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January 5th 2016

2016: A look ahead

Written by
Floret

floret022finalBefore the start of each year, I set aside a sacred block of time to reflect on the highs and lows of the past season and make plans for the exciting months ahead. Fortunately, the New Year corresponds to one of the slower times of the year around the farm and after the business of the holidays dies down, I can start dreaming and planning in earnest.

I’m a planner by nature. I love dreaming big and creating detailed plans to turn my dreams into reality.

Even though I’m active on the blog, social media and a million other places that require the use of technology, I’m actually pretty old school when it comes to planning and goal setting. When I start my planning sessions around New Years, my family knows to give me some quiet space. I spend days in my PJ’s surrounded by a desk littered with magazine clippings, half empty coffee mugs, farm maps, inspiring quotes and weathered field notebooks with pages that are dog-eared or water logged. I’m not going to lie, my planning process isn’t pretty or exciting. It involves a lot of pacing, mess making and brainstorming outloud.

At the center of my goal setting workspace, are three key items: Lara Casey’s Power Sheets (which help me get clear on what really matters), a vision board (this becomes my visual north star for the year) and a big beautiful wall calendar (to hold all of the details and to-do’s that are involved with the plans). I love spending these days of solitude; clearing my head and my calendar, to dream up the future I want to create.

floret177finalTo begin, I start by answering a lot of questions: What worked? What didn’t work? What do I want to do more of in the coming year? And (arguably more important) what do I want to do less of in the coming year? What made me the happiest? What made me the most stressed out? Who were the people who brought out the best in me? Who were the people that I felt crummy after spending time with?

Once these questions are answered, I start brainstorming out what I’d like to create and accomplish in the key areas of my life: family, personal growth, my marriage, health, business and one big personal dream (last year I chose to write the book).

After I’ve written out pages and pages of ideas, I go in and prune back in the areas where I’m prone to overdoing like: variety trials, business expansion and tackling big dreams. I then work on adding more to the areas where I consistently fall short such as: personal care, time away from the farm with my family and my own personal growth. The goal is to make these lists equal, like balanced pieces of a pie.

From there, for each of the things I’d like to accomplish, I answer what are the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) goals needed achieve it? I then start to create timelines and deadlines for myself. It’s a long, complicated process, and no two years are the same, so a good deal of time is spent weighing out all of the options. But when I finally emerge with “the plan,” I always have the most incredible sense of peace, knowing exactly what’s needed to create the year I want to live into.

floret090finalYesterday on the blog I shared a little peek into the past year, with a post looking back at some of the highlights of 2015. Today I’m taking a look ahead.

At the center of my 2016 vision board is this space right here. Through all the changes and new ventures for Floret, this blog has been a constant. It’s a special space to reflect on what I’ve learned, share insights, information and hopefully a little inspiration, too. Now that the book manuscript is turned in and all of the associated photo shoots are wrapped up, I’m hoping to get back to what I love most, sharing information and inspiration to flower lovers, gardeners, and small scale flower farmers here on the blog this year.

I’ve got a number of ideas in the works and the plan is to fill this space with beautiful, useful, inspiring posts to help flower lovers have healthy, lush and beautiful cutting gardens.

Some of the concepts I have in the hopper include a garden planning series that will break down the key components to getting the most out of your cutting garden. I’m also planning on doing more flower focus posts and some spotlights on great tools of the trade.

floret056finalThe Floret seed company will officially launch next week, **so be sure you’re signed up to my mailing list to be among the first to see our offerings. I’m also including a very special treat exclusively for subscribers–so you won’t want to miss out! The Floret Shop will be filled with hard-to find specialty seeds, custom color mixes of cottage garden favorites, dozens of my favorite dahlias, plus a few more exciting surprises. I can’t wait to help make more of these amazing varieties available to you!

To help flower lovers be successful, we’ve also expanded our Resources section. In it, you’ll find a number of photo tutorials including seed starting, sweet peas, dahlias, anemones and ranunculus. I hope to continue to add a lot more goodies like this to the site over the course of the year.

Have some ideas or special requests? I’d love to hear what you’d love to see more of (or less of) here on the site in the comments below.

Wishing you all an amazing start to the New Year and thank you for following along!

23 Comments

  1. Kathy on

    Nothing really technical, but do you have any tips/suggestions for setting up a website?
    Methinks I should call in my computersavvy daughter! But I really need to learn the ropes so I can manage it myself. Would welcome any recommendations for EASY!

    Reply
    • Floret on

      I’ve heard great things about Squarespace and I know a lot of floral designers and some flower farms are using it. I understand it is pretty user-friendly and affordable. Wix and Weebly and WordPress are other potential options to look into. Good luck, Kathy!

  2. Annette on

    Hello, I was curious about the Power sheet. I assumed that they would be business oriented power point/flow chart type stuff. WOW was I wrong!!! I pre ordered mine for the next shipping date!!! Last year was the hardest year of my life, I was not wanting a repeat this year but was lacking direction/focus. I am super excited to say 2016 is going to be AWESOME!! Goals with action… Word for the year BUCKETS… So I will be mindful of what I am filling myself with and pouring out to others :-) hugs of gratitude to you !!!

    Reply
    • Floret on

      Yes, 2016 is going to be AWESOME, Annette! I love the Power sheets and I’m certain you will too. Thanks for your note!

  3. Alison on

    Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge and inspiring me to go beyond the 9-5 office life that I am currently living. As much as I would love to attend a workshop that you hold, the cost coming from Canada is too much at the moment. I was wondering if you would ever consider selling the literature you use at your workshop through your online shop? Wishing you a beautiful and successful planting season ahead!

    Reply
    • Floret on

      Hi Alison, Hopefully the line up we have in store for the blog over the next few months will get you off to a good start and at least tide you over until we can offer a distance learning program. Thanks for your kind words!

  4. Tania Cubberly on

    Awesome and inspiring post! I nearly re wrote every drop of word in my own journal so that I could prep my 2016 season. Thank you so much Erin!

    Reply
  5. Nicole on

    So excited for you and the year ahead!!

    Reply
  6. Kathy on

    Erin, I agree with the other comments here about the excitement and inspiration you bring to us all. You generosity in sharing is beautiful and heart-warming. Thank you for everything you do for your fellow flower farmers.

    I would love to see a post on how to set up a farm workshop. I have visions of doing one after receiving many questions at my farmers’ market on growing cut flowers. It certainly would not be anything at all like the scale you do! Mostly it would be for local gardeners who have asked about growing cut flowers for their own use. Some tips on the logistics would be great.

    Reply
  7. allison on

    Thank you for sharing such a perfect and timely post! Your such a source of inspiration to so many of us in the world of flower lovers. You couldn’t have pegged a better post for a better time! Heartfelt gratitude for once again offering up so much of your experience, vision and insight. It hits home! Here’s to a year of growth, change, beauty and sharing space with flowers.
    xx

    Reply
  8. wholeblossoms on

    Hi Erin, it is really nice to see you helping other in the gardening & providing information about the flowers. Now a days there are very few peoples who love to work for the nature. I really appreciate your work. Hope to see your book soon. My best wishes with you.

    Reply
  9. Grace on

    I’m rather new to this blog but what brought me in was the wealth of information freely given to grow these beautiful flowers. For years I struggled trying to grow and learn about different flowers. I would buy books hoping for some insight and generally got nothing of worth a sharp contrast to this blog. If I could put in a request, I would love to see more growing guides for different flowers like DELPHIUMS!!! Please?! Best of luck on the new year, may it be filled with beauty.

    Grace e

    Reply
  10. Kari on

    I love visiting your blog. I started my first cut flower garden out behind our barn last summer in a few raised beds. I couldn’t wait to get up every morning to see what had opened, what had grown even the tiniest bit. There is so much pleasure to be had in growing flowers to share with others, and I really appreciate all the advice and how-to’s and gorgeous pictures here that inspire me to do even more. Thank you!!

    Reply
  11. Joanne Boreham on

    Look forward to seeing your 2016 flowers. I am a cake decorator. ..that specializes in making sugar flowers. I love seeing all the different colours and varieties you grow….it inspires me. Would love to see more close up shots of your flowers. ….to make copying in sugar easier. Your growing a huge cake decorators following. ….at our meetings your photos are metioned often by us sugar flower enthusiasts. Your poppies and dahlia colours were amazing.

    Reply
  12. Xavier on

    Erin, You and your team really do encompass the vision of giving back and sharing. What is a gift or talent kept to ones self. It would truly be a waste. We are so lucky that you dream big and it inspires all of us. It would be great from a florist point of view to be able to access your floral workshops as I am in Australia. I am sure that the international followers and other domestic followers that are unable to come to you would jump at the chance to be able to learn and develop their skills by simply having access to your tutorials and knowledge. I Look forward to your 2016 dreams unfolding.

    Reply
  13. Jessica on

    I’m so stoked for 2016! I came across your blog 1 year ago and it inspired me to start dreaming about being a flower farmer again. My dreaming had been put on hold by various wonderful life events. A year ago today we made a bid on our first home (with 6 1/2 acres) and I was free to dream again! Floret has inspired and fueled the start of my business. I’m super excited for your garden planning series! And your book! Let me know when we can pre-order those!

    Happy 2016! I’m sure it will be a wonderful year on your farm! Thank you for taking the time to share your dreams and successes with us!!!!

    Reply
  14. Jana on

    Dear Erin, thank you for everithing you do and share! I admire your work and consider you to be my virtual leader on the flower farming. You are very inspiring. I appreciate especially that you are so particular in everithing you write and share. It is really helpfull, not just inspiring. I can’t wait for your book. Please continue sharing. And be blessed in the 2016 with all your family. Regards from Czech republic

    Reply
  15. Annie Beedy on

    Thanks for sharing your goal setting process in such depth. It’s super helpful to see how other creative people approach this kind of thing. My brain has a hard time with this kind of stuff so I took notes ;) I love seeing the all the beauty you create! Happy New Year!

    Reply
  16. whitney on

    If you’re so inclined, I could really use an in depth look at your weed tarp. We use the exact same kind when we’re building our shelter belt rows and I’m pretty much convinced that burning the holes with the flamethrower would be the way to go when we add our next stretch. So thank you for that!!

    I could use some specific photos of how you bury the edges, how you pull up the tarp with your tractor (it seems like it would just rip right apart??), how you store it between seasons, etc. We tarped our pumpkin patch at our old house and these methods could have been revolutionary. I really don’t want to make any mistakes when we tarp our new patch. That weed fabric is expensive!!

    Reply
    • Robin on

      Whitney, I agree with you on this request! I would add a request for more info on the drip tape and watering methods you use — drip tape with holes only (6 inches or 12 apart.), or tape with irrigator plugs — a filter if using irrigation water, and so on — anything water-related you can share!

    • Anna on

      Yes please to tarp and watering details please !

      Thank you so much for all your work. I have learnt so much from you.

    • Amy on

      Yes, so excited that my poppy seed and anenomes have arrived! Would love some info on drip irrigation. We are growing peonies and cut flowers on a 1/2 acre and I would love some advice on where to purchase, and how much to get, etc. Thank you!

  17. Jennifer Ladd-Sweet Posy on

    To Erin and all of the Floret team, you make my heart sing and shout!
    You are truly an abundant giver and sharer of all things beautiful, genuine, honest, helpful, inspirational. I’m going crazy with excitement looking through your list of seed packets at this very moment.
    I am ever so grateful for your candid stories and experiences through your blog. The timeliness of your last two posts bring about so many outpouring emotions that I cry and laugh at the same time.

    I can hardly contain my excitement for the above mentioned soon to come posts on all things flower centric so I can devour every morsel of information and then get my grubby little hands in the field to apply every gleaned opportunity to grow magically gorgeous flowers.

    I’m excitedly looking forward to meeting you and the other fortunate farmer-florist intensive attendees this Spring. Amongst the myriad of possibilities, I am hoping to become more astute at building my soil and how you go about that on your farm, the tedious scheduling of when to start seed, sow and transplant.
    Many thank yous for all that you bring and share to us who are trying to become one step closer to living the dream.
    Cheers to an abundantly happy and healthy New Year!
    Jen

    Reply

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