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December 13th 2018

Early Winter Farm Update

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light over barn at dawnWinter used to be our slowest time on the farm, but over the last few years it has become our busiest. Even though the fields are asleep, there is still a flurry of activity happening everywhere I turn.

I thought it would be fun to share a little peek at what we’ve been up to the past month.

dividing dahlia tubersWe typically wait to divide our dahlias until there’s some free time in the winter, usually starting in early January. It’s good winter work for the crew since our greenhouse is heated, and it gives everyone a break from being out in the miserable weather.

dividing dahlia tubersBut this year we changed things up a little and squeezed the dreaded task in before the holidays. The barn where we were planning to store our tubers is still under construction and doesn’t have any heat.

We had to hurry up and divide everything before the temperatures dropped and our dahlia tubers were at risk for getting damaged by the cold.

dividing dahlia tubersWhile we are taking a break from selling our dahlia tubers, we are busy increasing the mother stock of all my favorite varieties for the future. Our collection of Castle Drive, which was just 20 tubers 2 short years ago is now over 2,000 and I’m working on increasing Rock Run Ashley, Lakeview Peach Fuzz, Cupcake and Fairway Pilot the same way.

I’m happy to report all of our mother stock is divided and tucked safely away in the basement until planting time in the spring.

packages from FloretOur shop has been busy shipping out thousands of packages filled with Floret goodies all over the world for the holidays. It is so fun to imagine all of the lives that will be touched by our farm in the coming year.

The team has now turned their attention to preparing for our big January 2nd seed launch. There is still so much to do in order to be ready!

autumn squash
autumn squashWe finally wrapped up shooting the last of the seed variety photos, ending the picture taking marathon with winter squash. The nearly 100 new varieties are being uploaded to the back end of our online shop as I type and you should be able to preview them shortly.

I can’t wait to share all of the new treasures that we’ll be offering in the coming season.

farm tool storagelandscape fabric storageThe field is finally asleep and we’re just about done cleaning up for the year.

All of the drip irrigation has been rolled up, the fabric has been folded and all of our supplies are now stored away until the spring.

wreath ingredientsOn the book front, we’ve been making amazing progress and are just about to wrap up shooting the last of the images for the winter chapter.

The manuscript is written and is now being edited before we turn it into our publisher in late January.

overhead shot of greensThis book has been such a joy to create and I hope that all of the love we’ve poured into the project shows. We still have a little over a year until it comes out (February 2020) but we’re finally on the homestretch and it feels really good.

Field during winter at Floret Lastly, I’m starting to map out plans for our new land. One of the most exciting things on the horizon is our new peony patch which includes over 100 unique varieties.

I have always dreamed of having a peony field of my own and now that dream is finally coming true.

Field during winter at Floret It will be another 3 years until we can harvest abundantly, since it takes time for peony plants to establish. Even though it feels like a lifetime away, we’ll be swimming in flowers before we know it.

I will make sure to document the process as we go and share it here later this winter.

Field during winter at Floret I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to this month. If you have a minute, leave a comment below and share something you’ve done in the garden or creatively that you’re excited about!


  1. Andrea Killmer on

    Your blog and book are the brightness in grey winter days! I am truly inspired! I have always had a love of colorful nontraditional veggie varieties and squash for decorating. Your blog and book has taken my life in a whole new path! Thank you!!!

  2. Claire on

    I can’t tell you how much your blog has changed my life. That sounds dramatic, I know, but I’ve always loved gardening- it’s in my blood. But adding flowers into my huge back yard veggie garden has literally brought me so much joy in the past couple years that I feel like I’m a different person. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience!!

    • Team Floret on


      That’s wonderful to hear!


  3. Steve on

    Looking forward to seeing the progress on the peony bed! I would love to know which varieties you have planned. I’m a local peony enthusiast and wish I had even a little more space for all of them. Last year, I even started them from seed and start learning how to hybridize them. It will be many years until they bloom, but should be fun to see some something that doesn’t exist yet. If you have some free time, and want to talk Peony with others, feel free to connect to our Pacific Northwest Peony Society’s Facebook group. Happy Holidays!

  4. Eastward Gardens on

    I am super excited to share my husband has built for me my first flower greenhouse. We are predominately a veggie farm and this was my second season growing flowers. After quitting my job last June I was ready to start to prosue the dream of adding flowers to our mix. It was such a success we are multiply the flowers by 4X and I have my first flower greenhouse. It’s like a dream come true. I have used your how to Ranunculus and Anemones videos and will be planting Icelandic Poppies ( seeds from you:-)and Snapdragons for the first time this next season. I can’t wait to see all the beauty this greenhouse will bring next Spring. Happy farming!!

  5. Lydia on

    Thank you for all your great advice, ideas and workshops. For the first time, I planted 300 tulips and am looking forward to planning in the greenhouse year round. Merry Christmas!

  6. Reece on

    Greetings from Sydney Australia here Erin and the floret team!
    You and your amazing farm have motivated me over the past few years to finally get motivated and a little flowery patch up and running for my mother and sister. I’ve finally given dahlias a proper go this year and have 24 diffeeent varieties (got carried away) up and growing. They’re only small at the moment but are beginning to branch off nicely and some are starting to send out flow dubs. Exciting times and yourbook has been a wonderful help!
    Glad to receive the email updates and the interesting plans you have going on with both the farms !! Happy holidays and have yourself a nice winters break.

  7. Lisa Haas on

    This last month kicked off an official start to growing for real success. The cogs, flywheels, and gears assembled from the Floret Workshop Class of 2018 are well oiled and gaining momentum in my head as well as on the potting bench as we head into the shortest days of the year. My vision is clear backwards and forwards even as more pixels get added to the overall farmer-florist picture. Pre-planning, mapping, revisions, and more planning are necessarily ongoing as I burn through yet another notebook filled with ideas of building that better mouse trap. And thanks to revisiting the Floret Workshop videos on getting a good start, hundreds (okay, thousands) of ranunculus and anemones are waking up to a decidedly well nurtured and snuggly place to call home. The flowers are content, my buyers are excited, and I’m downright giddy with anticipation. Winter has never been so bright!

  8. Tracey on

    Thank you for the beautiful winter photographs of my beloved Pacific Northwest. People think it’s dreary and rains all winter in Washington (and they’re so right in November!) but the beauty of the frosts and the fog is something I’ll always miss. I’m living in Ohio now so I have a different kind of beauty with the snow and deep cold, but I can’t ever forget my garden in Marysville when it looked like your photos here.

  9. Amanda Black on

    This was my first year growing paperwhites and amaryllis and I love it! It’s so nice to have fresh flowers inside my home. It feeds my green thumb while we’re stuck indoors during these cold PNW winters. Thank you for all of your growing tips!

  10. Anna on

    I’m so happy for your future peony field Erin! Your farm will be even more magical:). As for my garden, i covered almost all my beds (1/6 acre) with compost using only wheelbarrow and shovel. Hard work but i know it will pay off with better soil and better plants. I also planted many tulips and irises and I’m very excited to see them blooming early spring. Can’t wait to see all your new seeds and I’m looking forward to do the online workshop again this winter! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  11. Erin M. on

    My garden is mostly asleep, barring a few entrepid tomatoes. I’ve left them in, just to see what happens, since I had such rotten luck this summer. I’m in CA, so there’s a chance for a ripe tomato in Dec. But I’ve taken up simple watercolor painting, and I’m enjoying the colors it brings, while the flowers are in their winter nap.

  12. Robin Habing on

    Spend a lot of time researching. Your book looks like I have had it for years. I’ve been adding a few different bushes to collective. Since late in year, I have them potted on garage, along with 200 plus daffodils. Potting a few Paper Whites for Christmas gifts. I am super stoked to get planning finished after Christmas. Thank you for not only inspiring others, but boosting our confidence. Merry Christmas to all…I wish you love and fairh for thos season and the new year!!

  13. KD Schwartz on

    I have excitedly followed your adventure and photography for years. I have a collection of magazine articles celebrating your flower farm, one of them, you are in a field of tall purple flowers with one of your children in a backpack and before I knew who you were, I told myself that’s the kind of mother I want to be! I now live on a 5 acre farm in California with my two children and husband and I raise honeybees. This spring I plan to plant a field of sunflowers to support my growing 20 hive apiary, and all along I’ve been inspired by you!
    Thank you with all my heart,
    KD Schwartz

  14. Stacey on

    We have been busy this month buying a 25 acre arm on the Tennessee-Alabama state line. We are so excited and are really enjoying planning out the next fews years of growth. Thanks for sharing your journey; it inspires us, and we follow along closely and have learned so much!


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