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February 1st 2016

Six Important Questions To Answer Before You Get Started Growing Flowers

Written by
Floret

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!

845 Comments

  1. Leigh on

    Hi Erin
    I’m so glad to have found you via Amazon. A friend and I have just taken on some land which we are now in the process of weeding. Definitely early days for us but I shall now sit down and try to answer the above honestly. Thanks so much for the focus! I’ll be back soon when I’m ready to move forward.
    Leigh (England)

    Reply
  2. Roxann Kosmicki on

    Hi Erin!

    Thank you for all you do. I was really happy to see the post about gratitude. Reminds me to do the same. I just moved to 19 acres and some times even your dreams being realized can be a scary thing. I came to this blog post and was like ” Yes, I need more focus”. I have two toddlers myself and I am seeking that balance.

    Namaste,

    Roxann

    Reply
  3. Jan Lewellen Pagel on

    I am signed up for the 2018 course and am so excited! I live on 2 1/2 acres on Vashon Island, though I still have to figure out how much of the land is suitable for flower farming. I’m currently a commercial landscape designer, but am looking for an additional income stream as I head towards retirement. I can’t wait to begin!

    Reply
  4. gmo1htrvl on

    Hi Floret!!!
    Like some of the other folks who have posted, I too am signed up for your 2018 workshop. I have been a nurse for 36 years as well as a hobby gardener. Flowers have been my passion forever but I never really entertained the idea of “flower farming” for profit. Everything about your website is so informative and helpful. Bless your heart Erin for being so incredibly generous with your knowledge. Since my husband is now retired, (haha—wait till I put him to work in the garden), we have moved to a new locale at 7200 ft. elevation in the high desert. I read somewhere in one of your blogs that you have a friend who gardens in the high desert. I have searched the cooperative to no avail to find others at higher/dry elevations. If you haven’t already entertained the idea, it would be helpful to group “like climates” together in the cooperative so that folks could possibly share the same concerns and struggles of growing in the same environments. Don’t know if this is possible or not, just a thought. Until January, I will be reading your book and planning the flower garden for 2018! Again, thank you so very much for your sincerity and helpfulness.
    Gina O’Dell– Colorado

    Reply
    • Suzanne Rogers ~ Colorado ~ Western Slope on

      Dear Erin & Family & Team ~ Congratulations on your acquisition of additional land! We hope you all have a restful Thanksgiving break. :) Thank you SO much for your generosity sharing your wisdom and valuable insights with we beginners. I have loved growing flowers all of our married life (26 years) but had not considered the possibility of flower farming until I stumbled across your remarkable journey on Instagram. We have been studying and weighing the possibilities ever since! Your book has been a tremendous resource; we have put into practice many of your recommendations already. These six questions have been an additional help challenging us to weigh the cost of starting on this journey. I sat at here at the computer and read these questions to my husband and he affirmed we need to continue to evaluate our ability to move in this direction. Our most daunting hurdle right now is the free-ranging deer. Materials can be procured from the Dept. of Wildlife, but the cost of having it installed is prohibitive at this point. So we will move forward with what CAN be done and continue to interview local established flower farmers and greenhouse owners. We can’t thank you enough for encouraging us to expand our horizons! Blessings to you all!

  5. Gina Schley on

    Hello Floret,
    Because you asked, I’ll share my thoughts. First I realize this post is from over a year ago but I just enrolled in your upcoming online course and I’m so excited I can hardly sleep. Reading through your blog will have to hold me over until January. In all honesty, I just learned of your farm a few months ago when I saw your book displayed at my public library. I’ve been leading community ag projects for the last decade and I’m thirsty to expand what I’ve learned into a profitable business. My husband and I are currently under contract on a 3 acre piece of property and I’m hoping to get started next spring so I found you at the perfect time. This blog post has helped me think through my current situation validating that I am ready, and reminded me that I don’t have to do it all the first year. You did mention something that I have a question on. You said the first year you thought you could just though seedlings into the ground and didn’t focus on feeding the soil or irrigation. Are you suggesting here to feed the soil with compost and perhaps plant a cover crop the first year, and not plant flowers in Y1? Or did you not put any compost down the first year? I was planning to put compost and irrigation down in the spring but I was hoping to also plant seeds. Would love clarification on what you did your first year.

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Hi Gina–congrats on your new property! Thanks for your note and thanks for enrolling in the upcoming Workshop! To answer your question–I was saying that I didn’t put any compost down the first year (and should have)!

  6. Seth Clark on

    My wife and I are planning our start this year. We don’t have a large space, about 1/5 an acre, or budget to start with, but we plan to do all we can with what we have and grow from there. Your book “Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Farm” has added to our excitement and we have been looking into signing up for your online workshop. You are such an inspiration to us! We have lots of planning and research to do but are very excited about the journey! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us all!

    Reply
  7. Samantha Locadia on

    Hi! Thanks so much for this post, and for your website. I just saw the course that you are starting in January but I’m not that far yet. I love the post, I was wondering if you have more information about climate differences. We live in the Caribbean (almost South America) and have hot weather all year round and I was really wondering how to get started here. What seeds would do best? I started with my kids about 2/3 years ago, just planting Zinneas for school to learn about planting. And then we just fell in love with them! They grew so tall and where so beautiful! Even people passing by would ask us if they could have a flower. lol However it’s hard to find seeds, and to know which ones grow well here. Anyway, sorry for the long story, but I’m in love with flowers! And in love with your website! I can’t wait to have a flower farm of our own one day! Any tips/book recommendations for people starting out in hotter zones? Thank you! Sam

    Reply
  8. Jodi F. on

    I have read this before, and I’m sure I will read again. Please do not take this post down. I think it is a good reminder for all of us periodically, double checking our focus and also the whys. Even the clip on the Flower House in Detroit, I broke down and cried…so much passion, so much care….for others. The crying wasn’t just because of this, but it spawned my own thoughts about flowers. When I think of blessing others and bouquets of flowers my friend “L” comes to my mind over and over again. She isn’t close by, so traveling to visit isn’t a piece of cake, but nearly everytime I visit her I put together a little bouquet of flowers, herbs, and sometimes mixed forest greens added to share with her. Every time I present it to her, her face completely changes, like a sunbeam of hope suddenly blooms right on her face. Its changes her life for not just a moment but for a day. Amazingly enough, it has to be the Lord shining down on the bouquet, because sometimes its a couple weeks later and the bouquet is still sitting there almost as if it was just picked. This is my small, but emotionally huge, gift I can give to a friend that has struggled nearly 12 yrs with cancer. The bouquet seems like such a small thing at the time compared to her constantly giving spirit….giving, giving, giving of herself, even when it would seem she doesn’t have strength to give any more, she still gives. So giving that she has tried to refuse the flowers at times (use them for others, I don’t need them), but I remind her that its not just for her, but also to be a blessing to those that come to visit with her. Then she gladly takes them, knowing the gift will bless others. The change I see in her with the smiling flower faces….that’s one of the WHYS of flowers for me. Thanks for bringing it to mind, and thanks for reminding me that the WHYS are just as important as all the rest. Thank for allowing flowers to bless you, and then also bless the rest of us!

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Thank you for this, Jodi. So much. And don’t worry, we’ll keep this post on the site–it’s a keeper, especially with so many thoughtful comments like yours.

  9. Njambi on

    Hey there?! Congratulations on the great work y’all are doing, am soooo inspired and learning loads from your experiences and generous information sharing – thank you!! Am in Tanzania and just now getting started on this flower thing, am busy doing market research, ordering seed and getting my land ready. Am excited but terrified all at the same time, and your website is a real blessing. Flower seed is largely unavailable here, so am sourcing from neighbor countries of Kenya and South Africa, as well as from the US. Am also working on figuring out how I’ll get my product to the largest market here, the capital city, which is on average 10 hours away by road!! :) My 3.5 year old loves flowers and being on the farm with me (I currently have some garlic, tomato and strawberry crops growing) so am looking forward to her having all the flowers her little heart wants, as well as making a business out of this deep interest.

    Reply
  10. Sara Caldwell on

    Erin and team,
    Thank you for your dedication to put together such a wonderful website. Yes, this information is very helpful. Asking these questions are very important in the process of figuring out how to begin. Figuring out your “why” or as you put it “your north star” will help to stay focused when things get hectic and you start to question your sanity. I am grateful for your honesty about how much effort and hard work it takes to build a business and that there will be failures amid the successes. Having a realistic picture going into this venture is very helpful. I must read on……..

    Reply
  11. Loreta on

    Hello. I love what you are doing. I’m Loreta and I live in Lithuania.
    I am very glad that I discovered your wonderful activity. I also don’t imagine my life without wonderful flowers, so I wholeheartedly support you, your flowers. Your flowers look fantastic, I see you do everything sincerely and add a lot of work. I wish you success. Your family also amazing. Best wishes!

    Reply
  12. Lindsey on

    I just love what you are doing. I’m a mom of 4 little ones in Southern Indiana. I dream through your Instagram and blog about what I can one day do. Your tutorials and online videos are fascinating even though right now I only grow a few flower pots! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  13. Jean on

    Thank you for sharing your experiences! I was a flower farmer for a number of years, and learned everything from reading and trial and error. I wish your blog had been around then! I dream of getting back into the flower business (part time, this time!) As I am planning and visioning this winter, I will definitely be looking to you for information and inspiration!

    Reply
  14. Diana on

    I just recently heard your podcast with Theresa Loe. I have three acres and have been growing dahlias for 25 years however in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, elevation 5400 feet and mother nature (frosts in early September) really challenge me to make a thriving business from the dahlias alone even though I have been approached by a florist to sell them. I want to learn more about high plains, short growing season flower options to expand into a viable business. I have access to sunlight, water and the time. I just need to be realistic about what’s possible given the climate. I am reading all your blogs to learn as much as I can and it is the first time I have found someone who is so generous in sharing the knowledge and lessons learned. It truly speaks to your mission to share flowers with the world through yourself and others. My biggest pleasure is given a bouquet to a friend. Thank you.

    Reply
  15. Jen French on

    I am addicted to your blog! Absolutely every post has one or more “gems” that move me a step closer to realizing my dream of full time farming. Your generosity in sharing so much of your hard earned knowledge is an inspiration. “Giving back” will be an important part of my business plan, as my way of paying it forward.

    Reply
  16. Sonya on

    Thank you so much for posting such an informative piece. I live in Baltimore City and do alot of my gardening in raised beds and pots on my patio or garage roof. I try to do as much gardening as I can and take advantage of the little space I have in my urban dwelling.

    I purchased your book a few months ago upon recommendation from a friend and became obsessed! Now, my entire house and garage roof is covered in pots and raised beds and my back patio and little city l-shaped yard is surrounded with 5 gallon buckets, terra cotta pots, and portable garden beds.

    I garden with organic soil and compost and even make my own compost (really difficult in the city), but I was wondering what you use for organic fertilizer in your garden. I order my tulips and ranunculus through Floret and was curious when planting them if I should be placing the fertilizer in the hole with the bulbs or just spread some fertilizer over top the soil. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you for being so generous and providing us information on how to grow a cut flower garden!

    Reply
  17. Trudy on

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing your hard-won lessons in expanding your flower business! I love the inspiration you give us and the obvious love you have for growing flowers.

    I’m a full time landscaper beginning the transition to flower marketing in the next two years. Your advice on taking it slow is so important. I want to jump in, plant a hundred dahlias and dozens of annuals and just get going. The 20 varieties of dahlias I bought this spring sat on a rack, waiting to be planted all summer until my husband decided to jam them into the containers on our deck just to save them. A few flats of coleus and begonias are still floundering, in November, in their original pots under the deck. No time, no time.
    I do think I’m starting to get it though. Seeing those plants sucking wind every day as I rushed in and out to work became a daily reminder to stop thinking I could do more, buy more, plant more. It’s just that coming out of the monotone winter, with colorful flower catalogs spilling off the desk and hints of green brightening the landscape, I get inspired and I feel rested from hibernating. During the landscaping season, I plan and plant so much for clients that I forget I don’t have more hours and hands to help me at home. It takes a lot to reign in that enthusiasm.

    It was especially hard because my husband and I had recently moved from a mature landscape we’d worked on for over 15 years to a new place, an acre, similarly sloped but functionally a mess. It had little more than oaks and pitch pines and a few struggling shrubs. The first thing we agreed upon was to rip out the ugly boulder retaining walls and reshape the terrain. We reworked the driveway and planted the perimeter with flowering shrubs and foliage plants so they could get started growing. We then installed an irrigation system. We were still working without a comprehensive plan but we wanted to make the most of the southfacing slope, so we created terraces and planted a few hundred perennials. I kept telling myself even if I didn’t have the time to market bouquets, we’d be inviting pollinators and we could look out past the torn up yard to the little plot of flowers.

    The plants did really well by this year but I didn’t feel I could devote enough time to bringing them to market consistently. I didn’t want to sell a small bouquet of wildflowers once in a while but to make stunning bouquets that customers would look for. I would have to be reliable and know my stock, know my target market and have an outlet.

    As you advised, slowing everything down was a big relief. My timeline hadn’t included some of the key things I needed. The infrastructure, workspace, storage, etc., were all in the planning stages but yet to be built and landscaping season was in full swing again. Once my client properties were in order, I started building my tool and work sheds. By August, one shed was up and the other started. At the end of September, the sheds were finished. I moved all of my equipment out of a rented space and now have everything in one place. During this time I also acquired three beautiful work tables from a greenhouse that was being torn down. It was an old, all glass, Lord and Burnham that was very hard to say no to, but again, I had no place to store it, and no time to put it up. I settled (happily) for the tables. I keep chanting, “No time, no time.” It’s helping.

    Going into winter, I’m reminding myself of the value of slowing everything down. I have more time. I can make a garden plan, review your list of recommended flowers for the market, and create a business plan. The timesaving mini-course on making bouquets faster was one of the many things I’ve learned from Floret and I am continually inspired by your eyecatching photos and blog. You make it all look effortless even as you share your stories of trials and how to avoid them. Thank you for your generous spirit!

    Reply
  18. Aude on

    Hi! I am just starting to read your blog and I’m already hooked! I signed up also to the mini course and video #1 was great. I have been trying to figure out “what I want to be when I’m grown up” (I’m 32 but nonetheless), and I can’t wait to know more. You have great pedagogy skills and the video and website are well done (and beautiful!).
    I did not find anything yet about environment and organic culture but as I said, I just started reading.
    Thank you for your great work!

    Reply
  19. April Fisher on

    Hello-I am seriously considering beginning my own flower market business. I hope to be able to register for your online course on Nov. 9th. I’ve read most of your posts and I have your book. You have my complete respect for the way in which you share your knowledge and experience with beginning folks such as myself. Thank you for your generosity of spirit! Do you have any shrub recommendations for cutting? I have full sun and about 1/2 acre total to plant. My soil is rocky and somewhat alkaline. (7.1) Should I do raised beds?

    Reply
  20. Isabelle on

    I have been inspired first by Floramama here in Québec then found you. The inspired bit is greatly fulfilled. Now getting serious and developing my project. Difficulties to find corms and all sorts of nice bulbs and seeds in Canada. Around 5000 square foot available for flowering farm. Winter will be spent on how to with company side of things which I lack so profoundly. Looking forward to your online worshops and other tips. Thank you so much for everything you do and to show that it can be done. Isabelle

    Reply
  21. Bria on

    These questions to consider are so helpful in getting clear and really organized even before taking action. It’s easy to get caught up and run with the beautiful vision I have for my business, but to remember the WHY and HOW it’s actually going to happen is a treat way to stay focused and grounded. Thanks for your straightforward and honest advice and knowledge!

    Reply
  22. Meghan on

    These posts are so helpful. I am looking to start a cut flower garden to use for my Flower Studio!
    Very eager to start this spring. I am in the beginning planning stages right now. Any insight is greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  23. Mandy on

    I’m hoping to grow a few flowers for home use and friends next season. These posts are SO helpful. I am planning to buy your book soon! Thank you!!

    Reply
  24. Jodi on

    Thanks for the reminders. It makes it easier to keep the majors in mind at the same time. Also, great reminder that dreams are best for growing in bursts of small clouds….rather than taking in the whole herd at once and nearly get stampeded!
    Can’t wait to see more info on growing for colder regions, as our new farm will take us north for real winters…and extra protection for tomatoes. Completely opposite of our lives the last 20 years.
    thanks for sharing your passion!

    Reply
  25. Adrianne Grimm on

    This post was so helpful for helping me think more clearly about my “why.” Thank you for writing this post!

    Reply
  26. Margareta Wedmark on

    From april until now, Oct 2017, I pick a bouquet of flowers from my garden and bring it to my work – I’m working as a familydoctor at a healthclinic in the south of Sweden (IG viggoirevinge). It makes me happy… my garden and my bouquets 💐

    Reply
  27. Sonia Brouillette on

    I would like to tell you that my English is not so good, I’m leaving in Québec. I’m very enthusiast to discover you and Floret. You’re the person that gives me the best recommendation to begin my business of Flower farmer and realize my passion of flowers.
    I’m to late this fall to order bulbs, so I will grow in spring annual flowers from seed. I have to figure to build a greenhouse with my garden shed attached to the garage. Design my flower bed with the irrigation system.
    Thank you for your helpful information, I can visualize already my new business.
    Sonia

    Reply
  28. Sally-Anne on

    Thank you Erin for encouraging me to reflect on my cutting patch and flower journey. Yes I too love how blooms make you focus on the here and now. Thinking about my patch, I know my growing space an allotment right at my back gate, yes its in full sun, I have time to commit to my patch, children are now self sufficient teenages (if this is such a thing), but what I do need to know more about is my climate and what blooms are best suited I will have to research this more thanks for giving me a direction to focus on. Would love more information on plant and growing periods in different climates if you are seeking direction for your post. i.e like you touched on with the sweet peas.
    Thank you for sharing your knowlege

    Reply
  29. Jesse Oman on

    I am just starting a cutting garden for next summer! I am so confused about spacing for my flowers. For instance some packets say 1 inch spacing. So do I cut holes in my fabric every inch of fabric or am I better off not using my weed fabric for those that grow so close together. Help, i am nervous to cut my fabric. I have been trying to find a blog post on it, but i have not yet. By the way your book is gorgeous!

    Reply
  30. Kristina Karekos on

    Hi Erin,
    I wanted to drop a line and let you know I fully appreciate your taking the time out of your very busy family and business life to share with the rest of the world your journey, tips of the trade and the plethora of information I’m sure you offer in your workshops. The little bit I have seen left me hungry for more so I bought your latest book (based on a recommendation from a friend at my local nursery). My husband and I rather recently made the decision to begin floral farming. Of course this was prompted by us both ‘putting in the time’ in so to speak so have started preparing the fields and plan to plant some things shortly for next year. We only have 2 acres but you have provided me with the affirmation that it can be done! I do have concerns about irrigation as there is none presently. I went through the reflection questions on your blog ‘things one should ask themselves prior to embarking on the flower business endeavor’ and honestly I am so grateful that you presented these questions to us. It’s really easy to draw conclusions about a business based on lovely photos on a website or a wonderfully written book. I know there is a lot of blood (well maybe not blood lol) but sweat and tears and hopefully joyful ones as well on your flower farming journey. I am trying to do everything I need to do before Old Man Winter bears his evil grin. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. All of your information is invaluable and has given me the much needed boost of confidence to embark on this exciting mission of mine.
    Kris

    Reply
  31. Lourdes Laurente on

    Thank you…it ids so hard to see and be the reality of farming. I remember giving a friend of mine, a huge coffee can of zinnias. They were colorful and bright, so luscious. I started my cutting garden so we could take flowers to my father’s grave. Flowers that he loved from the land he loved.
    It is so easy to get ahead of yourself. I hope your words keep ringing loudly to keep me grounded as I go on to plan another flowering year…more dahlias? Zinnias? Larkspur?

    Reply
  32. Christiana Coleman on

    Hello Erin,
    Thank you for another great article for would-be flower growers.
    My husband and I have a small, 1/3 acre market garden outside of Nashville, and I am researching adding flowers as ‘my’ income source. The things that concern me most are the time requirements–we have two boys aged 2 and 5–and the risk of repetitive wrist motion injury. Also, much as I love flowers, I need any plan I make to truly be a business plan with projected yields so I can project income. We jumped into market gardening 3 years ago after watching a bunch of Curtis Stone videos; however, there really are not the same kind of resources available to plan whether to make the jump into flowers now or wait until we are more financially stable. Things like price per stem and market demand seem to fluctuate much more than in the world of vegetables, while the days to maturity for flowers are much longer; even 65 days, short for flowers, seems long compared with 28 days for baby arugula. Reading your book and Growing for Market articles been of incalculable value; also of value would be economic details–how much does it cost to construct a tunnel for snapdragons? What is your target revenue per share foot or per bed? I love reading about mistakes other growers have made, to avoid their pitfalls. And their chosen varieties and why each is a favorite… Part of me worries that a flowergrowing mama is in for a life sans evenings and mornings with children; how have you balanced the time demands?
    Your story about doubling your acreage without access to irrigation or compost made me smile–you’re not alone there! In our first year on the farm we planted trees on contour til after dark for months, trying to create a Permaculture paradise with our savings, which covered hybrid chestnuts, native persimmons, mulberries, hazelnuts, and raspberry canes, but not…irrigation lines. Ouch!
    Writing is a labor of love: thank you for sharing your experiences and your knowledge! Christiana Coleman, Ashland City Tennessee

    Reply
  33. Megan on

    Erin,
    I so appreciated reading this post. It actually brought tears to my eyes. I am currently a new mom with a toddler running around and would love to get a flower business started, but I am also a part-time mental health therapist, and finding the time to do the research, acquire the knowledge and really dig in is something that just doesn’t seem possible right now. But, knowing somebody else has done it, despite challenges and frustrations, gives me hope that this dream of mine really can become reality! Thank you, thank you!
    Cheers,
    Megan

    Reply
  34. Gail Jordan on

    Hello Erin. My name is Gail & I live in Spring Hill, TN. I have worked as a dental hygienist for 35 years purely as my source of income, but am contemplating another source of income as this profession deteriorates a person’s body. I am 56 years old & this is a daunting crossroad to find myself in, especially at this age. I have always had a love of flowers but have never even thought of possibly growing them for a business. I have always loved growing & giving flowers away to others, or having them on display in my home to lift my own spirits. Through a series of reading different agricultural posts & coming across your website about your flower farm, I have started to consider starting my own cut flower business. A dream has started swirling around in my head, as of late, that this could possibly be my answer as to how I can slowly crossover to another career. I am a mom to six girls & one boy & wonder if I could possibly turn it into a family affair : ) The post I read today prompted me to write to you because it showed me questions I need to ask myself before I venture into flower farming. That’s what I needed. I’m the kind of person who tends to do better following through with a plan as long as I have some guidelines. I will continue to read any of your posts you choose to write to help me reign this idea that is swirling & swirling around in my head, & so appreciate the time you take to pass on the knowledge you have acquired. Even though I have never met you or your sweet family, I am so happy for the blessing y’all have enjoyed being able to purchase more land & grow your flower farm. Thank you so much for passing on your knowledge & inspiring others like me!

    Reply
  35. Agnes Boyce on

    Hi Erin. Thank you so much for you do and share. I want to start a cutting garden but truly have no idea where to begin and how can I sell them. I work full time but I am so happy in when I’m in my garden. However, I do get frustrated when on the weekends there is not enough hours to be outside. This past summer I learned you can’t grow class Ming vines anywhere near other flowers. I want to expand my little plot where I grew zinnias and sunflowers and cosmos and four clocks. Keeping the birds away from my sunflowers is definitely a challenge. I tried to plant more than they can pluck from the ground. It’s frustrating when the new seedlings come up only to find they have been gnawed off. But l keep after it. I won’t be defeated. Can you give me some idea of start up cost and the best way to irrigate the flower beds. I have your new book and love it. I’m also going to look into your other books on your favorite reading list. Your feedback to me is very much welcomed. Congratulations on all your success. I also plan to take your online workshop if I don’t miss the deadline. Take care and hope to hear from. Agnes Boyce falls church Virginia.

    Reply
    • Gina on

      Hi Erin,
      So very much enjoy your site. I live in the high desert of Western Colorado at 7200 ft. elevation, along with the flower loving critters. A challenging environment to say the least. Flowers have been my passion my entire life. I am finally at the point, 58 yrs. old, where I have time and money to pursue my passion. I have the acreage but due to our hot summer days and cool desert nights I am at a loss of how to grow many types flowers. I’m thinking hoop houses will be my best friends. I’ve grown sunflowers and hollyhocks successfully. Lavender does well here too. Hope to take your workshop and order your book! Thank you so much for being an inspiration.
      Gina ~~ Grand Junction, CO.

  36. Sandy Abell on

    Greetings, Erin. Thank you for sharing the wealth of knowledge and experience you have amassed over the past 16 years with the rest of your “neighbors” across the world. I am about to begin Master Gardener basic training and I have had a longtime dream of growing beautiful flowers for gifting to loved ones, for supplementing my income, and for my own enjoyment. Nothing helps me alleviate stress more effectively than working in my perennial garden. It’s my happy place tucked away in a little corner of Southern Maryland! This fall and in the new year I will be cultivating bulbs, tubers and annuals, so the information you pass along is of enormous value to me. I ordered your book “Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden,” and I look forward to devouring its contents this weekend! I wish you and your lovely family all the very best as you turn the page to a new chapter with your new farm! God bless!

    Reply
  37. Katie Hawkins on

    Hello Erin, I just wanted to write and tell you how much I appreciate all your guidance with putting a true cut flower garden together. I have been greatly encouraged. I usually grow sunflowers at my house every year and they come up the next year on their own. This last year I got diagnosed with fibromyalgia and as I was not able to go back to work and still haven’t been able to and I was trying to come up with some ideas of how to make some money from home. It dawned on my husband and I one day to try and sell the sunflowers from our garden. I really wasn’t sure of the response I would get, but it has been a true blessing and has worked out really well for me this summer. I have a lot of dirt in my back yard and am going to try and plant some annuals back there this year. Our summers get very very hot and up to 109 degrees temps here in the central valley of Kingsburg Ca. So I am trying to be careful what I plant in full sun, like Peonies and other varieties fearful that they might fry. I have a good three months of nice spring weather but my summer last about 5-6 months which is great for some annuals. Do you have any recommendations of what definitely cannot handle the high hundreds weather even though they like full sun? I planted some yarrow the other day, but I know when summer comes it could be rough where I planted it. My budget is really tight so I may not be able to use hoop houses or green houses yet. I appreciate your encouragement as a mom and how to start easily and slow and still produce beautiful flowers. This article that you posted was very helpful and I have really been inspired by my your book.

    Reply
  38. sally on

    Your post is very helpful, honest, and reflective. I have just under two acres now, land that was once farmed by my grandfather. I’ve spent the summer growing cosmos, zinnias, and multiple successions of sunflowers. My goal is to add bulbs, some perennials, and more annuals and figure out how to sell them. My flowers this season have been given away to friends, family, and local charities.

    Your information on flowers and growing have been very helpful. My struggle is how do I go about finding/convincing/keeping clients and providing them with quality flowers.

    Thanks for all you share! Your book, website, and social media have been a huge inspiration to me.

    Reply
  39. Karen Foulkes on

    Good morning from a grey filled sky garden in Hampshire england. Inspiring…beautiful colours…your photo’s spiked my interest in your blog. I have recently joined a flower group, where I can learn to arrange flowers for all occassions. My wish would be to grow my own flowers for cutting. Your blog has made me feel it could be possible, by answering and following your questions. I will be getting the book, as reading through the other comments I see someone else from this country has found it invaluable. I like the idea that there is a step by step to help get me started.

    Reply
  40. Justine Clarke on

    Thank you for your inspiring farm and story. I am Australian and i am looking at starting a small cut flower farm. But i have a few hesitations as the land that is available is surrounded by macadamia farm land and they all use horrific sprays. I guess i need to take into account whether the sprays will affect my flowers or look at covering the flowers during the spray season? Its terribly sad that farming practise needs to spray so much, bees are a vital part in Macadamia farming and all the farms around us have to find home for their bees during the spray season. If you have had any experience with farmland sprays round your farmland your advise would be much appreciated. Thanks again for your honesty and your wonderful story.

    Reply
  41. Tiffany on

    Very insipring.. I only grow vegetables right now but after reading this I think I am going to mix in flowers also, your pictures are so beautiful. I live in the high dessert, what types would you recommend?

    Reply
  42. John James Gibbons on

    Great Questions!! i will be giving much thought to to these questions!! Hi my Name John and i firstly just want to thank you for all that do to help us flower lovers along. I am from Liverpool in the UK. I have always had a passion for growing flowers and gardening but never really pursued it for one reason or another. I recently bought a couple of Florist books for a friend starting college and your book came up on amazon so, i decided to treat myself to one, well all i can say is one, i haven’t been able to put the book down what a fantastic inspiring book it is. Two thank you for the book, because now you have pushed me to follow my passion of growing flowers and start my own Cut Flower Garden. i don’t have the space at home to Grow so i have been and got myself and allotment patch only small 90 meters by 30 meters, and i cant wait to start . following your book step by step. who nos where this will take me. i will keep you updated as time goes by with my success or failure. many thanks

    Reply
  43. Melanie on

    I live in zone 8 – east Texas – we have a long growing season but humidity here is brutal. Your comment about mosquitos hit a familiar cord w me. Thank you for keeping it real :) I have a question I’m sure you’ve probably answered several times – do you spray pesticides to protect your investment from insects? Sunflowers here can be destroyed in a few hours by insects. I would like to keep to natural and organic growing practices however protecting the product is number 1 priority.

    Reply
  44. Cathy on

    I have a small mini farm (free manure ) chicken~horse~duck~rabbit I want to follow in my mom’s gardening slippers. Living in Ohio in 7 different places she managed to take her garden with her. she grew up in Tuscarawas Ohio, where grandma’s garden was along a stone wall. 5 homes later she and my father created that same beautiful garden wall for the third generation to enjoy. When we lost grandma we brought her flowers home to central Ohio. If it was mom who taught me the magic of flowers, it was my father who taught me the yumminess of your very own grown vegetables. When my parents moved again it was the 3rd generation that requested to bring that wall garden. When our parents got sick, it was than we sold their house and bought one 2 doors down, so they would keep their neighbors. It was 4th generation that helped carry lilies & roses in bags to that new barren backyard. I want to teach our new generations the value in old things & new

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  45. Kimberly on

    I love the question ‘Why do you want to grow cut flowers?’ Flowers have been a constant in my life, in small scale gardens my mother carved out in front of whatever mobile home we were currently renting. No matter where we lived, we had morning glories climbing the bark of pine trees, cinder blocks planted with cheerful marigolds, dusty millers lining the edge. She always found ways to make the not-so-pretty into magic. And I miss her, with a desperate ache most days. So, that’s my why. So I can honor and remember my mama, in every bloom. And because I am always buying cut flowers for my house and I’d love to try my hand at growing a small patch of them, instead. Your site is a treasure trove of knowledge and pretty magic – thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  46. Amy on

    I have. Even feeling a pull to start my cut flower garden. My goal is to produce enough for me and some to sell at my shop (small home decor shop). I can’t wait to read more!

    Reply
  47. Whitney Gonzales on

    I’m so excited to use this series to help plan next years flowers.

    Reply
  48. C on

    Beautiful site, discovered after a random search.

    I worked for 3 years in a florist shop but moved from zone 8 to zone 7 recently, so figuring out my new climate might be filled with expensive mistakes. Always a gardener, the flowers I’ve devoted space to must also work as cut flowers, too. Your palette is exquisite and you’ve made my morning a bit brighter with hope for next season. Thanks.

    Reply
  49. Nancy Dambrosio, Connecticut. on

    I have been following your flower farm for maybe 5 years, and have seen your success. The way you tell about the farm and document with fab photos is what captivated me and i have even told a short story about you on my interior decor blog. I have a friend who purchased a ten acre farm here in Connecticut, which has an old abandoned greenhouse like structure on it. I’d like to grow dahlias. And maybe others not sure. But I have been to Seattle and realize the ability to grow fabulous flowers in that area. CT will be more challenging weatherize. I would like to purchase your dahlias in January and give it a try with all your good advice here. The way you share your experiences is one of the secrets to your success, I do have experience as floral designer, and have attended The Flower School in NYC and taken courses with Ariella Chezar, where i learned to forage for interesting greens to add to arrangements. I will report back my progress, but you need to know that I get much of my inspiration from the way you tell about your life, and elevate the beauty of flowers.

    Reply
  50. Diana Skurka on

    Just read your BeAuTiFuL book and am now planning my garden for next year. You have inspired me…i am so greatful! Will be asking for gardening extras for xmas so i am ready for the Spring! Keep the advice coming! Its ALL helpful!

    Reply
  51. Theresa Mayo on

    I found your site this past spring – when everything was already pretty much sold out. I was amazed at so many people loving flowers like I do. I live in Alabama- so lots of humidity, high temps, and mosquitoes to deal with- but would love a small flower garden, about 1/4 an acre – full sun. To start I want to be able to be a blessing by giving flowers away, but once I figure out what in the world I’m doing, would love to sell some bouquets locally or supply some local shops with flowers. I love your comments about how flower gardening always helps you focus on “today”, that is a need for me too!

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  52. Margot V on

    Starting from scratch in a new home in northern Vermont. Following along for inspiration and tips but mostly just falling in love with your Instagram feed. Beautiful work.

    Reply
  53. Luisa on

    Thank you for sharing!!!

    Reply
  54. Margie on

    I have only just discovered you today and I just love what I’ve read so far. I live in Australia in a warm sub-tropical climate. I have a tiny garden which I try to combine edible plants (assorted herbs, tomatoes, eggplant, strawberries, lemons, dwarf peaches and olives) with cut flowers (hydrangea, roses, snap dragons, and a whole lot of other stuff I don’t know the names of) to enjoy giving away and for myself. So I’m looking forward to reading more from you for little hints and tips to improve my small space. Oh, and I love your images too :)

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  55. Laura on

    I live In Georgia and am currently working up a plan to start a small flower farm to sell bouquets at my farm stand! Your post are full of great info and maybe even more important, great inspiration!!! Thank you so much for all the time you and your team take to share all the info, photos and inspiration with the rest of us!

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  56. Rebekah on

    I want to be a flower farmer! Your articles are great and your flowers are beautiful. I also have three children and time is an issue. But staying at home and not working in town would be a dream. I have about three acres with irrigation. The land used to used for hay. The ground is decomposed granite. I’m just stumped on how to make the soil healthy enough to start. Keep the good work up!

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  57. Amanda on

    I look forward to reading anything you have written. Thank you the inspiration!

    Reply
  58. Michelle Ali on

    It’s been a dream of mine to own a cut flowers business. I LOVE AND ENJOY a vase of fresh flowers on my dresser and throughout the house, as well as sharing them with family & friends. You are inspiring!

    Reply
  59. Lisa Shortley on

    And I thought looking at your blooms were magical… your words are also food for the soul. So happy I finally took a moment to visit and read your blog. I’m going to the bookstore tomorrow to find your book. I’ll need a copy for my sister as well. I am in the desert, Las Vegas; close to Mount Charleston so my zone is tricky, 8A

    I would love to add Dahlias & Asters from your seed and tuber collection. I can’t seem to find any in stock as of late September. I’m hoping I don’t miss out on them.

    Reply
  60. Anna on

    I bought the floret book and even though I’m wrangling two little ones, its helped remind me how much I really love being outside in the dirt watching things grow. It was the inspiration I needed to just make two little raised beds 3×6 and plant some seeds. Maybe someday I’ll add some more, but for now, I love reading more about plants across the country and learning more about flower gardening. Thank you for all of your informative posts, sharing your missteps as well as your victories and being an inspiration for gardeners across the country (& world)!

    Reply
  61. Flower Farming – The Biggs on

    […] own business, she writes books, shares photos and even has her own blog to help people like me.  floretflowers.com This post is all about getting started and why. I just her reasonings and enthusiasm. She is a […]

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  62. Jackie on

    I’ve been thinking of growing flowers for some time. This last summer we had some luck with Mexican sunflowers. Look forward to reading more about what kind of flowers I can grow in south fla.

    Reply
  63. Lynne on

    Thank you for your post! My sister in BC, Canada just pointed me to you and recommended I follow you on Instagram. I’m inspired. We are endevouring to expand our vegetable garden for feeding our family and selling and would love some more beautiful flowers to adorn it. We live in zone 7b. Is there anything I can buy from you now to start this season? Thank you kindly!

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Hi Lynne,
      Thanks for following along! We are getting ready to re-launch our online Shop SOON which will have some great bulbs for fall planting! We’ve got all hands on deck getting all of the details wrapped up–I promise it will be worth the wait. There are some hardy annuals you can direct sow now for early spring blooms that you might consider. Search past blog posts for more info. Good luck!

  64. Sarah Foster on

    Dear Erin … bless you! Your generosity in being willing to share your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and expertise with us all is why Floret is the mega success it is with flower lovers and growers around the world! It’s this, along with your great talent, your gorgeous photos, your lovely style, and general fabulousness, as well, of course! I’m 54-years-old, divorced, have grown kids, beaten cancer three times in 10 years and am ready for a whole new life, which I now want with flowers, and you have given me so much encouragement to just get out there and do it!

    I left the city six months ago and now live on a beautiful 2.5-acre property in an area called Gippsland in country Victoria, about 1.5 hours out of Melbourne.
    I moved out here to be out with the big blue sky and the rolling green hills, and to grow flowers for the sheer joy of it. Like you – in fact, like all of us who are so drawn to Floret for inspiration – I found that growing flowers made me happy and gave me a deep satisfaction. It helped to ease my sorrow in sad times and to give me hope during some very dark days when I was afraid of the future. There is something so beautiful that flowers bring to the heart, and I want to be a part of this wonderful new flower farming movement. How thrilled I am to see you sell Floret seeds to Australia! I’m an accomplished home gardener, but this will be a whole new adventure, so I’m starting small – just a corner plot to see how I can manage – and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for offering SO MUCH of yourself to enable others to realise their dreams. The website is so beautifully designed and full of rich content, and it – along with your book – is my daily read with morning coffee. God bless you, your family and Floret. Best wishes to you all. Sarah xoxo

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Thank you for sharing your story, Sarah! xoxo

  65. Marti Carroll on

    I’m currently in the planning stages of creating my cut flower business. Unlike any other state, I’ve discovered that we have to take test, acquire certifications and permits to grow and sell and arrange flowers for profit. So while I’m studying for that I’m trying to learn as much as I can and your blog is extremely resourceful! I can only imagine how much work goes into it and want you to know how much your efforts are appreciated!
    A New Louisiana Fan!
    Martha “Marti” Carroll

    Reply
  66. Kathy on

    Hello Erin. I am also in the planning stages of starting a flower farm and your six questions were the perfect ones to ask and the ones I am working through answering now. My first step will be to look for the right property as I know my current backyard will not do! Wondering if 2 acres should be the goal or something more or less, not sure. Like Donna above, I am also 58 so feel like a late bloomer, but I have dreamed of this for so long that I know I have to do it and I think now is finally the time as I have just retired and have the time. I live in Ontario, Canada. I found it really interesting that the list of flowers I want to grow are not far off from the list on your Cut Flower Care Guide. Years ago I bought Lynn Byczynski’s book, The Flower Farmer and have been dreaming of this ever since. (I definitely want to buy your book too). My concern isn’t time or the investment, but I hope I will be able to keep up with the work involved. But like you, working in the garden or with flowers makes time stand still for me. I want to do a combination of things…grow/sell, design/arrange but with a focus on the unusual and what people are looking for. I am looking forward to catching up with all of your blogs.

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  67. Donna Dunagan on

    When I grow up I want to be a flower farmer! I want to share this incredible beauty that I love with the world! This is a dream, however I want it to become my reality. I am 58 so I’m getting a little bit of a late start but you are never to old! (I hope). So this is the year, I am going to do it! Plant seeds work hard and pray! Our family owns about 40 acres in Blossom, Texas surely with a name like Blossom I can grow flowers! Thanks for sharing your love, passion and work with the world! You inspire us all.

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  68. Christina on

    Hello, this read was very helpful! An inside look on how much time and patience really does factor I to growing these beautiful blooms. I love in the Midwest, Indiana to be exact. We have a pretty warm summer and mild fall usually having temps start to warm in late April to the cool down in October. What blooms would you suggest for a gal who wants to start a small area in her backyard? How do I prepare my soil? Thank you for always brightening a day with your beautiful blooms!

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  69. Susanna Jarrett on

    This post was so good. I am in the process of reading your book, the advice in which is fantastic.
    I have two very small plots which I have had for two years, where I grow flowers to sell on my stall.
    I love it! But I do find it overwhelming at times.
    In particular planning what to plant to keep a constant supply rather than too much of one flower then nothing. Also working out what people want to buy. They don’t like orange in England! Another thing I have realsised is planning ahead is vital. This blog really helped me focus. Thank you.

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  70. Louise on

    Since being inspired by your book I have decided to look for a few acres and start my own flower farm slowly down here in Australia. I am desperate for tips such as:
    * How do you assess the cut flower market to know if there will be demand for the produce from a small farm?
    * At what point was it necessary for you to afford to pay for transport, labour, cold refrigeration and other expensive costs to help support your business? Can you do a flower farm like yours cheaply? As in, on my own?
    * Is it easier to start with a large amount of delivered composted soil to start with rather than digging up beds from pasture?
    * Does your farm produce enough carbon rich materials to make good compost or do you find yourselves buying hay etc?
    * Do you really dig up all your narcissus, tulip, ranunculi, dahlia, etc. bulbs between seasons? I imagine that is a lot of backbreaking work… if not, do you plant any other crops during other seasons over the bulbs? Or do those beds stay empty until the bulbs re-emerge again?

    If you also wrote a book on the behind the scenes practicalities of you flower farming business you’d sell a million, I’m sure! You must get so many questions, I truly do appreciate your time. Your work is such an inspiration.

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  71. Christine Moffatt on

    Hi,

    We have some acreage in upstate New York that was part of our family’s farm. Right now the family uses their land for some cows and growing hay. Our field had basically become abandoned agriculture. Now we want to put it to good use. We were going to grow hops, but decided to set aside two acres and give growing flowers a try instead. We had the soil tested and the results were good. We don’t live there full time, but have family that is able to help. We will be planting peony bulbs this fall and a few more varieties in the spring. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and wisdom.

    We are looking forward to this adventure!

    Reply
  72. Susan Baker on

    This was so exciting to read! I stumbled upon Floret on Instagram where I saw the most beeeeautiful row of dahlias videoed at sunset.. I work in a Floral Dept snd my passion for flowers continues to grow.. your site and pictures and blog (which is brand new to me) is giving me hope and confidence that I can grow more annual cut flowers and possibly have a little slice of heaven here on earth and have my own cut flower garden .. not just wish for it. So I’m really at the reading/ thinking stage for next year as summer comes to an end .. and look forward to reading continuously to learn what I can .. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, your work and your obvious love of flowers with the rest of us so we may be inspired and attempt this glorious way of spending more time doing something we Love😄

    Reply
  73. Rae Smith on

    Your book, blog and pics on instagram are all so inspiring! I’m a florist but would love to branch out into flower farming. This post was immensely helpful and so inspiring. I also live in the future, some part being I have to be 3 months ahead with different holidays but also because I tend to “think” future but struggle with what needs to happen right know, today.
    This really grounded me in thinking and planning.
    Thank you for all your insight and help!

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  74. Abby Smith on

    I am an organic vegetable farmer looking to possibly branch out into organic cut flowers. Loving what I am reading. Do you use crop rotation and cover crops when growing cut flowers like you do with vegetables? And do you have more tips on high yield/small scale farming and building hoop houses?

    Reply
  75. Stacey on

    Brand new to the PNW (Mount Vernon actually!) and am excited to try out my green thumb. Your posts and book have really given me the confidence to try a cut flower garden so that I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. Thanks for all of the tips and confidence! Would love to see your garden one day!

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  76. Meghaa on

    nice and interesting blog thanks for sharing and good job. Thank you so much

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  77. Renee Strauss on

    Thank you so much for all of the beautiful work that you do! Your flowers are truly amazing and inspiring. I am just beginning my flower-growing journey here in Florida and your blog has been immensely helpful. Thank you for sharing your journey and thank you for the beauty you bring into the world.

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  78. Lindsey on

    This is great! I love the confirmation that the thought I (sort of grudgingly) had yesterday is correct – probably better to do less flowers well, with compost/watering/fertilizing etc, than try to do too many and not take care of any so well. I think I’m in a similar life stage to yours when you were first starting out so these tips and reminders are helpful. Looking forward to reading more!

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  79. Sandra on

    Excited to read more, looking at a cutting garden for hobby now, and maybe later a business. Always looking to follow the advice of those who have done the work already, thanks!

    Reply
  80. Donna on

    Love this. As I start my own small scale boutique farm with two small children, I am starting to put into prospective in what I can and can’t achieve these first few years. Your honesty and advice is wonderful! Keep in coming,,, if you have the time. Donna

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  81. Shelly on

    Thank you for this. I love fresh flowers and your pictures on IG make my heart soar! I have recently considered growing my own so I’m excited about this series. I love how you said doing this keeps you present. That will be one of my hopes as well. We have plenty of space so land isn’t an issue. I think my challenge will be preparing the soil, making the right flower choices, determining the right timing (it can get quite hot and dry here in SE Texas) and yes, keeping up with it. Looking forward to learning and “growing!” 😊

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  82. Sarah Shaffer on

    I am a farmer’s wife and mom to 4 growing boys. I have always had a love for fresh flowers and have been thinking about adding a cutting flower garden to our farm for some time but am now excited to start thanks to you and all of your great advice. I just ordered your book and cannot wait to read it and soak it all in. Thank you again for sharing your journey and your love of flowers with the rest of us.

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  83. Emily on

    I really enjoyed your article; I found interesting your tips for planting flowers. I am new in this of gardening but I think that this is a passion that not many share, but those who do find refuge and tranquility in it. In my house, I have a small orchard where I´ve planted different herbs like basil, parsley, mint and peppermint, which in time allowed me to stop buying them in the market. I hope one day to expand my passion and start growing flowers like roses and tulips.

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  84. Sara on

    This is so helpful! I am new to your blog (I found you via your amazing book) and I’m working on planning a tiny cut flower garden. It’s hard to streamline ideas into essentially a 4×8 ft. space, but your blog and book are helping me focus. My goals are really to simply have simple bouquets and the joy that comes from growing something beautiful.

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  85. Kate Wallis on

    I live in Flower Mound, TX (outside Dallas) and have loved flowers for as long as I can remember. I’m also a mom of 3 kiddos 4 and under so I can relate to your post about having littles to take care of. Thank you so much for writing this blog and for your book! I ordered it and couldn’t put it down. As a mom it is easy to feel overwhelmed or like you don’t have any time for outside interests, but your book has inspired me to explore flower growing for my own enjoyment and bring my kids along for the adventure. Thank you!

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  86. Sarah on

    For someone dreaming of starting their own farm, articles like this are very helpful! It gives an excellent starting point when there is such a wealth of information out there that can bog down your mind even during in the initial “dreaming” phases. & Personally, I’m a planner so I love articles that are broken down point by point as this one is. I’m so happy I’ve found your blog!

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  87. Alyssa on

    I am so happy I have stumbled across your blog. I have been starting to really enjoy gardening the last couple years. I have a fairly large back yard and am thinking about creating some garden space in my yard for cut flowers. Your blog has been so informative!
    I can’t wait to get planning. Thanks for all your fantastic tips.

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  88. Julie on

    I live in an apartment in Boston with no access to land outside. I enjoy reading your helpful tips now, so I will be prepared in the future! Thank you for your beautiful pictures & wise words.

    Reply
  89. Cara on

    I am so excited that a friend introduced me to your blog! My family is in the process of purchasing our first home, and while I have never attempted a garden before, I have a dream of turning our front yard (about a 1/4 acre) into a flower garden. I am so inspired by your work and you passion! We live in Massachusetts, so I’m sure things aren’t exactly the same, but this is all super helpful (and exciting)!
    <3 Cara

    Reply
  90. Aideen on

    I was told you are the leader in a cut flower revolution and had to come take a look. Very interesting and informative read if I ever do get to grow my own, if only for my own pleasure

    Reply
  91. Kari on

    Thank you, I’m so glad to have found you! I am starting from scratch and navigating this world blindly. You have given me hope and motivation that this may be possible, for that and so much more, thank you.

    Reply
  92. Amy Breault on

    As long as I can remember I have always loved cut flowers instead of pre-made arrangements. While thinking about getting back to my roots (pun intended) I have been considering farming. My grandfather was a farmer. I have tried vegetables in the past without much luck. I never learned how to farm. I happened upon your Instagram and instantly feel in love. The idea of walking among a yard of flowers just makes my heart happy. Thank you so much for being willing to help those like me to pursue a love for flowers. I hope to make a small amount of money but, if all I get out of growing flowers is the enjoyment of them my life will be richer. Thanks again.

    Reply
  93. Christy on

    Thank you for sharing what you know!! I have been a home gardener for years, but hoping to take the next step and actually sell some of what I grow – I am looking forward to reading your book and am sure it will be a huge help!!

    Reply
  94. Mary Railey on

    I have become the emergency Florist in my community
    I am astounded at the price of Flowers and thought I would grow garden flowers to supplement the expensive
    Flowers from my local florist
    Also doesn’t everyone prefers Garden Flowers !!
    I have 4 empty raised beds I have thought about filling with vegetables but after learning of Floret Flowers, I hope to fill with Floret Flowers! I ordered your book and anxiously waiting for fall in hopes of ordering some Dalhias and seeds and maybe a Workshop in 2018 !!!
    Thank you so much for your very informative and encouraging Newsletter !

    Reply
  95. Tom on

    I just found you…………you are what makes the internet great.

    I will be back, Iam away from home and will subscribe next time.

    Thank you for the inspiration. Take care.

    Tom.

    Reply
  96. Jacinda on

    This is super helpful. I am in a similar season as you described when you were starting your flower garden, and I have the tendency to bite off more than I can chew. Thank you for these questions. This is valuable in determining where to start in this new venture.

    Reply
  97. Jenny on

    Your a God send! Mom of three wanting to grow flowers because the thought if it bring great joy when I see that hey I started that from seed! My kids ar excited and hoping to teach them a lot!

    Reply
  98. ChenXia on

    I was born in 1988,and I am from China,Im so inspired by your experiences!And Im gonna quit my job and do this !Im gonna create a garden soon.But for sure,Im a little nervous about all the unknown Im gonna face to ,But I will keep on fighting!I need your advises…and I don’t know if my English is ok to understand ,haha

    Reply
  99. Marni Nelson on

    I am 55 and looking forward to starting a small flower growing operation. Your info is great and I hope to visit your farm this summer. Look forward to learning from your experience..I am too old to make mistakes !

    Reply
  100. Dani on

    Just moved to a new house on a 3rd acre. Totally overgrown with weeds and shrubs from the 60’s….I want it all done tomorrow and this helps me keep that in perspective. One at a time. I left my lovely little garden to the buyers of our last home so I’m feeling pretty bummed out right now, but this gives me hope!

    Reply
  101. Amanda on

    Just came across your website after reading the New York Magazine article. Love everything here!

    Reply
  102. Dawn on

    Well I am 53 years young and thru the up and downs of my life gardening has always been my rock. When I bought my very first home at the age of 27 we unloaded the boxes from the truck to the house and I went straight outside to dig a bed for vegetables. My mother-in-law came out and said “Don’t you think you should unpack the boxes first?” My response, ” Mom it’s spring I have to plant.” It was my first garden and I did more wrong than right but it was perfect. My dream would to be able to grow enough floweres to sell bouquets at local growers market.

    Reply
  103. Heidi on

    I just ordered your book. I’m giving serious consideration to starting a flower farm and your input is great. Especially learning from your mistakes! Without a greenhouse to start is it possible to direct sow for the first year and still make a go of it? Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

    Reply
  104. Sam on

    I have followed you on Instagram for ages and love watching all your flowers bloom and the displays you put together. Thank you for sharing. We are moving into our new home soon and I will begin my gardening to always keep fresh flowers in the house. Thank you for sharing your experiences and advice.

    Reply
  105. Jessie on

    Thanks so much for sharing your advice and thoughts! I’d love to grow and sell cut flowers but I’d need a hoop house or a greenhouse to start the seeds in since I’m so far north. This is where I get stuck. Is there a way to make a greenhouse without spending a ton of money? I’ve searched online but it’s overwhelming. Any help or tips on this would be much appreciated!

    Reply
  106. Kari on

    This a wonderful post, thank you. I have a growing interest in flowers from snipping blooms from my mom’s garden, and chatting with her about different varieties to try. I’m beginning to consider helping mom expand her garden in hopes of being able to sell some flowers at the local farmers markets. This post gives some really helpful perspective and things to consider as we look to possibly expanding next season. Thanks!

    Reply
  107. Rachel Kabodian on

    I have been following your instagram for some time now and just realized you have a blog and I LOVE IT!!! :) My husband and I live in Seattle but are getting a little tired of city life and are planning to buy land somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula or Southern Oregon; your flower farm is such an inspiration! Our dream is to have a small retreat center on our farm where we teach yoga, herbal medicine making, offer massage and healing sessions, and the opportunity for people to offer their helping hands on our farm that will have fruit trees, veggies, herbs, and flowers! Haha, talk about biting off more than you can chew, huh!? Well, that’s the dream :) why not dream big! It doesn’t have to happen all at once of course. Anyway, please keep posting—>you have so much wisdom to share! I also love your writing style…I’ll be getting your book soon I’m sure! Thanks 🌿

    Reply
  108. Natalie on

    This article definitely gave me a little boost of “You go girl, you can do this! Follow your dream!” I can explode with so much emotion contemplating my own dream flower farm. Unfortunately, I live in Florida. With our heat and humidity, flowers just don’t seem to do well. I am a beginner by all standards, and want to learn all I can whenever I can. At this point I’m willing to move out of state, anywhere where flowers will grow. I just don’t know where to go. I need help in figuring out where that would be. I’m willing to uproot my entire life to follow this dream of mine. I just hope it can truly become a reality. Do you guys know a good place to move to? somewhere with a great climate for gardening and not too much snow ;) thank you so much. ps Please keep the blogs and articles coming. They are a great way in helping me really envision what life with a flower farm would be like.

    Reply
  109. Melissa on

    Loving this post and your instagram feed. I bought a house on 2 acres with a green house. There’s so many plants popping up and I want to learn how to garden. I bought your Salmon and Big Red Wine seeds. Excited to keep reading and figuring this out as I go. Wish me luck!

    Reply
  110. Jaime Main on

    I am eighteen years old and have always enjoyed the process of watching seeds grow into something productive and rewarding especially with vegetables and fruit trees. I have always been considered a bit of an outsider due to gardening being a hobby instead of going out partying like most people my age, however my long term goal is to own a bit of land and reap the rewards of growing food myself. Your farm and blog have inspired me to venture out and plant some flowers, I currently have got Dahlias, Gerberas and Sweet Peas on the go, thank you for sharing your sweet business.

    Reply
  111. Mariah on

    Thank you so much for this post. My soon to be husband has about 26 acres that he has started a hop farm on. I was thinking a good way to contribute would be a small cut flower garden. Then, for my birthday, one of my good friend gave me your book, Cut Flower Garden! I am in the process of devouring it! It has been so inspirational and this blog post helped make it seem like a possibility without losing reality. Plus, although I live in Maine now, I grew up spending summers in Skagit Valley and still go back at least once a year to visit my family who is still out there. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  112. Erin Stewart on

    I have been gardening now for 10 1/2 years. I started with hanging baskets and pots at my first apartment! i couldn’t get enough of that alone. as soon as my husband and i bought our first house i started a garden in the ground. We sold our home and moved to a farm that we now rent. i developed a love of starting flowers from seed a few years ago because it just seemed like the next thing after vegetables. Now I can’t get enough. I feel that I can’t grow enough flowers and I try to fit as many into the season as I can. I never thought I could make a business out of something that I love because I always felt that it might take the joy out of it. But I do garden for hours a day and so I’m feeling that I may actually be able to do this as a business of that. Until I came across your blog I wasn’t really aware of the flower industry. It’s funny b/c I don’t like my husband to ever bother buying me flowers at the store b/c I always felt that they were so ugly. I have always told him to just pick me wild flowers off the side of the road. The flowers in the store are so “cheesy” looking.When I started reading your book and reading your blog I immediately developed a passion and could see a vision for local flowers in our state. (unless they just didn’t come up on google). I know that I would be bored with typical flower farms that just put out large quantities but don’t specialize in interesting and unique arrangements. That is precisely what would keep me inspired. Most people seem to do this for the money but when I read that you still love it because of the simple fact that you feel in the moment with flowers, I could completely relate. That statement alone made me feel that I could connect with that. To farm flowers for money would bore me to no end! But to do it b/c of the love and then reach a specific market, that is what would keep me going as I homeschool my four children and work in the hot sun! I have known nothing but high intensity gardening. I gardened on 1/4 acre for 7 years. I completely understand how to do succession planting and narrow isles! Its so normal to me! my husband and I have always agreed that our small living situations would have a purpose down the road for us. I thank God for the experience. Thank you for your continual inspiration. You are filled with much wisdom that I will personally be relying on in the coming months. I look forward to reading more!

    Reply
  113. Tracey Allen on

    I am just venturing into growing flowers for home and garden (and maybe to create a little bit of extra cash) after moving to a much larger garden a little while ago. Love your articles and find them very inspiring, as well as your Cut Flower Garden book which I have just read cover to cover. My twins are just about to start school this Autumn so I will, at last, have more time to devote to my gardening passion, possibly developing a hobby business of my own and to learning more from Floret Farm.

    Reply
  114. Rachel on

    I seem to have found your blog at just the right time. And these are the questions I need to be asking myself now, as I contemplate starting a flower farm. I live in about 20 acres, of which I could probably farm 1-2 acres in flowers. I also have that tendency to dive in head first and think I have to do it ALL, and RIGHT NOW. So I am trying to pace myself and just start small.
    The vegetable garden is started, then comes the flowers and berries. 😊

    Reply
  115. Cynthia C on

    Thank you for sharing your many years of work with us! Your generosity is an inspiration to all of us! I look forward to learning and hopefully someday creating my own version of a local farm in my area.

    Reply
  116. Laurenne on

    I absolutely love your comment about how cut flowers pull you out of the future and into the present! I have started buying flowers weekly to do exactly this, as well as keep me from dwelling on the past! I’m looking forward to learning how to grow my own flowers through reading your posts! Thanks in advance

    Reply
  117. Jess on

    So much great info! Apartment living isn’t conducive to growing a cut flower garden but a girl can dream and plan for the future. Inspiring article!

    Reply
  118. Suzanne on

    I have a big, sunny backyard in Upstate South Carolina waiting to be productive. With flower farmers cropping up at local weekly markets, their blooms are easy to envy. Being retirement age but not fully retired, I would like to step towards flower growing but the question is how do I begin? Your blog is filled with great information that I have only begun to read. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    Reply
  119. Jennifer on

    I’m loving these posts about growing your own flowers. I’m interested in growing on a small scale, mostly just for my own personal use. I live in the city and have a small community garden plot and sometimes enjoy guerrilla gardening. I live in Vancouver, Canada, and I look forward to reading about your suggestions for climate. I also loved the post about small space gardening, especially Sarah Nixon’s creative solution.

    Reply
  120. Jessica maddox on

    Hi Erin. I’m researching and planning to start my own cut flower farm next year. I’ve just finished reading your book cover to cover giving me endless ideas and tips for my own business. I’m now looking forward to reading through your blog for more invaluable tips. I can’t express how grateful I am for you to share your experience with us. Most farmers and business owners like to keep their secret to success close to them. Your doing a wonderful job of keeping the information generic enough that even in Australia I can adapt the information to my climate and conditions. If there was anything more I would like to know more about it would be marketing your flowers. Did you have a rough idea of your market before starting? I to have 2 preschoolers and loOk forward to reading how you juggled your kids and the farm :D

    Reply
  121. Nikki on

    What an amazing amount of information you are sharing! I’ve just gotten interested in growing cutting flowers (just for my house and to take to shut ins I visit etc) but I’m not a natural green thumb. I’ve read several of your posts already and pinned them. I’m excited to learn about types of flowers, spacing, timing for planting. All these awesome ‘tricks’ and valuable information I’m learning from your posts. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  122. Sue Salzmann on

    Hi. I am a lifelong gardener living in the western Catskill Mountains in New York State. I just read your article in Heirloom Gardener and decided to check out your website.
    I’m just beginning to work on a plan for a small cut flower business. I have six acres, about three of which would work for full sun crops and probably another acre that I could use to develop shade gardens. I am also interested in using plants from the woods here and the many available wildflowers in my neighborhood.
    I am hoping to have a plan together to start small in the Spring of 2018.
    Thank you for providing this resource. I am just starting to figure things out (marketing-wise) and I’m sure as I progress I will have many questions. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you might be willing to help me answer them!

    Reply
  123. brenda on

    I am in Idaho and just came across your blog. I love flowers and would like to start a flower business. I have a half acre of land that is irrigated that I would love to plant more flowers in just getting my feet wet right now and trying to get as much info as I can before I start.

    Reply
  124. penny on

    Love ,love,love your blig!! My husband & I have dreamed a million times about growing cut flowers & turning it into a business! ! We are in Central Florida so our growing season is pretty sweet. What flowers do you recommend to start with? Right now we are thinking small with sunflowers, snaps, & zinnias hued for fall….any tjoughts??

    Reply
  125. lisa barton on

    Hi! I love your business and passion. You are an inspiration! I’m in Southern, CT. I’m wondering if it’s too late to plant, its June 15th. If not, great! I’d like cut flowers to simply put in my home or give to friends. How would I know what to plant so that I can harvest in a way that would spread out the harvest so I’d have fresh flowers consistently until maybe early October? I know, a tall order :)
    CT.

    Reply
  126. Hannah Vazquez on

    I just discovered you on Instragram this spring, then you showed up on a new favorite podcast (Living Homegrown)! I love your story, and I just started digging into your blog. My husband and I are moving in the direction of starting businesses and being out on our own, and growing flowers is one area I’m looking into since I love flowers and arranging, plus we have a lot of nice land. This post is a great start for me to start evaluating if this is a good move for us and I’m really excited to read the rest of the series! I am planning on buying your book soon too!! One thing I’m really impressed with is your generosity in sharing all of your experience and knowledge (as well as how much knowledge you have!). So, thank you!

    Reply
  127. indulge on

    So glad I found you!! Can’t wait to keep reading and learn as much as I can so I can start my own garden at home. I live in Florida and it does gets very hot for a long part of the year, which makes me a little nervous. But I’m very confident I’ll make it work.
    With your help of course!!

    Reply
  128. Lindsey on

    I just discovered your blog and I’m in love with it. I’m learning how to grow flowers in our tiny little backyard outside of Calgary,AB. A zone that has such a short growing period but I’m experimenting this year with dahlias and ranunculus in hopes that I’ll be able to continually gift family and friends with beautiful flowers.

    Reply
  129. Suzanne on

    Floret’s popularity and the challenge of getting into your workshops says it all about being on the “right track”. Your book, photos, story, and generosity to share your knowledge are gifts of beauty to all.
    Thank you…
    Suzanne

    Reply
  130. Elizabeth on

    Hello! I’ve been vegetable gardening for years but have been wanting to try my hand at a cutting garden for my home (and maybe some bouquets to give away). Thanks so much for all the information and beautiful pictures!

    Reply
  131. Leslie Vanis on

    My head is spinning with excitement. I just discovered your webpage and blogs two days ago. I have already bought the book and find myself anxiously awaiting any new information of potential classes??? I live in Oregon and am blessed to live on 1.3 acres of wonderful growing soil in the lower Willamette Valley, ideal for growing cut flowers. I have always had a passion for gardening but I have a very busy life being a mom, EMT/Volunteer Firefighter, wedding coordinator and office manager at a medical practice. I love my life with two beautiful almost grown daughters and an incredibly supportive husband but we dreaming of the next stage in our lives. I feel like I am being pulled to live a more grounded and present life as well, and feel so inspired and moved by your story. I now dare to think that my dream of growing flowers for profit and pleasure are a real possibility. I too tend to think that I need to do it ALL right now and get impatient. But as we have 3 years left before my youngest goes off to college I hope to take the time to plan before I bite off more than I can chew. Thank you for sharing part of your heart with us all.

    Reply
  132. Laurel Muff on

    I’m starting my first cut flower garden in one half of our little fenced-off garden this year, after getting inspired by your book. Your posts have been very helpful, too, (especially this one) in getting down to the nitty-gritty and truly understanding with an undertaking this can be and helping me understand limits. Thank you for all your hard work!

    Reply
  133. Stephanie Rau on

    I’ve been playing around with the idea of growing flowers for a year now. We have live on 10 acres in Nebraska and I work at the local public school so I have summers off with my boys. I am so excited to find this blog! I look forward to reading and becoming more inspired to full-fill this little dream I have. So far what has caught my attention the most is that you love to share the beauty and magic of flowers. I believe there is something sweet and magical about flowers and bringing joy to people is really what we should all strive to do daily! Thank you for what you do!

    Reply
  134. Karen on

    I live in San Francisco, and have the opportunity to live in the house I was brought up in with my husband, 3 kids and my dear mother. I am a little nervous, but very excited to start growing cut flowers in our yard. I’m weary of the weather my district brings in but the sun shines for a good 6 hours in the yard on a non foggy day. I’m wanting to start off small (limited time because of my young children) and bless those around me by handing them fresh cut flowers from my yard one day. Thanks again!

    Reply
  135. MINFI CAHILIG on

    I was moved by your passion and interest in Life. I love what you said that flowers have given you the opportunity to live in the present and the now. Huh…. I wish I could do the same as you did in your beautiful garden.

    I once told myself I could not have graduated from Architecture (Architorture ) I could have finished Horticulture because as years goes by after my wedding I have been dying to fulfill this missing piece of my dream. I am from Phillippines and we have all the full tropical sun, we have land but I am working in Singapore but I am hoping one day I could move this passion within me to sprout and grow as many flowers as yours to make people happy.

    Reply
  136. Melissa Lennox on

    Thank you for taking the time to write this series!!! I’m enchanted by your farm and having just moved into a little fixer-upper home with my hubby, and put 3 months of labor into renovating the whole thing ourselves, I’m looking forward to creating a little secret garden oasis in our backyard (or front yard, actually, for more sun!) I can’t wait to read the rest of the posts in this series!

    Warmly,
    Melissa from North Carolina

    Reply
  137. Jenna on

    Thank you for all your wonderful blog posts! I found your flower farm and blog recently and am slowly working my way through all of your posts. They are very helpful and inspirational.

    Reply
  138. Michelle on

    I am enjoying your posts so much! I am currently living in the city and cramming in as many flowers as I can, but my husband and I are in the process of looking for a farm and I dream of growing flowers to sell. Your posts have so much useful information, thank you! I haven’t read all of them yet, maybe you’ve already covered this, but I’m very interested in how you deal with pests. Rabbits are my garden tormentors, eating everything I love.

    Reply
  139. Sharon falck on

    Thank you for all this wonderful information! I’m hoping you have the secret to success with sweet peas for me, every year I try to grow them in deep pots and just when they’re looking tall and lush and ready to bloom the aphids destroy them. I live in Vancouver bc so our climate is similar to yours. I’ve tried safest soap, stronger sprays, ladybugs twice and nothing works. Thank you soo much for your time and your wonderful
    Blog!

    Reply
  140. Moleti Raletsatsi on

    Helpful post, I have grown interest in cut flower gardening and would like try it out.

    Reply
  141. Elna Sip on

    I love your posts so much. I live in the southwestern part of Utah where our summer temps are in the high 90/100 * each day from June until September. I live in an electric wheel chair and I’m unable to get down on my knees to work the earth. So I have developed my garden in clay pots of all sizes and shapes. I started out with annuals, now I’m replacing with perennials as much as I can. My blooms have been fabulous this spring. I’ve been doing this for about 6 years now. It’s so important to have good soil, fertilizer and good water. Most importantly is good seed or sturdy plants. I love your book. Has great tips for all. I’ve been a florist for 20 years and just love your blogs and information. Thanks so much!!!!!!!

    Reply
  142. Ashley Henry on

    I so needed to read this before embarking on my journey as a gardening mom. With a full time job as a wedding photographer, 3 little kids, 3 dogs and a husband with a green thumb, I needed to really think about what I’m doing. I’m loving learning from you!

    Reply
  143. Jodi on

    Thanks for sharing this post with small reminders (although they can impact you in LARGE ways at times) of things to take into consideration for starting up. Could you take each one and expand on them? Helps for us newbies to get a larger span of whats needed. Also, the best way to start-small, and ideas for us to brain storm of what that should or could mean for those with borderline popsicle dreams. I just found this blog, so I’m sure that somewhere you have information on determining proper growing season and climate for the happiest plants.

    So glad I found Floret! And thanks so much for sharing your world with us, to inspiringly “bloom” us too. ;o)

    Reply
  144. Kelsey Colwell on

    This is all so helpful, as I have a single vacant parcel of land in Columbus that I’m looking to cultivate cut flowers on! Thank you!

    Reply
  145. Jonna on

    I really needed to read this particular post today. I have two young children under two, a new forever home and huge plans and dreams for every inch of my outdoor canvas. Which means I find myself digging out old shrubs with a colicky baby strapped to me and planting peonies at 11 pm, using my cellphone flashlight to decide plant placements.
    I really appreciate you sharing your experience, because sometimes I wonder if I should be able to get everything done on my list or if I just made the list too long. I’m buying the book and I’m looking forward to using it to create a flower garden that slightly resembles the one from my daydreams.
    Thank you. !!

    Reply
  146. Carole Anne on

    I have always grown flowers in my garden in UK and last year I enrolled on a horticultural course at the local college, to become a better gardener. Recently my college friends and I visited a local flower grower. It had never occurred to me that I could grow flowers to pick and arrange indoors!!
    Your post has been very useful, in so much as it has stopped me from rushing straight out and digging up the front lawn. I realise that I have a lot more research to do as money is tight, so I will start with my annual seeds and see what happens.
    Thank you for posting all the beautiful photographs.

    Reply
  147. Cynthia on

    WOW , I can’t believe I’ve been obsessed with Floret for over 2 years, buying seeds like crazy and this is the first time I have read this post. I desperately tried to get into a workshop this season, even submitted for a scholarship, to no success. But all things do happen for a reason.
    In March, my mother became gravely ill and is now on Hospice. Had I gotten into one of the workshops, I would have had to forfeit it. Additionally, I have way too many boxes and bags of seeds and bulbs sitting in my office that clearly aren’t going to get in the ground this year. Who am I kidding, though? It wouldn’t have happened, anyway. As you have experienced, I can’t have it all right now! I am not prepared to plant it all successfully, so thank you for this blog, this opportunity for re-evaluation! My new goal for this season is to determine the adequate ground needed, mark it out and prep for success next year. The shipments sitting in my office aren’t even opened and I’m not sure what all is there. Certainly plenty of sweet peas and dahlias along with maybe some ranunculus and perhaps an anemone. Please advise how best to keep them over the year. If some don’t make it, I’m sure it’s just God’s way of “right-sizing” this endeavor!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  148. Ginger on

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I just received Cut Flower Garden today for mothers day and I couldn’t be more excited. Our family is leaving the city for acreage and I’ve begun to dream of my own cutting garden! No business plans or long term vision… but the idea of flowers is making me really excited! These questions are fantastic for helping me to craft a vision. I see your workshops are sold out. But I don’t see any idea of how often they’re hosted, what the cost is, or when the next workshops may be? Can you please fill me in?
    Thanks, Ginger

    Reply
  149. Ginelle on

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness! All good things to consider. I may have bit off more than I can chew but you need to start somewhere! I am jumping in with a big front yard bed at a new house in Hamilton, Ontario. The plan is to grow veggies and cut flowers in the city for fun but would love to have a little road side stand and share the flower love! Great to remember why you grow things and be realistic with your goals. Thanks!!

    Reply
  150. Vicks on

    Good Articles I was Looking For A Blog And founded This thanks and Plz post more.

    Reply
  151. Roma Dyrhauge on

    Hi

    Growing flowers for bukets was my main motivation for pestering my husband for a bigger garden when we were househunting ten years back. The dream was rows of lush brilliant flowers being born ito ou house by our angelic children. After reading your page I find myself almost there. The new grid system has kicked off nicely and if the new seedlings emerging are anything to go by this year my not so angelic children will likely disappear among blooms. The set up of the page is clean, easy to navigate and enticing. I have seldom seen homepage as appetising or as inspiring. In addition the tips and advices are easily adaptible to Danish conditions. I look forward to following this page. Best regards Roma Dyrhauge

    Reply
  152. Elizabeth Mitchell on

    I have spent my whole life growing flowers, it’s all I really want to do!! I just love reading your posts and looking at your pictures. You are living my dream!! I will just keep on filling my garden with flowers and hope that I can have more land to grow more some day. Thanks Elizabeth Mitchell

    Reply
  153. Rachel Wolstenholme on

    Hi Erin,

    I’m just beginning to plan a small cut flower garden and finding your blog is perfect timing.
    I love the six things to think about and how you obviously very generously share information and experience.
    I’m living in the south of Spain on what is known as the Costa Tropical. We don’t have any frost worries at all, but I reckon most of July and August are just too hot to grow so I’ll be spending this year experimenting with small quantities of things and maybe sowing lots of things in the autumn, a lot of experimenting, and being able to read about your work is a great inspiration and adds colour to my dreaming.
    Thanks Rachel

    Reply
  154. Kim Kross th on

    This was helpfull I love cut flowers I just buy and grow I will sit down and figure out what the next bed will be like I do for the raised vegetable beds.

    Reply
  155. DH on

    Perfect timing for this post and questions to ask yourself as my wife and I consider a move and business start up ,into the flower biz.

    Reply
  156. Jon Ripley on

    Hi Erin,
    I am a lurker!
    But last year you and a few others inspired me enough to rent 2/3 acre next to my cottage in Devon England.
    I suffer from depression but have always loved my garden, my father and grandfather were both nurserymen so it’s in the blood. I new enough to prepare and cultivate the soil which I did over the winter, in January I started sowing my seeds I only have a 8 x 6 greenhouse so I used 104 cell plug trays , I had divided the field into two and made fourteen rows either side of about 20 metres in length by 1.3 metres wide so you can imagine that’s a hell of a lot of seedlings to grow in a little greenhouse. At this time my depression came back and I have been off work since February this year and find it really difficult to motivate myself some days I make it into the field others I don’t but I have to say the flowers have kept me going and the “here and now” part has really helped.
    I am looking forward to a successful first year and just want to thank you for your inspiration and open approach which many of us over here find very helpful.

    Reply
  157. Heather C Grant McDonell on

    I have a tiny back yard, more the size of a court yard in northern Louisiana. I found my favorite flowers for a container garden and tried to makeshift a greenhouse for winter seeding out of an event tent with sides. I had the temperature right with a heater, and kept the humidity at ideal, but forgot to consider air circulation. The ceiling screw fine, and I transplanted them in the plants only to find out too late that they were diseased with mold. They killed everything in my backyard. It was a hard week but a lesson learned!

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  158. Joyce Dance on

    I am just starting out this year growing flowers for the first time. Your blog will hopefully set me on the right path and I will read this one over and sit with pen and paper to answer all the points you have made. I am hoping to sell the flowers at a farmers market in the valley ( the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada). I have already read the blog about soil prep and passed this one over to my husband who is going to help me with that. ( He went to agricultural college so has some knowledge of this ). Your blog is a joy and inspiration to read. I found your site after deciding this is something I wanted to do, so it is lovely to find this can be sucessful and I am not completely crazy!

    Reply
  159. Janie on

    Just discovered your blog yesterday, via Pintrist. Currently in the depths of child wrangling but whatever free time I have goes into perennial landscaping, We have a small lot in the city of Flint (MI). Several years ago the abandoned house next door was torn down and we acquired that lot for only $64. That’s how affordable city plots are here! My husband had huge visions of vegetable gardens for the space but groundhogs are savage. I’m turning his unsuccessful food garden into a small flower farm, little by little. How do perennials factor in to your farm? Thanks for your work! It’s inspiring!

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  160. Elisa on

    Your life, passion and story are all very inspiring. I live in NYC and dream of living on a farm like yours. I have pots of flowers and tons of flowers I buy at Trader Joe surrounding me at home and work. My goal is to grow a potted garden in the middle of the city. Love your blog, books, photos and education. =)

    Reply
  161. Leslie on

    I jut found you today. What beautiful flowers! I scanned through your posts and pulled this one to read first. I haven’t planted flowers yet — well, not more than a pot or two for accent in the garden. But I’m going to change that. From now on I’m going to focus on growing flowers for my home. For 3 springs and summers I’ve been working (unsuccessfully) with veggies. That is over. After seeing some of your gorgeous bouquets of bulb flowers, I was entranced. Everything is sold out, but that’s because I’ve come to you late. No matter. This year I’ll read and dream, and this fall I’ll begin to prepare. Thank you so much for putting out the effort to make this site exceptional. I’ll comment again when I have something more substantial to share.

    Reply
  162. Sylvia Patton on

    Hello,, I live in Central Ohio,,and this year I decided to take out my vegetable gardens because I am getting older,,and arthritic,hands and back.. I have always loved growing flowers,,and once owned a small flower shop. Now that spring has come,,and I am seeing my garden sitting empty,I decided to give it a go and plant it all in flowers… I would love to grow sweet peas,,and have started some in pots.. I also have three 4×10 raised beds that I have allowed for flowers. I love your story,,and get lost in thought when I look at your pictures,, I just ordered your book yesterday. My problem is that everything I see,,I want to plant. Do you have any recommendations on keeping me focused on growing a few things well, ? I am not sure what cutting flowers grow well in my area,,,except zinnias. I am English,,and I would love to have an area for sweet peas,,especially

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  163. Linda on

    Hello, I’m wondering how you deal with pests? E.g., do you get swarms of Japanese beetles in the summer?

    Thanks in advance, Linda

    Reply
  164. Lourdes on

    Hi Erin and the wonderful Floret Team! I live in Winnipeg and works as a full-time flower buyer for cut flower wholesaler. It is in this job that I realized I have a knack for flower arranging. My boyfriend and I are gardening enthusiasts! He lives in an acreage and has been really supportive of my cut flower gardening dreams. This summer, we have this opportunity to try our hands on it without me having to leave my job. We are starting on a 600 sq ft garden area and I am feeling a little overwhelmed thinking of all the things we have to do before I can pick and start arranging my own blooms. This post really helped me focused on what we can realistically do well only this summer. Like you, I live on the future and sometimes I end up doing projects half-halfheartedly but that is not how I want to be this time. SO thank you for sharing all the knowledge you have gained in all the years you have been farming! You make our dreams seems so achievable.

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  165. Carol Bevins on

    Your posts are so down to earth and friendly. I’m a passionate vegetable gardener with a bunch of flowers thrown in to attract the pollinators. Now I want to plant an entire flower garden to admire and share cut flowers with my vegetable recipients. I so enjoy sitting back and looking at your website. Thank you and your team for giving me this pleasure and guide.

    Reply
  166. Grace Underwood on

    I just found this blog today! It is so helpful, and I am devouring all the information and the beautiful pictures! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this information! It’s very helpful, and encouraging to see people who actually make it work. I am that mother wrangling little ones right now. LOL. While we probably won’t make a business out of selling plants or flowers right now, we are certainly enjoying them in our home and sharing them with friends! My favorite go to flowers right now are giant zinnias. Easy to grow, a rainbow of colors, armfuls of flowers up until frost, attracting and fostering pollinators, what more could you ask for? :)

    Reply
  167. Francie on

    My husband and I are photographers and there are so many times when this would be the perfect touch. Besides the fact that I would love to have to have beauty in my house!
    Ready to start but with baby steps!

    Reply
  168. Annette on

    I am a graphic designer and a few months ago while working on some floral illustrations my eight year old son asked me if we could start the garden we always talked about. Grow the flowers I love. My parents have a family Christmas tree farm and I always dreamed of starting a farm too. We are starting small this year with a test farm of eight 4’x10′ beds in my backyard. Your book came out at the perfect time and it has been invaluable, there were so many steps I would have overlooked. My kindle does not have colored pictures so I regularly pop by your website and blog. Thank you for sharing your journey!

    Reply
  169. Britney on

    After 5 years of designing wedding bouquets for friends I’ve decided today to start my farming-florist adventure here in Sultan Washington! Your book is on the way… With a one year old in tow I should have my work cut out for me. Your transparency is inviting and encouraging. Looking forward to my new journey.

    Reply
  170. Emilie on

    Hi Erin & Floret team! I love this post and am starting a small scale flower cutting garden this year with a hope to increase over the years. With my work schedule it is essential for me to make sure that I have a plan everyday for my gardens and this post is a friendly reminder of all the time it takes to maintain a garden. I can’t wait to read more posts and learn lots! Thanks for sharing. Happy growing from New Hampshire.

    Reply
  171. Tamsin Borlase on

    I’m 10 years in to a growing project here in U.K. Having mirrored a lot of your experience with young family and growing a business in a shoestring ! It’s lovely to see your success and your beautiful book. Energy is key ! You need a massive wellspring of it to deal with the rigour of a summer season, but like the flowers we grow, I’m sure we too photosynthesise and that incredible surge that comes on in May is about to engulf me! Your new growers must learn to embrace this, run with it let it sweep you along, winter is for sleeping .. I think I’m probably more like a bear every season now!
    Thank you for your inspirational social media! It’s certainly spurred me on and I know that many other ‘Flowers from the Farm’ growers also get a huge amount from all you’ve done /created.
    All the best for another wonderful season.
    (It’s finally raining here tonight after nearly 6 weeks of not a drop! Unheard of in April. I’m already fed up with dragging hoses about! Let it rain, let it pour .. all night please !! )
    Kind regards
    Tamsin

    Reply
  172. Karen Odegaard on

    You are inspiring. I have a quarter acre and a little local store to supply with flowers this year after experimenting last year during the longest drought in the recorded history of this area. I also plant flowers to help stay grounded and in the moment. I fully relate to your efforts. Thanks!

    Reply
  173. Joyce Hails on

    I’m a newbie and overwhelmed because I want to do everything now! I have so much to learn but I’ve realized that growing flowers is my passion. I grew only 4 varieties last year and this year growing almost 30 varieties and still want more. The hubby is reining me in here. Thankfully we already have plenty of land and have been produce farming and previously dairy farming for many years. Even with all this, I realized I know nothing about soil. Right. My husband has done all the farming on top of a full time job after leaving dairy farming. I would harvest the produce and can/freeze. I quit my job late last summer with the realization that I wanted to farm full time. Wanting to have a niche of my own, I realized it’s flowers and also love herbs. We have 2 seasonal self serve farm stands and also a storefront in a very rural area in northeast Pennsylvania with many vacationers, campers, hikers, hunters. I would like to custom grow flowers for brides. I am thankful for all the encouragement on this blog and others and the many, many resources that are available. Thank you so much for all you do.

    Reply
  174. Ginger Whitehead on

    Thank you for all of your time and work! Your information has been a blessing as much as it has been helpful.
    I live in a small mountain community and we are surrounded by deer. I have had small gardens in the past but I am saving for fencing. I commute to work 3 days A week.
    I have started doing research on many different flowers. I have information forms that I fill out for each flower variety. The information I get from you has been so helpful in my quest. Thank you again!

    Reply
  175. Holly Lemieux on

    This is very helpful. I haven’t really jumped in yet but just toying around with a few flowers but hopefully I’ll get into it full time soon. Love your work and your blog

    Thanks
    Holly

    Reply
  176. 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!

    Reply
  177. 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.

    Reply
  178. 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 💗

    Reply
  179. 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

    Reply
  180. Gabriela on

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

    Reply
  181. 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!

    Reply
  182. 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!!!

    Reply
  183. 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!

    Reply
  184. 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.

    Reply
  185. 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!

    Reply
  186. 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!!!

    Reply
  187. 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 .

    Reply
  188. 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.

    Reply
  189. 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!

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  190. ML on

    So helpful thank you!

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  191. 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.

    Reply
  192. 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

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  193. 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.

    Reply
  194. 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.

    Reply
  195. 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!!!

    Reply
  196. 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.

    Reply
    • Team Floret on

      Love this, Adrienne! Thanks for sharing!

  197. 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.

    Reply
  198. 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.

    Reply
  199. 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!

    Reply
  200. 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!

    Reply
  201. 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.

    Reply
  202. 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.

    Reply
  203. 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!

    Reply
  204. 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.

    Reply
  205. 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

    Reply
  206. 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!

    Reply
  207. 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!

    Reply
  208. 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.

    Reply
  209. 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.

    Reply
  210. 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.

    Reply
  211. 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.

    Reply
  212. 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!

    Reply
  213. Mary on

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

    Reply
  214. 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.

    Reply
  215. 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!!!

    Reply
  216. 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.

    Reply
  217. Marilyn Palmer on

    Erin,
    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!

    Reply
  218. 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.

    Reply
  219. 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

    Reply
  220. 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!

    Reply
  221. 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

    Reply
  222. 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!

    Reply
  223. 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?

    Reply
  224. 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!

    Reply
  225. 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 .

    Reply
    • 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!

  226. 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!

    Reply
  227. 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

    Reply
  228. 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!!!

    Reply
  229. 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.
    L

    Reply
  230. 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.

    Reply
  231. 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?

    Reply
  232. 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.

    Reply
  233. 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!!

    Reply
  234. 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.

    Reply
  235. 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!

    Reply
  236. 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!

    Reply
  237. 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!

    Reply
  238. 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;)
    Marissa

    Reply
  239. 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 :)

    Reply
  240. 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!

    Reply
  241. 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.

    Reply
  242. 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.

    Reply
  243. 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.
    Thanks

    Reply
  244. 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.

    Reply
  245. 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!

    Reply
  246. 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.

    Reply
  247. 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.

    Reply
  248. 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.

    Reply
  249. 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!

    Reply
  250. 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.

    Reply
  251. 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

    Reply
  252. Julie on

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

    Reply
  253. 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!

    Reply
  254. 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.

    Reply
  255. 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.

    Reply
  256. 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.

    Reply
  257. 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!

    Reply
  258. 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!

    Reply
  259. Kristin Schroeder on

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

    Reply
  260. Kathy Kangas on

    Hi
    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.

    Reply
  261. 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!!

    Reply
  262. 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!

    Reply
  263. 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 😉

    Reply
  264. 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!

    Reply
  265. 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.

    Reply
  266. 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

    Reply
  267. 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!

    Reply
  268. 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!

    Reply
  269. 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.

    Reply
  270. 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!)

    Reply
  271. 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?

    Reply
  272. 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!

    Reply
  273. 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!

    Reply
  274. 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

    Reply
  275. 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!

    Reply
  276. 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!

    Reply
  277. 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!

    Reply
  278. 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!!

    Reply
  279. 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!

    Reply
  280. 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!!!

    Reply
  281. 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!!

    Reply
  282. 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!

    Reply
  283. 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.

    Reply
  284. 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:)

    Reply
  285. 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.

    Reply
  286. 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.

    Reply
  287. 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 !

    Reply
  288. 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!

    Reply
  289. 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.

    Reply
  290. 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.

    Reply
  291. 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. :)

    Reply
  292. 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.

    Reply
  293. 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

    Reply
  294. 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!

    Reply
  295. Susan on

    Very helpful!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  296. 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!

    Reply
  297. 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!

    Reply
  298. 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.

    Reply
  299. 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!

    Reply
  300. Meghan Uliana on

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

    Reply
  301. 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.

    Reply
  302. 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!

    Reply
  303. 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!

    Reply
  304. 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!

    Reply
  305. 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.

    Reply
  306. 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!

    Reply
  307. 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!!!

    Reply
  308. 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)

    Reply
    • 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.

  309. 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.

    Reply
  310. 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.

    Reply
  311. 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.

    Reply
  312. 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!

    Reply
  313. 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!

    Reply
  314. 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!

    Reply
  315. 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….

    Reply
  316. 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!

    Reply
  317. 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!!

    Reply
  318. 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!

    Reply
  319. 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.

    Reply
  320. 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!

    Reply
  321. 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

    Reply
  322. 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.

    Reply
  323. 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.

    Reply
  324. 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!

    Reply
  325. 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.

    Reply
  326. 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.

    Reply
  327. 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

    Reply
  328. 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.

    Reply
  329. 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?

    Reply
  330. 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.

    Reply
  331. 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!

    Tracy

    Reply
  332. 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!

    Reply
  333. 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

    Reply
  334. 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.

    Reply
  335. 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!

    Reply
  336. 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.

    Reply
  337. 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.:)

    Reply
  338. 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.

    Reply
  339. 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:)

    Reply
  340. 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.

    Reply
  341. 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.🌷

    Reply
  342. 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.

    Reply
  343. 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!

    Reply
  344. 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!

    Reply
  345. 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!

    Reply
  346. 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.

    Reply
  347. 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!

    Reply
  348. 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.

    Reply
  349. 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!

    Reply
  350. 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!

    Reply
  351. Kelli on

    Hello,
    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,
    Kelli

    Reply
  352. 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.

    Reply
  353. 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
    Kim

    Reply
  354. 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.

    Reply
  355. Melanie Heisler on

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

    Reply
  356. 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!

    Reply
  357. 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!

    Reply
  358. 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.

    Reply
  359. 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…

    Reply
  360. 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!

    Reply
  361. 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. ;-)

    Reply
  362. 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!

    Reply
  363. 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!

    Reply
  364. 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.

    Reply
  365. 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 !

    Reply
  366. 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.

    Reply
  367. 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. :)

    Reply
  368. 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!

    Reply
  369. 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.

    Reply
  370. 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!

    Reply
  371. 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.

    Reply
  372. 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?

    Reply
  373. 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.

    Reply
  374. 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!

    Reply
  375. Nancy Harkness on

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

    Reply
  376. 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!

    Reply
  377. 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!

    Reply
  378. Natalie Beverage on

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

    Reply
  379. 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.

    Reply
  380. 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.

    Reply
  381. 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.

    Reply
  382. 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!

    Reply
  383. 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.

    Reply
  384. 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.

    Reply
  385. 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.

    Reply
  386. 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.

    Reply
  387. 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!

    Reply
  388. 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.

    Reply
  389. 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

    Reply
  390. 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!!!

    Reply
  391. 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!

    Reply
  392. 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!

    Reply
  393. 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!

    Reply
  394. 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.

    Beth

    Reply
  395. 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!

    Reply
  396. 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!

    Reply
  397. 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.

    Reply
  398. 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!

    Reply
  399. 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?

    Reply
  400. 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.

    Reply
  401. Jane Berry on

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

    Reply
  402. 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!

    Reply
  403. 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!

    Reply
  404. 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

    Reply
  405. 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?

    Reply
  406. 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!
    Beth

    Reply
  407. 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?

    Reply
  408. 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.

    Reply
  409. 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

    Reply
  410. 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! :)

    Reply
  411. 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

    Reply
  412. 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!

    Reply
  413. 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.
    Isabella

    Reply
  414. 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.

    Reply
  415. 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!

    Reply
  416. 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!

    Reply
  417. 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.

    Reply
  418. 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

    Reply
  419. 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.

    Reply
  420. 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.

    Reply
  421. 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

    Reply
  422. 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!

    Reply
  423. 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

    Reply
  424. 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.

    Reply
  425. 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

    Reply
  426. 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!

    Reply
  427. 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.

    Reply
  428. 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

    Reply
  429. 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.
    Isabelle

    Reply
  430. 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

    Reply
  431. 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.

    Reply
  432. 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.

    Reply
  433. Tracy Simpson on

    Hi,
    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….

    Reply
  434. 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.

    Reply
  435. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

  436. 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.

    Reply
  437. 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!

    Reply
  438. 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…

    Reply
  439. Amanda Welch on

    Erin,
    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.

    Reply
  440. 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.

    Reply
  441. 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!

    Reply
  442. 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!

    Reply
  443. 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.

    Reply
  444. 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

    Reply
  445. 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!

    Reply
  446. 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 !

    Reply
  447. 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.

    Reply
  448. 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).

    Reply
  449. 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.

    Reply
  450. 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.

    Reply
  451. 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!

    Reply
  452. 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.

    Reply
  453. 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.

    Reply
  454. 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.

    Reply
  455. 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!

    Reply
  456. 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.

    Reply
  457. 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!

    Reply
  458. 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!

    Reply
  459. 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

    Reply
  460. 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!

    Reply
  461. 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.

    Reply
  462. 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!

    Reply
  463. 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)

    Reply
  464. 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.

    Reply
  465. 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.

    Reply
  466. 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,
    Lori

    Reply
  467. 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.

    Reply
  468. 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!! :)

    Reply
  469. 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,
    Judy

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  470. 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!!

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  471. 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!

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  472. 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.

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  473. 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!

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  474. 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…

    Reply
  475. 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!

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  476. 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.

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  477. 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.

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  478. 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

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  479. 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

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  480. 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.)

    Reply
  481. 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!!!!

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  482. 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!

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  483. 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:)

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  484. 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.

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  485. 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!

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  486. 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!

    Reply
  487. 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!
    Maggie

    Reply
    • 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!

  488. 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!!!

    Reply
  489. 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!

    Reply
  490. 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.

    Reply
  491. 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

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  492. 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.

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  493. 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!

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  494. 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!!

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  495. Stephanie on

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

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  496. 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?

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  497. 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!

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  498. Madeline on

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

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  499. 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.

    Reply
  500. 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!

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  501. 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!

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  502. 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!

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  503. 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.

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  504. 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!

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  505. Valorie on

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

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  506. 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.

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  507. 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.

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  508. 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.

    Reply
  509. 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

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  510. kasseduffydesigns on

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

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  511. 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

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  512. 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!!

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  513. 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!

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  514. 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!

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  515. 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!!

    Reply
  516. 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.

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  517. 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!!! :)

    Reply
  518. 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.

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  519. 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!!!

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  520. 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! :)

    Reply
  521. 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..
    Love,
    Mona

    Reply
  522. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

  523. 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!

    Reply
  524. 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.

    Reply
  525. 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?

    Reply
  526. 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!

    Reply
  527. Danielle on

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

    Reply
  528. 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

    Reply
  529. 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!

    Reply
  530. 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!

    Christi
    Texas

    Reply
  531. 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!

    Reply
  532. 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!

    Reply
  533. 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.

    Reply
  534. 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….

    Reply
  535. Louise on

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

    Reply
  536. 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!

    Reply
  537. 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!

    Reply
  538. 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!!

    Reply
  539. 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!

    Reply
  540. Jennifer Adkins on

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

    Reply
  541. 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.

    Reply
  542. 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!

    Reply
  543. 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! ♡♡♡

    Reply
  544. 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!

    Reply
  545. 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.

    Reply
  546. 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!

    Reply
  547. 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!

    Reply
  548. 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.

    Reply
  549. 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 ; ).

    Reply
  550. 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!

    Reply
  551. Amanda on

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

    Sincerely,
    Amanda (mom of two boys and a weedy garden)

    Reply
  552. 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.

    Reply
  553. Sally on

    lurking. enjoying. keep going.

    Reply
  554. 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!

    Reply
    • 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!

  555. 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!!!

    Reply
  556. Xenia on

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

    Reply
  557. 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.
    ~Sarah

    Reply
  558. 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

    Reply
  559. 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!

    Reply
  560. 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! :)

    Reply
  561. 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!

    Reply
  562. 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.

    Reply
    • allison on

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

  563. 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.

    Reply
  564. Kelley Simmons on

    hi,
    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….
    Kelley

    Reply
  565. 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!
    L

    Reply
  566. 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!

    Reply
  567. 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.

    Reply
  568. 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…

    Reply
  569. 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!

    Reply
  570. 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.

    Reply
  571. 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.

    Reply
  572. 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!

    Reply
  573. 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.

    Reply
  574. 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

    Reply
  575. 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.

    Reply
  576. 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!

    Reply
  577. Mindi Bruckhart on

    Erin,
    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!!
    Mindi

    Reply
  578. 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!

    Reply
  579. 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.

    Reply
  580. 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.

    Reply
  581. 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!

    Reply
  582. 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!

    Reply
  583. 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!

    Reply
  584. 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!

    Reply
  585. 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.

    Kirstie
    x

    Reply
  586. 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.

    Reply
  587. 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….

    Reply
  588. 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!!

    Reply
  589. 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

    Reply
  590. 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.

    Reply
  591. plantmut on

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

    Reply
  592. 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?

    Reply
  593. 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.

    Reply
  594. 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!

    Reply
  595. 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!

    Reply
  596. 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!

    Reply
  597. 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

    Reply
  598. 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!

    Reply
  599. 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.

    Reply
  600. 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 :)

    Reply
  601. 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

    Reply
  602. 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.

    Reply
  603. 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.

    Reply
  604. 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.
    AM

    Reply
  605. 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 !
    mb

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  606. 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

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  607. 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. :)

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  608. 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!

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  609. 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.

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  610. 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

    Reply
  611. 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!!

    Reply
  612. 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.

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  613. 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!

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  614. 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.

    Reply
  615. 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

    Reply
  616. 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.

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  617. Jenny on

    Erin,

    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!

    Reply
  618. 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!

    Reply
  619. 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!

    Reply
  620. 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?

    Reply
  621. 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

    Reply
  622. 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?

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  623. 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.

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  624. 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! ;)

    Reply
    • 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.

  625. 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!

    Reply
  626. 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.

    Reply
  627. 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?

    Reply
  628. 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

    Reply
  629. 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.

    Reply
  630. 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

    Reply
  631. 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)

    Reply
  632. 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! ☺️??

    Reply
  633. 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,

    Reply
  634. 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?

    Reply
  635. 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!

    Reply
  636. 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!

    Reply
  637. 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!!!!

    Reply
  638. 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!!!

    Reply
  639. 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!

    Reply
  640. 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!

    Reply
  641. 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!

    Reply
  642. 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!!

    Reply
  643. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

  644. 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

    Reply
  645. 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.

    Reply
  646. 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.

    Reply
  647. 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.

    Reply
  648. 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.

    Reply
  649. 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!

    Reply
  650. 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!!

    Reply
    • 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.
      Godspeed!

  651. 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!

    Reply
    • Eve on

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

  652. 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!

    Reply
  653. 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.

    Reply
  654. 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!!

    Reply
  655. 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!!

    Reply
  656. 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!

    Reply
  657. 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.

    Reply
  658. 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.

    Reply
  659. 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!

    Reply
  660. 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!

    Reply
  661. 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?

    Reply
  662. Candy on

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

    Reply
  663. 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.

    Reply
  664. 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!

    Reply
  665. 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

    Reply
  666. 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?

    Reply
    • Eve on

      ☝?️^^great questions!

    • lindsey0009 on

      Great questions Robin!

  667. 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.

    Reply
  668. 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!

    Reply
  669. 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.

    Reply
  670. 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.

    Reply
  671. 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!!

    Reply
  672. 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!

    Reply
  673. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

  674. 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.

    Reply
  675. 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,
    Elizabeth

    Reply
  676. 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!

    Reply
  677. 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!

    Reply
  678. 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 !

    Reply
  679. 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.

    Reply
  680. 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.

    Reply
  681. 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.

    Reply
  682. 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!

    Reply
  683. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

  684. 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.

    Reply
  685. 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.

    Reply
  686. 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.

    Reply
  687. 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.

    Reply
  688. 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.

    Reply
  689. 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.)

    Reply
  690. 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.

    Reply
  691. 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!

    Reply
  692. 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!

    Reply
  693. 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!

    Reply
  694. 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.

    Reply
  695. 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!

    Reply
  696. 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!

    Reply
  697. 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!

    Reply
  698. 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.

    Reply
  699. 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.

    Reply
  700. 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!

    Reply
  701. 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!

    Reply
  702. 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

    Reply
  703. 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!

    Reply
  704. 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.

    Reply
  705. 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 :)

    Reply
    • daniella garcia on

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

  706. 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.

    Reply
  707. 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!

    Reply
  708. 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!

    Reply
  709. 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!!

    Reply
  710. 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.

    Reply
  711. 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..

    Reply
  712. 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
    inspiration!!

    Reply
  713. Trina Coombes on

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

    Reply
  714. 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.

    Reply
  715. 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!!

    Reply
  716. 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!)

    Reply
  717. 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!

    Reply
  718. 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!

    Reply
  719. 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!

    Reply
  720. 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.

    Reply
    • lindsey0009 on

      Terri,
      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!

  721. 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!

    Reply
  722. 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.

    Reply
  723. 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

    Reply
  724. 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!

    Reply
  725. 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.

    Reply
  726. 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

    Reply
  727. 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!

    Reply
  728. 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.

    Reply
  729. Denise on

    Love your blog, always helpful.

    Reply
  730. 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!

    Reply
  731. 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.

    Reply
  732. 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!

    Reply
  733. 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!

    Reply
  734. 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.

    Reply
  735. 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!

    Reply
  736. 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.

    Reply
  737. 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.

    Reply
  738. 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!

    Reply
  739. 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!

    Reply
  740. 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.

    Reply
  741. 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!

    Reply
  742. 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!

    Reply
  743. Ashley on

    Erin,
    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!

    Reply
  744. 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?

    Reply
  745. 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!

    Reply
  746. 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.

    Reply
  747. 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!!!???

    Reply
  748. 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!!!!

    Reply
  749. 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!!

    Reply
  750. Delta Breeze on

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

    Reply
  751. 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!

    Reply
  752. 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

    Reply
  753. Paulina Alesand on

    Hej!
    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

    Reply
    • Veronica Wendt on

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

  754. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

  755. 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!!!

    Reply
  756. 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.

    Reply
  757. 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!!

    Reply
  758. 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.

    Reply
  759. 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!

    Reply
  760. 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.

    Reply
  761. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

  762. 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.

    Reply
  763. 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.

    Reply
  764. 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

    Reply
  765. 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!!

    Reply
  766. 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!

    Reply
  767. 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!

    Reply
  768. 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

    Reply
  769. 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

    Reply
  770. 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.

    Reply
  771. 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

    Reply
    • 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!

  772. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

  773. 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

    Reply
  774. 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!

    Reply
  775. 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!

    Reply
  776. 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.

    Reply
  777. 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

    Reply
  778. 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 :)

    Reply
  779. 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!

    Reply
  780. 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!

    Reply
  781. 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!

    Reply
  782. Melissa Clifford on

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

    Reply
  783. 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!

    Reply
    • 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

  784. 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!

    Reply
  785. Shannon Kubenez on

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

    Reply
    • 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

      Sincerely,
      this flower child…
      Heidi

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