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Home Blog The Farmer & the {Florist} Interview: Clare Nolan
February 21st 2020

The Farmer & the {Florist} Interview: Clare Nolan

Written by
Floret

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to talk with my inspirational UK flower friend Clare Nolan. Clare approaches her photography and floral design with a finely honed aesthetic, which is no surprise given her background in interior design, styling, and editorial production.

In this interview, Clare takes us through her the journey of leaving behind her corporate career, slowing down, and building a life that works for her young family, while at the same time keeping her passions and creativity alive. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.

Clare Nolan portraitErin: Clare, thanks so much for taking time to share your story with Floret readers. For those not familiar with your work, can you share an overview of your story?

Clare: I went for a screen test for a TV show a while back and was told by the producer that I was a jack of all trades and needed to specialize. She was trying to be helpful, and she was in a way. Since then I’ve given up trying to define what it is I do anymore. I am part interior designer, part gardener, part coach/mentor/educator, part writer/photographer/author.

The common theme in everything I do is that it is focused on enriching our experience of “home” and helping others create a space that is nourishing, uplifting, and supportive. My book In Bloom showcases my passion for cut flowers and the joy that can bring to every day, but my first love was interior décor, and that’s where my career first took root. For nearly 20 years I worked as a stylist, editor, and art director in London, writing and styling articles to inspire and encourage others to create their best possible version of their home. I wrote my first book, Making a House Your Home, all about this—it’s a modern-day guide to homemaking.

I’ve been a passionate gardener for years, ever since I was a kid, so I suppose it was only natural that I’d end up bringing the garden into my professional life too. As a stylist in the early days of my career, I experienced beautiful flowers at product launches, and I worked with them on photo shoots, but I didn’t have the budget to make them a part of my world at home—so I started growing my own cut flowers, first in giant planters set out on the concrete in the backyard of my first apartment, and then I upscaled things, growing flowers in amongst my veg on my allotment. When we moved to the countryside, where I’ve been able to put my roots down in every sense, I planted a dedicated cutting patch in our cottage garden. It has been a dream come true to have the chance to grow so many flowers.

Clar Nolan floral designErin: Tell us a bit about your gorgeous and incredibly useful book, In Bloom. You wrote, styled, and photographed it yourself. What was that process like? 

Clare: It was a true labor of love. It was a project that spanned a few years, but it was all-consuming for the best part of a year before my final deadline—with twin toddlers. That part of it wasn’t easy, but it was such a gift to work on something that brings me so much joy. I had some real pinch-me moments when I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. It really was the dream project. The downside was that it was quite isolating; it was just me, my camera, and my computer in the garden or my studio for a very long time. For this book, it was important to me that the process was as close to the reader’s as possible. I wanted to show how I do things in real life without the usual team involved on a photographic shoot.

Clare Nolan stylingErin: Your photography is breathtakingly beautiful. How do you capture blooms in a way that feels like fine art?

Clare: It was a big leap for me to move from stylist to photographer, despite all the years directing photo shoots, so I’m really proud of pushing myself to take the pictures for my book. My aim was to try to make the book as beautiful as it is informative.

In terms of taking photos, it can be a real struggle when you’re doing all the growing, as well as the styling and arranging, to actually find the time to document things properly with a camera; you are literally doing the job of three people already. I make things easier by keeping a series of textured surfaces ready: weathered floorboards—the top of my old garden table; a sheet of weathered zinc from an old potting table, and a selection of textured papers. These can all be pulled in to be used as tabletops or backgrounds. One wall of my studio is painted in a limewash effect, which shoots really well, so I always have a camera-ready backdrop, and I gave a cotton bed sheet the same treatment so I have a portable version—a bit of duct tape or a few carpenter’s clamps hold it in place. A sturdy tripod with an extendable arm for flatlay shooting is a constant companion; I only ever use daylight, and this allows me to take long exposures without any camera shake.

I get asked a lot about my camera. I’m a Canon girl, these days it’s a 5D mark iv; before that it was 7D, and my two most-used lenses are a 100mm macro and a 50mm. In terms of bringing that little bit of magic to a shot, it’s all about the light. Find the best places you have in terms of light—for me it’s the window of my potting shed that faces southwest—and bring everything there. Don’t force things the other way.

Clare Nolan helleboresErin: I loved your post about taking advantage of commute time! In what other ways do you find the time to focus on your work in the midst of this busy season of motherhood?

Clare: It’s taken me a while to come to terms with the changes that motherhood brings and the impact it can have, not only on your energy levels and time frame for work, but on your headspace, your dreams and aspirations too. I’m still figuring things out. I’m learning that things take a little more time with 3-year-olds in tow. Being a mum really puts things into focus; you drop the things that aren’t really important to you. I have definitely lowered my standard of household cleaning, and not so many things get ironed anymore, but I’m still growing flowers and dreaming big!

Clare Nolan stems and vaseErin: How has your approach to gardening changed in the past years as your knowledge has grown? 

Clare: Over the past couple of years, I’ve been learning more about biodynamic gardening principles and permaculture. I think gardening in a more sustainable way is the key to all our futures, and I’m keen to learn as much as I can about this and make changes to the way I garden. Even small things like going peat-free and reducing the amount of plastic we use can make a difference. This coming season, I’ll be focusing much more on collecting my own seed and sharing that knowledge—it’s a lost art.

Erin: You recently posted on Instagram that you were happy to “draw a line” under this gardening season, meaning mark it as complete. In what ways are you hoping for a “bigger and better” gardening season next year?

Clare: Between the rats, mice, pigeons, slugs, and snails, and all manner of munching insects, as well as the temperamental weather of a typical British summer, last season wasn’t my best, but I think one of the joys of being a gardener is that there’s always another chance, a clean slate for next season. When we bought our cottage, the garden was a blank canvas, and other than setting out the veg and flower garden, I’ve not done much more. This year I’m really looking forward to creating a garden. So far, my husband is turning a blind eye to the fact that the lawn is shrinking and new flower beds seem to be appearing everywhere.

Clare Nolan greenhouseErin: In your blog post about your incredible new garden shed, you said “if you get your home right, if you nourish it, then it begins to support you, nourishing you in return—so you’re much more able to make the things you really want to do with your life happen.” How does your home in the countryside nourish and support you, and allow you to live the life you’ve dreamed of?

Clare: We invest so much time, money and emotion into our homes. Family rituals and a lifetime’s memories are centered around them. Getting it right so that it works for you, supports you, reflects who you are and want to be, is absolutely central to your happiness.

Modern life has created a disconnect in so many of us. In the pursuit of “progress” we have lost connection with many of the simple things that are vital to live a happy, fulfilled life. I got off the career treadmill and walked away from my big job in London to raise my boys and forge a healthier work-life balance. I’m trying to live a simpler, more intentional life, one where I get to connect to nature every day. Growing your own flowers amplifies that connection: You start weather-watching, you begin to notice the small things, and it becomes second nature to follow the natural rhythm of the year and live with the seasons. Once you’re connected with nature, you’re much more open to connect with what you really want from life.

Clare Nolan narcissusErin: What are you currently working on, dreaming of, excited about in your life and work?

Clare: Over the past 5 years or so I’ve been secretly gathering a new set of skills: learning about biodynamic and permaculture gardening principles, herbalism, natural remedies and alternative healing modalities, and weaving them into my passion for home and garden. I can’t wait to start to share my findings with others. We live in uncertain times, and we need to find a new way of living to navigate through it together. Reconnecting our homes and ourselves with nature, calming the mind and lifting the spirit in the process, seems like a pretty great place to start.

Erin: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, Clare. You live your life with such beauty and intention, and I know our readers will find your story inspiring. 

I’m so excited to give away 3 copies of Clare’s beautiful book In Bloom. For a chance to win, please share your biggest struggle when it comes to growing cut flowers in the comments below. Winners will be announced on Friday, February 28th. 

Please note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, please sit tight; we have a spam filter that requires we approve comments before they are published.

Learn more and connect with Clare Nolan

Books:
Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking

In Bloom: Growing, Harvesting, and Arranging Homegrown Flowers All Year Round

Instagram: @clarenolanuk

Photographs by Clare Nolan.

 

189 Comments

  1. Kelly on

    Rabbits. Every seedling has to be surrounded by 1 inch chickenwire cages. They have to be built and tacked down to the ground or the seedlings will never become flowering plants.

    Reply
  2. Dianne Reganess on

    Oh gosh . . .year 1 when we started with sunflowers only, not only did I get a big lesson on how important irrigation was, but weeds! Lordy, I didn’t know grasses could get so tall and out of hand! Was major food competition for my poor sunnies. Didnt know about PH testing either. Or the CRAZY looking bugs that love our sunnies! Ick! Icky ick!! Two years now, much much better turnout. Big changes But tbe BUGS!! HUGE ones in North Carolina!!

    Reply
  3. Esme Loasby on

    Brilliant interview! My biggest struggle is often, just beginning. As a new mother to a 7 month old, your words on the changes that motherhood brings have really hit home with me. As a lifelong creative, and also one who has ‘many trades’ I’ve found myself overwhelmed, often, about my lack of free time and the vast ever growing list of ideas and plans I have, which too many times, means I faff around, procrastinate and talk myself out of any of it. Without a doubt, every single ‘free time’ opportunity I have, I know I should just BEGIN. Today’s plan is to plant some seeds!

    Reply
  4. Frances on

    I loved reading this post, and the photos are really inspirational. My biggest challenge is managing my space, knowing how much I can grow in the space I have, getting the most out of growing beds, and which varieties are the best for cold Cumbrian climate! I’m forever reading the Floret blog for tips, and it’s been ever so helpful.

    Reply
  5. Lynn Galloway on

    My greatest struggle when it comes to growing cut flowers is in dealing with things in nature that present a challenge; gophers, unexpected warm spells when I am trying to start my perennials in a toasty greenhouse and the fear that climate change and hence, California’s unseasonably warm weather will pose a threat to our water source: our well.
    I am hoping that by being aware of these challenges and working to find sustainable solutions to each challenge will help me to find my way through the season and have fun in the process.

    Reply
  6. Ellie Kirchner on

    My biggest struggle in growing cut flowers is having enough space! There are always new varieties of ‘must haves’ to grow! As my list grows longer, my lawn area shrinks! I am fortunate to have a large lot… but dream of a flower farm. Thank you for your lovely book – it is truly a vision of beauty and inspiration!

    Reply
  7. Wendy C on

    This was a wonderful blog post. The biggest challenge is the time frame to get young plants out of the greenhouse and planted into the garden. I always end up with some poor withered little plants that just never get outside. It makes me sad.

    Reply
  8. [email protected] on

    Hi Jocelyn,
    I love that you sing to your plants! I don’t think the green thumb is real! Plants want to grow, we just need to give them what they need! I think the key is ‘right plant, right place’. Have a really good look at what you have in terms of soil, climate and most importantly your time. Then it’s time to dream – put your lust-list of plants together. Then make it a reality…get to know them. Can you give them what they need? If not, move away. Once you get the right plant in the right place, it’s a joy…..it’s pure magic running through you….your plants will be singing to you. You might like ‘The Secret Teachings of Plants’ book by Stephen Harrod Buhner if you don’t already have it. Clare x

    Reply
  9. [email protected] on

    Hi Sabrina,
    Thank you for your lovely words about my book. I love your vision for your garden. I too aim for something similar. I think part of it is needing to let go of the control? Having a lighter hand and allowing the wildness to creep in a little. It’s something I’ve had to do since I’ve had my boys – there just isn’t the time anymore. I’ve had the best accidental combinations that way. A row of leeks left to go to seed looked magnificent in the veg patch last autumn with nasturtiums trailing beneath them – both looked just as magnificent in the vase. The leeks lasting for weeks before drying in the vase beautifully. I think we can try to make things too perfect can’t we. Have fun creating your vision. Clare x

    Reply
  10. [email protected] on

    Hi Zoe,
    Thank you for your lovely words about my book. The financial aspect certainly is a challenge isn’t it? So happy to hear it’s working out for you. Clare x

    Reply
  11. [email protected] on

    Denise,
    Thank you for your kind words, that is so lovely to hear. Happy flower growing! Clare x

    Reply
  12. [email protected] on

    Abby,
    It’s scary, but remember….. plants want to grow. That’s their thing. Maybe start small? I always find it easier to put together a vision board/mood board to keep my ideas focused. Good luck! X clare

    Reply
  13. Abby on

    My biggest struggle is being afraid I won’t be successful, and therefore afraid to try. My expectations for myself are probably to high.

    Reply
  14. Zoe on

    Congratulations to Clare on this fabulous book and thank you Erin for sharing her story. Living with intention definitely provides a path to happiness and success. My biggest struggle is creating a balance between making a living – financially- and creating a life that makes my souls sing. Slowly the two are coming together…..with flowers 💐

    Reply
  15. Ruth Roy on

    In Bloom looks like such a gorgeous book. So excited to be planting my first cut flower garden this year! Definitely struggling with remaining patient for spring to show up and melt away all the snow. And a little anxious in hoping all grows well. But, I know trial and error is the best way learning!

    Reply
  16. Michelle Dealy on

    My biggest challenge is a short growing season, with extreme changes in temperatures. One day it can be 85 degrees and the next day snow and freezing temps. You’re running around in the evening trying to cover everything with frost cloth while the wind is trying to blow you to the next state! Come morning you wake up with a prayer and are always grateful to see what has made it through the night.

    Reply
  17. Hillary on

    Money!!!! How do people afford greenhouses, low tunnels, irrigation, tools, coolers, tractors, etc… The investment in seeds alone can be costly. I work a full time job and need all the extra income I can make to go at this flower farming thing full force. Eventually I want to make it my only gig but I’ve not yet discovered how to make the transition without having a lot of disposable income. You women are amazing and so inspiring so I know there MUST be a way! Xoxo

    Reply
  18. Sara on

    We just moved into a brand new house and have to put the whole yard in, so I think my struggle will be narrowing down the endless options. I’ve got a list a mile long of flowers I want to grow…

    Reply
  19. Lori W on

    Finding space to plant all the ones I want to plant!

    Reply
  20. Michelle Anders on

    Getting seeds started on time and planting out on time. We should’ve been called better late than never Farm. I love knowledge/learning, and would love a chance to win a copy!!

    Reply
  21. Jacquie on

    My biggest struggle is having to limit my choice, I want everything but don’t have the space to grow all the seeds indoors or the space outside. But I won’t give up, just love flowers.

    Reply
  22. Sabrina Steele on

    Hi! What a lovely interview and such inspiring photos <3 My biggest struggle is the planning. I am a vegetable gardner and flower gardener, and I want to successfully create an English cottage garden with veggies and flowers mixed in with one another. However, I get bogged down on how far apart to space my veggies and flowers and I struggle to create beautiful, interesting moments within the garden – a place to sit and drink coffee, a turned over planter with a creeping plant flowing out of it, trellised flowers, etc. My imagination desires a gorgeous garden where I get lost in the tomatoes and amaranth, but instead I have something that feels a bit more stiff. Hoping to improve on that this year by expanding my garden beds and doing in-ground versus raised beds. :)Thanks for the beautiful books to keep me motived.

    Reply
  23. Julie Bump on

    Opposition! Like weeds, slugs, bugs, deer, and other rodents who get into my garden. I can’t wait to start my seeds soon. We just moved to Michigan so it’s going to be a while new learning curve growing here compared to growing in NY.

    Reply
  24. Holly Hagy on

    My biggest struggle is TIME!!!! I am an avid amateur gardener and I have to travel for work, often gone for months at a time, and I miss my whole bloom of certain flowers/roses. It’s tough but sometimes, a stray bloom is still there when I return home. Beautiful Flower/garden Books get me through being away from my garden!!!

    Reply
  25. Alyssa on

    My biggest struggle is deciding what to grow! There are some many varieties, it’s hard to narrow them down. As well, during peak season I struggle with pests and weeds. They love to try and take over my garden! I try to do everything organically, so I refuse to use harmful pesticides. I feel that keeping my garden and the earth healthy is the one of the most important parts of my growing season.

    Reply
  26. Ginger J on

    My biggest struggle – challenge with growing cut flowers is cutting them. Each flower feels like my child that I have raised nurturing them from seed to blossom. They give me, my daughters, honeybees, and pollinators peace, love, food, medicine, and connection to nature. They give me joy to share their beauty with others, and sadness to see them leave the garden.

    Reply
  27. Rebecca on

    My biggest struggle is sun! The space we have in our urban garden to grown is mostly shaded by a fence or tree!!

    Reply
  28. Ginger J on

    My biggest struggle – challenge with growing cut flowers is cutting them. Each flower feels like my child that I have raised nurturing them from seed to blossom. They give me peace and connection to nature. They give me joy to share their beauty with others, and sadness to see them leave the garden.

    Reply
  29. Susie Leggett on

    Here in the Midwest, our biggest challenge for growing a cut flower garden is the summer heat and humidity.

    Reply
  30. Kate Clark on

    Picking what colours to grow! Seed catalogues get the better of me, and I want to order everything in every colour, which doesn’t make for a fluent garden 😅

    Reply
  31. Kate Beer on

    Juggling flower growing with my many other jobs! Or saving the seedlings from my chickens…

    Reply
  32. Vicki Dixon on

    I’m a bit of an all in kinda girl living on a small suburban plot….I’m also a florist. So space to grow all the beautiful varieties I love so much. Also keeping all those pesky bitey chewy creatures at bay.

    Reply
  33. Nhu on

    I struggle with making it look aesthetic, my husband would prefer some rhyme or reason to the layout for better landscaping. Hope the books helps with it!

    Reply
  34. Ginger Janssen on

    My biggest struggle – challenge with growing cut flowers is cutting them. Each flower feels like my child that I have raised nurturing them from seed to blossom. They give me peace and connection to nature. They give me joy to share their beauty with others, and sadness to see them leave the garden.

    Reply
  35. Jocelyn on

    My biggest struggle with growing flowers or anything really is where to start or placement. I recently just purchased my home with my husband. And have been wanting to grow flowers even vegetables. But my past has been haunting me. I purchased a fig plant and she died. I sang to her and talk to her and she died. My mom is a huge plant lady. And that’s where I get my whole singing and talking to plants. But unfortunately I haven’t had good luck with plants or flowers. So having more knowledge is key. I read about my plant and try to not over water her. is having a green thumb real? I would love to get more insight on plants as my dreams is to one day grow a garden with flowers and vegetables. I’m starting small as succulent are low maintenance, also to prove to my husband that I can keep plants alive.

    Reply
  36. SHALON on

    My biggest struggle is I see all these beautiful arrangements from your book and Instagram and I want to grow everything! I get so overwhelmed! …having good color combinations. I also find myself taking to much time on the internet researching and not “doing”
    Thank you

    Reply
  37. Whitney on

    Weed control and deer. Everything that successfully evades the deer gets taken over by grass.

    Reply
  38. Bridgette on

    My trouble would be a tie between not enough space and not enough time to keep up with more. Yikes!!!

    Reply
  39. Nikki Wurst on

    Space!! I need more room to grow all of these beautiful varieties! ☺️😍

    Reply
  40. Caprice on

    Timing my planting. I often postpone planting because of our way weather and then find that I’ve missed my window of opportunity. Also planning my bed to have constant bloom.

    Reply
  41. Tabitha on

    Timing. We haven’t lived anywhere for more than 3 years and between rentals and family we haven’t felt like we have our own space to plant much. It’s frustrating to wait when you have so many dreams. Trying to get there though!

    Reply
  42. Kassie Schwan on

    My struggle is a tiny back yard with only partial sun, so my tall flowers lean a little too much trying to find the light!

    Reply
  43. Ellen on

    My biggest struggle in growing flowers is seedling transplant :( they do so well in the seed trays and once I transition them outside, they aren’t having it! I’ve had my soil tested to see if that could be an issue but the results came back great!

    Reply
  44. Heidi on

    The biggest struggle has to be not planting EVERYTHING! There is so much beauty out there that I just want to see it all, every day of my life.

    Reply
  45. Amberly Selle on

    My struggle is knowing what zone I’m in and what flowers I can grow here in a region considered “high-desert” it gets super hot in the summer and cold enough to snow in the winter. Is the whole zone thing not a big deal anymore? Can I plant what I want and just water stuff more?

    Reply
  46. Sue Frey on

    My biggest struggle is carving out time for me to do what gives me joy. Living on a farm there are so many things to be done that I find I have no energy left to plant and maintain flowers. I took care of older parents and raised two children and helped my husband now that the parents are gone and the children almost on their own your 2020 Floret class encouraged me and helped renew my joy. Wish me luck on fulfilling my dreams.

    Reply
  47. Andrea Durst on

    The short growing season in Zone 5, and the wind are definitely my biggest struggles!
    The book looks gorgeous!

    Reply
  48. Faith on

    Space!! I need more space to grow all the varieties I love and in the abundance I dream of 😍😍

    Reply
  49. Janine on

    My biggest struggle is the slope that we grow on. No high tunnel here but much creativity in growing in a non traditional space.

    Reply
  50. Maureen on

    My biggest struggle is space. Vegetables to eat or flowers to pick?

    Reply
  51. Katie G on

    My biggest struggle is how to grow annual cut flowers when I don’t have a grow light system.

    Reply
  52. Susie on

    My biggest challenge is trying to determine what to plant. I have limited space, but I want everytjing I see!!! So difficult to narrow it down. Getting the biggest bang for my space.

    Reply
  53. Marcy on

    Great book. Thanks for sharing! My biggest difficulty growing is our short growing season in Northeast! I started some inside last year and will do more this year starting next month. Thinking I’ll bring the boxes of tubers inside in a week or so and begin the preparation for starting the tubers! My other problem is not enough garden space for all the dahlias I want to plant😂

    Reply
  54. Madison on

    My biggest struggle when it comes to growing stem cut flowers are the bugs that eat the petals on my cosmos and dahlias!

    Reply
  55. Kaitlinn Fort on

    This is my first flower garden this year and right now my struggle is planning. I’m working on a timeline for when to start seeds and when to direct sow. It’s a bit tricky but I know I will learn every year :) looking forward to growing more and more flowers in my future

    Reply
  56. Jessica Decker on

    This looks amazing! I would definitely love this book! I believe my biggest struggle would definitely be the heat! I’m from Mississippi and long to grow beautiful dahlias and peonies. It’s definitely a labor of love to grow some of the cooler loving plants. I’m not gonna give up trying though! ;)

    Reply
  57. Amy Rienzi on

    My biggest struggle is that as a non-professional, I am never satisfied with what is available to me locally. As a gardener, I don’t want to take away from the picture I have created outside. On top of that, I do get saddened taking the flowers out of their environment where I see bees, birds and butterfly’s enjoying them too. The plan I have been working on is re-designing the garden, incorporating even more flowers to cut (there is seriously no more yard); more for everyone to enjoy. Some are new to me such as Chocolate Lace while others are favorites that I can never have enough of – Bells of Ireland and Cerinthe.

    Reply
  58. Lorissa on

    Great post! My biggest struggle is knowing what varieties will do well where and I want perfection so I usually end up not planting any at all. Clearly, I have some things to learn. 😀 I love cut flowers!

    Reply
  59. Theresa Dessonville on

    Right now our biggest struggle is wanting the big and the beautiful rows and rows of flowers but having to take a deep breath and GROW into it year after year.

    Reply
  60. Amanda on

    My greatest struggle is not having enough space to grow everything I want in the quantities I need!

    I love that she’s going the route of biodynamic farming. That’s something I’ve always been interested in and try to incorporate in my garden as best as I can.

    Reply
  61. Rhonda Bunn on

    Hello. Thanks AGAIN for another fabulous piece of writing!!
    My biggest struggle with growing cut flowers really is getting people ( mostly traditional florists) to try and appreciate some of the different varities we have to offer.

    Reply
  62. Brenda on

    Love your interview and opportunity to win! So I always struggle with knowing when to start seeds in my zone (6a). Should I use grow lights? And then I would love to have more success with growing ranunculus in my area. Last year I got them to root beautifully but when I planted them in a planter (maybe the prob) they didn’t flower. So this year I think I’ll try planting them directly into the ground! Wish me success ! 😉 Thanks!

    Reply
  63. Jane on

    My challenge is the fact that I have lived in the Pacific Northwest all of my life and have never really gardened. We moved recently to Whidbey Island, I just turned 70, and have been SO inspired by your blog, books, and Instagram. Every day I am trying new things; today I will wash dahlia tubers, many of which were purchased through Floret, and start preparing for Spring seed planting. My husband built me a gorgeous greenhouse from antique windows, our garden is shored up from critters by hand built fencing, and here we go for our third year of gardening. We don’t miss a chance to go to Christianson’s nursery and Bayview Nursery is practically in our back yard. You are NEVER too old to start something new, and your enthusiasm and knowledge has been my major go-to for instruction every day!

    Reply
  64. Lisa Kleines on

    I’m astounded by the amazing support do you have for one another! I live in Ohio and enjoy all the seasons! Last season was my first true attempt at a cutting garden as my daughter was getting married!!! I have always been a gardener but this last season I wanted to supply her with flowers for her showers and rehearsal dinner💗. I chose zinnias as my flower and they were amazing. However, my biggest struggle is space. My backyard is huge but very shady. My front yard is my sunny spot. Currently my husband and I are working on that. Please keep the interviews on your blog coming!!! PS this is helping me recuperate from a broken kneecap when I fell over my 14 year old puppy. Knee surgery and sporting 2 new screws!!!!

    Reply
  65. Gayle Westover on

    What a wonderful interview! Thank you for sharing it, and her with us, Erin. I’m excited to check her out on IG since her pictures are so beautiful in her book.
    I think my greatest struggle is simply having enough space. Our property is teeny, but I make the best of it.

    Reply
  66. Meghan on

    My biggest struggle is wanting to squeeze in as much as possible on a downtown urban lot! We are working towards purchasing land, but, for now, it’s hard to not want to grow everything! Also, I’m hoping to be better about succession planting this year for a continued harvest.

    Reply
  67. Natalie Fuller on

    My biggest struggle is finding the space to grow my flowers, I live in a small apartment with no yard and only a small balcony (thankfully west facing). I am attempting to grow my wedding flowers this year for 8/15/20 but I have to divide them between 3 places in 2 different counties! I’m so excited to start my seeds but I am definitely nervous about caring for them once they’re planted in the ground in these different locations, unfortunately I cannot be in 3 places at once lol

    Reply
  68. Jennifer on

    What a lovely interview and insight into her life and talent—thank you for sharing.

    For us as a Certified Organic produce and flower farm, our greatest struggle has been the limited amount of certified/affordable seeds, bulbs, corns, etc. available that are not treated, pelleted with non compliant coatings, or produced with chemical fertilizers, growth hormones, and pesticides.

    Reply
  69. Kristen on

    Thank you for sharing this book and for your thoughtful interview! As a new farmer florist I am building my library of books/resources and would LOVE a copy. This would go beautifully with my copies of Erins books 🥰

    Reply
  70. Simone on

    What a beautiful book and great Blog Post!
    My biggest struggle is maintaining the energy to keep going – putting in loads of work from prepping the ground, starting seedlings, making sure they can thrive and loosing some in the process.. by the time they bloom and get to where I needed them, I tend to have a energy low, where i just want to lie in amongst them and listen to the bees enjoying them. I always dream and think ‚once they bloom I will do this arrangement and experiment with that photography’, but by the time I get some time and energy for that, the flowers are almost gone.. does anyone have the same? Or am I alone in getting exhausted..?

    Reply
  71. Shalini on

    What a wonderful interview. Thank you for it, it was really inspiring. As a newbie to gardening I struggle to get started and really feel held back by knowing where to grow what…. I think I start and then get overwhelmed or forget to check how things are going when life get busy. It has been my dream to grow a cut flower garden…I so hope to achieve that one day. :-)

    Reply
  72. Sophia on

    Since this will be my first “real” year growing cut flowers it still will be so many questions for me that will rise along the season. I’m reading your book about growing cut flowers and really are going to follow all of your amazing tips and knowledge that you share <3. I will grow many varieties that are firsts for me so I guess I will struggle with not knowing how things will grow, and just learn and take notes til next season! I’m looking forward to it :)

    Reply
  73. Carmella on

    I so enjoyed reading about Clare and her newly released book! Especially encouraging to read what she’s done while having mama responsibilities. My biggest challenge with gardening, both flowers and veg, is keeping the deer at bay! It’s so disheartening to see all that work and anticipation disappear in one night of foraging by our resident deer population.

    Reply
  74. Molly on

    WOW. InBLOOM is absolutely stunning, Clare! Erin, thank you for the beautiful introduction on your Instagram stories, and for this wonderful interview. You two are changing the world! Let’s see… Biggest struggle… knowing where to even begin is a big one for me, alongside my not-so-green thumb;) …just need a bit more practice and a little more confidence. I truly love the inspiration and guidance your books are giving me! Thank you, thank you. & thank you for a chance to win a copy of InBLOOM. What a dream~*

    Reply
  75. Shandyn Unruh on

    I found this beautiful book and lady awhile back and have been so entranced by her breathtaking flowers and photos!!!
    So much of my daily flower farming inspiration comes from people like you two.
    My biggest struggle ever is our summer heat and learning what thrives the best, what needs to be planted at different times than milder weather climates and accepting some things just don’t grow here in the south like the PNW. This doesn’t mean i’ll ever stop trying though. Hopefully, the more experience and knowledge I gain will be a super help for the future. :)

    Reply
  76. Laura Kingma on

    Working with my little flower farmer daughter has been the biggest learning curve of my life. It has helped us bond together through hardship and trials. Last year we lost every Dahlia tuber that we had collected . It was so sad. Lovely worked so hard for neighbours in their garden and in return earned Dahlia tubers for herself to grow. It’s hard to find that right spot to keep all those tubers! We convinced my husband to heat his shop for our little tubers all winter😊

    Reply
  77. Erica Ransom on

    My biggest struggle with growing cut flowers in my mind would have to be money. Everything costs money. Building planters, filling them with quality soil, seeds, seed starting trays, watering, the list goes on My dreams are so big and budget so small. But I love dreaming of future gardens and flowers even if I have to be patient and save up.

    Reply
  78. Susan May on

    Such a great interview! My biggest struggle is our frigid winters leading to a short growing season. So difficult to keep my roses alive and have them flourish.

    Reply
  79. Hillary on

    I have two very young children, so my biggest challenge is a lack of time.

    Reply
  80. Stephanie Shoemaker on

    What a great post!! The book looks amazing. My biggest struggle is always hitting those seasonal marks and getting stuff either in the greenhouse on time or in the ground it’s a real struggle as I work full time and juggle my flower obsession

    Reply
  81. heather crawford on

    i love how Clare uses the lens of everything contributing to creating a home in response to the question about what she does. so beautiful.

    my biggest struggle is finding my footing. we have a wonderful flower community here, and i don’t want to take away from anyone else while still knowing that flower farming & sharing is my next step.

    Reply
  82. Kimberly on

    My biggest struggle …. oh my! I sold my home to go after my dream of a flower farm. I just purchased property over in Eastern Washington. Hope to be breaking ground later this year. So my ‘farm’ consists of pots and rented land to keep on learning, taking notes, and playing with new flowers from seed.

    Reply
  83. Bridget G on

    Thanks for sharing the interview and a sneak peak at that lovely book

    My biggest problem is trying to cram as many cut flowers into my yard and still making it aesthetically pleasing to the neighborhood.

    Reply
  84. Bridget G on

    Thanks we’re sharing the interview and a sneak peek of that book… it’s really lovely
    My biggest challenge is figuring out how to cram as many cut flowers in the space that I have in my yard while still making it look aesthetically pleasing to the neighborhood

    Reply
  85. Ginny on

    My biggest struggle is irrigation. Since we moved last year it has been so hard to try and keep my beds irrigated appropriately without spending hours lugging around hoses. But I would like to grow my own flowers for my wedding this summer so if that’s what I have to do then I will.

    Reply
  86. Cedar on

    ok this is the honest truth, one of my biggest problems with growing cut flowers is trying to grow too many!- I have trouble narrowing down my selection! I want to try so many varieties and I often start too many of each type and don’t have enough room. The struggle is real!

    Reply
  87. Jeanette Dahl on

    I love this! You are both amazing inspirations for my garden. My biggest struggle truly is trying to decide what and how much of each type to plant. Here in Utah we can have short but hot summers and it’s hard to find the right flowers that will whether the climate. I have limited space so deciding which varieties I love the most but will actually produce it’s always tricky. I love the interview part where Clare says the best part of about gardens is that each year we get a clean slate. Thank heavens! Live and learn and keep growing! 🌺🌸💗

    Reply
  88. Robin on

    Great talk!! Clare’s beautifil book In Bloom is definitely on my list to read right along with your new Year in Flowers.
    As a new cut flower gardener, my biggest struggle is getting the timing right on cuts for vaee life. I have a basic knowledge to grow but not for production cutting. I am so appreciative of this community being so helpful with sharing all the great information & guidance.

    Reply
  89. Megan on

    That was really inspiring! I am also weaving herbalism into my flower passion. There are so many common garden flowers that are also medicinal like bachelor buttons, violas, calendula, bee balm…
    I seem to have a new growing challenge with each new season. The last was learning to time my hardy annuals better and to be prepared before the cold, soppy weather sets in (sorry for smothering you under unsupported row cover ranunculus!) But so far the flowers are persistent and push through my blunders. Selling all those beauties is my real challenge but I’m working on it.

    Reply
  90. Nikki Burke on

    This book looks ahhhmazingg!!!! Gloriously gorgeous!
    My biggest challenge is maximizing my small back yard space to produce the smartest and most productive line up of petaled blooms. I want to share the joy and need help organizing to yield most efficiently! I welcome your insight! I receive all help!

    Reply
  91. Jennifer Waite on

    This book looks absolutely stunning! I can’t wait to read it! I struggle with improving my soil. I want to improve and give back to my garden. I want to build a healthy permaculture. I have clay and highly compacted soil. It needs quite a bit of attention to grow healthy cut flowers. I would love to learn how to help my soil and get it back to what mother nature has in mind for it.

    Reply
  92. Holly on

    My biggest struggle is that I am new to all of this and feeling overwhelmed yet optimistic. Great post by the way!

    Reply
  93. Jennifer Saunders on

    I really enjoyed your post. Thank you! Without realizing it, I grew a cut flower garden when my kids were young. I always planted flowers I knew I could cut and share. My children and all the neighbor kids would ask to pick flowers to take to people. I loved sharing! Now, years later I find myself wanting to actually plan as cut flower garden and find that it is hard to narrow down the many options! The biggest challenge would be a shorter growing season! I haven’t mastered starting my flowers indoors and transplanting them!

    Reply
  94. Tammy on

    Soil and stem length are my biggest works in progress. 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼Here’s to good luck! Wonderful work on this blog and the book looks like a great addition to my library!
    Tammy

    Reply
  95. Holly on

    Those photos are unbelievably beautiful! My biggest struggle is battling the Texas heat. Our springtime is perfect, so I plan out and try adjust planting times to fit our little window of cooler temperatures and rain. Sometimes it works, and at other times it’s a massive fail. Luckily, there’s always the next year!

    Reply
  96. Beverly Soltero on

    My biggest struggle here is in Utah spring is super unpredictable! It’s snows then it’s nice then it’s freezing. Plus I live in an apartment so space is a problem, but that doesn’t stop me from having lots of pots!

    Reply
  97. Jennifer Jones on

    This book looks amazing! And in collaboration with A Year in Flowers, I feel confident that I can learn, grow, and make the most beautiful seasonal flower arrangements. I host most family functions and pride myself on overall decor and food presentation. Nice job Clare ❤️

    Reply
  98. Lindsay on

    Trying to grow every single variety possible! They’re all so fun to try!

    Reply
  99. Heather on

    Thank you! My biggest struggle has been renting a home and trying to save money for a house. And wanting to establish all the garden flowers and shrubs but knowing we won’t be here maybe in a few years. Also the struggle of doing this with two toddlers in tow helping 😊.

    Reply
  100. Gina D'Apolito on

    thank you for highlighting this beautiful book! I feel my biggest challenge for my sweet cutting garden has been to realize that I need to sow seeds for a more diverse flower garden and move away from the lackluster offerings in the big box nurseries! This year I am committed to starting my own plants but more importantly paying attention to them and the follow thru necessary for them to make it into my cutting garden!

    Reply
  101. Debra on

    Wonderful interview! My biggest struggle thus far is battling a lack of space, but I’m so inspired!

    Reply
  102. Anna Cleghorn on

    Thank you! I so enjoyed your interview and lovely book. I have been working and slowly developing flower here in NW Montana, around my home for ten years. This year my biggest hinderance were underground rodents. I believe they were voles and they ate under my favorite rose and some delphiniums. It was so sad. Thankfully I was able to save most of the plants. I am looking forward to next year and am armed with repellent to ward off those voles so those beautiful flowers will grace us once again.

    Reply
  103. Stacey on

    It would definitely be the zones! I lived in WA for a while which was water all the time and I could never get gardening of any variety correct. And now I live in AZ and it’s hot and dry l the time!

    Reply
  104. Olivia H. Day on

    Still new to gardening. Biggest struggle is figuring out how exactly I would like to place different flowers. My husband was my greatest inspiration. He definitely had a green thumb. He taught me all I know. This will be the first year I’m starting this garden on my own since he passed. I know about zinnias and sunflowers but I’m hopeful and have dreams to build a beautiful garden with new flowers and varieties in memory of him.

    Reply
  105. Racquel Pleasants on

    My biggest struggle in layout, design, and what and when to plant and where. I am very visual. So picturing them in my head is hard and I am
    Always late to the game when it comes to starting seeds/plants indoors. Oh life! Sigh. But when the flowers arrive, it’s just beautiful!

    Reply
  106. Deanna Berg on

    In Bloom is beautiful. I struggle with our heat and humidity, which increase plant stress and disease. Also, I don’t have a lot of planting space for rows, so I have to tuck plants here and there.

    Reply
  107. Emily on

    A beautiful book! My biggest struggle is knowing what to plant for fillers. Some how what I usually plant for that doesn’t want to grow…

    Reply
  108. Melissa on

    My biggest struggle is fear. The fear of seedlings dying and not becoming full flowers or transplanting them out and then dying. Or worse yet, then growing beautifully and me not being able to sell them.

    Reply
  109. Kayla Roberts on

    My biggest struggle has been eradicating the grass in my lot. It sat vacant and filled with grass and weeds for years. Trying to manage that has been a nightmare.

    Reply
  110. Hannah Poor on

    I can already tell this is a gorgeous book! Reading flower books and putting into practice what I learn is one of my all-time favorite things to do.
    My biggest struggle with my cut flower garden is wanting to fill all of my space with flowers and not enough foliage. This makes for a beautiful garden, but it becomes a bit of a challenge when I want to start arranging. Hopefully this year is my year to plant enough foliage and filler plants!

    Reply
  111. Jen M on

    Wonderful interview and gorgeous photos…I think my biggest challenge in growing cut flowers is having enough space for all the new varieties I want to try and grow…and the patience to wait for them to bloom. 😊

    Reply
  112. Danielle Carmichael on

    So excited for this book!
    I would say my biggest struggle is getting seeds planted at the right time for my location, and knowing how much of each variety to plant for the area I have available to transplant them in.

    Reply
  113. Michaela Upp on

    Pests! I have little ones, a dog and a bunny so I opt for organic gardening methods but I cannot beat those darn thrips in my 10b area! That and time, always time…

    This book looks amazing!

    Reply
  114. Lynn Conley on

    Lovely!
    My biggest challenge is the crazy erratic weather we have in the high mountain desert. Last year we had freezing temps in the teens on the 20th of June! I am now figuring out how to incorporate low tunnels and frost covers into my planning so that I can still get an early start but have protection from the freak weather during the growing season.

    Reply
  115. Judy McElderry on

    What a terrific looking book. I love the idea of a book that lays out the process. I struggle with my soil and my desire to grow EVERYTHING. My soil is clay based and although I always go up when I make a bed, it is like the clay comes up too. Currently, we are having a soggy spring, so everything is staying very wet. I plan to start seeds soon, but need to amend the soil, again. Working full time, and wanting to be outside in the garden, but it is too wet-create a frustrated gardener. But all frustration will be forgotten the minute the sun comes out. Did I mention rabbits…..

    Reply
  116. Amanda on

    Oh! To choose only ONE struggle😊….. I find myself struggling with the transition from germination of seedlings getting them to the stage to transplant to the field. I get dampening off, a few cells dry up, sometimes they get leggy; the list goes on 😳 BUT, I still love growing cut flowers!!!

    Reply
  117. Dianna on

    What a truly inspiring story! I am a military spouse, and we move about every 3 years, so my greatest struggle with growing cut flowers is figuring out a new growing zone, soil composition, and the amount of sunlight my garden space gets before we have to move to a new location and it all starts again. It can be incredibly freeing, because you get to experiment, but it can also be frustrating to watch plants die even though you feel like you did everything right.

    Reply
  118. Christine on

    My biggest challenge is a tie between time and dogs. I struggle to find time to properly maintain/weed as the summer gets on and I have two big hound dogs who love to dig.

    Reply
  119. Kayla on

    My biggest struggle is finding the right space!!

    Reply
  120. Alexis Jorgensen on

    I really enjoyed reading this! I think my biggest struggle with growing cut flowers is being patient with where I am now while still planning for growth in the future. There are just so many things I want to try that it is easy to buy more than I can plant or to cut corners I shouldn’t with watering or weed control, and sometimes it is hard to put ideas away for another season.

    Reply
  121. Jordan on

    What a wonderful read! Thank you for such an inspiring and insightful interview. Currently my biggest struggle in my garden is learning how to incorporate growing cut flowers into a more natural landscape setting in my front yard where the morning light is choice 😉 just going to try my best, learn to let go and enjoy the process!

    Reply
  122. Sarah on

    Such beautiful and inspirational photos! Thank you for sharing even more resources! My biggest challenge is going to be just making it happen. This will be my first year with a dedicated cutting garden. I’m so excited but just hope I can execute all the plans I’ve made!

    Reply
  123. Elizabeth on

    My biggest struggle is lack of space and the orientation of our home. I dream of a large garden space and greenhouse 💗 it helps that I get part of that at school. Thanks for the awesome interview and new book in my list of needs 😄💞💐🌱

    Reply
  124. Lori Johnston on

    Thank you so much for your blog post. Amazing to hear from such passionate gardeners! One of the big challenges for me would be the length of growing season that we have here in Zone 3. Our last frost is generally the first weekend in June. Another BIG challenge are deer. They are literally everywhere and eat absolutely everything even the ‘deer resistant’ varieties. With these challenges comes a deep appreciation for colour and beauty in the garden. I count the days until I can get back to working the soil and enjoying whatever grows and survives!!

    Reply
  125. Janet on

    My short growing season presents problems!

    Reply
  126. Freya on

    What a wonderful interview and story! I can relate to the desire to step away from the career treadmill for a more intentional way of living. My biggest challenge right now is balancing quality family time, a full time job (with travel) and getting everything started in time/beds prepped in time to plant out. I see some sleepless nights in my future this spring!

    Reply
  127. Grete on

    Thanks for sharing this Erin! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and learn more about Clare. I am in western MT in a valley where it tends to have a very dry micro-climate. It seems the rain always misses us or gets stuck in the mountains even if it is in the forecast. I’ve been struggling with maintaining enough moisture in the soil when August hits, that is when all of my later summer flowers seem to take a hit.

    Reply
  128. Courtney Seamons on

    Such a fun interview! Two beautiful, talented people talking about inspiration and purpose. Thank you posting this informative and courage-giving discussion.
    Right now, the obstacle I am struggling with is my soil Too much clay, and just all-around not enough flower space. (I think that is a struggle for many:)

    Reply
  129. Sarah on

    What a lovely interview! So much resonated with me especially the idea that if you nourish your home, it will nourish you. The books looks beautiful, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

    My biggest challenge growing cut flowers is wanting to grow more than I can realistically find time to! Busy life with kids and work. I would love if I could spend a much larger portion of my time in the garden with the flowers, birds, and pollinators!

    Reply
  130. Tania R on

    I have a nasty habit of leaving seedlings in punnets for too long so they become plants that require a lot of tlc to produce anything. I must admit a few end up in the compost and I start the process again.

    Reply
  131. Amy Bilbo on

    Inspiring interview! So look forward to reading In Bloom. Being in the verdant and lush southeast battling weeds is my biggest issue! It’s literally a full time job keeping them at bay – which sadly I am not employed by my garden. By August I’ve just learned to focus on the beautiful blooms and appreciate the weeds for the gifts they may bring to our local pollinators.

    Reply
  132. Kate on

    Two inspiring ladies! I am in the beginning stages of planning my own cut flower farm business, which is challenging in itself! I’d say my biggest challenge is learning about growing in a much warmer climate than I grew up in. Also since I am moving back home in a few years, I will have to readjust to the cooler climate once again!

    Reply
  133. Peggy Kelley on

    Thank you so much for sharing Clare with your readers! I resonate deeply with this idea of home making 💗. I long to grow a cutting garden 💐, but my small city yard is deeply shaded which limits my efforts. For years I helped lead a community vegetable garden🥕🍅🥬. I think I may need to get back to that idea in order to garden where there is more sun. 🌞

    Reply
  134. Rebekah on

    Gosh, where to start…I love in northern Arizona, which actually has a fairly short growing season. It’s also a semi arid climate, so getting enough water and shade on the plants is a challenge. I generally end up with short, stubby plants, that don’t start to flower till August :( this year I’m starting a lot of them indoors way early, and will just have to pot them up regularly until it’s safe to plant them out.

    Reply
  135. Kate McCourt on

    My greatest struggle is getting started on my own garden. I have arranged flowers for my friend’s weddings and have planted different dahlias in my parent’s garden and picked other flowers and greenery from neighbor’s gardens and even foraged for Salal and Huckleberry on the side of the road to make bouquets. I would LOVE to start my own garden but I don’t even know where to start! This book sounds like just what I need to get started.

    Reply
  136. Kate wallis on

    I can’t wait to read it! My biggest challenge has been having enough light to grow most varieties. My old backyard was mostly shade, but we moved in October to a new house with full sun! Now to set up my beds again.

    Reply
  137. Liz H on

    Such a great interview!

    My biggest struggle actually has to do with my toddler… finding time, head space, energy… all of that. I want to nurture a love of flowers in my little one and I also want to have a beautiful (untrampled) garden for myself. Since I think kids belong in the garden, I’m determined to make it work.

    Reply
  138. Elma on

    Love love love this post!! My biggest struggle is garden design..I wish I had the vision but I keep trying!! 💗💗💗

    Reply
  139. Jodi moore on

    Loved this interview and so much resognated with me to creat a house and home that uplifts. And that it’s good to spend energy and time in the home and garden, it’s good for the soul. beautiful flow and poetic wording. Thank you for sharing!

    For me, I’m so new at growing flowers that The basics Seem overwhelming, but I’m all in. I’m taken back by the beauty and something changed after I had my first child, like I see it now all the beauty in flowers and the garden. Before, I gave flowers no time of day and thought of it as a waste. When I set my mind to something it happens, and honestly that’s what I’m afraid of…my dreams Of flower gardening and what it might or might not be.

    Reply
  140. Karen on

    My biggest challenge is learning about what grows in my zone! I’m very, very new to gardening in general. Let’s be real though: it’s a lovely challenge having to learn about flowers and plants!

    Reply
  141. Andrea on

    Love the blog! Biggest struggle is how to organize my cut garden and what I should start indoors. I live in cold zone 4! Loving this community!

    Reply
  142. Megan on

    I’m a complete beginner in growing flowers (my husband got me a fake “galaxy rose” for Valentine’s Day) I have grown herbs in my window sill and that’s the extent of my experience. I am a SAHM now and I’ve been diving into multiple hobbies, soap making, vinyl Detailed items, wreath making, but I want to research more into gardening; flower growing, herb growing etc. We will be moving into a home where I have an opportunity to grow gardens! I have been following you for a short time but you are making my green thumb itch like crazy! I hope that if I do win a copy, it can help me succeed in learning and growing beautiful flowers! 🤞🏼

    Reply
  143. Tiffany Megahan on

    Our biggest problem is space! We’re renting on an army base so our yard is teeny. I’m trying to save space for our dog and kids to run around in while also using space to grow flowers. It’s a struggle!

    Reply
  144. Jen Spills on

    Thank you so much for sharing about this book! It looks absolutely amazing. My biggest struggle is choosing the right plants for the intense Texas heat. I have always dreamt of having beautiful lush flower gardens full of layers and layers of blooms all summer long.

    Reply
  145. Colleen Fournier on

    This book looks beautiful!
    My biggest challenge for growing cut flowers is probably my lack of experience, but with all these great resources I am so excited to begin this journey and excited for this coming growing season!

    Reply
  146. Laura webley on

    Great interview thanks!!! This is my first season growing to sell cut flowers and so far my biggest struggle is planning my plot and not ordering all the things

    Reply
  147. Caitlyn Barker on

    My biggest struggle is, 100%, trying to extend the growing season here in central Maine!

    Reply
  148. Allison Bradley on

    Such a lovely Interview! Thank you for sharing Clare.

    I’m brand new to gardening! Me and my husband just purchased acreage and I’m excited to get started growing my dream Cut Garden! I recently found this blog and absolutely love it, reading all the posts has really helped me visualize what I need to do to start my Cut Garden. The hardest thing I’ve encountered thus far is just trying to know where to start! I’d love a copy of In Bloom to help give me the tools and knowledge to start my dream garden. Thank you!

    Reply
  149. Patricia Reynolds on

    Spreading out varities / bloom times. My new garden space is glorious colors & blooms early spring & later fall – aboundant colors.
    After rhodies & before hydrangeas – eh . . . not much blooming. Time to fill in the blanks time wise!

    Reply
  150. Stephanie on

    Biggest struggle is a) timing planting just right and b) nutrition. It seems like the sweet spot is striking a balance on a very fine line.

    Reply
  151. Sara Fatyukhin on

    My greatest challenge is my short growing season. North Dakota doesn’t allow for much to grow, even though I try and try. But even though the early frost might kill my beautiful flowers before they’ve had time to get big, I enjoy their beauty every second I can.

    Reply
  152. Anna on

    What an absolutely beautiful book!

    My biggest struggle is not having a yard to plant a garden. I currently live in an apartment with absolutely no outdoor space (aside from a common outdoor hallway-which I’ve filled with containers). I am trying to gain as much knowledge as possible so I can be prepared when I one day have a yard of my very own!

    Reply
  153. Jennifer G Wagener on

    Hello,
    I love the ease and the feeling I get from both of you. So much knowledge and what a gift we all get with you sharing it with us.
    I’m really looking forward to this year. Im planting and starting seed for a my first ever cutting garden.
    I’m biggest challenge: finding enough space. The grass may have to go.

    Reply
  154. Tori Carver on

    Struggle? Haha. Everything!! I just made the decision to start flower farming so everything has been a struggle! But…I couldn’t be more excited about this new chapter in my life and I’m totally up for the challenge! Thank you for all your efforts to promote flower farming and encouraging so many of us. ☺️

    Reply
  155. Marianne Bitonti on

    I love the fact that you share so much of your expertise and knowledge with such graciousness to others. You are truly a rare blessing not just in the gardening world but as a caring, giving soul. I am so glad you shared Clare Nolan’s book ” In Bloom ” and her artistic approach to gardening. I am ever so grateful for all that you share and do, your passion shines through in all of it.

    Marianne

    Reply
  156. Annelise on

    Great interview! Beautiful photography!

    My greatest struggle is trying to extend the growing season in Spring and Fall. Southwest Montana presents a beautiful challenge! My goal this year is to get the placement of sun loving dahlias in the perfect spot in my urban yard to maximize bloom time and extend growing time on either end of the season for everything flowers!

    Reply
  157. Sarah VanOeveren on

    Thank you Erin for interviewing Clare. I am a big fan (of you both). In Bloom has been my inspiration for cut flower farming – the style, technique, and story told through the flowers is amazing. My biggest struggle teeters on big dreams and a small space – mostly with quantities to grow to be considered part of the local market. However, then I realize that the limitations we each encounter as gardeners truly make us all unique. We learn to prioritize within our own framework and style!

    Reply
  158. Courtney Booker on

    Thank you so much for this blog post, it was such a treat to read and I am super pumped to learn more about Clare! My biggest challenge in growing cut flowers has been figuring out the ideal timing for my very cold climate (Zone 3) and making the most of our short season!

    Reply
  159. Andy Bryant on

    Hi. My biggest struggle is balancing the space and resources requirements for starts in the grow room, transplants and direct-seeded varieties in the field, and watering/irrigation needs for all of them.

    Reply
  160. Tasha on

    I’m feeling so inspired!! Both your and Clare’s work is so beautiful, it comforts me just to browse through your websites… I know it’s a lot of work, but it must be incredible to spend your days surrounded by flowers.

    For me, the biggest challenge with growing cut flowers has been lack of space — I lined pots precariously on the windows of my student dorm, and earned very measly crops! — but I look forward to that changing soon. Thank you for sharing your work and knowledge and giving those of us who are still working on our lifestyle goals the inspiration to keep going!

    Reply
  161. Jolene Rempel on

    Clare, I took a look at your blog and really enjoyed your article about how you developed your studio. Very inspirational and your photos are gorgeous! I wish you all the best with your new book.

    My greatest growing struggle with cut flowers is making sure to harvest them on time! I don’t know how many times I’ve intended to cut iris or sweet peas from my garden to enjoy indoors only to return a day later and find them already spent. Making sure to enjoy our flowers is just as important as growing them!

    Reply
  162. Janine Henley on

    This is my first year attempting to grow a cut flower garden, and I think my biggest obstacle so far is myself and my lack of confidence. Even though I am eager to get started, my lack of confidence has lead to hesitation. I need to remember that it’s my first growing season and to be kind to myself!

    Reply
  163. Danielle on

    My biggest struggle with growing my own flowers is when other living things get to them before I do! That includes deer, rabbits, birds, and whatever else is lurking when I’m not looking.

    Reply
  164. Deborah Brown on

    I only have a small area planted at the moment so I am using it as an experimental area to see what grows well and to see what plants get insect damage and succumb to the dry weather we have had this summer. These have been my challenges in the past so hoping to rectify this .

    Reply
  165. Nicole Cison on

    Terrific interview! Thank you both for sharing your gifts and time. As a new, inexperienced flower grower the biggest challenge for me is facing doubt and fear from myself and others. I just found a quote on Instagram that said, “better done, than perfect”. I love this motto because learning anything new can be so overwhelming. Seeing how others do it in this industry is so beneficial for moral support. I like knowing there is more than one way to do something. The win/win is that we all grow from sharing our talents!

    Reply
  166. Jody on

    Las Vegas is a harsh environment. Water management, poor soil, brutal winds and heat need special adaptations.

    Reply
  167. Susie Hopper on

    My biggest struggle is sunshine! I live in a home with lots and lots of shade, not enough sun. I have been growing dahlias in pots that I move to chase the sun. It’s worth it!

    Reply
  168. Guylaine Cloutier on

    I have a small patch in front of the house with a maple tree planted on it and which is sucking every drop of water but I keep trying ;))

    Reply
  169. Tina Loitz on

    My Struggles.. Unfortunately I have never been brave enough to grow a cut flower garden. I have gardened for many of years. But my gardens have always been in ground to appreciate afar. But not this year. I am taking the plunge, diving right into cut flowers. You have inspired me . I wish to be able to fawn over my beauties close up and personal. I really look forward finding the joy of expression and seeing the beauty of my garden brought into my home. Also to be able to share the joy of gifting my beauties to others… :) Erin thank you !!!

    Reply
  170. Wendy Gorton on

    My biggest struggle at this point is growing for market and classes, while still maintaining a full time job and commute. I know I’m not alone in requiring a second form of income in order to follow my dream of farming. It’s quite exhausting, and can zap one’s creativity.

    Reply
  171. Stephanie on

    The biggest struggle I have when growing cut flowers is starting things from seed. Although we live in a warm climate, we don’t have an area to start them within our home.

    Reply
  172. Erin A on

    My biggest struggle is cutting at the correct time! I’m always a bit to early or a bit to late for proper vase life

    Reply
  173. Jane Powell on

    My biggest struggle is with growing seedlings indoors. Mine usually end up scraggly and small. I now have both of Erin’s books though so should be able to master seedlings soon! I would LOVE a copy of Clare’s ‘In Bloom’ book to inspire the floral artist in me!!!

    Reply
  174. Jennifer on

    Loved this article and the beautiful pictures and insights! Last year powdery mildew got a hold of my zinnias and I couldn’t get rid of it. Hopefully this year I can prevent or treat it better. Ladies, Best wishes on your new books! Thank you for making our lives better! ❤️

    Reply
  175. Frida on

    Right now, time… I am a mother as well and seriously struggling with balancing motherhood and creating my flower life.

    Reply
  176. Rebekah on

    My biggest struggle is finding the time get out and plant all the varieties I’d like too! Being a begginer means doing a bit of research first and I seem to be prone to decision fatigue😀 I have a couple of dahlia tubers I rescued from my grandmothers garden that I love growing. She is no longer with us but the joy of her garden returns in the form of her beautiful pink and yellow blooms every summer❤️

    Reply
  177. Jenny on

    No hard question: Impatience! ;-)

    Reply
  178. Kathy Crane on

    Gophers are the biggest problem.
    Some things are gopher prof but many aren’t.
    So space in containers and raised beds is limited.

    Reply
  179. Denise McCausland on

    Clare’s book is utterly beautiful, an absolute must for anyone who loves growing beautiful flowers. It holds lots of helpful information, she has inspired me to grow some new varieties of old favourites such as foxgloves . Her book is never on my bookshelf but always open on my coffee table, looking forward to more in the future. Thankyou Clare and to Erin for sharing. x

    Reply
  180. Heidi on

    Biggest struggle: not being able to grow everything – having to limit myself. It’s so hard!

    Reply
  181. Heather Anne on

    Oh my goodness – such loveliness! I am in awe! My biggest struggle with growing flowers has always been our lack of sunlight – but two summers past we lost several of our largest shade trees and I am beginning to image the vivid blooms of a sunny garden once again!

    Reply
  182. Lisa O’Connell on

    My biggest struggle is shade! Trying to strike the balance of creating space on our forested land to grow flowers, yet keeping as many trees as possible! 🌲🌸☀️

    Reply
  183. Emily on

    The biggest struggle I currently have with growing cut flowers is poor soil. Working very hard to build healthy soil in an urban setting.

    Reply
  184. Kelsey on

    My biggest struggle to growing cut flowers is balancing life as a new mom with the physical and mental aspects of production in the garden. I love both jobs, and am trying to create a sustainable flow of existence so everyone flourishes.

    Reply
  185. Lola Higgins on

    My biggest struggle in growing my cutting garden is to much shade. I live in a very wooded area and we are constantly trimming branches and trying to open up the area of my garden to get 6+ hours of sunlight. I live in 1 acre in western WI where the trees are tall. The neighbor’s shade I just need to deal with. But I also enjoy my woodland garden area

    Reply
  186. Pam on

    Balance. Balancing job, regular farming (hay and cattle), and my favourite pastime, flower farming…

    Reply
  187. Kristy on

    My biggest struggle seems to having enough available space in the garden to put all the seeds that I grow. Timing then for when another crop is finishing up.

    Reply

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