life …. I am a full time nurse and just turned 50 hrs old and it’s my 2nd year of growing flowers to sell. I am hoping to supplement my retirement and this is my passion. Thanks for the blog and book yet to come.

  86. GinnyLou on

    I found Floret Farms in BH and G magazine. I have been trying to decide what to plant in a small bed in my yard and fell in love with the gorgeous pictures and down-to-earth instructions.
    Wish me luck!!

  87. Jewel on

    This website is amazing! So helpful and down to earth, and the photography is breathtaking! Very inspiring, I feel like being a flower farmer might actually be possible :) thank you for sharing this with the world!

  88. Marion on

    Hi, I live in Québec, Canada (sorry for my english) I discover Floret flowers farm on Pinterest and I was really happy to see there are flowers farm in North America. You give me hope, I am florist and horticultrice (I don’t know how you sauf in english) and my dream it’s have a flowers farm. I am disappointed to se flowers from Netherland or South America. I would like have flowers From Québec during the weather will permit. You are a source of inspiration, I hop realise my dream Next year. If it’s toi jardin to understand m’y message don’t publish it 😉

  89. Megan on

    I am in the process of buying my first house. And the thing I am most excited about is the yard and all the flower possibilities. I am so excited to have this book available because I have no experience growing flowers and it makes me feel like I actually have a chance. Just want to say thank you for putting your knowledge into a resource that we have access to so that we can be successful. Hopefully my book will be here next week and then I can start planning my garden!

  90. Cassie on

    Hi. I’m commenting because you told me to. :) I want to grow flowers, I have a small garden in front of my house but want to expand, just to add some beauty to the world. I’m a new follower on Instagram and just found your blog. This is so incredibly helpful and easy to understand; I like step by step instructions, they are soothing. Flowers make you happy, I recently lost my mother and all I want is to be happy.

  91. Deb on

    Why do I grow flowers? Like you…they ground me in the here and now. They teach me patience and provide that daily dose of nurturing that I don’t have with grown children. I own a small vintage and home decor shop in a small town and have decided I will share my cut flowers this year with my customers and give away to those who want to take home a bouquet. Glad I found you today! I can’t wait to get my hands dirty planting this spring

  92. Erika on

    I love love love floral bouquets and now that I am a homeowner with a yard to renovate, I am excited to maybe grow some flowers. I say maybe because I do have an infant son and the days are very busy! Still trying to figure out how to keep the house clean and everyone fed. Your tip on time is very helpful. Our home is in the Smelter plume of the south sound, so I would plant in raised beds instead of our contaminated soil. Any special considerations for that? Thanks!

  93. Ashley Antkowiak on

    This is so helpful. My husband and I are in our second year of farming 6 acres in Baltimore. We can raise animals no problem but gardening intimidates us! I bought your book and have found both that and your blog incredibly helpful. I’m actually excited to grow things for the first time!

  94. Ruth Ann on

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. I love that you are not writing expressly for the “Professional” grower, but also for someone, like me, who has the room, some time (Not a ton!) and the pure love of what flowers bring to my life and the lives of the people I share them with.

  95. Jean Shaw on

    Looking forward to getting my book from Amazon. Loved your webinar post yesterday!

    I too suffer from the “monkey mind,” and gardening immerses me in the here and now. If I were 30 years younger, I’d be following in your footsteps …. (A note from your webinar: Yes, I remember that dahlia-busting windstorm from 2 years ago, as we got it here in Portland, too. Not as bad as what you experienced. Your mentioning it was an astute reminder that we can plan and prepare, but we have no control over the outcome–Zen gardening!)

  96. Debbie Hornig on

    I watched the video this morning…congrats…you guys are amazing, and it is wonderful to see someone who wants to share their knowledge instead of “protecting” it. I can’t wait for the book to arrive, which I ordered from Amazon.ca.
    I would love to know if anyone knows where to get dahlias, peonies, and ranunculas and anemones wholesale in Canada….and do you have anyothers growing anemones and ranunculas in the Quebec climate?

  97. Alea Moore on

    Hi there!! This is wonderful!!!! I have searched everywhere for a place that explains flower growing in simples steps. It can be really overwhelming, but to have it laid out in simple steps truly helps! I have ordered your book and am excited to dive in! So, thank you!
    Something I’m looking for is a good buying resource. I feel like there are places everywhere that sell seeds/bulbs/etc…but I would love more specific steps in where and what to buy for my gardens.

    Thank you so much for being such a wonderful resource and I can’t wait to keep reading!
    Much joy!

  98. Deepa on

    Hello from a wet early spring in England.
    Love your posts and especially this one. Really practical advise. I have been growing dahlias in my garden for about 10 years and over the years have learned to ask myself the same questions. Wish I had read this those years about!

  99. Erin Schmit on

    Erin (name sister)…
    Thank you for your candor, your webinar today that inspired me beyond hope, your detailed descriptions, your energy and time.

    I am ready to take on my new plot. My mother ( a Christmas tree farmer for years and years long, long ago) is beside herself to help me get started. So know in your heart that you are helping a woman looking for her new path, a grandmother who misses getting her hands in the dirt, and a daughter that is anxious to help her family start a business of their very own that will provide for generations to follow.

    Bless you and your generosity…
    Erin Schmit

  100. Courtney on

    I can’t get over how helpful you are! Thank you so much, your website and blog bring such joy during these gray days! I especially like the part where you discuss area specific flowers. I live in the south and I’m afraid the sweet peas I ordered from you might not like our hot, humid summers. But, I’m going to give it a go anyway! Can’t wait for my other seeds and dahlias to get going too!

  101. Kelly on

    Very excited to start my first flower garden this spring! The universe has pointed me in this direction, while your blog and book (arriving soon) are helping me feel the tangible potential of this dream. Thank you!

  102. Heather on

    I just discovered your lovely blog today as I was researching how to start a flower farm. We live on 10 acres which we farm growing our own food, and I’m looking for a way to add some revenue. I just LOVE flowers, but I’m still learning how to grow them. This post is SO helpful in helping me focus as I dream about this project. I’m wondering if you have any posts planned about different ways to earn money growing flowers? I don’t have a florist business and don’t plan on starting one… is it ridiculous to start a flower farm if you don’t even know how to make an nice flower arrangement? 😬Thanks for all the time you put into these blog posts!

  103. Ruth Carter on

    A comment from a blog lurker!! :) I am in Australia and have followed your instagram for a while as a fellow flower lover. I have 2 , 5mx2m beds that I’m attempting to replant with just cut flowers, mainly for myself and to give to others, and have found this article very useful in fine tuning what I want from it. My problem is I want it to also look aesthetically pleasing during winter/autumn as the beds are right out my kitchen window and the focal point of our backyard. Do you have suggestions somewhere for annual or foliage cut flowers/plants? I can think of a few myself, but hearing an experts suggestions would be great. Thanks so much. Oh and pre-ordered your book today!!

  104. Emily on

    Thank you, thank you to you and your team! I just downloaded and read your book – it is beautiful and THANK YOU for providing it for free! What an amazing gift you just gave to anyone who reads it. I am also a young mother with a tight (miniscule) budget and big dreams, and practical advice helps me to keep my feet on the ground and my heart moving forward. I look forward to learning anything and everything you have to share!

  105. kendra on

    WOW!!! I am so inspired! Thank you for sharing so intimately. I feel sheepish for pointing this out, but there is a word missing on the above right before you ask for comments!!! : For me, growing flowers helps me (be) more centered and present in the moment.

    I truly appreciate all the details and thought that has gone in your posts as well as the sheer beauty in photography (huge props to your photographer). I love too that you are featured in so many photos – it really brings that connection and spirit to the fore. Thank you again, and blessings on the seasons ahead!!!

  106. Aisa Maher on

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for inspiring and reassuring, and making this big world seem smaller and friendlier by sharing your experience and knowledge and the undeniable magic of growing and flowers!!

  107. Kathleen Papadoulis on

    Erin and Floret, you have made this dream I have savored, treasured and been so afraid of, more and more of a reality. I am a primary teacher in Sydney, Australia but my heart is yearning to begin this journey. I thank you, immensely, for these posts and resources you provide! They are helpful and create a sense of attainment. I believe I can actually achieve this!

  108. Laura Furness McNew on

    I really find your information and advise helpful. Your personal view is very inspiring. I have been gardening in some capacity since i could walk. My family on both sides, are avid gardeners and grow everything in their yards and property from fruit trees, berries, vegetables and flowers. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to have my own ‘secret garden’ and kitchen garden, like in textbooks and movies (i used to live behind Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA and i considered this my inspiration. While now I live approximately 25 miles south, in a more temperate zone, on the Elk River, Town Point MD (Chesapeake & Delaware Canal). My family owns an old farm that is tenant farmed with Corn/soybean every year to help pay the taxes.

    I would love to expand my small raised bed vegetable garden, that always includes more zinnia’s than vegetables, to include using some of the field area for flowers.
    You have inspired me to start my plan this year.
    I’m not your usual blogger or social mediate so I’m not sure of how much communicating I will be up to.
    Thank you again, for your information and advise. You really have inspired me and that really means a lot to you me.

  109. Stefanie on

    This post is incredibly helpful! I really appreciate your honesty in where and how you’ve had success and also mistakes/frustrations. I’m new to gardening in general, but I’m soaking up all of your very valuable help and information. I also can’t wait to get your book in the mail in just a few days:)

  110. Ruth on

    Thank you for your post. I recently started gardening as a way to relax. I have a tiny patio. I didn’t plan it out and wish I had, instead I began purchasing plants I found on clearance, the sad ones that needed some TLC. I would bring them home and with a little pruning, water and sunshine they’re healthy as can be. My favorite part is waking up in the morning to new blooms. I look forward to learning more from your blog.

  111. Lise-Lotte Loomer on

    Yes – all your information is so helpful. But also the way in which you share it. Your honesty. Biting off more than you can chew and feeling frustrated with all the other demands in care giving that one has and not enough time in the garden. So thank you for your honesty, it makes the advice you give so easily relateable to me.

  112. Sharon on

    Knowing the amount of time, consideration and effort it takes to provide these blogs, sharing this wealth of knowledge from so many, is truly appreciated by all. This is one of the best sites I have found that garners a vast array of information right at my fingertips.
    I love all of the colors nature provides each and every year … just like a rainbow … filled with awe and wonder in the days to come ! Flowers are just one of many ways nature provides the serenity, peace and grounding that many people want and treasure. Thank You So Much !

  113. Susan Bold on

    I grow flowers and a few vegies in a 500 sqare foot garden. I will try to successive plant larkspur,snapdragons, sweet peas and zinnias. I am hoping to start some of these inside since I was not able to start any of these in the fall. Will any of them
    Be successfully transplanted outside.? Love your tips and instructions. Thanks!

  114. Lindsay on

    HI there. I live in Everett WA and we have our first house and a small space for a garden. I thought these were all great questions to consider. I would love even little tips like how to keep my 3 year old out of the garden or some hardier plants that she could help with. I love the blog and found you initially through Instagram. Also, if you need volunteers this summer, I’m available! I have summers off from teaching and in laws who are always willing to play with my sweet girl.

  115. Leslie Prest on

    Just read your post and here’s my comment. I sell flowers and herbs part time at our Farmers Market, that’s my “fun” thing to do after a day at the Office. I wanted to expand the flowers some, and lo and behold, I found your site. I ordered seed and am reading through all the helps you have. Thanks so much. Not time to plant here yet, but I’m planning.

  116. Tracie on

    I have a small flat of zinnias on my kitchen stove that just sprouted their first little seed leaves … I am one proud momma! They are the first flower I have ever grown. I’m already ready to start a flower farm, and they haven’t even grown true leave yet! Needless to say, I’m excited to read the following posts. :)

  117. Stephanie on

    Hello.. Yes I greatly enjoy all of your information. I came across your blog last year.. very inspiring as others have said. I have purchased a few of the books you suggested in older blogs. I have for many years wanted to go into wedding planning, floral arrangement, landscaping, tree farming, and more. Love plants, flowers, and trees. But, I think on it all more than I take action due to shear overwhelment of how or what to start. Life just gets in the way. I live in Texas, on a little over 4 acres, have horrible dirt, no fencing, and for the last 6 years wanted to do something with our property and done nothing. I love looking at your photo’s, recently came across articles about in you in Sunset magazine and also mention of your new book in another magazine. I look forward to your book arriving and I’m currently going through the email information I received today. I also recently purchased seeds just from our local Home Depot :) and bought a small greenhouse tunnel from Tractor Supply to start growing flowers from seed for hanging baskets and to use for color spots in my flower beds. Also starting a “square foot garden” raised bed for veggies. Working on your suggestion of starting small and making a plan for getting some “real” flower gardens going maybe by the fall. I would love to retire from my office job to flower farming. I look forward to reading and learning more of what you have to share. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge. Wishing you all the best on your new book release.

  118. Suzanne on

    I am growing flowers to enjoy and share with my friends. Your website and blog have inspired me with beautiful photos and down to earth suggestions. Thank you for sharing your experience and suggestions. I am anxious for your book to arrive and will be following your blog and documenting my gardening experiences this year!
    Suzanne / Bainbridge Island

  119. Dina Awe on

    Just stumbled upon your blog,but I have truly been inspired! I’m waiting patiently for your book to be delivered. Can’t wait to dig into it,lol!

  120. Susan on

    Very helpful!
    Thank you!

  121. Renee Lynch on

    Wow you are inspiring me after reading one BLOG POST. thank you for sharing all your knowledge! I can’t wait to read on!

  122. Bethel on

    I’ve dabbled in both social work and agriculture for the past ten years and now with a newborn and a 3 1/2 year old (also a Jasper!) we’ll be settling roots back in Texas and looking to once again get dirty in a climate and growing season with which we are well versed. These past three years I’ve worked at a food bank in Montana where we distribute (and grow a wee bit of) food – but also flowers from grocery stores that would otherwise go to the dumpster. While addressing hunger was the main reason I initially got into growing food and gardening and farming, I have learned that flowers have a unique ability for bringing hope and beauty into the lives of many who need more than food. So thank you for the inspiration to take our growing in a new direction!

  123. dlglasco on

    This blog and the knowledge you share with us is extremely beneficial and helpful. I too, feel great joy through the gifting of flowers. While I don’t have a lot of land, right now, this season I will be growing more flowers than ever before. Yay! I have purchased your book and seeds. Thank you for inspiring me to dig into my dreams.

  124. Keegan Austin on

    I just found you through Better Homes and Gardens – I am SO happy I picked it up in the grocery checkout aisle! I am brand new to this, and your blog is really making me feel like I CAN DO IT! The most helpful advice for me, so far, is to really consider how much time and energy I have to devote to this project. I am a new Mom (like you when you started out!), and this post has really helped me reflect and decide to start small. Your picture tutorials about starting seeds are GREAT; the whole blog is just a fantastic resource. I’m really excited to order my seeds!

    Thank you so much for being such an inspiration, and for sharing your hard work and talent with us!

  125. Meghan Uliana on

    Thank you! I’m just starting and for same reasons…beauty and peace…and maybe a few extra bucks!

  126. Sheila Moreland on

    I love your blog. So great to read all the different topics. We are opening a nursery this spring here in Missouri. I plan on growing some cut flowers in hopes of selling to a florist near by. With all your great information here I am excited for spring to arrive. Thanks.

  127. Lindy Callahan on

    I am new to your blog and I love it! This year I have found myself in a unique situation, with the opportunity to transform some land that has been in my family for the past 150+ years. I decided to use some of the space to take on the endeavor of growing cut flowers for the first time. As a twenty something who has spent my professional life in marketing staring at a computer with absolutely no idea what I am doing yet, I am finding all of your content to be incredibly inspirational and helpful. Thank you for sharing your story and experience!

  128. Janette Drost on

    I just discovered you through instagram and oh wow, how timely! We are about to move to a farm where I will have a strip on the edge of the field next to the house. I’ve just pre-ordered your book. Lovely, all of this!

  129. Galanda A Bryan on

    I found your site (again) today after perusing Instagram and you were tagged in another post. I have to say I absolutely love the site and the time you and your team have put into it. I apparently found you previously because when I checked my email I had already subscribed to the newsletter. Needless to say I think it is divine intervention! I just spoke to a small size flower farmer at an urban farming open house and was re-energized about flowers! I started gardening with flowers and then moved to food and feel the pull back to flowers now that we have lots of land. I ordered your book immediately and I’ll be working through the resources you provided to plan a small flower farm this year for myself, a few friends and small local market where I volunteer. I’m so excited I don’t know what to do!!! Don’t be surprised if you get lots of tags from Bytes and Buds this Spring/Summer!

  130. Amanda on

    I just found your Instagram account, then your book and now your blog. I am so excited! I just want cut flowers for myself and maybe extra for my kids to sell on the roadside but I’ve always felt lost and intimidated. I feel like you are providing a map for me to accomplish my dream. I live on the mountain in Utah, so I appreciate your information on cold weather and unique seasons.

  131. Tracey Srock on

    I just found your flower blog after following you on Instagram. Today’s blog was encouraging, practical, informative, and thought provoking.
    I love that you have included information for all different levels of gardeners and sizes of gardeners. So excited to catch up on the blogs!

  132. Joni Price on

    I love this post and the basics to think about before starting. I’m new at gardening and need to know more about my zone and how and which flowers do best in my area. I just need to do more research or continue on reading your next few blog post. Thank you so much!!!

  133. Angie on

    Forgive me if this question has already been answered but, this will be my first year growing dahlias and I had purchased tubers several months back. I have kept them in the cool dark basement waiting for the right time to plant but when I checked on them a few days ago, I was surprised to find that several have begun to sprout! I’m unsure now as to what I should do.. Pot them? Continue to wait until I’m able to plant outdoors? If i pot them, can I transfer to the ground later or does that cause any shock to plant? Help! I’m zone 7 (southern Maryland)

    • Susan King on

      Hi Angie,

      It’s normal for them to start sprouting as spring grows near. You can either pot them up, or just leave them until your normal planting. It’s likely that the room they are being stored in is a tad too warm and bright, signaling early spring. 40-50* and dark is ideal.

  134. Sue on

    You are my inspiration. Growing flowers is something I wanted to do many years ago and life just seemed to absorb all of my time and my goals got put on the back burner. I found your site and it has awakened and renewed my spirit. Your site is beautiful, the flowers beyond words. Your articles are very down to earth and helpful. I have my master plan, your book, your website, my tenacity, my determination, our love of beautiful flowers, and I am feeling as if I am on the edge, just teetering on the beginning of something magical. I feel I have you to thank for helping me rediscover a very important part of myself. Thank you.

  135. bekflowers on

    I am a qualified florist in Melbourne, Australia with property and a family background in farming. Thank you for helping provide the confidence and ‘how to’ for me to start planning and planting to use for my business and possibly further local distribution in the future.

  136. Amber on

    I’m in Australia and have just found you. We have sheep, which are currently on my in-laws farm, but we hope to have our own farm soon. When we do I’m going to pinch a few acres for myself to start my own flower farm! I’d love to sell at local farmers markets.

  137. Jenny on

    Thus will be my first year planting and growing most cut flowers and I am beyond excited! While it will be on a very small scale – just for the home – now, I’m hoping to be able to evolve to adding them into floral designs for my business. Thank you for the time you put into sharing your knowledge! I can’t wait for my dahlia tubers to arrive!

  138. Susan on

    I just found you from the beautiful bhg article in this month’s issue. I look forward to learning and may even start some seeds indoors in a few weeks!

  139. Lee on

    I’ve been planting a small amount of potted plants in my garden for a couple years. I’ve been following your Instagram and website for a while now and I’m feeling so inspired to grow on a larger scale and make the most out of my space and seemingly perfect San Francisco climate!

  140. Wendy Smith on

    You are totally on the right track Erin! I’m new to your blog and the timing is perfect. I decided last year to create a small (15ft x 8ft) cut flower bed, so come autumn I dug over an existing bed, got rid of all the shrubs and things I didn’t want, composted and conditioned the soil and planted a bazillion spring bulbs (cue much head shaking by OH) Now they’re all peeking through (I’m in Kent in the SE of England) and I feel suitably rewarded and mildly terrified as I now have to plan the next few phases for when the bulbs go over and through into summer! I’m adjourning to the kitchen table now with your next few posts, the planning kit, my seed box and a ton of little flower pictures I’ve cut out to stick on my plan…feel a bit like a little kid again and I love it! Thanks so much for giving us such beautiful (and sensible!) inspiration….

  141. Anita Matejka on

    I love your instagram and can’t wait for my book to arrive. My inner self would LOVE to be able to be a successful flower gardener, but I also know that I’m not great at follow through, and weeds seem to always kill my dreams. Every year, I get excited to try again, and then we go away for vacation for a week and the weeds come and I get depressed again. I hope the book will cover how to deal with that stuff! We live on 2 1/2 acres but might be moving soon. I still hope to be successful at growing a small flower garden. Thank you for sharing the way you do things! It is truly inspirational. I will just vicariously live through your pictures. Ha ha!

  142. Bonita June Ramos on

    Thank you Erin, for your inspiration. It’s almost the end of February, and I’m already fighting the overwhelmedness…..you’ve helped to center me a bit. With a beautiful 9 month old baby boy (who is going to be walking very soon), a Greenhouse grand opening coming up and my first (!!!) invite to be a vendor at a garden show, not to mention my nearly 1/2 acre garden, ……oh my goodness. Whew! I’m continuing to read up on your different posts, soaking up the info and applying it, and I thank the Lord for people like you! Huge admirer here!!

  143. Kat on

    Thank you so much for these insightful posts. I’ve discovered how much joy it brings to grow my own flowers and place them everywhere I can. I live in the very high-heat, high-humidity environment of Florida and I was wondering if there are any recommendations you can make to help my garden babies thrive (especially any hardy varieties that can withstand occasional downpours during summer months). I appreciate your love for growing so much, thank you!

  144. Su-Lin on

    Your series of posts on growing cut flowers is inspiring! I’ve been vegetable growing for the last couple of years but I really want to get some more flowers in between the veg this year.

  145. Liv on

    Hi Erin, I’ve been popping in here and there to find inspiration. After dabbling in gardening for years I’ve wanted to start a flower farm and may be getting a chance soon! I’m wondering about the hoop houses you have. It looks like you have some greenhouses and some temporary hoop houses? I’m not sure of the different options and how you use them. Are some removed partway through the season and how do you determine when? Would also love an overview of your property if you would be willing to share! Thank you for all the wonderful information, it’s so helpful and inspiring! Ps I can’t wait to get your new book in the mail soon, preordered from Amazon!

  146. betsy braun on

    I am a livestock farmer who, due to life circumstance, am with out the 100’s of acres needed to raise sheep. I need the “grounding” that farming provides. So, here I go into flowers, with out a green thumb. I am visioning a cut flower csa. My worries are time commitment. no kids, but I work full time. I have access to 5 acres on my mom’s property. I am ordering your book and the planning kit, cause I do not need to reinvent that particular wheel and am very grateful for your sharing with us all. thank you for your incouragement. it means every thing. Betsy

  147. Margrét María Leifsdóttir on

    Oh, this was just what I needed. I am just starting out trying my hand at growing cut flowers and your posts are such an inspiration.

  148. Nivonne on

    I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and experiences. I am attempting to start my own cut flower business and your blog has given me some great tips for starting out. I have also ordered your book and I am really looking forward to arming myself with more valuable information from you, as well as drooling over all the beautiful photos.

  149. Kera Barenaba on

    Thank you for sharing such great info! As a homeschooling mom on a mini farm with 3 young kids, we made a family goal to grow more flowers to give as gifts and all your info has saved me so many times! Your skills and talents bring so much joy for all of us. This is out third year of adding more flowers and it has been an adventure to say the least, we’re also here in the Northwest and I love to see what your able to grow here and it inspires me to try more varieties and my kids each now have their own little garden bed to grow veggies and flowers. When you do open for garden tours we would LOVE to come, so please let us know if that happens in the future. Thank you again!

  150. Maggie Smith on

    I am not new to gardening, but new to the idea of selling cut flowers. I enjoyed growing and selling a variety of Zinnia’s last year and look forward to adding to the selection this year. I am finding your posts immensely helpful and inspiring! I currently grow lavender and look forward to offering cut flower bouquets to our offerings. Thank you so much for sharing your honest experiences, expertise and well thought out guidance. I am excited to have your book pre-ordered and will continue to immerse myself in all of the great information you provide on your blog.

  151. Mandy from London, UK on

    I discovered the joy of growing flowers when I turned 40! My blooming midlife crisis!!! I love being immersed in the garden, surrounded by beautiful colours, and buzzing bees. I’m a novice, so really appreciate your advice and knowledge. I have a small space to grow in, so need to choose carefully. Your wisdom is gratefully received.

  152. Holly Ann Johnson on

    I could honestly read your blog from start to finish if I had the time. Thank you for opening your heart to us and asking thought provoking questions. I am about to start on my flower growing adventure (starting off with a small garden a friend has gifted me) I can safely say it is scary and I constantly witness my fear creeping in. But my reasoning for growing flowers is identical to yours. I am excited to be on this journey. Can’t wait to do one of your workshops :o) When will you be letting us know of future workshops? Holly Ann Johnson aka Lavender Fingers (Yorkshire born and raised, London habitant for past ten years) Love what you do, can’t wait to meet you. x

  153. Viv on

    Hi Erin–love these 6 questions. My problems will be as you stated- biting off more than one person can do. I’ve already ordered too much, and I’ll be the last one to say I can’t get ‘er done!! My two plots are for market, and 1/2 an acre there. Then , I have several gardens around my home for bits/pieces. Going to try soil blocking method this year(my 4th yr.) So I can get more seeds started inside. Being almost 60–I’m going to try and work smarter, not harder. This means more investment with soaker hoses and landscape fabric to cut down on my labor. It looks like you plant in fabric and also put down between the rows, is that right? I’m hoping to have a year with less weeding! My back is not what it used to be. Thanks for all you share, and for the flower love you give.

  154. Amy on

    I think the 7th question and the one which I’m having difficulty obtaining a clear answer is legal. Am I allowed to sell flowers from my home? Which also leads to questions of f liability and insurance. These are my true hang ups. Any advice?

  155. Laura V. on

    To me a garden is like a blank canvas awaiting a painting. So many colors and textures layered together. My garden has downsized over the years, it’s now just a couple of raised bead at my office day job – but what a treat to be able to design the coming season’s blooms! I look forward to practicing your advice and tips as I read through them. Thank you for sharing.

  156. Tracy on

    Thank you for your thoughts as they relate to the process of getting everything together and ready for gardening. So much to prepare and plan for. Your advice is well thought out and I definitely took a close look at what I want my garden to do this coming year. You’ve posted a number of questions about what direction you want to take when planting. This truly helps me take a direct look at what I want to plant and how to implement the process. Enjoying your posts!


  157. Charlotte on

    I’m reading all of the posts. I usually do things backwards- like order the seeds I think I want without researching what will grow in my climate- then plant- then things fail m, then I research why. Hopefully, I’m learning enough from you to get things started! So excited!

  158. Nat on

    Thank you so much for sharing all this information really appreciate it Floret. What I am interested in getting started is understanding my climate & soil type and if it is suitable. Our winters are amazing and last 3-4 months and nothing colder than 15 degrees. Spring warms up very quickly. Our summers on the other hand get really warm up to 40 degrees with heavy rain storms occasionally hail which come & go through out summer. We are I would say sub tropical climate. So I guess the question is will I need some sort of shade house? If so what type? Have no idea. Also is it possible to grow on a slight downhill slope or does the land have to be a flat piece of land like yours? I was thinking of having some type of terracing gardens where our top soil doesn’t wash away in heavy rain. Also flowers types.. I would love to find out what flower types will do well in our climate. Many thanks

  159. Marissa on

    Thank you for this! Im a little nervous to get started but with you writing this blog I am able to prep myself in a way that would not have happened in the future.

  160. Erin Harley on

    I am immensely inspired and empowered! Also, so excited and nervous. I love that you are providing step by step instructions and I cannot wait to get the book. I also love how organized everything is, super helpful to the overwhelmed mind. I have a couple questions…I currently attend a community college with plans to attend a university to study sustainable agriculture. I am curious about your thoughts regarding the benefits of a college education in the industry compared to work experience and just going for it. What was your education path to get to the level of success that you are at? I also am curious about your thoughts about planting fruits/vegetables near cut flower plants. What are the risks? Should they be general kept separated?

    I would love to hear more about composting, soil brands, nutrients, etc., thank you for all you do!

  161. Gwen on

    Thanks Erin, your honesty and openness is so refreshing and supportive whilst I blunder along starting a cut flower business. To achieve just a few rows of perfect flowers will be wonderful – the pictures are inspirational – so please if you can find the time, keep it up, with many, many thanks.

  162. Rachel on

    Super helpful!!! My ground is almost ready for seeds down here in Texas but it was good to read this checklist before planting. I have been planning but sometimes I feel as though I’m going in circles around the plans and second-guessing all my decisions. I am a mom of 3 youngins and have a part time job so this was helpful to put things into perspective.:)

  163. Judy on

    I’m reading this I’m the waiting room at my eye appointment. I’ve read every word of this post. I’ve pre-ordered the book last week and downloaded the booklet which I will place in a binder. As soon as I get home I’ll start measuring. I love that this is step by step. That always works best for me whether it is a recipe, sewing pattern or craft project. Then creativity and serendipity will come in later and not be crowded out by chaos and unreal expectations.

  164. Laure on

    Hi Erin:) I find everything you shared extremely helpful. I bought all my seeds from floret in january and off course your book. I am ready to get started to plant beauty in my garden ! So this blog serie is just the complementary ressource that i needed for a proper intro for my garden planning:) I look forward the post about climate specific recommendations because i live in the french Alps:) Thank you so much for sharing your gift and bringing beauty and happiness to all of us:)

  165. Leann Goertzen Loeppky on

    Today is my 49th Birthday and as a treat to myself I sat down to read your latest blogs. In my head I was doing this to get ready and plan for my cut flower garden this coming season. But this first post stopped me in my tracks. Your last question of, “Why are you growing cut flowers?” brought tears to my eyes as I realized it isn’t about how much money I am going to make from selling bouquets and growing flowers for someone’s wedding party, it is about the joy and peace that growing flowers brings to my life. It is about keeping myself healthy so that I can support others around me. So thank you for asking us to look at ourselves while sharing your journey with such honesty and inspiration.

  166. gwen on

    Oh Erin,
    I love love your gardens, beautiful arrangements, blog and new book comming soon.
    I downloaded the garden planning kit and will be starting that soon. I was a florsit
    and recently took the OSU Master Gardener Extension Class. I knew a lot, have learned
    a lot more, but you INSPIRE me. Getting ready to start seeds in my potting shed and
    planning to plant in May, since we are in Zone 7. Once they start blooming I will do
    my other favorite thing, watercolors! Thank You Erin, for sharing all your knowledge
    and love of gardening and flowers.🌷

  167. Peggy Fletcher on

    I’ve been a florist for years but this is the first year I will attempt to grow flowers for myself and my design Studio. All this info is great as I don’t have a clue about growing or where to start.

  168. Sarah Bascom on

    Thank you for your wonderful posts and pictures. I have gardened every year for the past 16 years of marriage… with very little produce to show for it. With frequent military moves and lots of little babies around, there were many plants I put in the ground that ripened after I moved away or withered from lack of water. I can even kill mint and zucchini!! So sad. I felt discouraged and like a failure for a long time. But last year I realized I garden because I LOVE the process… not just the fruits of labor! What a revelation!

    We have finally settled in a long-term home in the ever-fertile Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. My children are older. AND my husband bought us 7 acres to play with. They former owners had a raised garden bed area, empty except for some leggy lavender. My husband and son immediately began hauling heaps of manure from a nearby barn to begin the compost heap. Last year I had gladiolas, lavender, and Shasta daisies smiling from vases all over my home. What joy they brought me through some difficult months! We harvested gallons of cherry tomatoes, and my sugar snap peas grew stems as thick as my ring finger and 6′ high.

    Your 6th question: Why are you growing flowers? proved most poignant for me. My utilitarian husband thinks gardening should only be done to save money on produce. He doesn’t see why we should go through the work and expense of growing flowers. But I know they gladden my soul, reminding me of beauty on the dark days. They are God’s smiles in the midst of chaos, like a hand squeeze from a friend. This year I am installing a small cutting garden adjacent to my youngest daughter’s playhouse. My plan is to keep plastic jars on hand so when her little friends come to play, I can send them out with a “vase” to arrange a dozen blooms in. This way we can send smiles home with friends and perhaps gladden their little hearts, too.

    Keep the posts coming!

  169. Barbara D on

    Erin-First I have to say how big hearted and generous of you to share all your knowledge (and fabulous photos) so that we can learn and avoid mistakes with our passion of growing flowers. I live on a 1/3 acre in a subdivision North of Denver and am converting my vegetable garden to flowers with the hopes of starting a small flower CSA. I’ve ordered your book and downloaded your planning kit (great information!). Also ordered a book for a friend who is starting her own small acre plot. I feel my weakness is succession planting and think it would be helpful to have info on that, if you haven’t already planned it. Again thank you for sharing!

  170. Janice B. on

    I have 3 acres in which to garden this year I won’t be using the entire space this season as I just want to
    get my feet wet and not overwhelm myself. There are some wild turkeys, squirrels and GOPHERS.
    My biggest concern are the gophers. In my home garden I make gopher baskets, in a large area
    I know this is not feasible. Any advice? Thanks!

  171. bles on

    I’m looking forward to starting my cut flower garden! Researching information and learning stuff. Started cleaning the yard with surprisingly warm weather in Chicago area. We have a 2-acre lot but I want to start small and learn what will work for me. thanks a lot for all the information.

  172. Carly on

    All of your posts so far have been extremely centering. I’m a young single mother heading into my first year of business, and you have helped me feel steady and not so overwhelmed. Very much looking forward to your book arriving in the mail. Hoping to see a little more in depth information in irrigation options. Your blog has quickly become a place for trusted information, a streamlined way to sift through the bulk of the Internet. Thank you!

  173. Suzanne on

    We live in Gardening Zone 5b. In recent years here, the growing season’s temperatures have fluctuated such that it’s a challenge to think of selecting flowers’ preference for “cooler weather”, “heat loving”, etc. Adaptability is key for successful production and that is tricky, both for gardener and flower.
    Your blog is certainly inspiring and offers both practical information and honest self-assessment. The photos of your gardens are magnificent!
    I have, however, been discouraged in my attempts to order from your website. I think you’ve tweaked it recently and maybe this has solved the problem. But it is frustrating to view the varieties of, say, dahlias, and learn that an order could not be processed, and then learn that a second (or third) attempt to place an order resulted in “not available”. Perhaps the problems of success can be balanced in the future. Meanwhile, I’ve sadly given up efforts to order from floret and I’m looking to other sources. Maybe next season I’ll try you again.

  174. Lina H on

    Hello Erin, I stumbled across your site last year and I have to say ‘Thank you’. I am so grateful that you share your knowledge and passion for growing such beautiful flowers. How you have the time to pour so much into the website must mean you never sleep! What with the farm and the family. Due to the mild winter in the SE of England, my crocuses are already in bloom and I have begun to order all sorts of seed. My ambitions for growing flowers is 1000x greater than the space I have to grow, which is a tiny little back garden in the SE of Kent, UK. The homes here are tiny and the gardens are even smaller than they are in my hometown of Toronto, CAN. I only have space for a pop up greenhouse and barely a windowsill to start seeds. I had to eek out some of the growing space from the kids running around space. Sometimes I just want to give up but then I stumble across your site, and I get inspired again. I just had a look at Amazon.co.uk and how fortunate that your book is available here in the UK! So I have it now on pre-order and cannot wait. It would be a dream to some day have a flower farm in the Kent countryside but for now, I shall marvel at yours. Please continue your efforts, so many of us appreciate it!

  175. Missy Crane on

    I’m at the very, very beginning of flower farming. We’ve been growing vegetables for a really small, casual CSA, for a couple of years, and this year are moving into perennial fruits in hopes of more profitability, as well as cut flowers. I’m following everything you put out, printed your garden plans, and am anxiously awaiting your book. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can really do this flower farming; you sure make it look beautiful!

  176. Kelli on

    I just ordered your book – can’t wait!

    I hate our lawn, so I’m planning on turning over most of it for flowers. I’m intrigued by the idea of mixing vegetables with interesting foliage with flowers and herbs.
    I’m a photographer, so my garden will be my studio.
    That, and I think it would be fun to leave bouquets on people’s doorsteps.

    I’m looking forward to learning how to keep it simple. I have a tiny yard, and I always bite off more than I can chew, and everything is a droopy mess by mid-July.
    I also have woodchucks with a love for Lupines, which makes me sad. I’ll have to find a way to fend them off.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us,

  177. Judy on

    I appreciate your blog immensely and have read yours for a couple of years. Started my cutting gardens several years ago and my wedding/event business one year ago. I re-evaluate how and why with my business every few months to stay grounded. Thanks for also sharing your experiences.

  178. Kim on

    Still very much in love with all your valuable information. Every time I look at my row of delphiniums in the spring, I think of how much you have helped me. Always good information that you share. I am hoping to have more time to experiment this year as I had an unexpected job loss in January. Bittersweet perhaps a blessing in disguise, time will tell.
    Always grateful

  179. Ruth Meredith on

    I have been reading your blogs for some time now and am anxiously awaiting your book! You are an amazing person Erin and your team is great. All the information you share is so appreciated.

  180. Melanie Heisler on

    i have been following you and your farm for about 3 years. so inspirational, so informing. keep it coming.

  181. Debi on

    I am expanding my flower farm that was very successful (in a small, local way) last year. I am always drawn to the beauty of your farm, and the possibilities mine holds. I have downloaded your planning guide – and reading through your posts before I place the seed order. Living in Colorado, there are a few more snows to come – but I am anxious to lay the groundwork for another fun year on the farm!

  182. Jennifer B on

    I just stumbled across your instagram which led me to your blog, I’ve been reading it all day. It is always so exciting to me to connect with a fellow lover of playing in soil. I am trying to up my flower game and your posts have already proven incredibly helpful! I’m over in NYS in zone 6a near Lake Ontario, so our growing season is about a month shorter than yours, but your tips/tricks and insights are invaluable to me! Keep posting! I’m reading (lurking). Thank you!

  183. Meredith on

    This is a great read. Starting with a do-able size plot is great advice that I needed. I look forward to reading the next posts and your book.

  184. Clarissa on

    Hi Erin…. I just found this series and for a first year flower farmer, your blog is GOLD! You are definitely on the right track for us newbies. Please keep it going.
    Huge thanks from Ontario Canada…

  185. Jamie on

    This information is wonderful! It has been my dream to purchase a 30 acre farm here in Michigan, where I started my first job 10 years ago. I love growing fruits and vegetables, but there’s just something special about flowers. I can’t wait to dive into your book for further insight and inspiration!

  186. Christine on

    Hi Erin and Company, I came across your site from Pinterest while daydreaming about starting an herb and flower farm! My profession is in information technology but I have been a stay-at-home mom for the last few years. This year as my son headed off to school and I started contemplating (dreading ;-) going back to work, I started having crazy daydreams about farming flowers, herbs, bees & honey. It never really occurred to me that real people actually do this, I thought I made it up! Thank you for the wisdom and inspiration that you, your family and your star-studded team are. (Now, I just have to get back work updating my resume…..right after I read (devour) this entire blog. ;-)

  187. Linnae on

    I am eagerly looking forward to these posts (and to your book!) I want to start growing cut flowers, but I’ve got quite a few things to work out first: namely, a move and a new baby happening this summer! :) These questions are just what I need to get me thinking and planning in the right direction. My flower farm may be a couple years down the road, but I’m ready to learn all I can, so that I can dive in once I’m ready. Thank you!

  188. Corie Gudgeon on

    I appreciate your time in giving us some insight into how to grow beautiful flowers! I pre-ordered your book and can’t wait to start reading it. I only wish I could get in on the workshops that seem to sell out fast! Hopefully there will be more to come. Thank you for your blogs and articles. They are so well done and so helpful! Keep them coming!

  189. Lynn on

    Yes, I loved reading and learning so much information especially after I read you were located in Washington State! I only wish I had jumped on ordering some of the seeds that you are now sold out of.

  190. Bindy McClymont on

    Hi Erin Hi summer here in Australia with ridiculously hot weather so am looking forward to reading these blogs and your book Thank you for your seeds too and the holster Its a left handlers dream to have some where for the secetures in easy reach, not the other side of the hips !

  191. LeAnne on

    Thank You! all this information is wonderful, I have been waiting for your book but having this gives a to start planning while I wait. I usually just jump straight in to the middle and that hardly ever works, This is something Ive been thinking about(blog lurking) for a few years. This gives me a start here point which I need. Thank You.

  192. Becky K. on

    Thank you for taking the time to share all of this information. My husband and I own a small farm and wedding venue. We are always looking for ways to help us grow our farm so that it will support us being there full time. My dream for adding flower farming would be to host full farm-to-table weddings that include farm fresh flowers, produce and meats. :)

  193. Donna Smith on

    I have always grown a wild flower garden that either thrives or doesn’t depending on the weather that year. I sell bouquets at our farm fruit stand. My daughter is now joining us and her passion is raising cut flowers to a degree that we can continue to seek at our stand but also to our local restaurants and grocery stores. It will be a great addition but neither of us have gone to this scale before, so we are hanging on your every word and going through your planning process!! It came at the exact right time!

  194. Nancy Heerema on

    Just found your blog through a link from Carmela – looking forward to digging in! I just have a small garden (20×20) and grow a variety but am always looking for things that are EASY to grow (Iowa), inexpensive, and I can put in arrangements for friends and neighbors.

  195. Wendy A on

    I just found your blog and am thrilled. I plan to read through your site this weekend, pre-order your book, and learn a lot while enjoying your incredible flowers! Thank you!

  196. Becky on

    I have experience arranging flowers but am new to growing then. These questions and subsequent posts are a great help as I start thinking through the practicalities of growing fresh blooms to cut and arrange.

  197. janine on

    I cannot express the amazing timing of your current posts on planning. I was really hoping to come to a workshop this year but since it wasn’t financially in the cards, this is like a little taste to hold me over for the meantime. My partner and I just had an offer accepted on a property in Estacada, Oregon. Our future property looks like it will have some challenges due to the past owners dumping trash in strange places and hiding tires in the soil…. but in many ways it’s a clean slate for our beginning farm.

    While I’m relatively new to flower farming, I’m even newer to floral design. I’m told I have a good eye and I have a few books but….do you have any ideas for someone interested in gaining experience in the type of design that will help propel skills?

  198. Beth on

    I love your posts and appreciate your heart and soul. I live on the water outside of Olympia during the summers so have to leave my garden in the fall with fingers crossed that it will still be there when we return in the spring. Thanks for your inspiration – hope to see your farm one day.

  199. Hailey on

    I always enjoy your blog posts and get a lot of useful information out of them. I’m looking forward to reading the next few posts in the series!

  200. Nancy Harkness on

    I just found your website and am looking forward to reading many of your articles. I enjoyed this one.

  201. Anna on

    I’m an artist based just outside of Melbourne. I use flowers in my work and want to grow my own as part of my practice so that I can have year round ultra-local blooms. I’m also keen to integrate my flowers with vegetables to feed my family as I really do think a mix is beneficial in both directions.

    I really connected with your comments about gardening keeping you present and the frustration of trying to do it all while wrangling tiny humans. It’s hard!

  202. Lindsey on

    I’m so happy to find your blog and Instagram! I am a successful backyard gardener and have been trying to add flowers to my repertoire for the last year or two. I have learned a lot through trial and error but am looking forward to this growing season with some of your insights!

  203. Natalie Beverage on

    Thank you so much for this Erin, it comes at the perfect time. I’m taking notes. So, so thankful!

  204. Lori on

    I am recently retired, and thought that I would just enjoy the “leisure life” I always thought retirement was meant to be. But my daughter how is a florist in Chicago has bigger aspirations. She is moving home soon to start her own business and since we live out in the country and have some space, we will be starting small this spring with seeds already ordered from you… We are excited for this new business adventure. Your blog posts are full of valuable information for someone just starting out.

  205. Renn on

    Really stoked on this blog. I currently live in Montana with my husband and coonhound, Boone, but we have recently decided to take steps toward moving back to our home-state, Vermont, where we hope to buy land and start a small flower farm and homestead.
    I am a certified floral designer and absolutely love working with stems in the design capacity, but I am eager to start sustaining my love for designing by breaking ground, sewing, and harvesting our own beautiful blooms. Any information I can come across that helps me become more equipped for the upcoming journey of flower farming is such a gift! Thank you for your willingness to share the know-how.

  206. Jennifer on

    This post helped me consider several things that i had not contemplated. For example, Why grow cut flowers? I really thought about he purpose. Thanks for such beautiful inspiration and direction.

  207. Kalie McG on

    I love your Instagram! First time homeowner, and I want to start growing flowers everywhere. Hoping to get inspiration/information on techniques. Thanks!

  208. Amity on

    Thank you for the fabulous planner. Thank you for telling the truth that it takes time, trial and error. Thank you for sharing how hard it is to both mother and farm. Thank you for all you do. I vow to not let short-term failure do me in, and accept the long view of flower farming as an investment over time. I always wanted to build a garden that my grandchildren might get married in. That’s my north star.

  209. Kelsey on

    Haha! I am a lurker as well but here goes – although I want a full cutting garden and orchard my time is lacking with homeschooling three kiddos. However I love your posts because they are helping me to upgrade my zinnia seeds from boring to exciting! Also, instead of multicolored dahlias I am now trying to follow your lead and plant different sizes of coordinating colors. These are easy adjustments in my garden that I can make for big impact in my centerpieces for my home. Thank you for the inspiration and guidance. – from far west Texas.

  210. Christine on

    Lurker but commenting due to your request – I’m just a home gardener without a cutting garden, but I love to read your blog periodically because I find that your detailed notes and beautiful photos give me lots of ideas (and mental wishlists!) for techniques and varieties to incorporate into my personal garden. Side note that I live in a much different growing climate, but it can be interesting to see what it’s like gardening in another part of the country, even if it’s not applicable to my location. And I do find that you make a lot of comments on how to make adjustments for other climates. I also value the insight your posts give me into the cut flower business; I feel that I’m actually much more likely to buy fresh (and local) flowers since becoming a fan of your blog. I really appreciate the time and thought you put into your posts, and am glad that you have a web store which allows me to support your work from afar. In summary, I would say that your blog gives a combination of practical, useful information and beautiful inspiration that I wish I could find more of but have yet to see anywhere else.

  211. Andrea on

    The one thing I’m most concerned about is leveling an area to start a cutting garden. I have plenty of area, but it’s weedy and uneven. I want to disturb the soil as little as possible. Also, there are rocks. Rocks from pebbles to basket ball size and larger. If I use machinery to level it, I fear the worms and micro organisms will all have left or been destroyed.

  212. Lauren E. on

    I am so excited I came across your website. Your website is well-designed and your flowers are stunning. I appreciate you taking the time to help people like me AND run your business. I live in north Texas and struggle with clay soil, hot summers and gardening inexperience. I hope to learn as much as I can from you — and to buy some bulbs once they’re available. Best of luck to you this growing season!

  213. Deborah Florian VasePlace on

    10 yrs we spent planing and dreaming and preparing the land for what would one day be our permanent home. Foundation was poured and 10 more years spent building and cultivating our piece of paradise. Each year we try to add something new to our gardens, while trying not to create more than what the two of us can care for. My gardens provide eye candy and veggies and now some cut flowers. When I found your Sweet Peas I knew what this years addition would be. I am throughly impressed with your accomplishments, your energy and especially your spirit which touches me fundamentally. I look forward to learning from your experiences and to growing your seeds. Thank you.

  214. Megan on

    My shoes feel pretty similar to your early years…chasing kids around. But before my children…there was always a garden. As my family has grown so has the garden. My love and devotion to that practice has been the passion that drives and sustains me. Last year i offered to grow flowers for a friends wedding in vermont. It was a great and challenging experience that sparked something in me that has just sent my brain a buzz with the slow flower movement. I started selling produce and bouquets out of my converted old truck trailer farm stand last summer in my rural town after the wedding.I was excited when it was well received by my community…vermonters love it local. There was something so magical about growing flowers and knowing their beauty was going to all sorts of people and bringing such joy….i am hooked. Once I found your blog…it really felt as if at times you are reading my mind. I am probably biting off more than i can chew this season…but that is my general bar to see where i land. The information and passion you share here is helpful and inspiring…thank you! I pre-ordered your book this fall and eagerly await its arrival!
    megan of Upright Heart Market Garden

  215. Deseree' on

    As a novice flower wanabe farmer I love everything you post! We recently bought our property last fall because of it’s beauty and all the work the previous owner put into it. I have desinged for years in floral shops and have had my own business, and as I walked around the house and saw all the fun flowers all over, I kept saying do you know how much we charge for these in the shop?? With the purchase of our home it has also given me the space I need to start my floral designing again for wedding and special events. We also have a cute little green house which I had planned on using for my families vegtable garden, but it wasn’t until I saw you website that I realized I could actually grow more than just vegtables. So excited for this learning/experiment year. Thank you for all your help!!!

  216. Summer on

    I just read the article you were featured in in BHG and now have a cart full of your suggestions! I AMA new gardener and am excited for the potential of growing flowers…I have 3 little people at home and this seems like the perfect “me time” activity for this season! Thank you for your great information and beautiful website!

  217. Brooke Oliver on

    I’m a mom of 4 young girls and I am dreaming of starting my first garden… ever. I’m reading your posts and trying to learn as much as I can. Thank you for taking the time to share your wealth of knowledge!

  218. Katherine on

    Your posts are so helpful! I appreciate that you make flower farming approachable. I’m starting a small garden this year and all of the how-to posts are so helpful, as well as the posts about why you like certain varieties. I am continually inspired by how much you are able to grow on 2 acres, and how selective you are about what you grow. Thank you for continuing to share!

  219. Beth on

    Erin: I am not in retail. Your blogs, products, and all information you give, help even those of us who simply want to make their yards a beautiful haven for people, birds, bees, and other created life forms. You answer and teach us the things we either, do not know we need to know, or even, how to formulate the questions in order to obtain the needed information. It is as if you understand what we need to know, or are steps ahead telling us the things we will need to know once we get to the next step. One example, I have never been able to grow sweet peas from seeds, now, with the information you have taught, I have hope that maybe success is possible. In the past, I did not have a resource for the beautiful varieties of seeds, bulbs and other products you provide–just had the nursery stock available in Seattle–and just getting to those locations through Seattle traffic takes so much energy. Once there staff does not teach. You provide a center for information, teaching, and products longed for. I am a couple of years out of breast cancer treatment. One of the first things I did after treatment was to bend down and pluck a weed from one of my flower beds, look up at the sky and thank God for one more spring, one more time of pulling a weed, and one more time to see the blue sky. Now I am compelled to create beauty in my surroundings. All that you provide in articles, teaching, and products have become a help and resource and contribute to my healing in multiple ways. Please continue–my words cannot capture my gratitude for all the trials you have gone through, the price you have paid, so that I can reap the benefit of lessons learned and knowledge gained. Thank you for giving all this to me.


  220. Ginger Proctor on

    I’m a North Florida backyard gardener with a love for flowers. I have a good amount of bed space that I can devote to this. I’m looking forward to applying your knowledge to my Florida, very sunny garden. I’ve always been a failure with starting things from seed. I’m hoping this will be my year for success! Can’t wait for your book to be released!

  221. Sara on

    I moved into a brand new bungalow with a very small yard one year ago. I have planted some shrubs and perennials as “bones” of my garden, and am very interested in learning about growing my own cutting garden. I really enjoy your posts, and am a photographer…I LOVE your photos!

  222. Tammy Hall on

    I’m starting my fifth year of growing and working with flowers full time, and I absolutely treasure your posts. They help me so much giving some some clarity to my plans, and in bringing me back down to earth, and help stop me from panicking and ending in tears at the prospect of not achieving all my goals. Thank you so very much for sharing such helpful and insightful knowledge.

  223. Tracey Sloan on

    I have worked in the landscaping/ flower care world for the last 15+ years in a resort community in Northern Michigan. It has slowly become my dream of all dreams to one day just be a flower farmer. You are one of the first flower farmer pages I found on instagram, I have only become more and more inspired and convinced that my dream is achievable thru following you, and many other small flower farmers. I found this post very helpful, and realistic as all get out! Thank you for sharing the love in such beautiful and inspiring ways!

  224. Lauren on

    I am a small retail florist in upstate NY. I have a property on the Hudson River that was owned by, what my older neighbors tell me, a master gardner. I can see the remnants of her plantings in the spring. Rows of these tiny bulbs. I am planning on tilling the whole area just to get control of the overgrowth that happens in the summer to plant a more organized garden to grow specialty wedding flowers. Do think I should try to save them and transplant them to another area on the property?

  225. Bekki Jamison Portland OR on

    So excited to follow along with your posts, Erin! I pre-ordered your book ages ago! It’s a long awaited Christmas gift!! You are so genuine and generous to share your amazing knowledge.

  226. Jane Berry on

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I as a third year grower appreciate all the wisdom learned from experience.

  227. Elizabeth (Betty) Comartin on

    I have a flower stand at the end of my drive and sell bunches all summer. Thank you so much for the way you share your gardening knowledge. I am constantly soaking up what you put out. 😍 My big question is – I always see that white large square “netting” that the flowers grow thru and I can’t figure out how you use it. I see that the flowers grow thru it and it supports the blooms, but when and how do you set it out and support it? And why don’t the flowers get tangled up in it as they grow?? Thanks Erin!

  228. Katherine on

    This quote is me to a T!

    “For me, growing flowers helps me more centered and present in the moment. I have a tendency to live in the future. Flowers pull me out of my head and into the right here and right now. I also LOVE to share the beauty and magic of them with other people. Nothing brings me more joy than handing someone a bundle of blooms.”

    Thank you for sharing your love for flowers! I found you last year after growing my first dahlia garden, and have found your resources so helpful ;) Thanks and keep after it!

  229. Joel on

    Hello Erin

    Thank you for another informative post. Reading this from my home in Norwich, UK and getting excited about growing flowers. I’m not clear whether you have replied to the comments on the blog or privately so apologies if I repeat a question. Are the hoops in these pictures for securing the netting or were they used to support fleece or other protection? Can you give the material and dimension specifications of the hoops please?

    Thank you

  230. Kelly Gregory on

    Just ordered your book and I am so inspired by the info you have shared!!! Thank you!! I’m in northern Ca with land AND water just need a plan !! Do you still have offer classes?

  231. Beth on

    Hi Erin,

    Thank you so much for so generously sharing your wisdom. Your clear facts – supported with gorgeous photos – have helped us with many decisions and inspired many new plant trials. We are growing in Massachusetts, with approximately a 150 day growing season. However, much of our growing space is at least partially shaded. We grow vegetables, herbs and flowers for farmers’ markets, CSAs, weddings and other events.

    Yes, we are listening! Yes, we are very appreciative! Yes, we very consistently direct people to you and your resources, as a master in the field!

    Sincere thanks!

  232. Lisa Carkin on

    Flower bouquets are including in our mixed family CSA. We are always working on improving and learning. How do you support the flower netting that I see in the pictures? With only the hoops or stakes?

  233. Marilyn on

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and beautiful photos. I live in PNW on a sloped 1/3 acre. I haven’t figured out a good place for a greenhouse but the hoops have sparked my interest. I’m sure it makes seed starting more fun and enjoyable in a warm cubbyhole in late winter and spring. There are probably other sources on the internet but you explain things so simply that make for a successful garden. Maybe you could talk about hoop houses on your blog or even a video? Keep being you and thanks again.

  234. Thesallygarden on

    I,m a small time grower with a half acre in Wicklow . Ireland. I sell flowers in a local market and focus on Irish organic grown cottage flowers. I love following your journey, and find your enthusiam and inspiration a gift. Thank you

  235. Angela on

    I am simply, truly grateful and appreciate you sharing what you have learned … I have loved gardening for many years and grown Daylily plants and sold divisions for almost ten years so branching out to grow cut flowers and herbs feels like a natural progression now that my kids are mostly grown and I have time to garden more obsessively than in the past. Finding your site and reading though so much helpful info has quieted a lot of my fears on how to handle, harvest and keep them looking their best! (A problem I don’t have to worry about when selling Daylily plants!) Thank you so much! I can hardly wait to receive the book! :)

  236. Harriet on

    Amazing! You are so inspiring. I’m not at the point where I can grow yet, but I try to absorb as much information as I can to help me when I get there :) Harriet x

  237. Debby Stagg on

    I work with the Dried Flower Arrangers at VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, BC. We’re a group of volunteers who share your motivation and challenges as we work through each season to produce items for sale in the fall. Your site is inspiring and practical. Thanks!

  238. Isabella Rule on

    I simply adore this website. I found it by mistake, while looking for material related to growing cut flowers. I find it encouraging and refreshing. Thank you so much for the time and the effort you put on this blog. I also had a look at the book (preview on iBook). From the list of the contents it looks like it is going to cover literally everything I want to know about growing cut flowers (hopefully as a business in the future). It will be my next purchase.
    Thanks again.

  239. Peggy on

    I love your posts they are educational and inspirational. You are a gift. I really look forward to more as I will be starting our first garden in our new home.

  240. Wendee Ball on

    Hi, I have your book pre-ordered and cannot wait to receive it! Most of my questions are about plant spacing and irrigation. I am sure that will be covered in the book, but I love reading the blog! Thanks!

  241. Nicole on

    I am so looking forward to this spring and summer and what I hope will be my much more organized gardens! I am branching out and growing lots of your seeds for cutting this year in addition to my 75 plus dahlias. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and passion in all that you do. I have learned so much. I can hardly wait!

  242. Jan Olson on

    Thank you so much for all this wonderful information and guidance! I think it’s all spot on! I would love to know how I can find out the length of gardening time in my area of Covington WA.

  243. Mary Marshall on

    Hi this is really helpful and I have downloaded your sheets which have been invaluable in putting into perspective how many varieties I should grow- I’m like a kid in a candy store with a seed catalogue in front of me .I have banned myself from buying anymore! Looking forward to your future posts. Mary Marshall The Moorland Flower Company England

  244. Angie on

    Thank you for the post! Reading through the six questions and answering them in my head made me feel like I was on the right track with my capabilities as a flower farmer. I am just starting out and your resources have been a great help to me…please keep them coming.

  245. Sandra on

    Hello Erin and Team;

    I have just recently come across your site through Pinterest and it is very interesting. I have always loved flowers and gardening but didn’t have the living space to enjoy it. Now getting to a new home with the potential of growing flowers and vegetables is very exciting. I am looking forward to reading your blog and gaining knowledge of how to begin this process so that I can always enjoy fresh cut flowers for myself and friends. Thank you for sharing your information it is invaluable.

  246. Mandy on

    Hi Erin and Team,

    I just wanted to take the time out to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity of knowledge, I started my small cut patch in my garden a couple of years ago, this year I have an allottment to fill with cut flowers, it sure is addictive, I grow them specifically for myself and gifts for friends but dream of one day owning my own little cut flower business, I’m based in the UK so these posts are invaluable to me, I would love to come on one of your workshops but logistically I dont think that would ever be possible. Please keep these beautiful informative posts going and doing what you love x

  247. Tara Shea on

    I do not own a farm, but my grandfather was a farmer. My grandmother has always had the most amazing cut flowers. I’ve steadily become interested in cut flowers over the years. However we travel a lot and don’t have tons of time. I really appreciated what you said about your flowers making you live in the moment. I can’t wait for your book!

  248. Jessica Dean on

    This post really resonates with me. When starting to farm vegetables for market ten years ago I quickly got ahead of myself and being a dreamer I certainly bit of more than I could chew! Getting into growing market flowers I appreciate the reminder to keep realistic goals, start small and always take the time to grow soil Tilth. It is also so helpful to know you’re planning your flowers the same way I do my veg and that good planning is the foundation to a productive season! So much love to you and your team! Seriously, you have been my inspiration into this gorgeous flower filled adventure and I thank you so much for your knowledge and gracious sharing of that knowledge. I hope to see you soon at one of your amazing workshops, if I’m quick enough to get a spot! Xo

  249. Bev Burton on

    Erin, Thank you for all the information you make available and in such a beautiful format. The photos are so inspiring. I know how much hard physical work goes into all the farming and would appreciate more information on machinery and equipment that you use. I live in a rural area with many large farms and lots of equipment but it’s hard to find people to do small custom jobs. I’m trying to decide if I really do need to purchase my own and if so how do I know what is adequate for a small farm with distinct seasons. Would love to know how you do it! I’m a one person operation so the more I can use equipment the better! Loved the info on landscape cloth. I have a large roll that will be put in use this year..and now I know how to get the most use out of it.

    I also would like to know if you have any tips for small woody plantings. I’m thinking honeysuckle, lilacs, “pussywillows” and currants. I get a lot of wind and am thinking these would make good windbreaks.

  250. Lori Merrill on

    Hello! I love all the information you share with us and just received some of my seed packets today! Look forward to the growing season and your blog! Thank you, Lori

  251. B. N. Graves on

    I can totally relate to wanting to do it ALL, RIGHT NOW! I’ve been gardening for a year now and nothing brings me out of my head and into the present like getting my hands in the dirt. I’m loving this series so much because it’s showing me that I don’t need a hundred acre farm to get started, just a bit of time and patience. I want to make growing my career but I live in a fifth wheel presently and grow exclusively out of pots (we are always on the move for work) but it’s my husband and I’s dream to have a flower and veggie farm. This series is making that dream sound more attainable. I work as a gardener in a kitchen garden for a chef and I know how to grow these things, especially zinnias- in Texas we have a nine month growing season for them- and nothing brings me joy like arranging a bouquet at the end of a long day in the dirt. Then when I come home, I work in my own garden and wonder if I’ll ever get tired of growing things. I think it’s our nature to want to grow food, to watch a speck grow into a vibrant living thing. I’m so grateful I found your blog, you are hitting everything on the head. Anything you can share is so very much appreciated! ❤️❤️❤️ Thank you!

  252. Kerrilyn Nunnikhoven on

    Erin. And team,
    I appreciate your honesty. You have set the foundation for building a frame work, whether it is large or small regarding flowers. To me, flowers are my therapy.
    Planning is very important, and it’s important to be realistic. I was a young mother once, and when involving Babies,, and toddlers, I would have better served myself and family by scaling down everything to small. We survived, but I
    Could have been spared a lot of frustration, and being overwhelmed, if I would have
    Just recognized, no one can do it all. Thank you.

  253. Fiona Robertson on

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing your experience, the honesty, authenticity shines through. I have enjoed your instagram posts for a long time now. Again thank you. I am getting ready to plant, just for myself for flowers in my own home and to gift bunches to friends once a month. I am low on knowledge, poor on time and high on the joy of flowers. Think I am wanting a career change into flowers… but definately starting very small in a backyard in Sydney Australia. Kindest regards

  254. Isabelle Fortin on

    Thank you for all the useful information. I am starting a small edible flower farm. I’ve been doing research for the last 2 month. Starting small because I’m new to this, also testing the market. I just found you and am glad I did. I’m from Canada but recently moved on the island of Crete in Greece. A lot of sunshine for my delicious flowers to be!
    Thanks again.

  255. Lisa Rivera on

    Thank you thank you thank you so much for sharing this? I’ve been following your insta forever?? with dreams of having a ‘real’ flower business and we (last week) just came into some land! So my dream is here. Now. And I need all the advice???I’m so excited to get started but, really where that is, I’m a little clueless. Any other resources: books,articles,blogs..? I’d love and welcome any feedback at all from you,really,I admire your farm,business and spirit so very much. Thanks from the bottom of my heart? Lisa

  256. dorita on

    I’m so inspired by the beauty you create! I live in a high desert altitude at 4000 ft. I’d love to grow cut flowers to decorate my home and I’m interested in knowing if it’s possible to accomplish this and how. I’m thinking of building container beds rather than planting in the ground. Would appreciate your feedback.

  257. Marielena Parris on

    I came across your website as I looked for seeds and bulbs to plant for my wedding. This article is super helpful, we are planning a full farm to table wedding next fall at a property we just bought, we have 120 acres of blank canvas (no worries after this I’ll make sure I’ll keep the flower space manageable). I would love to attend your workshop some time but it seems you are full already :). Great to see that you not only are making this model work but thrive. Keep up the good work thanks for sharing and hope to see your farm in person some time.

  258. Tracy Simpson on

    I truly enjoy your site and am looking forward to ordering and receiving and of course planting the seeds and waiting to see their beauty.
    I have always loved gardening and wait impatiently for the growth and bounty but also enjoy watching each seed sprout and turn into the
    beautiful flower, or vegetable I am impatiently waiting for. I love the feel of dirt on my hands and tilling the soil to prepare for whatever
    seed, bulb, plant I put into the earth.
    I recently have started over, bought my first house and have a blank canvas to work with, I have spent the past few weeks getting the backyard cleared and uncovered tons of river rock and am now planning my beds. I stay at home to care for my mom, but need a little something for me. I decided after scouring over your site and all the beauty, that I will start a small little home based flower business selling on the weekend at the local farmers market.
    Thank you for your inspiration and wish me luck….

  259. Sarah Marshall on

    I am so excited to have you as a reference. I’m trying to stay optimistic as I will be growing from my urban home (but do have a nice yard) and this will be my first time to really try and produce. So I’m starting from square one and am trying to do it as right as possible from the beginning. Thank you for all of the advice and encouragement.

  260. Leo Martinez on

    Hi I just saw your website today and was so inspired by your web page.
    I ordered some tall Allium Bulbs because they were on special, they are coming in this week of Jan. I know it is to late to plant them but is there
    any place I can keep them stored till the fall and they won’t spoil?
    I was also wondering can I try growing Allium indoors?
    Sorry I have one more question I see that some of your flower mixes are sold out, how soon until they are available again?
    thank you again for taking time in reading my email,
    my regards,
    Leo Martinez

    • Susan King on

      Hi Leo,
      If your ground isn’t covered in snow or frozen, I wouldn’t be afraid of planting your allium sooner rather than later (as soon as soil is workable) rather than risk rot during storage over prolonged period. While fall planting is advisable, you can still plant in spring–they just may not not do much their first season–and they should be just fine. And sorry, the specially packaged collections are sold out for the season, but you can buy many of the varieties as individual packets.

  261. Lydia jackson on

    New to your blog, but am loving the honest insight, your trial and error and ultimately the successes. I’ve been a gardener for as long as I can remember and I own some acreage on Vancouver island. I am researching which direction to take it. My hands are forever in the dirt and food and flowers are my peace. Thank you for sharing it looks amazing and like a lot of sweat and blooms.

  262. Andressa Bertaioli on

    Absolutely love your brand and your beautiful work! You made me fall in love with dahlias! And to take on the challenge (in my mind) of growing flowers from seeds. So excited to dive in this new adventure for my personal life to flourish as well as to use it in creative design for my business. My first time ever “playing with dirt” was last fall and through that experience I received so much healing. It is a beautiful thing to give the earth something that seems dead but within the right time springs up to abundant life. Thank you for dreaming big! Thank you for inspiring a multitude of people to create and celebrate beauty!

  263. Janice Norris on

    Hi Erin, I have been dreaming of my own flower farm for about 10 years now. My plan is to starting this year, plant a trial garden to experiment with flowers I want to grow and document everything from how they handle the Alabama heat and my growing season. I will be retiring from my job in about 3-4 years and plan to go full time farmer then. I live on 15 acres and am currently plotting out 3 acres just for this endeavor. I recently ordered some seed from you and excited to see how they grow here in the South. I also have pre ordered your book and am excited to get this adventure started. Any advice would be more than welcomed…

  264. Amanda Welch on

    I have followed your blog and Instagram for quite some time. I am fascinated and in awe of what you do. I love to garden and grow flowers, but I have always stuck with perennials and landscaping; but I’ve reached a plateau and I’m bored. So, thanks to you I’ve dabbled with growing annuals. I’ve even made bouquets for a dear friend’s wedding, an arrangement for an anniversary party and casual arrangements for my mom and always something for my kitchen table. You give me hope, hope that maybe this little passion or hobby of mine might someday be something . . . more. In the meantime, keep up your awesome work that inspires us to dream. That is the most wonderful gift you can give.
    ~Mandy from Wisconsin.

  265. Ginger Whitehead on

    Thank you for the time you have dedicated to this blog! I have spent too many years thinking about flower farming. I finally have 3acres but I’m going to start with just part of one. I absolutely love your photos and they are so helpful. I commute 3hours a day 3 days a week and would like to eventually replace my income with flower sales. I love flowers and the thought of having my own flower farm is so very exciting. I really appreciate your wisdom and experience. I have many books but have learned more practical stuff in the couple of blogs you have written. I will definitely be following them all! Thank you so much.

  266. Charlotte on

    I am in central Virginia with very different growing conditions from yours. Weeds and humidity are one of the greatest pitfalls we have to deal with. That, along with extremely acidic soil. Mine is a sandy loam, almost devoid of organic matter and a PH of 4.8! Last year I cleared between 1.5 and two acres of overgrown swamp and thriving Tulip Poplars tangled with poison ivy and briars. Once the land was cleared, leveled and drained, we tested for nutrients and PH. What a shock to learn that the land, that had been neglected and abandoned for about 30 years, held little to no organic matter. We immediately planted buckwheat and moved a flock of chickens to winter in the garden area.

    This spring we will have truck loads of organic compost hauled in. In addition, I plan to order and incorporate 8 tons of lime (spread out over 3 acres) to be followed by another 8 tons in the fall. We have 60 acres total to amend over time. But the garden calls most urgently, so that two acres will be first in line for remedial work. Much of the two acres will be devoted to vegetables; however, a 15 by 200 foot space will include my greatest love—flowers. And, your Web site and books are inspirational. I have the earlier book and will be ordering the new one.

    Your photographs are spectacular. I am particularly impressed by the height of your flowers. Is this height a function of genetics or growing conditions—hoop houses in particular? No one on line grows flowers that compare with yours. Again, you are inspirational. Thank you!

  267. Madi Fletcher on

    I am SO GRATEFUL for your blog posts! I am just getting started with my own flower farm operation, and (sadly) the internet seems to be full of a lot of vague information that isn’t quite helpful when you need specific information. Your website has pretty much filled that gap for me! Thank you!

  268. Kate Houssney on

    This series of posts is so helpful. I appreciate how generous you are with your wealth of knowledge and experience! I also appreciate the dose of reality you give in these posts as I do spend a lot of my time wrangling little people. ;) Thank you so much.

  269. Suzanne Brummel on

    I live in Northern Indiana and I have always gardened for our myself and family.. perennials and vegetables. Two summers ago, I endeavored to jump into cut flowers for my daughter’s wedding with happy results! About that time I found your blog along with much inspiration! Last year’s garden I grew enough to provide flowers for different ministries (visitation and a couple events) at our church. I would love to jump into it more for profit; but I feel like I’d be taking too much on by myself. My husband helps with some of the big chores of gardening, and is very supportive, but he’s not a farmer and doesn’t have the desire to be one… he’s a busy software engineer. How did you manage rallying people together for support while you were getting started. I also have a small photography/graphics business with my daughter.. and finding it hard to ignore the flower part of it pulling at my heart. ~Suzanne Brummel

  270. Janell Schintu on

    Hi! I am from Charleston SC and I am trying to learn all that I can in hopes of starting a small cutting garden and selling the blooms at our weekend farmer’s market. We have a long growing season here, but it can certainly get hot! I only have half an acre of land (backyard) but my goal is to sell 25- 30 bouquets each weekend from May to September. Does this seem possible? I hope to start small and work my way up to a thriving business. I am trying to understand how many plants I will need to accomplish this. I will certainly read all that you have here. Thank you for all your help!

  271. Fiona on

    I am writing from italy where there is a lot of sun and very dry summers. As a new plant grower i am facing with many failures and adaptations but my hopes are high !
    You are very inspiring indeed !

  272. Alma Buettell on

    Ok, you ask for it. I have grown flowers for many years and have had two good friends that we pick our seeds and they help me transplant into the flats for a portion of the flowers. This is so therapuetic for you when you are feeling over whelmed and cant get it done in one day. We visit and it shortens the task. Then I sell what flowers I can and plant the remainder.

  273. Susanna P on

    I am loving your site from all the way over in England. Can you tell me what kind of soil you are growing on please. I have 2.5 acres to farm on but it is clay soil so i need raised beds. Can this be a viable solution? OR should i move house (wink).

  274. Hillary on

    Your posts are so inspirational! I have a rose garden and absolutely love flowers. I’m hoping to grow a cut garden this spring. I’m so glad I came across your website. It’s magical.

  275. Raquel Hink on

    I love your post, and your blog! All of this information is spot on and resonates so much with me too. I have an enormous passion for growing flowers and just started growing dahlias in Colorado after living in Seattle and falling head over heels with them there. I can’t wait for my copy of your book! Last year I found space to grow 16 dahlias and this year I hope to make it more like 30. I can’t wait for you to open up your tubers for sale! Thank you for your encouragement, honesty, words of profound wisdom and for taking time to share your world of beauty with the rest of us.

  276. Cindy Gold on

    I am new to Flower Farming but grew up on a farm in Ohio not far from you. I love the smell of freshly turned dirt in the spring and look forward to planting flowers. I am not much of a vegetable gardener but LOVE growing flowers. At 62, I have worked in an office for 28 years and am looking at growing flowers as my retirement “job”. You struck a nerve when you asked why grow cut flowers. My Dad and Grandpa loved farming. I must have inherited that feeling of peace, being out in the fields and feeling closer to God – and also to them – while growing something I love. It is my Happy Place.
    I have 6 acres but 3+ for planting. I am now only using a small portion of this- being wary of how much I can handle myself my age. Your page is such a big help to guide me to the next step. I would love nothing more than to fill all 3 acres with flowers. Sunflowers, lavender those are some ideas. I have my little self serve cart and do some markets but am looking for guidance to move forward. What equipment do I need? How do I keep the weeds under control in a large area so that I am not overwhelmed?
    Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  277. Mags Riordan on

    For years I have flittered in and out of your resources and never left a comment but now that we are expanding our business I am compelled to finally write and thank you all for this amazing resource. While I live and work in southern Ireland so much of the valuable information here can be applied to my climate etc. It has to be the best worldwide resource for flower farmers. The posts on forward planning are invaluable also flower varieties, bulbs especially dahlias. Again many thanks and please continue. I would love to see on-line workshops becoming a feature as I live in Ireland. My dream would be to attend but access to an on-line one would be the next best thing.

  278. Susan Pelletier on

    After 35 years keeping horses we made the tough decision to find our boys a good home. I work at home and one of the pleasures was being able to look across and watch the horses out playing. I realized that I have an empty horse barn, a paddock and fields that need a new use. I became a master gardener in 2004 and have collected perrenials for year from friends, garden sales, etc. I am a great bargain hunter and also love unusual plants. Living in Vermont I have always pushed the envelope as far as planting in my zone. I have indoor plants that I have waited years to bloom and like nothing better than figuring out how to keep a bouquet fresh looking in my house for the ultimate length of time. In the summer I am out till past 9 at night weeding, checking my flowers and just enjoying after a long winter the opportunity to be outside with my flowers and shrubs. My neighbor told me about your wonderful website and I am planning a small flower and herb business for next spring and summer. We can sell our maple syrup and my cards I make from pictures I take year round and plan on contributions of organic teas, goats milk creams and vegetables for sale from a hopeful partnership wih my neighbor. As I enter my 62nd year I am delighted to finally start doing what has been decades of accumulating perrenials and growing and experimenting with annuals. I appreciate all the online resources available, have been reading The Flower Farmer and look forward to purchasing your book.

  279. Lisa Hamrick on

    For me, the reason I have come to farming is that while I don’t know that I can change the world, I do know that I can change my piece of dirt for the better. The opportunity to be in business for myself scares the holy heck out of me, but at 53, it’s time. When figuring out what I wanted to farm, I was a little afraid at first to embrace the idea of cut flowers. But cut flowers offer the opportunity to brighten someone’s else’s day and that can even include mine! I am also looking forward to expanding my skills as a photographer while creating a pollinator garden. I am truly hoping that this new endeavor is a win-win for all – me, customers and the environment. This spring will be the first spring on my new property and I am so very excited. I think I have a good beginner’s infrastructure and am looking forward to seeing my first bloom. You have been a total inspiration and I will continue to return to your site for all of the valuable info you offer. Happy 2017 and thanks for sharing.

  280. Eva Alexander on

    Thank you Erin for this post and hopefully the series, which I am going to read! This is very useful as I am starting a small flower farm this year after gardening for many years and experimenting with some flower growing. Trying so hard to prioritize and make sure it’s not going to be overwhelming, as I work at a perennial nursery for my day job! It’s hard when I want to trial so many things this year to help figure out what grows best in my northern Vermont old hay field, as well as having enough flowers to sell to my florist friend whose preferences my plant selections are based on. . . and for my own floral designs. I am working on my business plan and the answers to these questions will go into forming that. . . . Thank you again!

  281. Denise Cargill on

    I have just stumbled on to your site and have been intently devouring every word. My husband & I are retiring in the coming year. We grew up as farm kids, but have lived in the “city” for the past 30 years. We are currently formulating a plan to move back to the country and have a small hobby farm in our retirement. Flower farming sounds like the perfect endeavor for me as I was once a training florist and educated as a horticulturist back in the 70s. I wasn’t able to make it my life’s work back then but it sounds like something I’d like to try in the future. I am taking in every word of advice and dreaming of my future. Thanks for sharing.

  282. Jessica Kiwiet on

    Love your posts. They are so helpful and hopeful. We have a small plot and are just starting up a small flower business while working full time. Your information helps us be efficient with our time and space. Can’t wait for your book to be delivered!

  283. Alexis on

    Love this post! It’s just what I needed to read to give me some direction… I would love to know what the best type of compost and/or other soil amendments are to start preparing a growing area and when you should apply those. How and when to use supports and the different types would be great to learn about as well. Thank you for sharing your wonderful knowledge!

  284. Judy Beck on

    I found Floret thru the owner of Plant Barn owner, Denyse. Cannot tell you how much I appreciate your presenting these six questions. I believe that I am also one of those who is constantly living and worrying about the future, reading your post helped me to understand this and why I always feel so happy and grounded in my garden. I live at 5000′ elevation in Northern CA and have about 90+ days of growing and bloom time. I would appreciate and read anything you can share on growing sweet peas, just love those little jewels. Another subject I need more information on is what and how to use supports in the flower beds. Is that square netting I see in your beds wire or plastic, and how high in the bed is it? Love your site and thank you so much for sharing information. Judy

  285. Susan on

    I am looking forward to continuing this series of blogs. I have a specific, new area to establish as a personal source of flowers. I’m interested in the numbers and varieties I can fit into the space, including some filler vines, etc. Thank you so much!

  286. Wendy on

    Thank you Erin. I have grown annuals & perennials from seed in the past for my own enjoyment. Now however, I need to grow them as income. Would you suggest purchasing some plugs as well as starting from seed? I don’t have a greenhouse, but will be rigging up something small to get a jump on the growing season. I am in zone 4/5 in Canada.

  287. Zoë on

    Thank you for all the inspiring information, it gives me confidence that my dreams are not unrealistic! I will read every word on this website in the coming weeks and prepare for my mini trial next spring. And I’m getting started on some late autumn sowing in the greenhouse to start even earlier!

  288. Jodi Truelove on

    Hi! Thank you for taking the time to blog about your experiences, it is very helpful to those of us just beginning the journey. My husband, mother and I are starting a cut flower farm on 5 acres. Our soil isn’t very good so we are trying to think of field flowers that can tolerate a fairly rocky soil (yarrow?), albeit remediated with dump truck loads of manure that we found locally. We are growing some of the standards in raised beds, planted intensively per your suggestion in another article. We got a late start this year, but did well with Zinnias and Sunflowers that bloomed all the way to Thanksgiving here in Missouri. Do you have any suggestions for poor soil or growing in raised beds? We are starting small with hope for better years down the road.

    I look forward to keeping up with your blog. Thank you again for sharing the value of your experience with the rest of us, it is a great charity.

    Jodi (Nectar Lane Gardens)

  289. Briceland McLaughlin on

    Thank you for sharing all of your experiences! It is inspiring and has given me the confidence to move forward (although starting small) with my dreams.

  290. Kathy Lea on

    I lived and worked in NZ. There was a very talented co-worker who once grew commercial flowers BUT felt the need to make certain the flowers were bug and blemish free. Just wondered what your impediments to sales are? Love everything about your business and your wonderful generous sharing of your knowledge and frustrations.

  291. Lori Hernandez on

    Hi Erin,
    First of all, you are a great inspiration to our family. We have homesteaded on our 3 acre farm for the past 5 years, but finally feel ready to start a “real” farm. 2 years ago, we put a farm stand up on our corner to sell extra produce from our huge garden. Then last summer, my husband put in 700 dahlia plants, because he felt we needed more beauty in our life. Who knew we needed beauty so much?!? And so did our customers – people went wild over the flowers.

    In 2017, we are going to start a U-Cut flower farm and sell bouquets on the stand (last year, we just sold cut flowers by the stem). Women love the idea of U-Cut, especially because our farm is family friendly (we’re going to have a sand box/play area/fairy garden right in the enclosed U-Cut flower garden). Men love being able to quick swing by the stand and pick up a gorgeous bouquet (there is no florist in our town, so we fill a niche). My husband will continue working his day job while I run the farm.

    I truly think our farm will be successful – our farm is cute (complete with old 1880’s house/barn, free range chickens, goats, etc.) and only 3 miles from town, giving people a taste of the farm life just minutes from their home. Our farm is also highly visible on a highly trafficked corner, with easy access.

    My major concern is lifestyle changes. Mainly, who will do all the homesteading work that I usually do all day (we grow/preserve a lot of our own food). Who will be caring for my children while I’m working in the garden. How will we balance home life and work, when the two will be so intertwined. How will we create boundaries, so we don’t end up burned out.

    I appreciate reading your honest comments about how hard it was/is to balance life and work. This coming year will surely be an adventure! I’m trying to remember to be flexible and forgiving… and learning how to delegate! This winter will be dedicated to teaching my children how to take on many of the household/farm duties I usually manage. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking that a 10 year old and a 7 year old can manage a house and farm, but my husband and I will need to them to take over as much as humanly possible, as we’ll be busy working on the farm.

    I was truly hoping to get to meet you at the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers conference in Grand Rapids, MI (my home town!) this past November, but alas, at this point I can’t afford the membership. Maybe next year!

    Many thanks for sharing all your insights, ideas and inspirations! Know that you are making a difference in people’s lives. In our case, you gave us the gift of HOPE, and hope is a beautiful thing.

    Best wishes,

  292. Beth on

    Thank you, Erin, for being so open and sharing your flower world with us. I too am waxing nostalgia, planting flowers and shrubs that my Grandmother first grew. This will be my first official year cultivating the farm in which 6 generations of my ancestors have come before me, and yet I will be the first flower farmer. This year, as I listened to the Bob White sing his song, I put my hands under the warm soil, where my grandmothers dug before me, and wept into the dirt. I know, regardless of the outcome, I am doing the right thing to forge ahead into a new line of work that is all my own, tending the good earth and with any luck, feeding my family with the bounty it provides.

  293. Diedra on

    Hi Erin, I found you thru Instagram and you are inspiring me to possibly convert my 3 acre Avocado grove in Southern California to flowers! I’ve always enjoyed gardening, and I’m researching new ways of combining my passion for flowers and succulents with an income producing crop. Water prices and foreign imports have taken its toll on the Avocado farming so I am very curious about water consumption necessary as well as best marketing strategies. Looking forward to your future posts. Ps. The insta shots you posted today looked like paintings! Photog skills are on point!! :)

  294. Judy on

    Hi Erin,
    Love your blog and hope you continue writing. I grew a lot of dahlias last summer in my backyard. I harvested 3-4 bouquets a day plus gave away tons. How do you find a way to sell flowers when you have smaller quantities? Thanks,

  295. Viv Gibson on

    Hi Erin – How I love reading your blog! It is so helpful to us as we embark on our dream of starting a Flower Farm in New Zealand on a small holding of 7 acres we have just purchased. At this planning stage it seems at times that my mind is just so muddled and confused by the enormity of it. Reading this blog in particular has provided clarity and keeps me on track. I am soaking up all your valuable info and your passion resounds loudly with me. Thank you, thank you, thank you finding you has been wonderful!!

  296. Brenda Stephens on

    At this moment in time I am not planning to grow flowers commercially but I love all of your tips and information! I have plenty of ranch land in north Texas. We are just finishing a large commercial greenhouse that we recently purchased from a retired fern grower. I have always grown lovely flowers at my home in town but never on a larger scale. It is very hot here in the summer and we are just coming out of a drought so I am very excited to try some new things at the ranch. Thank you so much for all of your beautiful photos and wisdom!

  297. Judy Mortimer on

    Your comments and pictures have filled my soul. I hope to try out so many of your ideas but on a smaller scale. Thanks Erin and crew.

  298. Sam Dowdle on

    I have been dabbling with growing flowers for market for several years and am planning to become a more serious grower. I look forward to learning from a successful grower!

  299. Vivian on

    How I found your site I do not remember….but I am soooo glad I did. I live in a small community in Northern British Columbia, Canada. I have tried so many things in my garden but flowers remain my true inspiration. Weather is always my stumbling block as in my lifetime I have seen snow in every single month except July, so gardening is challenging. I so want to be sucessful but sometimes lose my desire when always competing with Mother Nature. Love your site and plan to read all you have to offer. I so wish I could come to one of your retreats and learn along with the best. Maybe one year I will be lucky enough to land a seat…
    Thanks for inspiring me everytime I come to your site for a look…

  300. Amy Young Miller on

    THis is precisely what I needed to read today. I’ve been raising specialty veg, herbs, and edible flowers for upscale restaurants, but my heart draws me to raise more cut flowers. I don’t have lots of space, but as my littles get older (we homeschool) I have a little more time (just a little!) and I know that learning about how to grow more flowers is something I want to pursue. Your blog is a true thing of beauty. Blessings to you for sharing what you’ve learned!

  301. Susan on

    Very helpful and food-for-thought. Thanks for your hard work and encouraging of others, your beautiful flower farm photos and the general cheeriness of your business and site.

  302. Vickie on

    How do I catch up? I wrote your site down 3 years ago, found through the Flower Farmer Book by Lynn. Silly me, my research takes forever. But I hope to get caught up reading your blogs. This is great work, and I know of at least 4 more people I know that are loving your site. Thanks! A new Oregonian neighbor.

  303. Vanessa Vernham on

    Thanks again so much Erin and all at team floret. I have been wanting to grow cut flowers for quite some time. With twins and a toddler also at my feet, ( now 9 and 11) and a part time paediatric nurse, time is rare. My garden,though full of weeds and on the back burner is my sanctuary. I find myself taking a few flowers to work, each time when I would rather be home pulling weeds! I love my work which is why I am still there 25yrs on. But would love to try my hand at growing cut flowers. Being in the present, as you say, is mighty helpful! I know it will be a ton of work too! We already have the farm,( hard fought for), the water, and soil which needs some improvements. Just need to assess a bit more and take the challenge! Your blog, and I know you have heard it before is one of my greatest inspirations. Along with my biggest treasure my Mum. So thank you for all that you do for others, and I wish you a joyous and happy Christmas.xxxx

  304. Melissa on

    I am so glad that I stumbled across your website all the way from Australia. It is such a source of joy and inspiration for me!! I’d gotten to a stage in my life where I needed a sign and when I saw your flowers on Instagram it was like a lightening bolt – THIS IS IT!

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us all and inspiring others to fill this world with such beauty x

  305. Melissa Brauneis on

    To see that you started when you had 2 very young ones gives me hope that I can make a cut flower business thrive, not without struggles and many tears I’m sure, but that it is possible. Thank you!

    This is the number one question I get when I tell family right now, that I want to make room on my almost 6 acres to start a cut flower farm. “How are you going to handle a business like that, how are you going to handle strictly the farming aspect? And where will you have the time for your kids?” I tell them, honestly, any way to get my kids outside, in nature, rain or shine, is extremely important. It’s becoming, for me, one of the most important things I can provide my children in this day and age of electronics, mega tv’s, and shows that hook you at the first scene. I need them outside. Period, and this will be one fantastic venue I hope for our family to accomplish this goal.

    Plus, I really, really, really do not want to use my degree I have and the original career I thought I wanted to do. It sucks you dry, and spits you out shattered. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I have stood there and been extremely proud to do what I have done, but they are too far and few to keep me going and leave anything left for myself and my family. I pray, doing this instead, will feed a fire of life, instead of slowly sucking it dry. (The career I am lamenting about is nursing. Sad for me, but so true.)

  306. judy york on

    Thanks so much for all the information, encouragement, and reality check. I truly appreciate all the effort you put into this blog. I spend hours reading and absorbing all the information, not to mention the beautiful photography. I feel like I have been to growers school every time I spend time on you site. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  307. Margaret on

    I have been dabbling with the idea of growing cut flowers for almost 2 years now: visiting farms, browsing through blogs, thinking if only I could intern or volunteer somewhere to really learn the craft and this past year I have struggled with the why can’t I just jump in and start something for Pete’s sake! After reading your post just now, I believe it has finally dawned on me what my problem is, I have been wrestling with those questions in my head but have never put them to paper or perhaps even knew what I wanted to put on paper… Thank you for your willingness to share!

  308. Casey on

    Just stumbled upon your blog:) SO much amazing information. I’m from Wisconsin and with the colder temps, I’m not sure where to start. I’m sure you covered that and I’m still digging through your site:)
    Our little 2,000 person city doesn’t have a flower shop/florist. I’d, ideally, love to grow some at my home to sell. Working with a small budget, 3 small kiddos and a growing family and limited space, seeing as we also live within city limits. Excited to keep reading & learning:)

  309. Tammy Fuller on

    I have been reading and enjoying your Facebook post for a few weeks. I’m in the early stages of planning my Cut Flower Farm called Fuller Senses. I have been wanting to do farming for along time but I was working so many hours and raising kids that it just was working out. So my kids are grown and my corporate job ends August 23rd. So this is my chance. I live on 7 acres and have recently ordered a hoop house. We have a ton of wind so at this point I will start in my hoops house and my garden plot for herb varieties. I have planted many Lilac bushes so looking forward for their production. Will be planting some Peonies in fall. We have planted many trees around for some wind block. We have honey bees as well so we have been planting clover the past few years so we will cut back on that and introduce more flowers. I don’t want to over burden myself to fast but I’m excited to start in my hoop house this fall. The hardest part is deciding on what to start growing. My hoop house will be 15×48, any idea on how many plants I can grow. Plus I want to start some bulbs as well in patch somewhere. So many exciting decision.

  310. Tammy on

    I just found out about you a few hours ago and have been sucked in since. Two years ago I thought “I wonder if anyone would buy my flowers… I’m growing them all anyway…”. I threw up an ad on Craigslist with some pictures and I got 2 weddings! Now I’m looking around and seeing you and FarmGirl and wanting to learn how to really do a business of this. I can grow the flowers, I can make the bouquets, I live in a great climate (Santa Cruz County CA), I get great Yelp reviews and I love love love the delivery and my flowers being part of an event but I have no clue how to run a successful (profitable) business. And the worst part is I’m lazy to learn. You have no idea how disappointed I was to see that your upcoming workshops are sold out and you don’t take names for a waiting list! Your 6 questions are a start and I have my fingers crossed that I get more info and inspiration — and soon! I think we’re about to buy a house on about 1/3 and acre and I want it to be my bigger garden plan. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us and creating a tribe of flower people!

  311. Anabel Trudeau on

    Hello! I just recently discovered you through Country Living’s Facebook page and now I know there are Flower Farmers who actually have small farms and all our flowers don’t come from “flower mills”! I’ve been a Pastry Chef for 32 years and I’ve owned a bakery for the last 25 years. Along with baking, I’ve always had a slight obsession with flowers and not only fill my bakery with cakes and pastries, but potted fresh flowers too because I love the way they make me feel and the way they look in the bakery! As a matter of fact, they are growing so well inside the bakery right now that I made a comment to one of my bakery clerks yesterday that owning a nursery was going to be my next business! I don’t know if I’ll actually ever be brave (or crazy) enough to start and run my own business again, but growing flowers would be at the top of my list if I did! I would love to attend one of your workshops and get a real feel for what it takes to do what you do and do it well. Your story is inspirational, and I literally thought of myself when you said you cried in a garden full of weeds. But just like baking for others, growing flowers and being around them brings not only others joy, but yourself as well! Thank you for being so good at what you do and for sharing your joys and trials with us all. Looking forward to following you on social media and finding out what it actually takes to be a flower farmer! Keep going and best wishes for continued success!

  312. Maggie on

    I am a huge fan of you and your farm! You’re posts are always so helpful and I find myself saving them to read again! It has been a dream of mine to one day have a small scale flower farm. It is a bit overwhelming as I am just starting out, but I already love to garden and plant a large vegetable and herb garden every year. I am a firm believer that a little dirt under the nails does the soul good. I live in southern Ohio and our growing season is usually May- October. I was just wondering what you would recommend as far as what varieties that are best for the newbie? I live on a farm and we raise livestock. We pasture most of our land but around the house, we have at least 3-4 acres of good ground that is not being used. I’d love to plant a little section but don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.
    Best of luck to you and your team this season!

    • Floret on

      Hi Maggie,

      You might look back on some of my past posts about what flowers to start now. The small space growing series last year also had some great suggestions from other growers. Otherwise, definitely try Zinnias, Cosmos, Amaranths, dahlias, as they will all do well in your climate and are pretty easy. Ohio flower farmers got together earlier this year and shared some of their favorite perennials for cuts, which you can view here: http://www.buckeyeblooms.com/blog/2016/2/6/highlights-from-the-2016-ohio-flower-farmer-meet-up Good luck!

  313. lbPartyka on

    I am so appreciative of the resources you provide. I am just getting started with my floral farm and need all the advise, resources and other tid bits to help make it a success.
    I have always had a passion for flowers from a very young age. I worked along side my Great Grandmother, her daughter (my Grandmother), and her daughter (my Mother). So, I have long wanted a floral garden….and have had them, small and just in my yard in the cities. But now, I have moved more to the country and have 5 acres to play with and make my dream of becoming a Floral Farmer a reality!! The thing is……I have the place, but that left me with little funds to get started with all the rest of the necessary things……my fields were farmed by regular crops, so….I believe the soil is great….at least it looks like it. But, I will still need the other necessary things like the fabric, seeds, etc. Money is tight, and I just left my job working for Len Busch Roses to get started. My other half has a great business of his own, but that pays for itself and the regular bills. So, I guess I need advice on how to start out cheaply……..is there places that I could contact to see if they would send out what I would call trial bulbs/seeds to use?? Do you know if that is a possibility??
    Sorry for the informational overload…..I am just super excited to get going and finally be able to do what I love!!
    Thank you!!!

  314. Heather on

    How inspiring, thank you. Here in England I have in the past grow a few blooms on my allotment which have filled our house for a few weeks in the summer. Your blog is mana from heaven! I am about to leave a full time career and have for so long wanted to start a flower growing business. As we move to a warmer part of the country I might just be able to it!

  315. Elise Stubbs on

    Just started reading your blog. I am going through what you felt like when you started enthusiasm and frustration in equal measures there is just not enough hours in the day to get everything done and give the children their time as well! Growing flowers is definitely my passion but also my monster as well! Look forward to reading on and seeing how you managed your time, I could do with a few enthusiastic helpers on board. Thanks for taking time and offering your advice. Elise Jersey Channel Islands.

  316. andi on

    I am so happy to have found your site! Thank you for all the amazing information!
    We just bought our 40 acre bit of paradise and i am hoping to start a cut flower garden. I have had some brain injuries which have made me unable to continue my old career, but i am feeling more confident in the possibilities of starting a flower growing business! Seeing that i can start out small and take it slow and learn and expand as i go, is giving me great hope for the future! Flowers bring me great joy and i am so inspired by reading your blogs! Thank you for sharing and being so honest about what is working, and not working for you! Peace, Andi

  317. Lindsay on

    I know this is an older post, but couldn’t sign off without telling you how much I appreciate this whole series. Last week I read of a nearby flower farm being offered for sale, and I can’t get it out if my kind. I’ve been devouring your blog and posted resources as I daydream about this place… Not now, perhaps, but maybe someday…. So thank you.

  318. Wenda vince on

    Your generousity is appreciated by myself and so many other gardeners, thank-you! Our frost free days here in Eastern Ontario usually May 24 -Sep 15 or there abouts. I am astounded at your wonderfully organized beds! my garden is a tangled 2acres with house, trees,shrubs,perrenials,natives, bulbs and annuals that I squeeze in wherever I can! I dream of straight rows of abundance! however at 69 years OLD may not get my wish! I do love my Tangled garden! My advice to would be gardeners is just Start Growing! Thanks again for your enthusiasm!

  319. Carlie on

    As a beginning gardener, I tend to bite off more than I can chew! Thank you for your advice and tips…keep them coming!!

  320. Stephanie on

    Yes, this is very helpful! Please keep posting and I’ll keep reading! Thank you!

  321. Vivian Seiler on

    Thanks for the 6 points to ponder! I started growing flowers last summer by default here in OK, one of the hardest places to grow flowers. My son 21 started a beyond organic produce production in a 7th of an acre. I added flowers on the edges for pleasure. Last year we decided to out the flowers as an option for the CSA clients and they bought them! Wow! Never expected that around here. So this year I am adding 50′ for just flowers and any edges I can carve but still keeping it small as I learn about this wonderful world. One thing my daughter mentioned to me was the “ugly names such beautiful flowers have. What is with that?” Haha! Thanks for inspiring us as we learn!
    I am sure I will think of questions for you in this journey?

  322. Shelley on

    I have definitely gotten ahead of myself and ordered a ton of seeds this year. I just want the flowers, NOW. HA. I am trying to learn as much as possible in a very short amount of time before getting started. You are so generous with your time and knowledge, thank you! I will try to absorb as much as possible so that I can grow a little mini flower garden of my own. I can’t wait!

  323. Madeline on

    Love this, and so looking forward to more!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and passion!!

  324. Julie Abrera on

    I’m just digging in to these posts with my box of seeds on the desk next to me. Can’t wait to get started and start growing some wonderful things for my 2016 brides.

  325. Carissa on

    Thank you so much for sharing your tips and experience with the world! These questions are great and made me really think about the plans I have set so far for our new flower garden. This will be our first year growing a lot of flowers for cutting – and our first Spring and Summer in our floral design business so it is reassuring to know I am on the right track with things I have already done in planning, but also so helpful to read your tips on things I hadn’t fully figured out yet. Excited to read more!

  326. Allison on

    I LOVE your blog and find every bit helpful and encouraging! I had never considered flower farming until I was introduced to your blog, but now I have BIG DREAMS! Thank you for your honesty in this post to bring me back down to a do-able reality. Please keep writing, and it is my prayer to one day come to Floret for one of your fabulous workshops!

  327. Madeleine on

    I started reading your blog back in the spring of 2011 as an escape from my boring desk job, day dreaming of gardening and farming! I lost track of your blog as we bought a little 1/4 acre property, babies came along and I made my way from a gardening job to a florist job and being a stay at home mom. It has been such a joy to start following it again 5 years later as I attempt my second season growing a few things for the florist I work for. It’s incredible how your farm/website/business has grown! (pun intended) It has really brought together the florist/flower growing community. Thank you for the reminder that you can’t do it all the first year, that it takes time and little steps each year. These articles are very helpful! Last year my seedlings all had little mushrooms growing with them under the grow lights, this year I’m going to try more bottom watering!

  328. Marguerite on

    I’ve arrived a little late to the party, but I thoroughly enjoyed this post. The easiest question for me to answer is: Why do I grow flowers? For me, it is because I cannot not grow flowers! This will be my 3rd year at the farmers market, where I am trying to establish myself as a flower farmer. Your blog is very informative and inspiring.

  329. Tricia on

    Thank you for your beautiful flowers, vision and writing! Every little word helps. I absorb it all and look forward to someday using every tidbit and tip in my gardens!

  330. Valorie on

    This was super helpful, thank you! I love what you do and the way you do it!

  331. Rachael on

    Thank you for this post. This will be my first year getting started growing flowers in south central PA – an addition to our 70 acre fruit and berry farm that’s been in the works for 10 years. We first started out with the intention of providing pick-your-own fruit to our client base, and this year we hope to open all varieties of fruit to the public for picking. I thought that PYO flowers would be a great addition, and an eye catcher :-) I’m super excited to dive in, and I love learning more from your blog. I’m new on here, so I’ll be spending lots of time looking around to see what other “getting started” resources you have.

  332. Tara Douglass on

    I had to scroll for a long time to get to the comment section. I guess everyone took your ask very seriously! You really did a super job laying everything out in a straightforward way. Thank you for doing the work for us. It is important and there is also nothing wrong with supporting other flower farmers by buying their flowers for events. I did the math, and for the moment that’s the route I’m taking. I am so happy to go to Union Square in NYC every Saturday and but local flowers in bulk for my weddings and flower stand.

  333. Cheyanne on

    My husband and I just bought a 45 acre organic farm. My mothers friend in Seattle sent me your link when I told her I wanted to farm flowers. I am 48 and changing careers with much anticipation. I have read almost all your blog posts. I look forward to each one and hope to come to one of your classes next year. Thank you for inspiring the next generations of flower growers/lovers.

  334. Carolyn Bupp on

    Flower Farmer on the East Coast, Cross Creek Farm Glen Rock PA. I read, learn, enjoy & envy. You are where I wanted to be by now. Started 15 years ago with garden containers & wagon of cut flowers at the end of our lane. But just couldn’t manage it all. Get off to a good start every spring and like you crying in a weed patch by mid summer. This year…with your inspiration and guidance will be the year we make it work. There I said it…that wasn’t so hard. We have a lot of irons in the fire around here. I am the florist/gardener, my husband the mason/carpenter. We have a flower & farm market. My husband does hardscape and custom sheds. I do special event flowers and decorating. I announced to my husband back in 1998 that I’m going to sell cut flowers… and I was so very proud of the first $2.00 sale in my wagon coffee can. Things grew (family 3 daughters) and directions changed constantly with no real game plan or focus. These last few years met with great challenges and it is time to find and define a new starting point. Maybe even make a plan this time. Thank you for sharing all your lessons learned. Some I am very familiar with but all make me feel I’m not alone. I’ve got some catching up to do on reading but keep it coming. PS My husband does work side by side with me also…here is my biggest problem: telling a farm boy he can’t plant flowers like corn. LOL so I put him in charge of the sunflower patch. Thanks Again, Carolyn

  335. kasseduffydesigns on

    Thank you so much for the inspiration and information. It’s greatly appreciated!!

  336. Marta on

    Hi! I have just found your blog roll and It’s fantastic! Congratulations! I’m far away from you, writing from Seville in Spain. And although I’m a landscape architect I love flowers and my dream is to do a flower farm. I feel there is a lot to learn but I see you enjoying it so much (obvioulsy with a lot lot of work and ups & downs) but its really beautiful and inspiring. Thanks so much.

    Best wishes, Marta

  337. Meryl Gartside on

    I am thrilled to have discovered you, your seeds, your blog, ALL of it!! Thank you for writing from the heart, and for all of the valuable information you so generously share with your readers. I am soaking it in and getting ready for the spring, which is now less than 4 weeks away!! I garden on Cape Cod where I grow flowers and donate them to a non-profit organization called Flower Angels. They make and deliver flower arrangements to people in nursing homes, hospitals and hospice care. All of their flowers are gently used flowers from weddings, memorial services, events, and grocers. Volunteers take these (often) oversized floral arrangements and make new bouquets that are delivered all over Cape Cod. I decided to be the first person to grow fresh flowers and donate them for their arrangements. I devoted about half of our 20’X40′ community garden plot to growing cut flowers. I also started a cut flower garden in our Master Gardener children’s teaching garden and the children donated most of these flowers too. I can’t wait to receive your seeds and get growing. Thank you again for being a fantastic inspiration!!

  338. Janna on

    I am a habitual blog lurker! But because I love reading your blog and all your other media, I thought it would only be right to leave a little note. I have been growing vegetables for a few years, with some success. We live in a very shady two acres just north of Raleigh, NC. We try to nourish our gardens well, and they do produce, but the lack of great sun slows the process down quite a bit. Now I’ve got a bag of Floret seeds waiting for me to design their space, and I’m both excited and intimidated. I’m reading through the series to get motivated and a bit more educated. Thank you, thank you, thank you for providing such a wonderful resource!

  339. Heather on

    I’m brand new to gardening, but I’ve had a passion for flowers for as long as I can remember. I’m a new mom of a baby and a toddler and I’ve decided not to return to work, but instead, homeschool my children. Discovering you and your blog has given me a realistic hope that I can have the life I’ve dreamed of. Thank you so much for being so generous and sharing your experiences. I owe you so much already!

  340. Elsa Bell on

    Extremely interesting and useful post! Gives me a great information about how to start gardening and to do it in a right way. Thanks a lot for sharing!!

  341. Sarah rogers on

    you are such a talent and guiding light! I am just beginning the planning stages to get my little paddock of land, in Australia, to be floret flowers when it grows up. I’m considering your blog full of amazing knowledge, passion and gorgeous images my online flower school. I love to learn and I devour anything I can find on the subject in point. Thank you for being so gracious and kind sharing such knowledge.

  342. Virginia on

    Oh how I love your story, your passion for flowers, and your hard work and willingness to share all the details of the ‘how to’ with newbies like me. I just stumbled across your blog a week ago, and it seems like every spare minute I am back reading your posts. As a Momma of 4 kiddos (13 yrs, 12 yrs, 10 yrs and 9yrs old) I have a busy plate, but long to help contribute to my family. Flowers are a passion of mine, they are my therapy (partially because they don’t talk back!) and I feel this would be a wonderful way to start up perhaps a little roadside stand (or help supplement the stand belonging to the elderly lady down the road who only sells dahlias). I’m in the Wilammete Valley, south of Portland, OR and as I read your story and your ‘how to’s’ I feel this tug deep down that gives me hope that this is something I could actually see myself doing. Thank you, thank you for sharing all your nuggets of wisdom, and things you’ve learned along the way. I’m daring to hope, and anxious to keep reading your posts and to go out and turn up my soil!!! :)

  343. Heather on

    Such wonderful posts! I can relate to the ‘crying in the garden’ days. It can be hard to balance and in the luxury of late winter downtime I find myself overestimating the amount of time I can dedicate to spring and summer gardening. This will be my first year building a flower garden in two 25′ x 10′ beds. I want to use perennial and annuals, and start from seed. The challenge I’m having now is deciding when and how many seeds to start indoors, what is best sow directly, etc. One tip that I have is planning seed purchases and waiting as long as possible before ordering. The wait time helps me weed out the impulse items I added to the list.

    Your posts challenge me to think through these things and be realistic.

  344. Erica on

    Thank you for sharing your hugely helpful insights and experience. I live in Italy and have been thinking about starting my own cut flower farm for e few years and it looks like the time is ripening… Your articles have been an encouraging place to come back to again and again!! grazieeeeee!!!

  345. Anna on

    Thanks so much for sharing- so much information and helpful advice in one article! Your posts are so real and down to earth. I feel really inspired that you had days crying over weeds and managed to start your own business in between time with your babies. I’ve just started trying to grow cut flowers and the day your article came in I was feeling so discouraged and over whelmed! But now thanks to you I feel I can still do it! :)

  346. Mona Gabriel on

    I love reading your helpful blog…I garden in the deep south..Georgia..where it is hot and humid. I envy your climate but I have always grown flowers even in my hot and humid Georgia…
    thanks for your gardening wisdom..

  347. Rachel on

    Hi Erin!

    I’m loving this series of posts. They’re truly so helpful – I’ve been taking notes on so many things! I’ve been following (lurking) for a long time and I appreciate everything you post about how to plan, tips for growing, different varieties, and floral arranging! I grow and arrange flowers for my own therapy mostly, but I dream of one day doing it for an income! I’m pretty proud of the variety and bounty I’ve eeked out of my urban 1/16-acre lot, most of which is shaded and covered in driveway. I ordered some Floret seeds this year and I can’t wait to get my paws on their mature blooms a few months from now.

    • Sarah on

      Hi Erin and thanks for this post–I never thought about charting the growing period so that was really helpful. Also, thanks to my buddy Rachel, for sending this post my way.

      I garden as a creative outlet and like to harvest both flowers and vegetables so I don’t have to buy them. Also because fresh cut flowers are such a great luxury to enjoy inside the home and I have so much fun making arrangements. I hope that my garden can help to increase biodiversity in my backyard and provide a food source for birds, bees and butterflies. I also want to reduce my reliance on imported flowers because I worry about how the workers that gather those flowers are treated after watching the movie, Maria Full of Grace, like 10 times.

      I appreciate your resources and generous sharing of them!

  348. Rach on

    I sit in a cubicle all day, looking out the window dreaming of working outside, growing up on a farm doesn’t seem so bad anymore. I stumbled upon your page and found a new hope that I could have that someday. So I have been dreaming BIG for a few months now, I was going to do this! This post definitely put things in a better perspective. Still dreaming, but maybe not so big of a rush. I will just start with flowers for me ;) So thank you, I am sure my husband thanks you too!

  349. Kate on

    Hi Erin – I have a pretty small backyard. Only get full sun in parts of the garden mid-summer, the rest of the time it is part shade. Because it gets so hot and humid here in Saint Louis City (Zone 6A/B), plus the garden is small and fenced in, I get a lot of powdery mildew, too. Full shade plants scorch mid-summer. I know flowers are tough with part shade, but I look forward to your recommendations.

  350. Anna on

    Love these posts!! So helpful! I live in a pretty arid climate zone which I haven’t grown up in and am starting to plant flowers to see if a farm is worth considering. I have a background in soil science, but there truly is an immense amount of knowledge to gain from those farming in similar regions or zones. Do you know of any mentoring farms or farmers?

  351. Barb Neubauer on

    Your gardens are very impressive. I am new to your site & have enjoyed reading the blogs. I live in eastern Washington with approx 2 1/2 acres avail. In about 10 yrs I will be retiring so my husband & I are starting to research the possibilities of what to do with the land & our time. We are avid gardeners but nothing really organized. Your words of wisdom regarding watering/drip systems, etc would be appreciated. Also, hoop houses…do you make your own? Thanks for advice!

  352. Danielle on

    This post is very helpful! I just bought a house and am starting to wade into “what to plant” territory. Thank you!

  353. Marilyn on

    Hi Erin, your information was extremely helpful, thank you for sharing what you have learned! We have been growing for a few years but I still work full time in another profession, so it is a challenge but you have inspired me. I just can’t stop growing! The information about spacing and succession planting was especially helpful. Hope you have a great year! Marilyn

  354. Rosanna on

    First off Erin I want you to know that you are truly amazing and so darn inspiring!! Your passion just oozes out of every article!
    I own my own flower shop in Rhode Island for over 15 years. I would like to grow some of my own flowers as well. What kinds of cut flowers would you suggest I start with?
    I thank you in advance!

  355. Christi on

    Wow! I am so excited to have found you, and to read these posts! We live in an old farmhouse in town (it used to be in the country when it was built in early 1900’s). I have a kitchen garden, which I love and have grown a row (or sometimes two) of flowers along with my veggies, because I love to clip them and bring them inside. Because of the age of our home/property we have a lot of large trees. Of course, this is really great, and gives us a lot of wonderful shade here in Texas… but can be a challenge for needing sunlight hours on the garden. There lies the difficulty of growing flowers for me.

    We recently bought a little fixer upper right across the street from our house. It sits on a very unique lot… quite a large piece of land for an in-town property… a few big trees, mostly open and a creek turned culvert that runs through the back side. We may want to build some sort of pretty multipurpose barn type structure at some point, but for now I thought it would be the perfect spot to grow flowers!

    I’m sorry this is so lengthy…but I am so very excited to read and learn! Thank you so much for all the time you have put into these posts. I am eagerly looking forward to sitting each evening and reading your words of wisdom!


  356. Casie on

    I first read about floret in Martha Stewart’s magazine awhile back, and it was quite a timely article because at that time the idea of a flower cutting garden was swimming around in my head. It’s becoming a reality but I am so new at all of this. I admire your work SO much and am grateful for any insights you can share! Thank you for these articles!

  357. Hope on

    Erin! You are such an inspiration! I am starting my own small flower farm in NJ on my parents property and I am so nervous/ excited! You are my business inspiration and it is so nice to feel your support to other farmer florists every step of the way!

  358. Chris on

    I am on the opposite end of the age spectrum, in my late 50’s. We bought 30 acres in Brenham, Tx which gets very hot in the summer. I have allotted a couple of acres for a garden and flowers and am interested in which flowers can survive Texas heat.

  359. Carla Housley on

    I love the article! Love the pictures of all the flowers. After reading and seeing all of the responces…. I think you will need more than just a little time to read and respond. I was lucky enough to have won a calender when I ordered my seeds and bulbs from an Instagram post. You were added to the favorites as soon as i saw the beauty of your flowers! Huge Oklahoma fan here….

  360. Louise on

    Thank you for your words. You have provided much food for thought. All the way from New Zealand. :)

  361. Nicole Tone on

    Your posts are of huge inspiration to me as someone who was born and raised in a large city (Chicago, IL) where space for gardening in general is extremely limited. I have always dreamed of farm life, where I could persue a more sustainable way of living with plants and animals. I have long wanted to transfer my creative background into floral design and combine it with my farm dreams, but this has always been a scary prospect to me since I am relatively young with little money and no clue how where to start. Reading your story and seeing all the other people commenting here makes me feel incredible, and it helps me cope with being stuck in the city for now. It helps me realize that having these dreams and goals are good, but not everything needs to be accomplished RIGHT NOW. I can’t wait to read the rest of your posts, thank you so much for being so open and candid about your experiences!

  362. jacin on

    I can’t thank you enough for the time and effort you’ve put into your resources on your website and the cards that came with my seedlings. We live in zone 8 (north of Atlanta) and our summers are hot hot hot but I’ve been reading up on the proper care for the seedlings we’ve started and can’t wait to see how everything turns out!

  363. Heather on

    I work full-time plus, and I would like to focus on sweet peas. I have tried to get bucket loads in the past, and it has only happened once. Our climate is particularly suited to sweet peas I think (Atlantic Canada).

    If you have any tips on setting up an economical irrigation solution, I am all ears!!

  364. Molly on

    We have a fairly big home garden and full time (or more) jobs. But can’t eat all the veggies it produces. So a few years ago we started trading out veggies for flowers. We’ve even been able to plan for and produce buckets of flowers for a few friends weddings.
    So, I can appreciate how much effort it takes to do it on a scale like yours.
    We just need help in organizing and learn how to even out the work load. Instead of four overwhelming garden events…planting, weeding, weeding, and picking.
    So, we are thrilled to try some of your varieties, love the calendar completely, and can’t wait to see, in depth, how you make your farm work.
    Your blog blizzard is going above and beyond, and completely inspiring! You give me hope that the good guys finish first. Thank you!

  365. Jennifer Adkins on

    Please correct spelling in earlier comment…..should read “Eastern”, Ky.,…..lets not add to the stereotype, stupid autocorrect :)

  366. Christina on

    Hi Erin. I was so excited to sit down and dig into your February Blog Blizzard series. You never cease to amaze me in the cleverness of your sharing and your ability to create community. I think I have read back through most of your blog post and will often do a search when I have question- so this is a great resource and gift to many. Thank you. My current interest are rose planting (amendments and technique), harvesting and care.

  367. Erin on

    Hi Erin!
    You are always inspiring, but you totally hit home with this post. I started growing flowers in earnest last year after watching a friend grow zinnias. My amazing husband and that dear friend helped me plant and grow over 600 row feet of zinnias to give away- friends, neighbors, nursing homes, fast food drive throughs, you name the place, we gave them flowers! It was amazingly fun, but I am a stay at home mom of 3 littles all under the age of 5. At times I would get so frustrated at the lack of time to spend in the garden. However, I ‘m so grateful for these babies and know they come first. So glad to hear from someone on the other side if the diapers! This year, we are branching out and trying more varities (and succession planting). You are such an inspiration and a happy place on the web! Thank you-for everything. You bring a smile to my face each and every time I read your blog. Cannot wait for your book! Sending a big hug to you and all the Floret crew!

  368. Natanya P. Enchanted Oaks on

    This post was so helpful! I am currently on the way to interview my local florists to see what feedback I can get. Your questions really hit home and echoed my own feelings and thoughts. I am interested in expanding past my own personal flower usage, but want to make sure there’s a demand. At the encouragement of family and friends I am taking a huge step and your posts have really solidified my quest! Thank you! ♡♡♡

  369. Jackie on

    I have a farm and was hesitant to read this ‘beginner’ post. But, as always, glad I did! I appreciate the section about ‘How much time and energy do you have?’ and also the bit about the year you first expanded to 2 acres (again, a ‘time and energy’ thing). I look forward to hearing more about time management with young children!

  370. Brittany G. on

    Love reading the blog posts! I’m a personal home gardener. I like to Mix my cutting flowers into my regular beds but I’d like to start a cutting only garden now that we’re moving to a house with more acreage.

    Thanks for all the good tips! Now I just have to figure out this whole water drip system that you mentioned for my dahlias.

  371. Lauren on

    This is so spot on! We can all drool over your pictures and order away thinking we will grow the same gorgeous blooms wherever we are, but the issues you raise are so important. I love having cut flowers but right now my veggies take up most of my space. I will tuck these where I can but really, where are they all going to go? Can’t wait to dig in and do the prep work, including measuring space, amending soil, and timing the plantings. Taking the time to plan now will eliminate the risk of disappointment in six months. Thank you for opening up about your journey and sharing it with us. The time you take to write and share means someone you will never meet is going to bed on this cold February night dreaming about walking out into a summer dusk to take pictures of your lovely flowers’ descendants growing in their backyard and hope they look, smell and feel as beautiful as your pictures promise. Keep spreading the joy!

  372. Paige on

    Thank you so much for posting! My fiance and I will be planting an acre of cut flowers this year, and your posts, site and farm are incredibly appreciated and inspiring!

  373. Tina on

    Thank you so much for the information and experience you are sharing.
    I am gardening in the Netherlands. I am growing flowers for several years but still learning :-)This coming season I am renting some more space just for experimenting with new sorts.

  374. Carrie on

    Like everyone else, I want to THANK YOU for your generosity of time, and sharing your knowledge! I am just starting out so I have been pouring over books and everything I can find on your sight. We bought a quaint property out in the country near Vancouver, WA last summer that looks like it belongs in a Country Living magazine (kudos to the previous owners and all of their hard work!) We have about 3 acres that slope, but the bottom acre is relatively flat. I’m not sure if we’ll end up terracing or what, but we have enough flat space to get started. Is a half an acre too ambitious for a beginner? I am an artist (oil painter), who has had to put the paintbrushes on the shelves as I’ve been raising my three small children. I have always loved gardening, but realize my flowers are always my best crop, because I give them the most TLC. The artist in me just loves to grow them for beauty’s sake, and to share that beauty with others. In the last couple of years cancer has touched our small family (but we are in remission!) and as a stay-at-home mom, I am motivated to help bring in some extra needed income. It’s been great to be reminded by seasoned veterans like you to start small and let your business grow. (I almost always bite off more than I can chew). I would love to see more information about planting schedules, which plantings can be staggered, which types of flowers should be grown in larger quantities to have a well rounded, profitable variety on your farm. Other information that would be helpful is the marketing of flowers. How do you approach florists or grocery store chains? How do you talk pricing when you are a begginer and have NO CLUE. I am super intimidated by this. I would love to take a workshop but by the time I discovered you, they were full for this upcoming year. I will be eagerly awaiting the chance to register for next years’ workshops! Thank you, again for all the helpful info and gorgeous, inspiring photos to drool over! I might just have to bust back out those paints ; ).

  375. Sarah on

    Hi Erin! I’m a floral designer from Maine and have been dreaming of growing for a long time. Your blog has been very informative and inspiring…so many things have hit home for me! I left my job as a designer to be a full time stay at home mom for a few years. This list will be a perfect starting point for getting my thoughts and capabilities in line for future growing. My one struggle remaining is “when”. I am currently thinking I will try out a few different seeds each year for the next few years to start getting my hands into it and then once my daughters are in school I can go full scale. This is hard as part of me wants to just dive in and, like you, do it ALL right NOW. Any advice on how slow or fast to get started? Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to our comments…I don’t know how you get it all done!

  376. Amanda on

    Keep going Erin!!!! You are on the right track! Keep writing. This is gold!!!

    Amanda (mom of two boys and a weedy garden)

  377. Carly on

    Cheers to all that is spring planning and the perpetual optimism this time of year holds for growers?
    On a personal note I so appreciate the reminders and tips for effective planning (both physical bed mapping as well as successive planting schedules)–trying to improve on that end so I always appreciate the advice and observations you share.
    Also, you’re prompt to think about why we grow flowers—I’m sure we all would be well served to really consider this (soul consider as well as business consider!) and when I cone up with a succinct answer on that one you better believe it’s getting tacked up on the workshop wall. So important to remember when overwhelmed by August heat and chaos.
    Lastly, always appreciate advice on season extention here in still snow covered Montana
    Thank you for sharing and for growing this community of growers/designers.

  378. Sally on

    lurking. enjoying. keep going.

  379. Kristen on

    I have a quick question about what kind of containers you can use for arrangements. In your resources section of this website you show how to make a beautiful arrangement using an old tin can. Should a person worry about lining it with something so the water doesn’t get rusty? Does that affect the water quality at all? Same with any sort of wood container. I have a bunch of wooden containers I could use but I am afraid of either ruining the container or making the water really gross and affecting the vase life of the flowers. Do you know of a product or way to line different shapes and sizes of containers to avoid any damage to the flowers or the container. Thanks!

    • Floret on

      You can tuck plastic liners into metal containers or wooden containers–or any vessel that otherwise isn’t water tight. Re-using clean yogurt tubs or various sizes of deli containers can work great for this!

  380. Frances on

    Thanks for blogging on this subject! Here in Cincinnati we have a wonderful climate for peonies and dahlias. I look forward to your future posts. AND I love your Instagram pictures!!!

  381. Xenia on

    Thank you for sharing your time and information with us. I look forward to more.

  382. Sarah Barkhouse on

    Hi Erin,
    I’m always so taken aback by how openly and generously you share your experience with us all! Thank You so very much!
    This makes my 10th year as a flower farmer and 5th season running my own cut-flower farm. I ask myself and answer the questions you posed practically every day… but I live in denial of the truth until June 1st hits. It’s usually at that point have a temporary breakdown because of how overwhelmed I am! My partner and I each have full time jobs along with raising our pre-school daughter and toddler son (sound familiar?!)but nevertheless, I continue to make big plans each year- grow more, take on more weddings, new accounts etc… The pull is too strong and the income is so neccessary.
    The thing I struggle with the most is like you said about not having to do it all Right Now. Having started a small-scale successful business, there’s the fear that any loosening of the reigns and all of my hard work will slip away, never to come back! Even though our life is insane 7 months of the year (bed at midnight, no time for decent meals, cleaning house or quality family time), I still feel like I have to try because if this ins’t my time, I’m scared there will never BE another time. (I’m pretty sure I’m giving you the textbook definition of ‘insanity’ right now! Ugg.) I would love to hear your thoughts on how you decided to “go-big” verse scaling down to fit with you time contraints and family life. Each year I feel like I come closer to having to choose between trying to make the flower farm my full-time work or cutting it back to be more of a “hobby” and accepting my place in the 9-5.

  383. Marzy on

    Yes, there are lots of comments here, but you asked for them so here we go. I am a avid follower of your writings. They are so informative and delightful to read. So honest….but in regards to this specific post, it is wonderful and to the point. You have listed real concerns that real people need to think about before getting started. So basic and realistic! Thanks……….M

  384. Cate on

    I am a hobby gardener, just growing flowers for my own home & pleasure. My sunniest small plot gets direct southern sun all day, abuts the house and gets quite hot (zone 6). When I first started I planted too many perennials there (and spent too much money doing it) but over the last couple of years I’ve discovered that a few dollars of seeds fills up that space much better with zinneas, sunflowers, cosmos and a few other gems. I’m going to venture into more dahlias this year as well. Thanks for your lovely blog, photos & inspiration!

  385. Faith Anne Pitts on

    I am excited to learn from this series! I am hoping to have some home grown blooms to be able to use in my floral business.

    I ordered a bunch of your seeds (I was so excited!) without answering most of the questions below. I’m totally intimidated and they are still sitting in their packets on my kitchen counter. I live in Texas where it gets HOT and have a mostly shaded backyard that is overrun by rambunctious retrievers. They have trampled most of our landscaping. I think to be able to have any luck I am going to have to start with some pots that the dogs can’t trample and that I can move from the sun to the shade when the days get over 100 degrees.

    I am a total newbie so I am excited to learn from all of your knowledge! Thank you for sharing! :)

  386. Madeline on

    Time and Energy!! I know that most of your followers are young women with children at home. My husband and I are in our early sixties and starting our 4th season on a half acre in Pennsylvania. Our weekly customers are 2 florists, a specialty food store, one farmers market and a restaurant (we trade 2 large arrangements for delicious French pastries). One thing that we need to be conscious of is how far we can push ourselves without doing harm. In spring and fall we can spend the whole day in the flower beds. But, when summer heat and humidity hit, we’ve learned to scale back to just 2-3 hours. Even if it means letting the weeds grow. Knowing our physical limits is so important; and hiring some young people to help sometimes works too!

  387. Karin on

    Holy cow look at all of these comments!

    First I’ll start with a mini question that’s more curiosity than anything. What’s the first farm thing you do when you wake up? Basically you have one thing that you seem to do every day no matter what? I feel that it would be the equivalent of asking what morning habits highly successful farmers have to best get started or motivate themselves to move on with the day and not dally around. (I may or may not be inclined to dilly dally over things to avoid freezing in the dark morning outside and may or may not need a way to fix that -wink, wink.)

    Okay, here’s my biggest question: Expansion.

    You already covered it on the Design Sponge series, but I am planning a lot of volume, it’s coming! I don’t know how much help plan for when I hire, or the “best personality types” for certain field jobs. I have always been a one woman show. I think a great lesson would be seeing a “mock schedule” of how many people it would take to run two days from cut to delivery and their roles ( what kind of volume that would cover -xx bunches xx stores). It’s a tall order to request.

    Maybe a simpler question to start with would be: For what tasks do you hire others and what jobs can you handle yourself without being overloaded? Mostly in regards to field work.

    Side Note: I am not yet overloaded with paperwork now, only because I let some other time consuming projects go for the moment. I will eventually need a wonderful back office crew like you have. If I do I will do a happy dance because that’s a milestone in itself to need that kind of help!
    :D Also, my own “Copter Chris” has a full time job right now as Chris once did, so I cannot really include him in my daily routine either. Bummer. I want my awesome guy by my side too!

    XO Erin
    and… it may take me a week to go through and learn from the previous comments and your answers. I hope this isn’t a repeat question.

    • allison on

      amazing questions!!!! I second all of this!

  388. Elizabeth on

    You are absolutely on the right track! Growing flowers from seed for me is kind of like making a pie crust from scratch – very intimidating. I am really looking forward to the rest of the series and I thank you for taking the time to teach us.

  389. Kelley Simmons on

    I am super thrilled with this post! I live in Maine and decided to spend a year exploring and teaching myself growing flowers from seed….if I can manage it and love it then I’ll branch out into flower farming “for real.
    As the mom of a 3 and 4 yr old I loved the point about time and how to manage everything (looking forward to that post :-)
    thanks again for the wealth of knowledge….

  390. laurie on

    Great questions! Last year I went from a little pretty cottage garden where I would wander through and pick pretty little flowers to a productive intensive garden. What I found hard was the difference between picking beautiful little bouquets where imperfection is okay to picking masses upon masses of sweet peas and just chucking the imperfect ones on the ground. The beauty of one plant versus a hundred is a bit of mind shift.
    You have such a great site. Thank you so much for sharing!

  391. Emily on

    I found you and your site just in time! I am a young farmer starting out on new land. We have a little over 1.5 acres and a nice patch that gets ample sunlight for flowers. My partner will be focusing on the organic vegetable operation, and I am looking to take on flowers galore! We will be selling at a local farmer’s market and hopefully to some of the restaurants and other retailers in our area (Hudson Valley). I am very new to flowers. But, I am very enthusiastic about them, and I have a bit of experience making bouquets and arrangements. I have spent the past week compiling a seed order for the flowers that I am in the process of refining. I do hope to order some seed from you as well. This series of posts sounds like it will be perfect for me, and I am so grateful that you are taking the time to share all of our your knowledge with the world wide web!

  392. Anna on

    Thank you so much for this post! Can’t wait for all the next ones!
    I am a mom of a toddler and another in the way (in June- figures, huh?) in Northern Virginia, and while I have little experience in gardening I’ve just chosen this year as my year to dive into growing my own cutting garden in my (fortunately) super-long front yard. We will see how it goes! I’ve been crazy drawn to flower farming for a while now and I just can’t shake it- I HAVE to do this! I’m aware though that the hardest part for me, like a lot of other commenters on here, is the time and energy problem especially while dealing with little ones. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on that.

  393. Shannon on

    Thank you for so generously sharing all of your knowledge. It is, quite frankly, a breathe of fresh air.
    As a first generation farmer for nearly 23 years, I would love to know how you find the time to do all that needs to be done on your farm? Something I have always struggled with as there only are so many hours in a day…

  394. Andrea Heffernan on

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart, soul, and hard-earned insight with us! I moved from LA to just outside of Portland with a small farm and have dreamed of growing flowers in abundance! I also have 4 kids ages 8, 6, 3, and 1, whom I homeschool, making those dreams difficult to realize. So much of me feels like I need to do this NOW, and I know I physically can’t because of lack of time and energy. I remember reading that you Homeschooled and I wonder how did you do it? Is it something I should just hold off on them to avoid those tear-filled sessions among the weedy flower beds?? But, the flowers call!

    Thank you, again! You and your team are amazing!

  395. Heather Korger on

    I’m so excited for this!! I’ve always loved flowers and I can’t wait to put this into to use this spring. By the way, I have a 2 year old daughter named Erin ❤ It’s such a beautiful name.

  396. Joy Alberts on

    Erin- I just recently discovered Floret and am just smitten! You have tons of comments to read so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Our seeds are sitting on my kitchen table and I can’t wait to get them started, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience.

  397. mclean.joanna on

    Eeek! I’m so excited! Ive been so tempted to start my own mini cut flower farm in our backyard but have needed guidance. I have a toddler and preschooler so was very encouraging to read that you started as a young mom too! I secretly want to be in the business of flowers but have no idea how that idea will ever come to fruition:) Anyway, I live in central California where it is very hot especially considering our yard has very little shade. I need help finding flowers that like a lot of hot sun and not a lot of water. I look forward to your posts. Thanks so much for a very timely topic in my life that is close to my heart!

  398. allison on

    Sweet Erin!
    Thank you again for being so willing to open up and share with the community of fellow flower lovers! I feel like I need to constantly return to the why of what I do, remembering the “north star” of my purpose and vision. This article was a gentle reminder…What I do, what we all do, is unique in that we all bring our own personal signature to our own brand of flower stories. . Instead of getting bogged down with comparison and envy, I remind myself to continually choose the joy and ” why” of what I do and giving voice to what makes my heart beat a little faster. You seem to offer a beautiful reset and a gentle reminder that we all share a love of returning to nature. No matter if it’s 2 acres, 20 acres of a few pots on the back deck….there’s a power in the beauty of being able to grow things and I feel lucky to be on of many stewards of the soil.

  399. Madelene Sutton on

    Hi, Im reading this from Australia, and all the questions you ask are exactly perfect for me right now. I know I need to sort the water, we are on 10 acres but I still need to remind myself of this. I have the first section of paddock fenced off to start with shelter trees and then eventually native shrubs & bushes and finally flowers and vegetables over the next couple of years.
    Love your work and now I will endeavour to read more often. I definitely would like to buy seeds, although I know I can get seeds here.
    We are in central Victoria. Clear four seasons. 800m above sea level. Average 900mm rain annually. Frost prevelant! Summers can get quite hot. Pourous Volcanic Soil.
    Great Potato growing country, vineyards etc

  400. Denise on

    Thanks so much for this post! I’m finally getting better at keeping things alive after years of having a black thumb, and this post is so very helpful.

  401. Kim on

    Taking time to think of my wants and needs this year and this came to me in perfect timing.
    I have followed your little tidbits and have been successful however..time…
    My dream as always is to someday grow everything I need for a full time studio or retail shop.
    You are an inspiration. Love this post!

  402. Mindi Bruckhart on

    I’m so excited to read your upcoming blog posts. Thank you for all the time and energy you put into it! Last year was my first year growing cut flowers and selling arrangements! I consider you a mentor and a friend. Thanks for sharing!!

  403. Shelly on

    Appreciate you so much! Thank you for this list of questions to help me focus during this off-season time of year when I am feeling a little lost. Trying to decide what and when to plant but feeling nervous that plans will fall short of hopes. This list is helping me set some things aside and set some realistic goals. THANK YOU!

  404. Helen on

    Erin et.al.,

    Thank you x a million for this series – can’t wait! Just one request – will you make sure to write in specific, relative terms about sowing and transplanting (i.e., 2 weeks before last frost instead of “in April”) so we can translate your knowledge to our zones? Thanks so much forever and ever.

  405. Maureen on

    Thank you Erin! I look forward to more information about the soil, raised beds and irrigation. This will be my first year of growing and I have being reading and planning. I have 1 acre available for planting this year, but I may plant less. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! I am looking forward to attending the Farming Intensive course in September.

  406. Carla on

    Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge. I’ve been a home flower gardener for a long time but only began to grow specifically for cutting in the last couple of years. I’ve recently retired and I’m looking forward to devoting even more time to my cutting garden. Your own story has inspired me to grow and share my bouquets with others! I love your design style and I’m looking forward to the book you are writing. “Fresh from the Field Wedding Flowers” was instrumental in showing me how to create the bouquets, bouts and table arrangements I made for my daughter’s wedding. Your series of February posts is very exciting! Thanks!

  407. Ginny on

    Erin, I have been following you for the past year and you are truly an inspiration! I am a self-employed horticulturist and have been for 35 years, but always working as a personal gardener for other people. After raising 3 children on my own, restoring a 105 year old farmhouse, and with 10 acres of land I have bought, I am going to grow flowers for weddings, seasonal bouquets and however else I can sell them. This is my “retirement” job. We have a long growing season here in Zone 8 but incredible heat in the summer months! I would love to one day attend one of your workshops and meet you. Please continue to write, uplift and inspire!

  408. Ann on

    If you could comment on what I harvest from season to season and how to appropriately store that as well, I would really appreciate it!

  409. Ann on

    I’m wondering about the viability of seed from a previous season? What is the best way to store your leftovers? Not speaking so much of things I harvest myself , but seed packets purchased elsewhere. Is it foolish to place too much time energy and space into their reproduction? Thanks!

  410. Kirstie on

    Hi Erin.


    I, Kirstie, am a lurker.

    I love your blog Erin and am really looking forward to more of these posts. I have a teeny tiny garden (which currently looks more like a building site) and I’m thinking of trying to grow a couple of interesting varieties in tubs this year to supplement my floral designs. I’m in the South West of England and lucky to have a few really great flower growers locally so there’s no pressure to get it perfect this year but I’d really like to give something a go!

    I find it really hard to find nice vines from the market and from my local growers so I’m thinking of trying cup and saucer vine – Suzanne of the Blue Carrot gave me a baby one last year but I was very naughty and neglected it. If you have any suggestions for things to try in tubs, that would be wonderful, I’m also planning to plant some larger shrubs so any suggestions for pretty foliage would be very gratefully received.

    You are an inspiration Erin.


  411. Lauren on

    Hi Erin! I loved this list of questions–thank you for putting them together, and for always being so generous with your knowledge. I know I’m reitierating everyone else when I say that you are an inspiration, but it’s true! I started gardening with my Grandma, and then my Dad, and now I have my own, where I was very slowly exploring new flower varieties and what might work for my yard–but ever since I discovered your blog two years ago it’s been a rapid shift into becoming a crazy flower lady (and in my early twenties, no less!). The things I think I would like to hear more about are timing of flowers–how to succession plant well, so that there aren’t big gaps of dying plants and babies, and what to plant over what (I get stuck on whether or not it’s okay to plant over bulbs/anenomes/etc.). I would also like to hear more about–if you ever think about it–what plants are both beautiful and serve our pollinators! I have a great wildflower mix that I love and have lots of echinacea, bee balm and lavendar in my garden, but if there are other things I could be doing to entice the local bee/butterfly/bird populations I’d welcome suggestions. Also, I’m a gardener in Portland, OR.

  412. Sheila Clark on

    Erin, thank you for all of your inspiration. Over 20 years ago I planted my first patch of flowers. I sold a few at work and gave many away. We had a small plot of land and raised my two kids there for 7 years. We moved into a neighborhood and each year my dream of owning a flower farm blooms, takes seed and flowers. My fulltime job is in law enforcement and it drains me many days. I still love my job but find myself returning to your site time and time again to fertilize my dream. My son is 19 and daughter is 16 now and my dream of the farm is revving up for my retirement from law enforcement at age 50 in just a few short years. Next year we will begin to search for our forever home, the flower farm my dream of dreams. The most recent blog asked why do I want to be a flower farmer. That is one of the most important questions to me. I have witnessed and experienced so many sad things with my job that I yearn to see people smile, to see people be happy to see me, to sooth my own soul and add sunshine to people’s days. I try to do that now with encouraging words and lots of compassion but at the end of the day, I’m emotionally spent. SO WHY DO I WANT TO BE A FLOWER FARMER? To realize my destiny and to change the course of my life, to start a new book that is filled with warm summer days, chickens, flowers, my dog Oscar and peace! THanks again….

  413. Laura on

    These are indeed very important questions! When I read the title, I thought you’d be asking questions like “what kind of soil do you have?” — that’s me getting ahead of myself and you’re right — need to figure out my motivation and goals FIRST. I was just about to bite off more than I can chew. Thank you!!

  414. Jo on

    Hi Erin,
    Grateful for all you share and so happy you are offering seeds now!
    I am in Santa Cruz, CA. and I grow flowers for my own happiness/ sanity. I have a sweet pea question. Since I’m in zone 9, I’ve already planted one round of sweet peas that are in the ground already , and then last week sowed the 3 varieties of sweet peas I ordered from Floret in 4″ pots. I tried planting Nimbus seeds from another grower with my first batch, and though all the other varieties germinated great, not a single Nimbus seed grew. Now with your seeds I have almost 100% germination with the Mollie Rillstones and Oban Bay, but again, not a single Nimbus has sprouted. Any ideas? Does that variety need something special to germinate? Thanks!!! Jo

  415. Natalie on

    Hello Erin
    Thank you so much for all your generosity in sharing your useful information I noticed in the photo a grid which I assume is for stem support I would love to hear more about this I ordered a packet so seeds but really excited about the dahlias coming in.

  416. plantmut on

    Also any info on how to keep out deer. Don’t know if you have deer like we do here in Virginia.

  417. plantmut on

    Thank you (do you get tired of all the thank you ??) for all you do to help others. I am trying to get up and running this year. My questions as people have already stated are related to the business end. Did you grow a full season to see if you could do it before committing to a farmers market or florist? How do you approach a florist? How do you start the wedding side?

    I feel ok with the growing part except I have never tried to do any succession growing. Do you use a calendar or something on the computer?

  418. Helen on

    Hi Erin,

    this is a great series of blogs. I’m intrigued and inspired by your whole business model and have plenty of questions, but will try to ask only a sensible few!

    I’m based in South West England which is fairly mild – so OK there – and the growing season spans from April (Spring bulbs, blossom, etc) through to October.

    I’m very lucky that we own our flower farming land and it adjoins our house, so it’s easy to pop out and spend every spare second, sowing, potting on, planting out and, hopefully, harvesting. With a grown-up daughter and a very supportive husband, flower time is good, but there’s never quite enough.

    I’m entering my second year as a grower and am getting to grips with a planting plan to make better use of the space, what to plant where and when – no doubt there’ll still be the odd surprise popping up during the Summer! I have a 2 acre plot, of which I’m only using a 50m x 50m area at the moment. My husband, John, prepared 12 lovely raised beds last year – while wearing a monster boot for his torn achilles tendon!

    Questions –
    How do you prepare your beds?
    Do you use any raised beds?
    What is the purpose of the grid I can see on the beds in your photos?

    As for ‘Why do I grow flowers’? To be outdoors, to see tiny seeds become beautiful blooms and to deliver something that carries a message into so many lives for so many different reasons – everyday.

    It’s hard work, but nothing else comes close.

  419. Annette Crawford on

    Thank you Erin for posing these important questions for us to consider. I have been an avid organic gardener and beekeeper for many years in Boulder County, Colorado. I always thought I would not have the opportunity to be a farmer in this lifetime but then I saw your story in Martha Stewart and realized it is never too late to follow your heart! I have an oversized lot in a lovely neighborhood with a huge south facing yard and well established garden that has grown lots of vegetables and forests of sunflowers over the past 13 seasons depending on the year and my level of inspiration. (Learned my lesson about letting sunflowers go wild!) I plan to cut 6 beds out of the lawn this spring to expand my growing area. I also have a small greenhouse where I can start seeds etc. I need to purchase some equipment and supplies such as seed starting mats, low tunnels, weed cloth, mesh and drip watering system. Can you recommend sources for these supplies? I’m still working but the kiddos are grown and gone (well sort of they are never really gone LOL!). I have 4 growing seasons to figure things out before I can retire and grow flowers full time. I’m hoping by then to be fairly well established. I’m lucky that my hubby Tim is on board as well and we have a full wood shop in the garage so we can build just about anything we need. I’d love to hear a story about the early years of cultivating customers and how you learned to be a sales woman as well as a flower farmer. I have so much to learn but I am looking forward to the journey! All the information you share is so much appreciated, thank you!

  420. jillian on

    Thank you for starting this blog saga- I work for a small organic garden center in CT and we are seeking out alternative outlets for our gift shop– we see opportunity in cut flowers and I’d like to start a weekly share from flowers grown on our very small piece of land that we currently use as perennial demonstration gardens. Incorporating annuals in our small space would be a way to ensure constant blooms for regular bouquet shares and any help along the way is very appreciated. Thank you!

  421. Christopher on

    I got very excited reading this first post, so THANK YOU! This will be my first year growing cut flowers on a larger scale for my budding floral design business and I’m using you as my go to guide. I’ve been gardening my whole life, but I really want maximise my space and flower yield. I also have a shorter growing season (zone 5, Portland Maine) so any advice for getting a jump on the flower season would be helpful. I look forward to this blog blizzard and all the information you have to share, thank you again!

  422. Lacey Jay Allred on

    Hello Erin,

    Budding flower farmer here in Oregon, on my second season and purchased seeds from you this year. So excited that you have seeds, offer such great resources and that your fields are so vibrant.

    I am wondering if I could get a little advice on seed starting. My question is around not having a greenhouse this year, as I have in previous farming years, and am going to build small seeding area outside my house. I unfortunately only have one large heating mat and am wondering in your experience if you think this will be a problem for germination??

    They are pretty pricy for me and feeling nervous that I can create the warmth they need with one mat, loads of trays and being outside?? Any advice would be so helpful.

    Lacey Jay

  423. Samantha Rothman on

    I’m really excited for these posts. I like all the effort you put into planning and being organized – the business end of things (there’s lots of growing “instructions” for plants, but little for growing your business and family… without going insane). My husband and I sent 18 months renovating an old mansion from the 1800’s – it is a crazy big old house with a wonderful yard that I have set on turning into a flower farm. We have an easy acer of growing space for rows and an additional 1.5 or so for a permaculture design to incorporate with the landscape. My husband was recently laid off from his corporate job and I’ve spend the last seven years starting/ running a non-profit (Grow It Green Morristown … http://www.growitgreenmorristown.org) that runs NJ’s largest school garden. I’ve been wanting a farm of my own for a long, long time – and this is as close as I’m going to get, so I’m going to “bloom where I’m planted”. Please keep posting about the business part too – everything from packaging, office help, starting off, etc. Thanks for sharing this all!

  424. Britney on

    My husband and I just bought our first house and after seeing your article in Martha Stewart Living. I have decided to give a flower farming my very best! I have been a lot of research but I am still confused by all the lingo. I think the most helpful tips would be a Glossary of flower farming terms.

  425. Kati Barnes on

    I love this series! This was extremely helpful for me. I ask myself these questions literally every day. I live in South Carolina an always worry about the very hot summer months. The good thing is we have a long growing season. I planted 150 bulbs in a flower bed I made by my house. We will see how it turns out this spring ! I have acess to 800 acers with 100 of that currently farmable land, but that’s 45 minutes away! With a full time job and a baby on the way it’s hard to find the time. I’m starting to order seeds for the spring and this post help me to realize that I need to calm down a little and start smaller. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience, reading your blog is my favorite way to end the day :)

  426. Julie on

    Hi Erin. We moved from the suburbs of Perth and bought 3 acres in the south west of Western Australia in a pretty dairy town called Harvey. We are building a small home and we have chickens and I have a horse. I have been dreaming of growing rows and rows of sweet peas like you and have been collecting seeds of all the varieties I can find. But it’s very very windy here at times and the ground is clay and very hard. We have plenty of water and lots of space but I’m discouraged already. I read your blog with a hungry heart for flowers that I’m dreaming of growing. It’s like a deep yearning. Xxxx Julie

  427. Anna Angelo @ Flower Hen Farm on

    Thank you for doing this! I have been growing flowers on a small scale, we have a small roadside stand at the end of our lane where we sell bouquets along with our produce, but I would love to expand and improve the assortment of flowers I can offer my customers. I am really looking forward to learning some new ideas and tips for production on a somewhat larger scale. We have 10 acres where we currently raise chickens, angora goats, two milk cows and have a good size vegetable garden and I am considering turning part of our hay field into a larger flower garden.

  428. Stephanie on

    Erin! Great questions and thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I’m a home gardener and I always have trouble remembering how much space I actually have, how much work it is to prepare a new bed, and that right now I don’t have the umph to start seed indoors so I should only order direct sow seeds. :) This post is a great reminder.

  429. Ann Marie O'Leary on

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post. Perfect timing for me, as I am about to start growing flowers for cutting in the garden at my Studio. I am a complete novice – except for Sweet Peas…!
    My goal is to have beautiful indigenous blooms to add to designs & workshops.
    Currently I have to order all my flowers from Holland & it breaks my heart.
    Would you believe, no one grows flowers commercially in Ireland…!
    I will follow every post & truly do find your business & life an inspiration.

  430. MaryBeth on

    WOW! so impressed with the comments and can say that I have been pondering many of the same questions from your blog as well as those posted by your followers. I, too, am starting a small cut-flower business this year after 30+ years as a Speech Language Pathologist – and feel a bit swamped with the planning and preparing required to start in just a few weeks. Living in zone 7A provides a variety of temps to consider – and recently it seems the rain has either come in downpours or not at all! Sooooo much to learn and get ready before sowing those first seeds in late April! Information on the following would be very helpful: 1)spacing/underplanting/succession planting 2)best way to keep weeds at bay 3) drip irrigation vs overhead/sprinkler irrigation when needed 4)harvesting and holding blooms for max display 5) fertilizing 6) critter containment to keep them away (mice, voles, rabbits, birds, possums, deer, etc – and even a few bears!) 7)marketing and pricing to local merchants 8) most important tasks to do at the end of the growing season to get ready for the next.

    Okay, that’s enough from me ;-) thanks so verrrrry much for your willingness to share information with all of us wanna-bees and almost-theres….hope you know that you are growing much more than flowers with your farm !

  431. Diane Miller on

    Loved the post. Learned a lot in that small amount of information.
    What type of compost do you recommend and how many inches do you add to the plot?
    Thank you for always sharing your endeavours! It’s appreciated more than you can imagine. Cheers

  432. Laura Pickens on

    I would love a blog on spacing. What spacing you use for your farm, and how big your rows are, pathways, etc. :)

  433. Mindy on

    Like with all of your content, products, and services, you are a very conscientious business leader in the flower farming industry! Your words have a way of connection like I am sitting next to you listening to you speak. That is special! What I found most helpful in this article was the time, commitment and energy question. While starting this venture as a full-time college student, I have found those days where I feel absolutely drained and stuck. Those tough days lead you to question and most of the time answer the WHY? behind our venture, whether for hobby or income. I am so excited about these posts. As always, well-done!

  434. Shayla on

    What are the hoops that are in many of your photo’s? Are they to pull frost protection over your flowers if needed, or a water supply? I’m starting a cutting garden this year, to supplement what I’m hoping will be a busy wedding season for me. I’m planning out several beds but live in Calgary, AB so don’t have the longest growing season.

  435. Pam on

    Erin: Thank you for sharing all that you have experienced. Your comments follow right along with the ‘Starting Your Sustainable Farm’ course I am taking through http://www.cultivatingsuccess.org/ . Our first session centered around goals and assessments. I would like to share SMART Goal setting. S=Specific M=Measurable A=Attainable R=Relevant T=Time-Bound. GOALS are dynamic and should be reviewed often. I look forward to the rest of your postings.
    p.s. Map your space

  436. Tara on

    What a wonderful post, looking forward to the entire series. You are so generous with your knowledge. I’m just starting out on 4 acres of land. I read all your posts they are all informative and inspirational. And honest!! Thanks for sharing!!

  437. Katie on

    I have a small 1/3 acre garden (with house, driveway, play lawn, and two huge shade trees) so being honest about my actual growing space is crucial. I am greatly anticipating each blog post, hoping to maximize the amount of cut flowers I can grow, for my own enjoyment and for giving away.

  438. Bobbi Davis on

    Love love love this post. I have been dying for some tips from you on where to begin. I cannot wait to get my seeds in and put some of these wonderful tips to use!

  439. Gill on

    Hello Erin. I have a small North facing garden in England. I love flowers and grow them from seed to cut for my home. All my seed is started indoors on windowsills; the plants just go wherever I have space in the borders. I never imagined I could produce so many flowers from such a small space. I’ll be reading your posts for ideas and inspiration for my own garden.

  440. JENNIFER on

    Ecstatic and on board with pen and paper in hand! Excellent and on spot questions to start this series Erin. We are in the infrastructure stages of the business and farming pieces currently and looking to go full steam with starting seeds ( purchased from Floret), getting beds & hoop houses ready for spring cultivation and harvest for our floral CSA and weddings.
    I’ve gardened all my life but now will be doing it intensively on two of our 5 acres in zone 5 pushing zone 6. We have farm animals on the other acreage otherwise it would be planted…it might get encroached on.

    I will be looking to glean insight about amending soil and fertilization techniques along with starting seeds and all its intricacies and how to do this starting in an unheated house or inside my home for now.
    Details for layout of beds, hoop houses & low tunnels along with recommendations of what and where to purchase these materials would be so helpful. I’m also trying to sort out what needs to go inside a hoop house versus low tunnel or open field.

    Any and all info on succession planting with timing of different flowers and when to replace with another through the growing season. I will try to keep things blooming from June to October.

    We are fully irrigated from canal which feeds into our pond and currently we have in ground raised field sprinklers. My husband and I are trying to figure out the logistics of how to do the drip off of this system so that its not plugged up.

    We have about 1/4 acre yard area surrounding our home outside of pastures that has large Ponderosa Pines flanking it. My intent is to plant all the fence line with woody ornamentals, roses, hydrangeas, vines and perennials. Under the somewhat shaded tree areas I hope to use as beds for more shade loving flowers and shrubs. I’ve been contemplating what to do with bulbs and where to put them so not to take up precious area on the 2 acre cut annuals area.

    So many more questions Erin and honestly feeling a little overwhelmed but excited. I will devour every bit you post over this month and look forward to hands on with you and your team in April.

    Many, many thank yous for all the inspiration and insight that you share so abundantly!
    Cheers, Jen

  441. Carmen on

    I’m really looking forward to this series and think it’s very generous of you to share knowledge. In my case, in a year or so I will be buying a property for my ‘forever home’ that I’ve designed and plan also to have some space for a flower garden. This type of information will help me to plan how much space I will need and also help me evaluate the depth of involvement I want to reach for…I know I want a large cutting garden for my home and to be able to gift arrangements to others, but I’ve also been mulling over having a small flower arrangement business when all the kids get to the age that they’re in school. I don’t have any specific questions, I know there’s a lot I don’t know, but right now I just don’t know what I don’t know.

  442. Jenny on


    These posts are so very encouraging. As I’m in the process of garden-planning, I’ve had variations of these topics swirling around in my head, but it was so helpful to have them so thoughtful organized in this post. THANK YOU.

    I grew up gardening in Iowa with my flower-farming mom (bless the 90’s and the dried-floral arrangements) and my soybean & corn farming dad. Life revolved around the farming seasons, and I found that, as an adult, taking care of plants came second nature. Second nature was thrown for a loop when I relocated to Memphis, TN; I’ve been relearning the rhythms of the seasons (or lack thereof) ever since.

    Thank you for your honest, helpful tips! They are very much appreciated!

  443. Emma on

    First blog comment ever in my life, here! Taking you seriously that you want to hear from lurkers…. I am a long time gardener and former farmer (grew too big, too fast and our little family just had to come first, so we changed direction a couple years ago, and I am now contemplating my next steps). Flowers are a vital part of my life, my heart, my joy, and if I farm again, I want it to be from a place of creativity and joy.
    All of my questions are pretty much centered around the family/business balance. How do you do it? Do you homeschool or do your kids attend school? What *did* you do when they were little? I have three children, 8, 6, and nearly 2. From past experience I know if I choose to pursue flower farming in some way, it has to be with my family in mind, as well…
    And, finally, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I have only just discovered your blog, and I can tell I will be spending many hours reading through every last post!

  444. Ria on

    Hi Erin! Since I wasn’t able to get into one of your classes, this is the next best thing! I appreciate you sharing all these information. Thank you very much!

  445. Katie on

    Thank you for this post! These are great questions. Last year was my first year growing flowers and I did pretty well. The growing was more successful than bouquet making as I was unsure how to really create such beautiful bouquets. I had bouquets all over my house and send the extra bouquets to the farmers market with my husband and our vegetables. I got better by the end of the year and learned so much through the entire process. Having a 2 1/2 year old was super challenging. Hoping now that she is older I can devote more time and balance my life to be able to do both motherhood and flower farming.
    Questions: do you crop rotate like vegetables? What are spring flowers, summer and fall and do some flowers follow others better than others? How do you create bouquets that look beautiful wrapped in paper for farmers market/grocery stores? Do you harvest every day or do you have scheduled days? How many stems per mixed bouquet? Pricing?

  446. Mary Hegnes on

    Thank you for your post and your blog. I am preparing for retirement and my plan is to have a small cut flower business during the summer months. Your post really helped to to think about what I really want and how much time it is going to take to get this “small” venture off the ground. Thank you so much you can not know how much of an inspiration you are.
    Mary Hegnes

  447. Jessica on

    I am ecstatic about these posts! I happened upon your bblog a year ago and it inspired me to take the leap into starting my business. I have some flower farming experience, as the slave labor of planting, picking and weeding ;-) and some horticulture and florist experience but I have mountains of information to learn. Your willingness to share your failures and successes is so encouraging and inspiring!

    I have a question on spacing. How close can you pack them? It it super important to follow the spacing on the seed packets? I know that it varies for different flowers. Do you have any general tips on this?

  448. RACHEL E HEATH on

    An excellent read. What I am still struggling with is figuring out what flowers specifically will do well or not in containers on my apartment’s balcony.

  449. drea @ morning glory acres on

    I know I already posted, but I just had to add this.. As I was reading thru everyone’s comments and questions, an answer kept popping into my head. If those of you starting out in growing cut flowers would join the ASCFG (Association of Specialty Cut Flowers) you would find the answers to most of your questions! It is a large body of cut flower growers, and there is a searchable discussion forum where is stored years and years of growing wisdom!! You can find answers for almost any question, and if not, ask it, and you will likely get an answer from one of the many helpful members! The ASCFG has made flower farming possible for us!! In our first year, I wasn’t sure if we could afford the yearly fee, but I will say that we have saved ourselves thousands of dollars already, by finding timely answers before we made huge mistakes! The two sites I check every day are the new posts on the ASCFG, and Floret’s blog! ;)

    • plantmut on

      Thank you for saying that. I have the info packet on my kitchen table and that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out….is it worth the price.

  450. Yukie on

    Hi Erin!
    Love your blog and Instagram!
    I’m just a hobby gardener but also a full-time worker so gardening is my sanctuary in weekends.
    But I’m the only gardener in house, so everything has to be done by myself.
    I often get frustrated that I can’t have enough time to go outside and work in my garden, with lots of house chores I can only do in weekends.
    But I figured, it doesn’t make sense to be frustrated with something gives you so much pleasure, life is full of priority and decision making, and balancing as well.

    I agree what you said in this post!
    Even as a hobby gardener in a small city yard and I live in Toronto, Canada, so not much growing season as I want but still I can order so many seeds and plants more than I can tuck them into the ground!

    I try to be sustainable and organic gardener as possible, so I’m interested in what kind of fertilizer or pest control you use.
    In your area I guess it gets so soggy time to time!

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment and probably there are tons of English mistakes as I’m not a native English speaker (I’m from Japan originally)!
    Can’t wait for other posts! Thank you for the inspirations!

  451. Meiska Starner on

    Struck a chord when you mentioned chasing down a toddler while longing to be able to focus on your work. This year my little guy will be 3 while we are working in our garden. Working with small children around presents the greatest challenge, and the greatest opportunity. As we are getting our area ready for Spring, I can see how much my son has changed and is more willing to stay close and is interested in helping. Bittersweet, of course.

    I’m excited about the ‘Blog Blizzard.’ Thanks so much for all you share.

  452. Candice on

    Hi Erin! I think you got your wish about feedback! What an awesome response. My husband and I are looking for property for farming and your advice about the amount of light, etc. will be very helpful in our search and going forward! Thank you?

  453. Mira on

    Thank you Erin for your Blog Posts! I love feeling connected to all these people that love growing flowers. Being the mother of an infant I am especially looking forward to your tips for getting things done without stressing too much. My goal is to share the garden with my daughter and inspire her, but the ‘standing in the garden looking at the weeds and crying’ -so been there!! Thank you again

  454. Kristine Albrecht -Santa Cruz Dahlias on

    Thank you Erin for sharing all you wisdom on growing flowers! We are a lucky bunch of farmers to have your help. Here are some burning questions. Even after years of growing dahlias, I find giving the plants the proper amount of water the most challenging aspect. How do you determine your water needs for dahlias and the other flowers you grow? Also, I see you use a weed block material. Which types of flowers do you use it for? Are just the paths covered? Is it rolled up and reused the next season? Where is a good place to purchase it? What are the pros and cons? Do you have a resource guide? So many questions. Thanks again for all the flower fun and information you give to all of us! I love your blog.

  455. Jana on

    Dear Erin, thank you for all the information you share! With this post I miss detail information, it is quite general, not as how you usually write. I follow you because for me you are the best leader to follow in flower farming for profit. There is a lot of source to seek when you grow just for your own desire, but a little source when you need to learn how to make a profit from growing flowers. So i would be glad if your posts would be aimed for flower farmers at the first place. For me it means to go deep in all the aspects of growing, marketing and so on. I am starting flower growing for profit and information you posted now, are just clear and obvious. But I struggle to figure out “numbers”. How many seeds will take how much space and make how many flowers to sell for example. How to choose seeds company, which one are the best for special varieties, what material to use for polytunels, how to make a good watering system etc. Information about how much space you work with for example are real gold for me, but there is a lot of other question I have.Bussines is a lot about counting i think… please help us learn how to count…which means, share how you count your numbers and we will try to learn how it work for us :)

    At the end please let me write you a feedback concerning the seed sale. I was just there on your webside studying, when you started loading the seeds profiles and I saw them jump up in front of me :) I was really excited and immediately started to choose which I need to have and pray for they could be send abroad to me. I communicated with Jill and it seemed that it is possible. I made my order but since then I didn’t get any message, even when I wrote her again. It’s a month now and I see that this year it didn’t go out, but I am sad that the communication was that way, even when I understand you had a lot of work and doing it for the first time. I am just sad I can’t grow your seeds this year :( I hope that the next year I will be more lucky. Best wishes from Czech republic, and sorry for my english :) Jana

  456. Jillian on

    Thank you for all of your information and the chatter it creates. Farming is lots of work let alone blogging. You are a true inspiration.

    How do you fertilize throughout the season? What method?
    A bit more on succession planting, avoiding that lull in the season
    Bouquet processing//arranging method
    -Do you strip leaves in field or just cut and work everything else under shade?
    – After cutting & before its time for arranging should flowers wait in the cooler to take out the “field heat”? or do they need an hour to hydrate first?–(or is that just woodies)

  457. Lorelie (Australia) on

    I stumbled across your site about 2 months ago & have been soaking up all you’ve shared. Thank you!
    I’ve got a few acres to play with once we move but 2 little ones to look after (my oldest is nearly 2). I’m still very much in the planning stages of deciding what to do with the house garden/yard as well as a paddock out the back where I can plan more of a cut flower patch. I’d like to build up stock & sell seeds, tubers, bulbs, corms etc down the track rather than cut flowers as it’s less time pressured for me, however I want lots of lovely flowers to cut for my house & as gifts – I agree it’s so nice to share the bounty of our gardens with others! ☺️??

  458. Sophie on

    Oh. my. gosh.
    I am so so so excited for this series. Am in my 2nd year growing and just thinking about taking it up a notch or 2!
    Also. My answer to WHY is the same as yours. Im constantly thinking whats next whats next but in my garden I am present,

  459. Pauline on

    Your blog is a constant inspiration.
    I am a fairly successful dahlia grower, I grow them for fun and to share on my blog/Instagram. I have tried sowing seeds directly in the soil, but nothing ever happens. Are the seeds eaten by mice, is the soil (sandy) not good enough?

  460. Ana on

    Just writing to say that you are one of the few bloggers that I love to read. You have such a great enthusiasm. Love to hear any posts from your side!

  461. Gina on

    Just getting my feet wet in my very own flower garden/farm, I am SO looking forward the blog blizzard! I’d love to know more about setting yourself apart as a farmer. Specifically, tips on stretching seasons (successive plantings, hoop house/tunnel use, etc), and more on your planning process!

  462. Callie on

    Thank you Erin. Your wisdom and insight is wonderful and inspiring. I am a mother to triplets and have a love of gardening. This year I am expanding my cut garden to include so many flowers thanks to the inspiration on your Floret site. My goal is to give away flower arrangements to family, friends and co-workers. Flowers bring so much joy to life. I have started seeds and looking forward to (hopefully) a successful season. Thank you for your generous insight!!!!

  463. Deanna on

    Erin! How are we all ever going to thank you for the endless inspiration and generous teaching?! For the first time in 10 years, I’m not buying seeds and planning beds…we’re in the process of buying our forever farm! What you said about knowing when to wait and how to live right now (and embrace these moments when my little people are still so little) really resonates with me. This year for me is all about learning all I can and being patient on the growing. What are your best recommendations for books and blogs about building soil and integrated pest management? Composting? Thanks for this amazing series!!!

  464. Allison DeRungs on

    Beautiful, inspiring, and relevant! I’d like to know more about the biggest barriers you personally experienced to start up your business and how you overcame them. How much did you actually grow those first couple years? How did you do it financially at first? Did your hubs quit his job to run the farm with you? What are must haves in selecting a farm – key learnings from that experience. Thanks Erin and Floret team!

  465. Susan on

    Thanks Erin! Excited for these posts! My questions mirror Andrews (above) and… I have a lot of questions about the use of hoop houses and caterpillar tunnels. How do you choose what flowers to plant in hoophouses. Why? and When? If growing strictly for Farmers Markets and seasonal weddings are hoophouses and tunnels necessary? Will Sweet Peas perform well without being grown in a hoop house. Thanks!

  466. Melody on

    I have read, I think, the entirety of your site in planning for my little urban farming venture I’m getting started, so these new posts are gold to me. I really like hearing of your beginnings. I’m “farming” my yard this year while homeschooling three boys so I’m feeling the stretch already just with preparing the ground and starting seeds!! I would love to hear if you still utilize cover crops or not on your farm. Thank you for this, Erin!

  467. Loren on

    I was so inspired when I first read about your lovely farm and stunning floral design in Martha Stewart Living, and now am so grateful to have rediscovered it through your beautiful and generous blog. My husband and I took the plunge a year and half ago and bought a 7-acre farm in Kansas City city limits because we wanted a lifestyle for us and our two small boys that pushed us to wonder at the beauty and abundance that God knit into those things which come from the earth He made. Now, as we look towards soon-approaching springtime and explore how we will make the most of the land we’ve been given, I couldn’t be more excited that you are sharing your hard-earned wisdom! I have so many sweet memories of creating bouquets as a girl from flowers my mother grew in her garden: mostly roses, but also lavender, gladiolus, sunflowers and sweet peas. For our wedding I sourced flowers (mostly peonies!!) from a local farmer and arranged them with my friends the day before as a way to rest and connect with beauty before the busyness of the big day…the idea of growing and surrounding myself with beautiful blooms sounds so satisfying.
    I’m very interested in the practicals of your planning process…when do you start what? How many in what area? How do you do succession planting? What stays in the ground? What keys have you found for growing specific flowers?
    So appreciate your generosity! Thank you!!

  468. Andrew on

    Ummm, so I forgot to add-in my questions. and when I look at the length of my comment, I’m embarrassed. So sorry about that.
    Questions –
    How do you plan a color palette for the year? I’ve got three rough palettes this year, but I feel like I’m just guessing.
    How do you plan out your master planting schedule that includes succession and space for those succession crops? I get the idea of succession planning, but I’m struggling with when to pull up one thing and put in another.
    How do you keep up with what needs to be done that week? Sown, pulled, fertilized, harvested, pinched, etc.

    • Floret on

      All great questions, Andrew! I’m hopeful we can answer many of them this month–stay tuned!

    • Katie on

      Andrew these were my same questions the succession time line. When to pull what and when to start what. The other question was do you rotate flowers the same way you do vegetables?

    • Killoran on

      Some of my questions, too! Succession planning is something I did last year, but our plot is so small (about 500 sq ft) that I don’t really know how to work it out timing wise – I mean, every sing square foot is precious. Luckily, we had a couple open beds and it was just a test year, but still. Are you on Instagram or anything? I loved your reply!

  469. Andrew on

    Erin, your generosity through your blog (and this particular blog post) is breath-taking. Before anything else, thank you.

    Your answer to an email or two a few years ago was the catalyst for me to think I might be able to give this a try. Last question first: the reason I love growing flowers is the beauty. If there is truth, goodness, and beauty, flower farming perfectly encompasses the last two. To me, a flower is one of the purest forms of beauty, and mixed with that the opportunity to nurture and share beauty with others? I can’t stay away. I’m betting there is truth in here as well, but I’m too new to this task to see it clearly.

    I’m in central Alabama, where the temperature may reach 20 degrees once a winter, so the frosts are few and not very hard. The springs can be longish with a few cold, frosty nights thrown in, and the summers are HOT. Falls are generally mild, and our first frost this year wasn’t until the second week in December.

    I work full-time as a telcom engineer (yeah, I know. Weird combination, but it works), but I get to work from home. So I might take the occasional conference call while weeding. I’m hoping to sell mixed bouquets some weekends at a farmer’s market. Huge, scary, big step.

    One of the other challenges of Alabama is the clay soil. Very little organic matter. We’re on 4 acres, but it’s all wooded. So far we have cleared a small section that’s somewhat open to sunlight, and we’ve put in 5 or 6 smallish raised beds, and a good friend has let us borrow a very small unheated hoop house. All total, about 300 sq ft. so far. Which is not enough to hold all of the seeds I’m starting in a cool basement under lights. Or the dahlias that I ordered from Floret. Talk about incentive to get moving on more raised beds!

    Random other challenge in this area: Finding good quality compost in any quantity!!! My time is precious, so I don’t compost today, but who knows? Desperate times, desperate measures, etc, etc.

    So I keep taking the next step and seeing what happens. Last year was our first with dahlias and zinnias. Ummm, yeah. This year is about triple the number of dahlias, but with more filler planned to even out the bouquets. Also started some bulbs and peonies, along with a couple of garden roses. When I look at the list planned for this year, it scares me, but I can’t bear to take one off the list.

    Tips from the first couple of seasons that I’ve run across: Tip #1 Have your soil tested! We had no idea some of the deficiencies or surpluses in our soil. I’m mixing our own fertilizer ala Steve Solomon, so we’ll see how it goes this year. Tip #2: I’ll echo the learn to start seeds. I can’t imagine being able to afford this if it weren’t for that, and the varieties it opens up are amazing. Tip #3 Just do the next thing. I tend to put things off because, if I’m honest, I’m scared. Scared I’ll fail, scared because I’ve never done it before, etc. This year, my scary next steps are trying out selling at a farmer’s market, and because of that, learning how to put together a basic mixed bouquet. So we’ll see, and it’s never dull. Tip #4: Have someone in your corner cheering for you. My wife is an amazing cheerleader and encourager. And the kids are pretty amazing and accepting of anything I want to try. Have those people in your life for when it’s hard, frost ruins a crop, or your hoop house isn’t where you left it the night before.

    Once again, I can’t thank team Floret enough. The knowledge, the encouragement, the honest look behind the scenes at the hard times, the seeds, the tools, the tubers, the how-to, and the love and beauty for this undertaking have held my hand and encouraged me the past two seasons. It’s a treat to order and support you and your team/family.

    All the best

  470. Ieva on

    Came up out of my lurk-hole to post. It’s scary out here :). I’m an central Pennsylvanian aspirational gardener with a downtown rental duplex sitting on a big thick slab of clay soil, a kindergartner and a toddler with zero self-preservation instincts, and a bear-sized groundhog along with a small nation of bunnies living in my backyard that just can’t wait for this year’s neglected crop of flowers and vegetables (last summer they even developed a taste for CILANTRO.). My raised beds are a constant tale of woe and anarchy, but your writing and photos are the opposite. I love reading about the fruits of your hard work.

  471. April on

    We just decided to add flowers for this year, and our initial plan is to sell to local florists. We’re figuring out pricing and would love some tips on that! Per bunch, per stem…? It’s also hard to find pricing for a lot of the garden flowers.

  472. Kay on

    Hello Erin, Floret came to my attention on an Instagram feed.
    Your a very generous person. All your experience and advice is invaluable.
    As a new flower grower for personal use, I to enjoy that moment of joy you can see from someone when you give them a of bunch of flowers.The information you are providing allows a wonderful opportunity for many home gardeners to have success with cut flowers.
    I live in Australia, (Southern Hemisphere)I will be following this February blog with much interest our seasons are opposite but I will be able to adjust the information. Thank you for all your effort.

  473. Angela on

    Hi Erin. Thanks for walking us through this. I realized my dream of becoming a flower farmer last year. I’ve always loved gardening so I decided why not take that passion and grow cut flowers. I found you on Instagram and then Facebook and your blog. I look forward to learning more from you. I appreciate the guidance you offer. I love that you want to help others.

  474. Sarah Pabody on

    Thank you for your passion to share what you’ve worked hard to learn. I refer new friends to your blog almost weekly!

  475. Melissa on

    Thank you so much for this series! I live on 5 acres in central Massachusetts on the top of a windy hill. The land has been hayed by a neighbor farmer for the past 30 years. Last year I nearly broke my back digging up the sod, adding compost and top soil to a few measly plots. My parents have been avid perennial growers since I was a child and are have only manually dug garden beds. They were horrified when I talked about roto-tilling the sod to grow cut flowers for sale. My question to you is how should we break up the sod for new beds? We don’t have a tractor, and I cant imagine breaking it all up by hand again, it was such a time crusher and with two small rambunctious boys I need every minute I can get. I have literally agonized over this question! Should we ask the neighbor for a days work tilling up another acre? Rent a roto tiller? I would love to at least double the size of my beds and sell at a farmers market in high summer this year. I purchased a bunch of seeds from Floret and am so excited for this upcoming season! Thanks again for the inspiration and your willingness to share your knowledge with us!!

    • Anna on

      Hey I’m not as experienced as some, but this fall we made a big new flower bed in our front yard and we rented a rototiller. Totally worth it! I would definitely consider it. It would have killed me to dig up all that crazy grass we have in our yard.

  476. Eve on

    Ha! I didn’t know blog lurking was a bad thing; just realizing it after reading this and your design sponge posts! I’ve been following along for a year, but have read almost all of your posts since Hedgerowrose linked to your sweet pea posts.

    THIS is THE series I have been waiting for! I love all your blogging, but especially the growing info! I am especially interested in timing–how you plan your seasons, when/how do you begin plants (start seeds, bump up, plant out), how your maximize production (intensive methods?), succession to always have something flowering, when/how/what to fertilize… all the nitty gritty details of the outside work.

    I love all your content (flower arranging, business building, farm and family life)… Beautiful pictures to boot! Keep up the AMAZING work and don’t be so hard on yourself!

    • Eve on

      Just looked and that sweet pea flower focus was 2 years ago… Thanks for all you do!

  477. Donna on

    Hello Erin!

    I have been growing flowers – especially dahlias – for the past 4 years. This will be my 5th. I live in Massachusetts (Zone 5b). I work full-time and weeds and lack of time are my biggest challenges. I refuse to give up, though, because like you, flowers pull me into the present moment! Need to learn about how to keep the weeds at bay, about drip irrigation, composting, and hoop houses/tunnels.

    A big, big thank you!

  478. Lori Peplinskie on

    Thank you for taking the time to write these posts. I absolutely loved your flower focus series of posts. I would love to see more detail/images/video of posts on one specific crop, how the seed is germinated, images of the seedlings, when they’re transplanted and what temps the seedlings are expected to experience but still survive, fertilization schedule, when to pull plants etc.

  479. Shelley Yoshiwara on

    I forgot to tell you I’m in Northern California Redding where next week will be getting temperatures in the 70’s but by June July well into September we have extreme heat where in July it can be over 100 for weeks in a row. We get irrigation water every 2 weeks along with our well water and the irrigation water keeps everything green and brings in lots of weeds!! Never lacking in weeds or bugs!!

  480. Shelley Yoshiwara on

    I’m retired, soon to be 64 and we bought one acre in the country 3 years ago and my gardening adventure began. I’ve always lived in the higher Sierras where it was just to hard to garden Due to short seasons and poor soil. Now I have great soil and a longer season and want to utilize it! We put in a 50 x 50 foot garden and 6 growing boxes and along with my veggies I planted sunflowers and zinnias and I’m hooked now on flowers. Each year I’ve devoted more area for the flowers. I want to expand what I’m growing and would love to sell bouquets at my little organic market and juice bar. I tried last year but ended up not having a big enough variety of flowers and since it’s so hot here sunflowers and zinnias were pretty much all I had. So I would love to plant early, have a bigger variety in the spring etc. I absolutely love what your doing and the local flower market growing in our country. Hope this helps!!

  481. Ronda on

    Thank you Erin. I stumbled on to your Facebook page this winter and now have bought some seeds from you. I’m so excited about growing honeywort bad cup and saucer vine from you. I will love to hear about cold weather varieties that can be directly seeded. I have a garage and start my 59+ dahlias in it under lights mid March but in Alaska that is what has to happen. Then I plant them June 1 outside. That is a labor of love and I get more roots to save in the fall. I store them in birch sawdust all winter in the garage. I’m also a new peony farmer. We have about 2,000 in the ground with 900 more coming this spring. So I am looking for things that can be directly sown and grow fast. I’m a teacher during the winter and a farmer in the summer! Hopefully when I retire in a few years all of this will be in place. Love your blog and I was so impressed that you signed the card in my seed packet! I tip my hat to you!

  482. Connie on

    Thank you for all the inspiration, as I soak up every morsel of knowledge just before I embark on a one acre flower farm adventure in southern Manitoba, Canada.

  483. Jane on

    I am thrilled that you are taking the time to share again with the flower world. The information you provide helped get me going this past year and now with a little bit of knowledge and the ability to read and re-read your posts, I am hoping the second year will be even better. Burning holes in fabric cloth, netting the snaps for support, burning the ends of poppies and euonymus and the endless lists of varieties and suppliers helped keep things a bit sane. You are a fountain of information and I am looking forward to all that you share. The six questions will help keep me focused as we start 2016, although I did just purchase another batch of sweetpeas from you after reading an Instagram post. One question I continually struggle with is pricing and selling to wholesalers, florists, supermarkets and the like. I have read and searched for information, but that is one area that seems to be hard to find information on. Thank you from all the beginning, and probably experienced flower farmers too, out there. You are a godsend.

  484. Krystal Kerns on

    This was MOST helpful! I was wondering if you could suggest some flowers for first time growers? Please continue with the series of posts! Greatly appreciated!

  485. Christine O'Brien on

    Hi Erin and Floret Team,

    your knowledge, tips and honesty about the cut flower industry is amazing. Very inspiring. Your tips today are very helpful to me, as I’m new in this venture. I’ve been working in the horticulture business for close to 20 years, but never have tried to grow cut flowers for “production”. Very excited to see your seeds grow and then share bouquets with friends, family, nursing homes, libraries… all I want is to brighten up someone’s day!

    Can’t wait for your book to come out. Floret is the reason I want to grow cut flowers~thank you!

  486. Liz on

    Aloha from the big island of Hawaii! Thank you for sharing your passion about flowers, knowledge, expertise & insight! I appreciate the questions you pose and the thought provoking answers they bring about. I love that the post comments are from people all over the world and that all the questions will undoubtedly have different answers from everyone, but our love for flowers remains. We have lots of tropical flowers but I see lots of imported flowers too. I would like to offer a sustainable approach to flowers and keep them local. Flowers have helped to perpetuate this island’s culture and traditions. There is definitely a keep it local and sustainable attitude in the islands and we always support one another. I live on the drier side of the island and am looking forward to a great growing season. I look forward to information on rose care, home made pest controls, planning your growing season and how you choose seeds! Mahalo from your friend in Hawaii?

  487. Candy on

    Looking forward to these posts. I am an avid vegetable grower, but ready to branch out with a small cutting garden.

  488. Evangeline M on

    So excited for your February Blog Blizzard! Your content is always inspiring both in your humble tone of words and your lovely pictures!

    The thing that continues to puzzle me is plant spacing. I am not the best at numbers, so a visual graph/photo showing exact seedling placement for getting nice full beds without wasted space would be so helpful! Especially since spacing recommendations on seed packets usually refer to row situations, not beds.

  489. Virginia on

    Erin you answered the question I have been wondering all along about how you managed in those first couple years as a young mother. Time management for starting my cut flower farm is my biggest question right now. I too have a wild little boy toddler and am currently working out details on time management for this upcoming season starting out growing cuts on about 1/8 acre and selling at market for the first time. I can picture myself crying among the weeds as you mentioned, biting off more than I can chew, because honestly, there are just so many amazing plants to grow and so little time, and like you said, I want to do everything RIGHT NOW!! Its so inspiring to see how you persevered!

  490. Grace on

    I’m looking forward to this new series of articles. The questions you’ve put forward are spot on. I know my limitations(two small children, small yard and very little time) but my yard has been used more times than I can count by people wanting a bouquet of flowers for something special. I have lots of roses and I used to have beautiful flowers but the past two winters killed most of my flowers, quite a few of my roses and my hedges of lavender. Those two winters and a subsequent drainage problems caused by a bad grading job have ruined my yard. I’m looking forward to fixing it this year and I think these articles will be the inspiration I’m needing!!

    If I might make a suggestion/request. While I grew lots of flowers I know next to nothing about arranging them. A video post of a bouquet being built would be so helpful!!!! Just to watch it all happen would be so awesome!

    Grace e

  491. Robin on

    Thank you again a million times over for sharing your blog, your hard-earned wisdom, and your practical advice for those of us behind you who also love flowers. Excellent introductory questions today, which I will sit down and answer. I’ve referred to your blog and website many times, searching for a variety of topics, and 3 questions I keep thinking but have not yet found answers from you are:
    1. What do you use for watering? Drip irrigation?
    2. How do you plan out and make a visual map of the contents and planting times for each flower bed on yojr farm? I need an idea of the number of cutting stems per plant, and the number of stems you offer per bouquet — so I can somehow translate my mental image to a practical, workable scale on paper and in the ground. I also need help figuring out whether I am better off ( in simplicity & wider profit margin) to focus on retail 1-by-1 bouquets, wholesale buckets to florists, or wedding and other custom design work?
    3. How do you harvest and bunch your stems? For example, do you strip the leaves off each zinnia stem one-by-one, hold 10 stems under your elbow, grab a rubber band & bunch these, move the bunch (to where?), and repeat? Or do you cut stems, add them directly to a bucket of water, and de-leaf and bunch them later?

    • Eve on

      ☝?️^^great questions!

    • lindsey0009 on

      Great questions Robin!

  492. Joanne on

    Erin, you have been an inspiration over and over again. Have been following your journey for a few yeas now and have learned many things along the way. Thank you for sharing your successes and failures and all the information you share with your fellow flower growers.

  493. Beth on

    Thank you for sharing your experience. You are an inspiration. I have plans of growing flowers on our Missouri farm…in between a full time job, a 5 year old and 2 year old!

  494. John on

    An Orny Hort grad who travels too much and is an apartment dweller finding it difficult to grow but I am living vicariously thru your blog. I enjoy your posts immensely and appreciate your willingness to share. Thank you and am looking forward to this series.

  495. Kim on

    I am developing my plans for a market garden. I have always grown flowers side by side with veggies, but I wanted to do more with flowers for cutting.

    We are building a new home (where the farm will be) and my hubby loves having fresh flowers in the house. I love the look of your bouquets, and so I am going to try to grow enough flowers to emulate you – at least in my own house! Maybe I can market some, too. I hope to attend one of your floral arranging seminars one day.

    Also, so much of what you teach about growing things for market applies across the board – taking care of your soil, how much time, money and energy can you invest, what are your growing conditions, and why are you doing this – these factors apply to all farmers and growers. Thank you for taking the time to lead newbies along the way.

  496. Carolyn Thompson - Willow & Mabel Garden Co. on

    I love all of your blog posts – they never go to waste & I always learn something from each them. I started my farmer florist business a year ago. These blogs could not have come at a better time. I truly believe in being able to have enough hours in the day to achieve your goals – yes you shift things around but there are certainly things that you can not shift. I work 4 days a week which limits my time but I how have two teenage boys so they are less time consuming than toddlers and can be very handy at building raised garden beds and some hard manual labor when needed! I don’t want to over stretch myself otherwise I will start to hate what right now is a major love in my life – growing my flower business. On my list of things to do this week is to get my plot of land measured and drawn out so I know what I’m planting and when. Also super excited as I am signed up for your May Farmer Florist workshop!!

  497. Heather on

    I am beyond excited about your posts! I have been a full time massage therapist for going on 16 years. Love my job but also love gardening. This year I am venturing in very small scale flower farming, approximately 10ish 4×8 raised beds to get my feet wet. In 2017, on the wait list, will be taking one of your workshops! Yay! Till then, this may seem silly but drip irrigation stumps me a bit. Maybe something on that, if not, no worries. I shall figure it out. Oxoo!

  498. Sherry Shuler-Sherry's Flower Farm on

    I glanced at your post early today but couldn’t wait until after work so I could read every word and write down my answers to your questions. Everything you touch on in your writing has value. Even if it’s something I have already considered, taking the time to write things down and give more definition to the process of developing viable plan of action helps keep me grounded. Like one of the others who commented I first learned of you in the Country Living Article. It woke up something in my heart that I didn’t even know was there and brings tears to my eyes even as I write this. I have a 1/4 acre that used to be our vegetable patch. But nothing has been planted there for about 20 years. So, I am starting from scratch. As business owners that took a hard lick in the economic downturn and have only been slowly recovering, we have almost no money for startup. My plan is to start with one 4′ by 25′ bed of different varieties of zinnia’s and add another bed whenever we can. I am using the methods you describe in the How-To-Grow zinnia’s guide I bought from floret. Getting the ground fabric, and drip lines for starting small is doable but I am having trouble finding compost. We live on a 36 acre farm but the business we run on the property are not farming business. So I have plenty of raw material for compost but am a little overwhelmed at how to even begin. The only place I have found in NC to get organic compost is in Raleigh (about 3 hours away) and they will only sell a minimum load of 20 yards of compost and a delivery charge of $70 hour for travel. That bill comes to $1000 which is out of our budget. I really only need to buy about 3 yards of compost to get started and have enough to make compost tea but don’t know where to get it. There seem to be plenty of resources for seeds but not so much compost. If you know of any resources for compost and such in different parts of the country that would be great. But barring that, could you give some information on how to start composting. I have a plan in my head for planting rows of crops that are good for compost since I do not have a ready made source of manure but right now I have plenty of fall leaves and grass clipping to get started.

    • drea @ morning glory acres on

      I’ve heard really good stuff about Charlie’s Compost. It can be purchased on Amazon! Check it out! May work for your size of set up!

    • Sherry on

      Thanks for the suggestion. I checked it out thinking maybe I could get free shipping. Not gonna happen though. I had already ruled out ordering over the internet since shipping makes it impractical. If I can’t find something close to home I will just spend the first year figuring out how to produce good compost and then start with a good supply next year. This post has been has been a great help for honestly assessing resources and limitations. There is nothing wrong with taking the time to do things right. I can still put some seeds in the ground later in the year when I start getting some finished compost.

    • marybeth on

      sherry – don’t forget to have your soil analyzed by your county extension office. for the size garden bed you mentioned, one sample bag (with soil from a couple different places in the bed) shouldn’t cost more than $10 (probably a lot less) and will give you lots of good information on what best to use to improve your soil. mushroom compost along with other bags of goodies may be all you need! good luck! don’t give up! you’ll have beautiful flowers in no time :-)

    • Laurie | Hedgerow Rose on

      Sherry, we just moved from PA–where compost was relatively inexpensive and easy to find–to NC (Asheville area) and it took me a while to work out the compost puzzle, too. If you live near Asheville, Asheville Mulch and Yard will deliver to you with no minimum order but there is a delivery fee, of course. Barring that, if you have a Lowes nearby, they will deliver to you for I think a $60 fee (no minimum order) and they carry Black Kow 50-lb Organic Manure which is really good stuff. Hope this helps!

  499. Irma on

    Hi from the prairies of Manitoba, Canada! I grew up being surrounded by flowers in our short growing season and took over my mom’s flowerbeds in my early teens dreaming of one day growing fields of flowers! When I stumbled across your Instagram feed through Joy Prouty the idea of flower farming inspired me incredibly! I finally feel like my dreams of growing fields of flowers will become more than a dream! I married a cattle farmer 13 years ago so I have the land available to grow a lot, not to mention years of composted manure at my fingertips. I have ordered so, so many seeds (mostly from you, thanks for shipping to Canada!), along with some dahlias, ranunculus, and anenomes. This summer can’t come fast enough and your posts are so very timely for me! Looking forward to learning a lot this month.

  500. Elizabeth Daniels on

    I’m so impressed by your honesty and generosity in sharing your knowledge. Thank you! Along with several commenters before me, I am excited to learn more about hoop houses (pros, are there cons…?), as well as the specifics of covering beds (when, what, how). I’ve failed miserably at acclimating seedlings to the outdoors and would sincerely appreciate very clear examples of how certain varieties can be transplanted without shock, especially now that we’ve moved from coastal zone 24 to the mercurial (but lush and beautiful) zone 4!

    Blessings to you and your team,

  501. Prince Snow Farm on

    This post was so helpful! I am on the coast of Massachusetts with about a 4 month growing season. I have twelve large raised beds and grow lots of organic veggies. I also grow flowers. I just ordered lots of seeds from you and look forward to expanding this year. I cannot wait!

  502. Carolyn on

    Your posts are so encouraging and beautiful! I would love to know what your spacing is for each type of plant and how you support the plants. Mine tend to flop when the flowers bloom. Thank you for your wonderful photos!

  503. Colette on

    Such a great series! I really appreciate you sharing such great info for me to think on as I start planning this year’s garden. I am growing for our own personal use and I always have bigger plans than I can actually accomplish! Perfect timing!! I will look forward to your next posts and I really have enjoyed seeing a glimpse into your beautiful world !

  504. Elizabeth on

    Working on a new strategy for growing a true cutting garden this year. Would love any advice on starting seeds. I don’t really have room to start seeds indoors and have done most of my seed planting directly in the ground with mixed results. Any thoughts you have on direct sowing would be particularly of interest. Thank you also for always being a source of beautiful inspiration. Can’t wait to get my Floret seeds growing.

  505. Tracey on

    Today’s post has given me the push to Get Started. I live on a beautiful old Dairy and have plenty of space to grow some jewels. However ,I have had difficulty taking that first step of preparing some ground. I kept looking at the acre of untouched land that sits right beside my house. It was too daunting and after reading today’s inspiring Blogg ,I am getting into a corner ,just a corner, of that field today!!! Small Steps. Thank you and have a smiling day today.

  506. Karen on

    February is a great time for all this information while we are planning the 2016 garden. We have plenty of room (a 78 acre Ohio farm, mostly in pasture) but need to wisely size the flower part of the garden to our available time and labor. I was planning to stay around a 1/4 acre space for the flowers like last season, however, the amount of seeds I bought from you and Johnnys probably mean expanding that space! I also grow salad greens to sell plus veggies for our family to eat year round and I’m convinced that interspersing flowers with veggies is helpful for insect control. I’m having my 11 year old son who is smitten with my dahlias and flowers read your posts as well. He loves the pictures.

  507. Sandra Sarlinga on

    Thanks Erin for sharing with us all your journey with flowers and sharing with us your knowledge, this is so generous of you! Looking forward for the next blogs!

  508. Killoran on

    I’m so looking forward to the rest of these posts! I’m just starting my work of reclaiming my plot from the brambles and grasses – and it is TOUGH. Especially with a toddler. I’ve learned a lot since last year, which was a trial run (a kind of, let’s see if this is something I actually like doing or if I’m just all about pretty flowers), and even so far this past month. I’ve learned not to set a day to do something (because toddler and Vancouver Island weather), rather have a list of tasks for the week. It makes it much more manageable and allows me more flexibility (read: less guilt).

    I’d definitely recommend joining a local gardening group on Facebook. I posted about removing yard waste containing invasives and a guy actually came with his truck and took away two and a half HUGE piles (taller than me) and gave me his old shovel and rake! People are nice. Gardeners and farmers like helping other gardeners and farmers.

    These are all the questions I asked myself last year and they are so, so important. I’m glad I did the trial. It made me realise that yes! I do want to do this (and why). I also learned that my plot is just the right size as far as the amount of time I can spare.

    I just cannot wait to get started and share!

    • Kim on

      Killoran, whereabouts do you live? I ask, purely out of envy, because I love Vancouver Island, especially the Sooke and Metchosin areas.

      I keep threatening my hubby with a move to Sooke if Trump gets elected!

    • Killoran on

      Kim – I live in Victoria. I know a few people who live in Metchosin and they love it. I’ve yet to go, but hopefully soon! Whenever we go out of the city (and even in the city) I’m really amazed at the beauty of the province. My husband is American – I told him it’s a good thing we’ve finally started the immigration process. Haha.

  509. Kim on

    Thank you Erin. You have inspired me, echoed my emotions, put the seriousness in with the wildly riotous beauty and joy that growing flowers involves. My love of flowers is lifelong – beginning in my grandparents garden. Their soil was sooo good that it was springy and you could pull carrots out easily. Their flowers were beyond – and they let me wander, teaching me names, sharing slips and love of growing. Fast forward through various stages of gardening – to now – I am now a farmer – basil (fresh and for artisan Township Valley Farm pestos), hops (for our son’s craft brewery, Bald Mountain Brewery) and…cut flowers. The flowers give me such a mental break and I have happily learned my bouquets sell enough to notice. So, I want to expand this part of my business. As you know, farming is never done, I am usually behind on most things. One of my problems is always finding space for the flowers that are perennial. They become mixed in with the annuals, then I am scurrying around trying to transplant them before the next season’s tractoring. So I am taking your cue, and planting more in like-kind rows, and keeping the perennials separate (nothing like losing a Fama Blue). First rule, never plant where you can’t water. Thank You.

  510. Paris on

    I loved this post, and I am excited for this upcoming series. I would like a “how to” for beginners, and maybe a budgeting timeline in how to steadily and sustainable grow year by year.

  511. Katie Pence on

    Hi Erin,
    I bet you didn’t expect quite as many comments as you will get. I love the way you share information on this blog. Helping others also helps build awareness of fresh garden flowers, creating more customers.
    I think another thing you can do to create a cut flower farm, I have build many gardens and have grown and sold flowers for over thirty five years now. The first thing I do is start planting flowering shrubs, or shrubs with great foliage. These take years to get established. I buy small one gallon plants, or even 4″ or grow many plants from cuttings. Hydrangeas, roses, viburnums, abelia, weigelia, all types of willows, scented geraniums and many others can be grown from cuttings. This helps me always have year round flowers and interesting foliage to market. In the long run I can handle a huge garden of shrubs and perennials with small areas of annuals. Plus I plant it as my landscape so it makes my houses beautiful as well.

  512. Angie on

    This is really helpful. I’m looking forward to your post about balancing being a parent to young children and starting a flower farm. I’m just getting started this spring, and I worry about how I’ll balance time in the garden with the needs of my 6 year old.

  513. Erica van Emmerik on

    This is exactly what I needed to read today. I am just barely starting out and live in a city so will be using a small space behind my apartment building for now. I would love ideas of how to optimize space as well as the most fool proof flowers to start with. Also, I don’t think I can set up any irrigation so I may have to water them myself so any tips on that would be great as well. I am attendeding two of your workshops this year (!) and am so looking forward to every minute of them.

  514. LindaQ on

    I forgot to add that Johnny’s Seeds has an interactive tool on their website that will give you the seed starting times for many of the flowers we grow. You just put in your last frost date and the program does the calculations for you! (The chart will show vegetables first and then the flowers.)

  515. Cindy K on

    Thank you for sharing so much helpful information Erin, as always! I have a tiny garden and this post will help me from getting carried away with all of the temptations in seed catalogs rolling in right now. I’ll be growing more flowers from seed this year, including yours, and interested in learning more about creating a seed planting calendar/plan.

  516. Catharine on

    Thank you for all the knowledge and inspiration that you share. Looking forward to the blog postings and your book when it comes out!

  517. Jen on

    Keep it all coming Erin! I don’t know what the hell I am doing, but I’m determined to learn because I love watching you and your crew pull it all off! I have a small yard here in Kirkland WA that luckily already contains so many mature lovelies (camellia, hydrangea, several herbs, hellebore, iris, peony, rhodies, dahlia, huchera, hosts, bay leaf, holly, lilac etc etc). I pilfer from these plants constantly to supplement wholesale bought blooms for my small business. When I see your pics I just die to have those special blooms in my hands to play with! So, I’m biting off seed planting this year…I’m terrified, and reading everything you put down for insight! Looking forward to more tips and tricks, especially smaller scale ideas (sweet pea trellis? Mini hoop houses? Staking? Pest control?) to keep these beauts safe and healthy :) thank you!

  518. LindaQ on

    My venture into flower farming started when my husband had the idea that our granddaughter and her friends could grow flowers and sell them by the side of the road. When I found out that all they planted were zinnias I went to all of the area garden centers to find seedlings of flowers that we could mix with the zinnias to make bouquets. Unfortunately garden centers sell primarily bedding flowers, not tall growing ones! I did find some rocket snapdragons and Victoria blue salvia so these were the basis for our bouquets the first year along with some sunflowers and we did OK selling our ‘Petite Bouquets’ at a local farmers market. The girls had a great time and wanted to do it again the following year! With that in mind I searched the internet and came across Lynn Byczynski’ book, ‘The Flower Farmer’ which in turn led me to the “Growing for Market” newsletter. I opted for the full subscription and downloaded all past articles about flower farming, most of which you wrote Erin! I also went to a local flower farm that sold cut flowers by the pound and picked one of each kind of flower and brought them home to identify and look up growing information. So many things to remember but it is all worth it in the end!

  519. Jeanette on

    Thank you for this upcoming series of posts! I fell in love with flowers this year while planning my wedding and working with an incredible farmer florist, Carolyn Snell. I have a little space behind my apartment in Portland, Maine and I’m trying to plan a little garden that will keep me present and grateful. I’ve tried veggies in the past, but I’m so excited to try flowers this year to have cut flowers in my house and share with friends. Looking for tips on shade specifically, and any advice to turn a small cement area between two apartment buildings into a flower kingdom.

  520. Hanneke on

    You are such an inspiration! I absolutely love your blog with the beautiful photo’s. The tips are really useful I must say. I live in the Netherlands but I think our climate corresponds with yours. I always feel so enthousiastic at the beginning of the season that I sow too much. This year I will try to sow more with intervalls so that the flowering season of, for example Antirhinum, will be prolonged. Do you sow with intervals? I look forward to your next posts!

  521. Angela on

    Erin, I love how open you are about the realness of running your business– I really look up to you!! I am so excited for this month of posts from Floret! We bought a house recently and are getting into landscaping and gardening our new home this spring. We’ve gardened & grown a few cut flowers at our previous home, but I am anticipating this next month of posts will guide us into doing even more with the small space that we have. Thank you!

  522. Michelle on

    Thank you so much for this article. It gave me some things to think about while also giving me encouragement that I am heading in the right direction.
    I am hoping to start growing flowers on a farm in Norfolk but currently I am trying to narrow down the list of flowers I can grow and would like to grow. I would love to grow them all but don’t think I have the space for one thing and there is no way I could grow them all well!

    I will definitely be using your 6 questions as guidance.
    Thank you again!

  523. kate on

    Thank you, Erin! I currently live in a small apartment with no garden but am searching for a plot of land to call home and to start growing flowers. These posts are so helpful and very much appreciated.

  524. Shari on

    Hello Erin and Floret crew. I am grateful for your blog posts; you write beautifully. Your posts are always one of the roses of my day. I am guilty of having gone hog wild with ordering seeds from your site. Now I find myself with over 1,000 seeds and after having read this post, clarity is coming at me hard and fast. My goal is simply to have beautiful flowers for myself and friends. I have space, time and a wee amount of money for the project. However, like your friend, I live in a high desert and suffer from a short growing season. Should I extend my season by establishing a seed starting station in my basement? Should I build a hoop house in my pasture? Would low tunnels be more advantageous? All of the above? Since I have an excess of seed and am a complete newbie, would I be better off to plant a small portion of seeds this year and learn from trial and error? Will unplanted seeds hold over until next year? Thanks again for your time, graciousness and generosity with your blog. You’re totes amazeballs.

  525. Eriko on

    Your photos and beautiful flowers always make me want to consider growing some flowers – whether for texture or for color – in my backyard to supplement my flower shop, especially for bridal clients. Reading your stories help realize it’s a lot of hard work, but also rewarding. However, constant visits by deers keep me from trying as they eat everything. If you have any tips and advise to deal with the animals that can interfere with the flower farming, it’d be great to hear about it!

  526. Cill on

    I can’t tell you how excited I am about this series of posts. I am interested in soil amendment, pest prevention/treatments, how to prune flowers for maximum production, and how to find buyers. Thanks for sharing all this information!

  527. Hannah on

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking such time to instruct us and provide us with abundant information and personal insight. This blog has been the greatest resource I have come across. Last year I too discovered that flower farming is my north star, yet I am mama of a toddler, renting a house in town while the husband is just starting grad school and have felt a lot of discouragement, that it will take me years to even get going with my dream. But, this blog, your help, has lifted me out of that slump and I am starting seeds in my laundry room, plotting out my small yard, and holding on to the vision. Thank you for inspiring and sharing. xoxo

  528. Sarah Jordan on

    I really appreciate your generosity is sharing info like this. Just the other day I was thinking of printing of your “How To’s” for planting sweet peas. They will be a great reference. I am a mom with two girls under the age of 5 so it was reassuring to read your post and that you’ve been there too!

  529. Elisa on

    As someone just starting out this year I find this post (and indeed all your other posts) extremely helpful. I have had a dream of farming flowers for about eight years now, and finally it seems to be coming true. You have been an immense source of inspiration during this time, and I am truly grateful for your generous sharing of knowledge and being a such tower of inspiration! Really looking forward to your next posts as they could not have come at a better time for me.

  530. Helena Svermova on

    Shortly… All you do, is just GREAT! Thank You!
    I wonder if I would be able to get Your planned book in a e-book version in Europe, especially in the Czech Republic..
    I was prepared this morning to read Your post and then I realized that I must wait little longer :)

    • daniella garcia on

      i love flowers i have all types of them in my garden

  531. lindsey0009 on

    Erin and the Floret team, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and passion! I am always excited to read new postings on your blog but I am especially excited about this series! I’m a home gardener but would love to expand to selling to others. I’m interested in learning more about fertilizer and irrigation. Also how do you go about approaching stores and florists? Also farmers markets vs CSA shares pros/cons. Anyone’s experience in starting out is helpful! Many thanks and blessings to you and the Floret family.

  532. angela compton on

    thank you so much for making the time to guide and coach us along with hope and encouragement. I live in South Florida and have some experience in organice farming but never with flowers. Im looking forward to learning and “growing” with you and facing any challenges with our hot, humid, and sometimes endless rainy days!

  533. Sarah - my flower cart on

    Your honesty that comes across in each post has saved me many a time! I’m in my first year and felt very tearful looking at the weeds as they grew out of my control around the flowers this month (high summer here in New Zealand)! Soul destroying! Your comment about not to expect things RIGHT NOW is so important too. I thought I’d be much further ahead than I am but I’m realising that this is going to be a low growing business for me. I’d love to just see more of the detail of your flower farm. How you plan for the coming season (quantities, varieties, how you plan your field space). Would love to see inside your hoop house (I haven’t got one….yet…..) Just love your posts. Thank you so much!

  534. Lindsey on

    Yes yes yes!!
    After reading The Flower Farmer and doing some research and preparing to overtake my parents backyard…I had a baby and got engaged to a wonderful man with 4 wonderful children. Now I want to grow our wedding flowers for this September in the raised beds he built for me last year.
    It seems most of the information out there isn’t for my climate (west central Wisconsin). Sifting through and organizing start dates and such can be a bit daunting. This is going to be wonderful now that I am planning a wedding with an infant and 4 other kiddos! since becoming engaged all I can think about is the flowers, watching them bloom in the garden is so centering they do just bring you into the present moment and open your heart. Looking forward to the coming posts!!

  535. Gretchen on

    It’s funny that I ‘found’ you; I was born and raised in woodinville, WA. Now I’m in Missouri where we have about 5 acres of land, 3 of it old grazing pasture. I was inspired for years by the gal in Monroe who does the $5 bouquets. My plan is to start small with seeds, just growing for myself and friends, see how that goes and add raised beds a few each year if I find demand, energy, and success. I’m very much looking forward to learning from you and your team.

  536. drea @ morning glory acres on

    How I love this series!! There is no way to estimate just how many scrapes you have saved us as we started our flower venture! We (my husband and I) wanted to make flower farming a full time business, but no matter how many questions we asked hundreds of people, no one could tell us if we could really make a full time living for our family doing this! That is why your family has inspired us! I see it IS possible! This is our 3rd season, and things have gone beyond what I ever dreamed! My husband will work exclusively at the farm for about 8-9 months out of this year! And if last year was any indication, our dream will come true by the next year or so! We have one little one, so have to juggle a bit, but we plan on having 2 part time helpers this season to help with the load!

    One thing I don’t think you ever mention is delivery vehicles! What do you use and why? We’ve poured over this question for months now, and finally bought a Isuzu reefer box truck! Everyone has a different schedule, amount of flowers on each delivery, and so many other variables, that we had a hard time with it! I’d like to hear your thoughts on the subject tho!

    Once again, you save the day!! Keep it up please!! I was so thrilled to hear that you read every comment! Means so much..

  537. Sandy Allenbaugh on

    Erin I appreciate the time you have invested in helping me and others think thru the process of growing flowers. I grew up in Anacortes and picked tulip bulbs in the Skagit Valley during my high school years in the summers(which was a very long time ago). I think that is where my love of flowers began. Since that time we have lived in many different places in the US and Africa for 10+ years. I now live in Arkansas where the summers are very hot and humid. I have tried to grow zinnias and heirloom roses, but have not had a whole lot of success. I would love to be able to make arrangements of flowers and to be able to share with friends. We have a designated area for a garden with several raised beds that I would like to grow flowers in? We do compost and add that to our soil.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts. You are truly an

  538. Trina Coombes on

    Fabulous, really looking forward to this series of postings.
    Thank you.

  539. Jan, JW Blooms. England on

    Oh, and something else (sorry, am on a bit of a roll now…) I totally agree about not trying to do everything. Better to start small and do it really well than to take on everything and muck it up -better for morale and enjoyment, that is, as well as profits.
    Oh, and keep records! When you planted, sowed, harvested, the weather… Only that way can you replicate the successes or improve on the failures the following year.

  540. Olivia on

    I dont know how you do it all, but I sure am glad that you do!! I’m a frequent lurker, so this is my first time commenting. I worked in a greenhouse all through high school and college and it was such a great escape from school and life stresses. I always said “How can i be angry/sad/stressed/melancholy when I am surrounded by such an abundance of beauty?!” . I’m a young mother now with three and a half year old twins so my green house days are over. We just moved from an apartment to a house with a YARD and a deck and I am just absolutely thrilled for my first spring with a yard!! I am wondering if you have any advice on growing cutting flowers in pots? We are renting and i’m not allowed to do TOO much in the way of gardening in the ground, so I’m restricted to mostly containers. Love coming to your blog for a quick, quiet escape into your garden and thoughts. Thank you! Looking forward to more posts!!

  541. Jan, JW Blooms. England on

    Something also important to bear in mind is that when making your favourite pastime your job, there is a risk that the stress of it could put you off it for life! If that’s a risk you can’t take, it may be worth getting a job that isn’t related to that but which allows you to expand the time you spend on your beloved hobby.
    I have (after many years) an agreement with myself that if the business ever threatens to make me resent growing flowers, I will get out immediately and instead use what I’ve learnt to develop the most amazing garden to sit in and enjoy (and of course impress the hell out of my friends with!)

  542. Amy on

    Erin, I know you get everyone telling you this on a daily basis, hundreds of times on all of the different social media platforms and your blogs, but never underestimate just how much inspiration, encouragement and support you give to all of us that have an ear to listen to you. Your posts always fan the flames of flower love and they are just so helpful and informative. You make it real. My only frustration I am finding myself, now that my time is becoming freed up from little uns, is coping with my own impatience. For a good year now I have been searching high and low for some land to grow on and despite living in the depths of the countryside, surrounded by farming land in Devon,UK it would seem impossible to find anyone willing to rent me any land. But I am determined to keep searching, but in the meantime I will keep my dream alive by watching and listening to you living yours!

  543. Jane Berry on

    Hello, Planning my second year as a flower farmer and your posts are always helpful and I enjoy reading them. Good questions for someone to ask themselves before jumping in. I had great success last year in growing flowers but I need to find better outlets to sell them at. I went to a farmers market weekly and sold to a florist. I ordered a hoop house to put up in the next month so I can get a jump on the season and maybe have flowers in June instead of July. So anyway I love reading the blog, love the look of it-the colors and font and pictures and such. Thanks for all the advice you give flower growers, new & old!

  544. Barbara Ayers, Waverly School Farm on

    Hi Erin,
    I run a one acre school farm (where cut flowers are our most profitable crop) and actively dream about moving to an area where I can have enough land to be a full-time flower farmer. Your blog has been an inspiration to me for ages, and I am really looking forward to the upcoming posts. I especially love all the little insider tips (like chilling bupleurum flats wrapped in plastic bags– finally, success!). Thanks so much for all you share, and I’m looking forward to your book!

  545. Terri on

    About three kids ago, I started getting the stirrings of wanting to start a flower farm. It has only intensified as the years have gone on much to my husband’s chagrin. Kid after kid (after kid) followed and this fall I felt like I had enough breathing room to finally pursue my dream with the youngest being almost four. I bought tons of bulbs, ordered peonies, seeds, bought a fancy walk-behind tractor, etc., etc. only to find out in October that I’m pregnant with my fifth in July. It is much too late to turn back now and frankly, I’m SUPER excited to finally get a go at this thing but I’m overwhelmed by undergoing my first season with a newborn. I have a contract with a market to sell 100 bouquets a week (!!!) and I can’t imagine how I will do it all; I’m thinking I will need consistent help. My oldest daughter is 11 and my next oldest is 8. I’m wondering what farm responsibilities you were comfortably able to transfer to your children, did you pay them to help you, and if it comes to this, I’d love to know how you go about finding and keeping good help and how to delegate responsibilities to them? Oh my gosh, I love you and am so excited about the Blog Blizzard.

    • lindsey0009 on

      Just an idea, but what if you offered a mentoring opportunity? I know it’s your first season but you will still be able to offer up lots of advise, ideas, and growing pains with someone else who loves flowers or who is interested in possibly having their own business. I’ll come to help! Blessings and best wishes!

  546. Audrey Coley on

    I love your blog and I am so very excited for these posts. I am setting up a booth this year at the farmers market and I am turning over some of my farm land to flowers. I have 2 older children and one toddler so I would love more info about planning and how not to do too much. I would like to grow enough to sell at market and enough for us to enjoy. I hate weeding and would love more info about controlling weeds. I second the comments above about some basic flowers for beginners that are great sellers. Thanks so very much!

  547. Samantha on

    Thank you for sharing all of your perspective and insight. As a previous seasonal farmer I would have to stress that prospective farmers have the financial means to start a new agricultural business. This often comes from a spouse or a more reliable job, but it is a very important factor that often gets glazed over. Are you partnered with someone who will give or loan you money to start this operation? Do you have health insurance? Is it any good? Because you will get hurt at some point in your life, especially if you are farming! How many years can you go without a profit? How will that affect your family and yourself?

    Money is sometimes an unfun topic, especially in small scale agriculture, but so very important to discuss from the start.

  548. Ann on

    I have hemmed and hawed about responding to this fabulous blog of yours I’ve discovered. I truly feel it has been a bit of “Devine intervention” if you will. I have for many years now enjoyed sewing my own seeds on a small scale. I’ve always loved the thrill of the process. How something so small and insignificant can emerge into something full of so much beauty, delight and awe!My children are much older now, though unfortunately I lost my oldest son a year and a half ago. Maybe it’s that loss that has given me the jump start I need to tred down roads a bit unknown? As I began to investigate the idea little further, low and behold I found your blog! It felt so wonderful to have something to grab hold of to pull me out of the darkness .The idea of information being launched forward to all of us following you, couldn’t be more important! I have to say at this stage of my life,I feel I have finally out grown the need for immediate gratification. Meaning, I’m able to think about this endeavor more proportionally. Don’t bite off more then you can handle, and make the most of the bite, even if its small to begin with. I’m really hoping for quality in what I take on, but it has to be manageable and realistic out of the gate! So please, continue on! Your knowledge is a goldmine for us all! Oh, I read many of the old blogs and have to say my favorite is dated April 15, 2015. After all it’s the sum of all our experiences that creates the person we become. God bless

  549. Erin on

    I am sooo excited for this series of posts!
    I love the questions you’ve outlined. I’m super keen to know ballpark numbers for start up costs and what fair prices are for renting or leasing land. As far as I know, no one grows flowers in my on rented or leased land, just food (Squamish, BC, CAN). My task right now is finding some land and pitching a fair price for growing. I’m sure all my questions on what to grow and how will be answered in your upcoming posts so I will stay keenly tuned. Thank you so much!

  550. Katelyn on

    Thank you! So looking forward to this series of posts. Going into my 3rd season of flower farming on 1 acre, and I feel like it’s the “make it or break it” season. Trying hard to remember that every season is another lesson learned, and that it my business will grow along with me.

  551. Ann on

    I have hemmed and hawed about responding to this fabulous blog of yours I’ve discovered. I truly feel it has been a bit of “Devine intervention” if you will. I have for many years now enjoyed sewing my own seeds on a small scale. I’ve always loved the thrill of the process. How something so small and insignificant can emerge into something full of so much beauty, delight and awe! It’s so wonderful to cultivate something from nature that can become such a pleasure to so many. I have 5 children and was at home most of the years while they were growing up.Many times I had tossed around the idea of selling vegetables and flowers from my home and at the market. It always seemed I was a bit too busy juggling so many hats that it never came to fruition. During the fall of last year I began to really ponder the flower thing. My children are much older now, though unfortunately I lost my oldest son a year and a half ago. Maybe it’s that loss that has given me the jump start I need to tred down roads a bit unknown? As I began to investigate the idea little further, low and behold I found your blog! It felt so wonderful to have something to grab hold of to pull me out of the darkness that has engulfed me! The idea of information being launched forward to all of us following you, couldn’t be more important! I have to say at this stage of my life,I feel I have finally out grown the need for immediate gratification. Meaning, I’m able to think about this endeavor more proportionally. Don’t bite off more then you can handle, and make the most of the bite, even if its small to begin with. I’m really hoping for quality in what I take on, but it has to be manageable and realistic out of the gate! So please, continue on! Your knowledge is a goldmine for us all! Oh, I read many of the old blogs and have to say my favorite is dated April 15, 2015. After all it’s the sum of all our experiences that creates the person we become. God bless

  552. Debby on

    I am ready to get serious about having beautiful flowers in my garden and I am so excited that I have found Floret. Everything that you do is beautiful. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  553. Jennifer on

    I’m so excited to for this blog blizzard month! I particularly liked the question about how much time and energy is available. I started growing flowers for a farmers’ market when I only had two young children and then we were blessed to have three more. I have to constantly remind myself that I cannot do it all … which is sometimes hard when I follow so many other flower farmers facebook and instagram accounts and am constantly seeing all their successes. I’m learning that I’m happiest when I don’t bite off more then I can chew. I would rather walk out to my field and see less weeds and more happy flowers that were properly taken care of.

  554. Denise on

    Love your blog, always helpful.

  555. Lisa on

    Great post! As a mom of an energy-filled two year old and a 10-month old, I appreciate your reminder on taking time and energy into account. Looking forward to hearing how you fit it all in and can’t wait for spring so I can start my Floret seeds!

  556. Celia Spillmann on

    Thank you for putting so much energy in lifting up others and providing some great resources. I’m just starting out as a flower farmer in North Carolina and trying to learn as much as fast as I can, and your blog is one of my favorite and most helpful resources. This year is my trial run and learning curve, and your tips and questions have helped me set myself up for a smarter and more enjoyable experience.

    Can I still have a good first year without hoop houses?

    I don’t have any experience with conditioning my soil, do you have any good resources for that? (Waiting on some soil samples now)

    Thank you again for being my flower farm hero.

  557. Kara on

    I am so excited about this series! I am thrilled to start thinking about starting a small flower garden in my Minnesota backyard! Thank you!

  558. Lacy on

    I love your blog and Instagram feed! I live in Skagit Valley as well (near Edison) and am always excited to see the lovely photographs you post. I garden purely for personal pleasure on a much smaller scale, but glean helpful tips and inspiration from your site. Thank you!

  559. Krys on

    Knowing what you know now I think it would be great if you’d post your top flowers for beginners ones you had the most luck with and the ones that perhaps a new flower grower should skip. Obviously it’ll be slightly different for everyone reading it when you factor in climate and soil but as a newer flower grower I always wonder if I’m missing out on a really nice flower to grow or wasting time and money trying to grow a particular flower.

  560. Shannon B. on

    I am a home-gardener with only about a tenth of an acre and every year I dig out a little more grass for my expanding flower garden. I live in the high-Sierra desert where we have hot summer days cold nights, and where water is a limited resource.

    For me, there’s nothing better than growing flowers. I love the physical work of gardening (I have a full-time desk job), the waiting and care that goes into creating something so magical, and of course the pay-off of having a yard and house filled with beautiful blooms. I love to make gigantic, outrageous bouquets as well as tiny, simple ones.

    I sometimes think about selling my flowers to florists, restaurants, or doing a small bouquet subscription, but don’t think I have what it takes to be a fulltime flower farmer. I’ve visited your farm and have seen how much work it is firsthand.

    I have a lot to learn and would like some tips on setting up drip lines; how you plan when to start seeds indoors, plant them in the ground, etc.; and building great soil. Thank you, Erin and Floret!

  561. Jenny Rae on

    Can’t wait for this slew of blog posts! So excited to learn some of your growing tricks and tips, helpful tools that are worth while and overall some ways how to work smarter- not harder! Thanks for being awesome and so inspiring.

  562. Kristen on

    This is so great! I am really looking forward to this series. Last year was my very first year planting flowers and I had some difficulties with the timing of everything. I was so surprised that I didn’t see any flowers until the middle of July! What is the best way to really plan everything out so you have something blooming most of the growing season and that the things that are blooming look good together so you can use them in arrangements. I know better this year and am going to try and start some seeds indoors so any more advice on how to rig up a seed starting system in your house (unfortunately no greenhouse) would be great. Also the best way to keep weeds out of your isles would be wonderful. And how to arrange all the beautiful flowers you just grew! Oh, and any money saving tips you might have. Thanks for putting this all together.

  563. brenda on

    Thanks Erin for the wonderful insights that you share. I am just starting this spring with planting on 1/2 acre and I read everything you write. I have a very short growing season so it is nice to know that it can be done. Thanks again!

  564. Grace E. on

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m a reader who, until now, would just pop in occasionally to admire your hard work and beautiful flowers. But this year, I’ve become inspired to expand from growing veggies to creating a large flower garden. Posts like these that are full of so much content and advice (that you’re so generously sharing) will definitely keep me checking in more regularly. Thank you!

  565. Kathy on

    I think these are great questions and super important, even for those of us who have been growing for a while. It’s always good to think about where we are going and why. Thank you.

  566. Jennifer on

    Hi Erin! I’m just starting out and have begun prepping my soil and building garden beds. Your mention of the monetary investment required really hit home for me! Along the way I’ve been keeping track of every expense, and just recently have begun feeling overwhelmed with the amount of start-up costs involved, which was compounded by receiving our soil tests back last week indicating we’ll need quite a bit of compost and organic amendments to get on track. Although it’s trying at times, it’s reassuring to know that others have gone through this as well and is inspiration to keep going!

  567. kim moyer on

    Hi Erin,
    I am soooo excited by this series you are beginning. I am a newbie and want to learn as much as possible before getting started. As a mom of three (ages 7, 10, and 12), I am really interested in how you all manage your family life around Floret. Would you mind sharing? We are toying with the idea of homeschooling too, but I can’t wrap my head around how one successfully runs a business and home educates simultaneously. Thanks so much for your kindheartedness and generosity!

  568. Ashley on

    I remember when I planted my first “official large scale” flower garden. I had been dreaming of growing cut flowers for years and was finally going to have land to do it! It was the spring after we had purchased our property and simply put it was an utter disaster…I made so many mistakes! I was so heartbroken and felt like the biggest failure. I put my flower plans away thinking I’ll come back to them when I’m ready. Then about a year later I was standing in line at target and came across a magazine with an article about you and your family….It was so heart-tuggingly-inspiring! I read that article over and over. It gave me hope! I pulled those flower plans out, scaled down a bit and became more realistic about what I could grow. That year I grew more bouquets than I thought possible in such a tiny area! I have loved reading and seeing how much you have created and accomplished! The wonderful and supportive community you have curated and how you have inspired so many others like myself! Your information has helped me and guided me so many times. I am so looking forward to reading what you have in store for this series. I personally would love more info on succession planting. Knowing which varieties best follow others and how to get the most varieties out of a season has always been a topic I really want to know more about. Thank you for creating such a space for learning and sharing…it means more to most of us than you know! Thank you thank you!

  569. Erin on

    I have the land, and the machinery, and the passion/drive but what I don’t have is the time! I have a full+ time job (that I actually really enjoy) plus my husband and I have a beef farm where we rotationally graze and grow all of the cows winter food. So my question for you or anyone else that may want to chime in is how do I make this a business that will pay the bills while I am working at my job that actually pays the bills? There is no way I can chuck the current job to dash after my dreams. But how do I make my dreams a reality?

  570. Yelena on

    I simply love your blog and have been using it as a way to daydream of one day starting my own little flower venture! I am guilty of bouncing back on here on an almost daily basis to see if there has been a new post and to sometime simply just escape into the flower photos!

    I find your blogs highly informative and take notes all the time!

    I’m interested in learning more about soil amendments, when starting out, as well as watering techniques/methods. I would also love to learn how to actually divide dahlia tubers. It seems that every year I buy tubers, but am never able to actually divide them before they all shrivel up (or do divide them and they shrivel up and I just give up and end up tossing them). I’m also interested to see photos of pinching back flowers, when they’re starting out to promote branching and as well, plant maintenance when they’re producing. I know people keep saying the more you cut, the more they will produce. IS there a proper way to cut to promote growth/treatment of the parent plant? So many questions…so little time! :)

    As always, thank you for your posts and dedication to the flower community!

  571. Sharon on

    Your business is an inspiration to me, and I have learned so much from your blog. Thank you. Would you consider posting more information about woodies? Lessons learned, your favorites, best sellers (and duds) — any and all information would be great.

  572. Gaylynn on

    Hi Erin!!! Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge. I have been gardening for many years and every time I read one of your posts, I learn something new. I purchased some of your flower seeds and cannot wait to see the results. I love marrying vegetables and flowers together, my beds always look so beautiful. Thanks again for all the inspiration!!!???

  573. Giulia on

    Thanks Erin, your advices are so important for me!!! This will be my first year in flower farm. I live in the north of Italy, in my farm I have a lot of land, so not space limitation (that isn’t always a good thing!!!). And my climate is almost the same than your. When I discover your blog you gave me the confidence to start. Thanks thanks thanks for all!!!!

  574. Abby on

    Thanks for your blog, Erin! We just moved into a new house last summer in NC (but we used to live in Seattle, and my husband is from Skagit Valley, yay!) with a nice big, flat, sunny backyard. We’re really looking forward to growing some of our own food. I’d also love to keep fresh flowers in the house as much as possible! I’d be very interested in hearing about prep for “virgin ground” — steps we can take starting now, when to start seeds inside, etc. I’d also love to hear your climate-specific recommendations, as we live in the Southeast, and it’s quite hot and humid for probably 7 months out of the year! Thanks!!

  575. Delta Breeze on

    Thank you! Looking forward to hearing more about how you balance it all and how you prevent being overgrown with weeds!

  576. Rebekah Critchlow on

    I’m so excited about this and the upcoming posts! I’ve recently decided to go for it and start learning how to flower farm and start a new business from this. I’ve got a small plot of land (in the UK), about 600 square metres, and so many questions it makes my head hurt just thinking of them. I feel like when I look at the big picture its like being a rabbit in the headlights. I guess what I worry about the most is the admin of arranging a plot…like, once you have a long list of blooms and greens you would like to include, how do you short list so that you have the best and most efficient use of your space through out the different seasons and for using in floristry? How do you get the quantities right for limited space so that you have enough variety but also enough quantity? Its the detail I struggle with sometimes, I’m constantly thinking how wonderful it would be for a more established flower farm to show exactly and in detail how they did the previous year..site maps, plant lists, planting schedule..but thats quite a lot to ask. I would also love to hear more about how you started the floristry side to the business! Thanks for sharing what you do and love, it is so very much appreciated!

  577. Kay Chandler on

    Thank you so much for being so generous with your knowledge. It’s like finding a pot of gold! I am about to dip my toes in the water this year and begin my first paddock of flowers. this blog will certainly has encouraged me think through and plan what will work best for my growing conditions and lifestyle. I would be very interested in learning about how to prep my soil and also about practical equipment that you use etc. The practical information you share is relevant no matter where in the world people live.
    Kay, NZ

  578. Paulina Alesand on

    We are just getting started over here in Sweden. I stumbled over you at Instagram, while I was looking for inspiration and people that are flower farmers. Here in Sweden you can’t find that! I am so excited that I found you just at the right moment. I struggel with the laungue and hope that you understand what I’m writing, English isn’t so easy for me ☺️.

    Being a mom and having your own flower farm, planing the season and important things you should think about as a newbie are things I wonder. Thankful for all the tips I can get! Your blogg is my evening lecture right know and it have already helped me a lot.

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and opening up your beautifull world for us.

    Bästa hälsningar Paulina

    • Veronica Wendt on

      Your English was nearly perfect, better than a lot of Americans :) Good luck to you!!

  579. Jennifer Flowers Logan--Whimsy Flower Farm on

    Looking for income ideas, I was inspired by your sweet pea posts in January 2014 and started growing for local farmers markets. This summer, we are tilling right at one acre. Your generosity in providing all manners of info from seed selection to soil prep, growing notes and harvest tips has turned our family of six into a farm family in two seasons. My teenagers are learning valuable life lessons about self-employment, hard work and passionate dedication, but most importantly, all four kids get to see Mom pursue a dream and Dad throw his energy into making it happen! Great adventure for us all!

    • Barbara on

      You have been so generous with sharing your flower growing knowledge.
      Last year a grew more dahlias so I would enough for bouquets…I was so inspired by the beauty of your photographs .
      I live on four acres of land, I wish I could cultivate it into a beautiful massive flower garden…..just not sure how to go about preparing the land.
      I will study your blog and see what I can learn.
      Thank you for all your sharing.

  580. Laura/ Sunnyside Drive Flowers on

    I am so excited for the series! My sister and I are starting our first year! In the Chicagoland area. We are neighbors and combined have 10 acres – however we have woods and hills and a 2 acre pond and some areas that are low … So figuring out the best spots and where to compost and what will work for hoop houses is all a bit daunting! It was very encouraging to read that you started with two young kiddos maybe your expectations were high but you did it nonetheless! I have seven myself all under the age of eight so I am trying very hard to plan realistically – I can’t wait to read more!!!

  581. Anna on

    I have been growing flowers in a small way now for a few years and your blog is a real inspiration fiving me new ideas and ways to improve how I do things, its a journey of discovery there is always so much we can learn and improve, thanks.

  582. Lynn on

    Erin, what a fantastic article with much needed thoughts. I live in Oklahoma and can grow almost anything it seems. I’m putting in 3 new 3’x12’x1′ beds, am going to see how the growing season progresses. Almost everything I’m putting in is from you!! I’m taking it slow, not going too nuts, and see how I do this first year in intensive gardening. My goal is to move to hopefully an acre of land – I don’t think by myself it would be wise to attempt more, as I have a full time job. I want to eventually do small weddings and sell at the farmer’s market. I’m so looking forward to the continuation of your initial article – and yes, I absolutely have considered all of your questions :) Thank you for being so amazingly generous with your time and knowledge!!

  583. patricia on

    Thank you for the posts. I keep looking at my seeds and wondering when should i start? I live in southern california and our weather has been so
    unpredictable these past 5 years that I can’t rely on past gardens for timing. Hello El Nino. I grow flowers just because I love them. I really appreciate the beautiful posts, images and words that you share with all of us. I look forward to this continuing series.

  584. Jessica Braun on

    I love how you emphasized that you can grow flowers even if you only have a few pots! Renters with no yards need inspiration too!

  585. Sondra on

    I began gardening to keep the legacy of my grandmother’s garden alive. I spent many joyful hours in the garden with my grandmother and watched as she literally saved pennies to buy seeds. Now, I want to pass the memories on to my children. I have three ages six, four, and two and would love any advice for gardening with children and how to garden when you have so many children to also care for…my kids will have their own garden plots this spring and they are looking forward to digging n! But I also want to know how to fit gardening into our days – I usually find little moments to tuck into the gardening throughout the day. Thank you.

  586. Allison on

    Hi. I’m looking forward to reading this series. I live in the [very humid and hot] pineywoods of East Texas. For a time my husband and I grew vegetables, a little bit, for a small farmer’s market in Houston. We would offer bouquets of sunflowers and zinnias. We grow both every year, but now just for ourselves as we are no longer growing for market. I dream a lot about things we’re going to do “someday” and more flowers is one of the dreams I have, so I am reading with interest what you have to say. We have a pretty long growing season, on average March 15-November 15 (although our first freeze this winter was January 4). Issues are always soil health, pests and disease. I think what you’re doing is just magnificent, the growing and managing itself, your venture into offering seeds, you’re online presence, offering words of wisdom and teaching, all while raising a family and having a home life. Pretty amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Allison on

      I’m also Allison in East Texas, and much of my comment could read the same as yours, though we are closer to Dallas than Houston. Soil, pests, and water (not enough or too much!)-Those are some our biggest concerns too. I’m so excited about this series since this is our first year trying to grow a large amount of flowers. We have 8 acres but some places have excellent drainage, and others are quite soggy. The wild flowers seem to like it, so I have hope that I can use it.

  587. Heidi on

    Thank you for sharing these questions. I look forward to your series. We are stepping into year one this year. Seeds are ordered and map in progress. Working on the steps for field prep so when the snow is gone we can have a smooth transition from seed to harvest.

  588. Roxine on

    Thank you so much for your articles! I am hoping to become a farmer-florist and am starting small (in ground to plant), but may have gone a little hog-wild in ordering seed :-) Your posts are so beautiful and informational and very much appreciated.

  589. Terri Todd - Stolen Flowers Farm on

    Erin, I am cheering your success and generosity so loudly that if you step outside and listen toward the southeast you’ll hear me rebel yellin’ all the way from Armuchee, Georgia!! xoxox

  590. Lauren on

    Thank you Erin! I am really looking forward to your climate specific post as I live in the low desert of Arizona and there isn’t much info for growing in our area, specifically on quick flowering varieties that do well in heat. I have loved the growing info on the seed packets and especially the growing guides, looking forward to more wonderful, useful info!!

  591. Glynis on

    As per your request, I am referencing your blog daily as I kickstart my farm with a branch in growing cut flowers for market. You, Lynn Byzinski and the Johnny’s Growers Library are my three manuals. Thank you!

  592. Rachell on

    Your honesty about the hard parts and not just the pretty parts of being a farmer is great. I’d love to see a post about managing the workload when you have little kids. Thank you!

  593. Amanda on

    I’m so looking forward to this series! We’ve just purchased land (6 acres!) and plan to move out on to it within the next couple of months. I’m anxious to be productive outside this year! I’m very interested in reading about planting zones, when to start the seeds vs when to put them outside, and getting results where it gets pretty hot during the summer! Thank you so much for all of the hard work you’re putting into this. <3

  594. Allison on

    Hello Erin & thank you for the information. Your 6 questions were exactly what I was looking for as my husband and I plan for our 1st year as flower farmers! We will be discussing these questions and our answers, at length. Your photographs are V E R Y helpful to me and always inspirational. (I have your calendar over my work table & my sister sent me your postcards as necessary visuals…love them!) I look to you daily as my source for information and encouragement. Keep it coming! ;-) Allison

  595. Shyla on

    Erin, thankyou for this. This information is needed & so so appreciated. Thankyou for sharing what you know with others. I’m so thankful.

  596. bronwyn on

    I hardly wanted to get out of bed this morning. Yesterday I spent the day plotting our future cut flower garden, it is located in the most spence part of our farm, with a great view of our veg. patch and young orchard. I spent hours planning, digging, raking, pulling up weeds, and plotting. I woke up knowing it would be another day of physically demanding work. Although at first I was not too keen on layering up in long johns to go out into the cold to make these crazy dreams of mine become a reality, but knowing the cut flower farming community is full of people willing to help, share, and guide others makes it all worth it. Farming is about community and not competition, and articles like this keep me going when my body says take a rip to Mexico for the rest of your life ….. In no other industry would people be so open and willing to share what’s worked for them – this is a godsend to beginners like me! As for my question, what were some of your most valued mistakes in your career as a flower farmer? As farmers, our days are filled with constant learning by trial and error, and sometimes things don’t go as planned …. however, there usually is a silver-lining, or lesson in making that mistake that then makes our efforts that more efficient and effective! Thanks for your time, take care!
    -Vancouver Island, Canada

    • Killoran on

      I’m on Vancouver Island, too! And just starting out. If you’re in the Victoria area, let me know, maybe I can help out a bit if you need it. I have a toddler and a crazy wild plot to tame, but you never know!

  597. Jordan on

    Hi Erin and team! I am a SUPER newbie and have a goal of growing cut flowers for market (farmer’s market, vintage markets, etc) MAYBE looking into a mobile flower truck! However, I am so unfamiliar with how this goes, so I am starting small and seeing how I handle the growing process in general. I have ordered seeds (from Floret!) and have about an acre I am working with right now…more available if I need it in the future. I would love info on tilling, composting, fertilizer, etc. I know nothing about hoop houses, but that keeps popping up:) THANK you for this series! xo

    • Sharika on

      Jordan, we are practically neighbors :) if there’s anything you need.. Questions for local sources, encouragement or support, feel free to look me up on Instagram – Pétala Flower Farm.

  598. Karen Fulbright Pollack (Fig & Scallion) on

    Hi, Erin! I’m really looking forward to this virtual class series! I live in the SF Bay Area and am redoing our back courtyard. Last year I redid the 1st half and this Spring is the other half/side — which is mostly raised brick bed — in the shade…ugh! I will be re-installing a new drip system and trying to nourish our neglected flower beds. (We moved into the home 1 year ago and the entire backyard had been enclosed in overhead trellising for years…we ripped it all down and liberated the plants that were suffocating back there.) I would appreciate any tips/ideas for shade loving flowers/plants (other than hostas)…they have to live under a very large Japanese Maple, a large Willow and a huge Lemon Tree. Oh, yes…the previous owner planted Calla Lilies that keep coming up all through the flower beds…I haven’t figured out how to deal with them, definitively, yet. Best to you! Karen

  599. Melissa on

    Thank you! I really liked hearing about your field sketches and how you use them to see how much total space you actually have. Keep up the good work!

  600. Tracy Mahar on

    These are fantastic questions Erin. I am starting my first year growing flowers from seed. I can’t say that I’m not nervous. I would be very grateful for any advice on amending the soil. for these annuals. Many Thanks! I enjoy your blog so much, very inspiring! Someday I hope to be able to attend one of your workshops so I can meet you!

  601. Line i Alvehagen on

    Lovely post and great information, as always. I’m extending my growing area this year, to grow more perennials. (West coast of Norway, northern Europe) As it is now I don’t feel I can afford to let the perennials take up space in my current cutting patch, still there are so many perennials I would like to grow! Good to be reminded to plan. Dreaming of all the beautiful blooms I would like to grow is one thing, having the right amount of space is a different matter altogether. Thanks for sharing! It is truly inspiring and much appreciated.

  602. Thea on

    The WHY question is really most important, no? I don’t grow for retail but I might have considered it 20 years ago when I left the corp world and discovered gardening. I achieved a bit if success growing flowers for cutting for my own personal enjoyment. Finding and discovering your story might have spurred me on farther. I moved to No. Virginia which is a veritable bloom come spring. Peonies do quite well but I have found roses to be much more trouble than when I lived in NY. The moist heat in summer isn’t that great for flowers. I met a cut flower grower from Newport News VA whose flowers are amazing. However, having been to visit the Seattle area, the weather is so conducive to flower growing. I truly wish you all the success with your venture. I’ve shared your posts on my garden club pages. All the best! T

  603. Veronica Wendt on

    Thank you for this post! I can totally relate to your frustrations in the baby years and agree with setting realistic expectations. I have 9(!) kids and tried many years to get my business going, only to be met with frustrations at not being able to get it all done, which in reality was just my own unrealistic, self imposed expectations making me crazy. Rather than give it all up, I just did what I could and now that my youngest is 3 1/2 this is my first “official, doing it for real, jumping all in” year. Babies are the best flowers to grow, although when they grow into teenagers, they sometimes feel like weeds :)

  604. Taya on

    Great post! My home is on a little over an acre and I have been considering growing some of my own flowers. It was great reading your 6 things to consider. The main one being lack of time, with a 3 month old baby I don’t know think it will be anytime soon. Thank you!

  605. Estelle Hayes on

    I’m so excited for this series. I moved into a new home four months ago in a new city in Southern California and I’m still trying to get my arms around my property. I’m targeting a large bed that need new soil and fertilizer and a new drip system. It’s currently being overwatered above ground. I’m starting zinnias, cosmos, sweet peas and sunflowers from seeds (many ordered from you!) and am looking forward to learning more about preparing the soil and watering requirements. Many thanks!

  606. Terri Bowlby-Chiasson on

    Thank you, Erin! I have been checking your blog all morning for your first post in this series(forgetting we have a four hour time difference!)…this is helpful to us.
    We are beginning our second year of cut flower farming here in Nova Scotia, Canada…I found it helpful to be reminded to factor in the costs of compost, fertilizer, etc. and recommending starting with annual seeds so as not to break the bank…thanks again!
    You continue to be my source of inspiration and I truly appreciate you sharing all the ups and downs…you are a real person with real challenges and successes! xo God Bless!

  607. Melissa Clifford on

    Your website inspires me to be creative ! Thank you for the information you provide!

  608. Jennifer Erin on

    Wonderful post, Erin! Full of great information and important considerations. I can’t wait to read what else you have in store. Glad you mentioned climate and encouraged new growers not to despair. While my climate does not allow for beautiful garden roses, (Saskatchewan, Canada!)the sweet peas I grew last season (bought from Floret!) were absolutely amazing, and bloomed their hearts out all summer long. Many thanks for such a wonderful resource!

    • Joanne on

      Hi Jennifer, sorry to hijack your post, but when I saw Saskatchewan, Canada I needed to connect with you. I am also a grower in SK, 60km NE of Saskatoon. Would love to connect with you. Have been growing for 10+ years now. Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/mistik.acres. Would love to hear from you! Joanne

  609. Leyla Dorsey, Joy Flower Farm on

    I love your blog and all that you write! I literally read it word for word each time you post! THANK you for your enthusiasm and encouragement—- Just posted this on your Facebook page:I LOVE your blog posts! So inspiring {I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a flower farmer until I read your feature article in Country Living!}! I am totally hooked and after studying and reading all fall and winter, I am starting my first year! Thank you, and please, keep writing!

  610. Shannon Kubenez on

    This is fantastic! Great questions and great information, thank you for posting!

    • MareBear on

      Thanks so much for doing these posts! I’m on the Olympic Peninsula so I glean so much of following the how-to’s of your farm. These educational posts are exciting to get, kinda like getting your favorite magazine in the mail!! It’s also a great resource to point friends to that are just beginning with new possibilities of growing their own cutting garden!

    • Amber Tiede . Riverwood Flower Farm . Ontario on

      I appreciate your candor and honesty! We women put so many demands on ourselves and on what we think it means to be successful. We are just starting to grow seriously this year… All your information is appreciated!

    • pooh stevenson on

      So love your work and can’t wait to start your seeds here in Michigan when things warm up. I’m interested in Dahlias and… what are your favorite crops grown in hoop houses. Also successive plantings to keep the blooms coming all summer long. We are in zone 5 but can still learn from your work and adapt it to our growing season. Thank you for all you do! Love Love your calendar!

    • Alexis on

      I loved this article. I came across your Facebook page because I love your floral design style. I absolutely love your “why” about why you grow flowers and how much it means to you to share the beauty of them with people! I feel the same way :)
      I am a florist and my boyfriend and I have recently bought a business with a store front and 6 greenhouses on half an acre in Ontario Canada. We will be growing a lot of annuals, vegetables and bedding plants for the spring in the greenhouses, but I would also love to grow some cut flowers with some of the land out side and possibly one or part of the greenhouses. We also currently have 1 hoop house used for storage and room for a second. What suggestions do you have for types of cut flowers we could grow up here, particularly outside to start? Thank you! And I’m so glad I stumbled upon your site :)

    • Floret on

      What an exciting new endeavor, Alexis! I’m planning an upcoming post on easy-to-grow annuals for beginners that I think you’ll find useful–stay tuned!

    • Jennifer Adkins on

      Hello!…..You are basically my hero :) I live in Eadtern Ky., and my huge dream is to revitalize the area economy with cut flower production, starting with me, lol……I have grown cut flowers and herbs for my local farmers market (tiny) as well as community members for the last two years…..I want to get bigger and better….any advice you offer is invaluable to me…..THANK YOU so much!

    • Ruth Reynolds on

      I read and re-read your blog. I work as a designer in a busy floral shop and on the side i have a huge garden which for many years was filled with the heirloom tomatoes i grew from seed. I think one of the things I’d like to see you talk about is when u seed or dig your bulbs. Do you overestimate for those seeds that fail to germinate? do you direct seed or use plugs?
      I did take your advice and this year will grow many annual flowers from seed before i commit to growing a complete garden of them. I love your blog and so look forward to it when it arrives in my email. Your pictures are spectacular.

    • Nora on

      This was really helpfull to me! Specially the part about having young kids and being realistic what you can handle in your garden! I probably think of you when I watch my weeds grow faster than my flowers :D but it helps me to be patiens with myself when it doesn’t workout this year as I want to. Thanks!! greetings from the Netherlands (Europe)

    • Stephanie on

      I loved this post! I somehow stumbled on an article about your gorgeous flowers and farm last weekend and have been a woman obsessed since. I love my vegetable garden but could not truly see myself turning that into any kind career path. When I read about you, the 50 mile bouquet and seasonal flower movement I felt so inspired and felt like I could actually see a future for myself in there! I am so excited to take my love for gardening and try my hand at a cutting garden. I am totally a future thinker too, so in my head my yard is already full of flowers. This was a nice snap back to reality and a reminder to not get carried away, but take it step by step and really plan it out. Thank you for your thoughtful, informational posts!

    • Dianne St.Amand on

      Your article has been very helpful. I love the part about being in the now, as I tend to get to far ahead of myself. I love gardening, and I love a challenge. Your comments will remind me it is one step at a time.

    • Heidi Smith on

      First I want to thank you for the vast amount of information I have found on your blog, beautiful and informative post. I am very much a visual being, and your photographs have spoken to my soul
      I live in Northeast Oregon, we live on 7 acres of land right on the Grande Rhonde River
      It is truly an amazing place, and this would be an absolute dream to be able to cultivate, nurture and love the journey of creating our own little flower farm, as there is nothing like this in our area
      My husband William and I both have a love and respect for gardening, both fruits and vegetables, and we also have a small orchard with cherries, apples and pears.
      I want to learn from you, I am slightly obsessed with going to your site as well as gathering all of the information that you offer off of your brilliant pinterest boards

      I do want to dig in
      …and flourish

      this flower child…

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