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Home Blog The {Farmer} & The Florist Interview: Kori Hargreaves
January 31st 2024

The {Farmer} & The Florist Interview: Kori Hargreaves

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Floret

I first happened upon Kori Hargreaves of Dawn Creek Farm and her beautiful flowers through a picture on Instagram of a pale blush-pink zinnia. In all my years growing flowers, I had never seen anyone growing that color in any kind of abundance.

I immediately reached out to her, and if I remember it right, literally begged her to let me grow a few of her seeds the following year. To my delight, she sent me a little wax paper envelope with 25 precious seeds in it, which I carefully sowed and tended that season. The flowers that bloomed were even more beautiful than I had expected—Kori was really onto something.

Over the next few years, we swapped seeds, shared photos, compared notes, and talked over Zoom—cheering each other in our efforts. Breeding is typically a very isolated, solitary endeavor, and finding a kindred spirit was such a gift. 

This past summer, we finally got to meet in person, when Kori and her sweet family came to the farm for a visit. We toured the gardens and showed her all of the magical selections that I’ve been working on from the original seed she shared with me, and we admired the four beautiful Dawn Creek mixes that will be part of the Floret Originals release. Chris captured our time together and you can watch a wonderful little film about our collaboration here.

Kori also sat down for a special interview about her inspiration, her flowers, and her breeding work. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom because we’re hosting a special giveaway for some of her coveted seeds. 

Erin Benzakein and Kori HargreavesKori, I’m so happy you’re here! I’ve been waiting for the day that we could finally meet in person. For those who aren’t familiar with your work, could you tell Floret readers a little more about your background and your path to flowers? I know you also have two degrees in plant biology and studio arts. I’d love to know more. 

I grew up in a small rural community in the Santa Cruz mountains on the central California coast. My parents are lifelong artists and devoted gardeners, and my childhood unfurled in our family garden, which overflowed with flowers and food, amidst the surrounding redwood forest. 

Growing up, my dad taught resident apprentices in small-scale organic farming at the CASFS Farm and Garden, and my sister and I spent countless hours wandering the farm while my dad worked. 

Plants have, for as long as I can remember, called me into a relationship of refuge, protection, and quiet acceptance. When I left home for college, I found immediate comfort and a connection in my new environment through meeting and forming familiar relationships with the plants around campus and the surrounding watershed, and I began putting down roots in the community working at the UC Davis Student Farm (where I eventually met Toby, my partner in everything to come).

My art degree was actually devoted to oil painting, and it was interesting and challenging to attempt to pursue my deep love of plants, horticulture, and creative arts in tandem in the university setting, which in my personal experience at the time maintained a palpable underlying cultural and intellectual divide between the arts and the sciences. 

I followed my creative curiosity into fiber arts and plant-centered color after graduating, in large part because I felt disillusioned by my college experience and was working through a deep longing to rekindle the light of my creative process as connecting me intimately to the living world, which had struggled existentially in the institutional setting.

After college I worked growing vegetables and herbs on a local ranch, and began a textile and natural dye business on the side, spinning, weaving, and growing plants to discover their hidden colors. This evolved into a small online seed company, selling seeds gathered from the wide range of dye plants growing in my garden, along with a blog sharing instructions for growing, harvesting, use, and seed saving. 

At the time there was very little natural dye information available online, and hardly anything at all in regards to growing the plants themselves or saving their seeds. I took what I learned through reading and personal research and shared both my explorations and information on seed saving and dye plant cultivation. I also began my first forays into plant breeding, selecting open-pollinated strains of indigo (Persicaria tinctoria) for increased pigment potential. 

This work and other work I was doing with indigo processing led to collaborations and a scholarship through our local California Fibershed organization to attend classes with renowned cotton breeder Sally Fox in the Capay Valley. I was utterly inspired by Sally’s lifelong devotion to cotton, and it was my first chance seeing how breeding could become a life’s work. 

Toby and I got married in 2014, at which point my mom and I grew all the flowers for the wedding. This was the first time I included a large amount of flowers into a crop plan specifically for cutting, which was quite exciting. Soon after, we had the opportunity to purchase land ourselves in Rio Linda, California (just north of Sacramento). I left my ranch job, and we moved and began Dawn Creek Farm. 

The first growing season in our new home, it wasn’t clear yet what our main markets for supporting the farm would be. I split the crop plan between flowers, veggies, and dye plants and began exploring local channels. That year I taught natural dye classes through several schools while building up the farm infrastructure. It quickly became clear that there was an overwhelmingly unmet demand among local floral designers for locally grown specialty cut flowers, and as an artist, I truly enjoyed working in conversation with these local businesses to supply them with exquisite local blooms. 

With our farm’s small acreage and the incredible production capacity of cut flowers, everything fell into place. From that season onward, we turned the farm production entirely over to flowers and sold every stem directly to local floral designers.

You are located in Santa Cruz, California. What is your growing season like? Can you describe your garden space? 

We have relocated to the Santa Cruz mountains, where I grew up. Like much of coastal California, the growing season here is relatively long. While we occasionally get winter snow at our elevation, for the most part, winter is our rainy season. Spring comes early, and summers here in the mountains tend to be significantly warmer than directly on the coastline, with the weather fluctuating from foggy and cool mornings to more than 90°F summer through fall.

In 2020 in the midst of myriad personal and global challenges, a miraculous opportunity arose for Toby and I to purchase 2 ½ sunny acres just down the road from where I grew up. We left Rio Linda in late 2021 and are currently living and gardening on my parent’s land with our four-year-old while we wait for our permit approval to begin building a home and putting down literal and figurative roots. It’s looking hopeful that 2024 may be our first chance to move my breeding projects to our own beautiful sunny hillside.

Over the past several years you’ve changed your focus from grower to plant breeder. Can you talk about your evolution from strictly growing flowers to wanting to select and breed them?

Working directly with floral designers offered me an inspiring chance to draw on both my artistic and horticultural experience, and our farm thrived as a place where we could trial a wide range of unique plants unfamiliar to the local floral market. My background offered me the eye to recognize colors, shapes, and forms suited to our customers’ needs and translate that into successful crop plans, and I tuned into that early on. 

As it happened, our first season in Sacramento we grew a number of zinnia mixes, and in one of them, the most beautiful fluffy, double peach flower appeared. I was so taken by it and knew unequivocally it would be appreciated by our growing customer base. I had never seen anything like it before and vowed I would save the seeds to grow again the next year. In the hubbub of trying to get the farm up and running while also teaching classes that year, I didn’t get around to labeling the plant before things went to seed in the fall. 

Our zinnia field grew huge and untamed in the valley heat, over 5 ft tall, and at some point, a windstorm knocked everything into a wild tangled mess. By the time I finally got it together to gather the seeds, it was impossible to determine for sure which plant it had been. But I waded through the spent rows anyway and gathered seeds from everything growing around where I remembered it being.

I grew these seeds out the following year, and from these seeds, the parents of our current blush zinnias emerged. I was utterly smitten and spent my evenings after work that summer making selections from these seedlings, as well as a few other flower species we had growing that year. Still, the memory of the magical peach zinnia that had captured my heart the previous season hung in my mind. In the rows of seeds I had saved and planted, nothing resembled it …. I knew there might still be a chance for it to show up in future generations, but I couldn’t help feeling a nagging regret that my chance to confidently gather those seeds had slipped through my fingers. 

In late June, we planted our chrysanthemums in what had been the original zinnia field, and soon after discovered several volunteer zinnia seedlings coming up in the rows. I left them to bloom, hoping maybe, just maybe, something magical would happen … and it did.

Out of the handful of volunteer seedlings that bloomed that fall, a single one unfurled in luminous peach, almost exactly as I had remembered it. I had been gifted another chance, and this time I was so ready! 

In the years that followed I began sharing the beauty unfurling from these seeds with our floral design customers while devoting all the personal time I could to making selections, researching, and implementing more carefully coordinated crosses. It has offered the most fascinating array of opportunities to weave together the many facets of my skills, interests, and life experiences thus far.

Forming multigenerational relationships with the plants that I have been drawn to work with has been a highlight in my personal journey. From indigo to zinnias and many others in between, seed saving and pursuing thoughtful selections has carried me into incredible relationships and community connection, and perhaps most poignantly, through an immense extended personal health crisis in 2020/2021 and the subsequent relocation and necessary dissolving of our farm’s cut-flower production, and into this tender new chapter devoted more fully to breeding, where my heart and my family are finding roots again.

What are you looking for in the flowers you’re selecting? What do you view as desirable traits? 

Flower color, form, and texture, along with plant health, disease resistance, growth habit, productivity, vase life, climate tolerance, and niche in a chosen market, have all offered me a basic framework for making selections. The most essential thing I am looking for though—the thing that underpins everything for me personally—might not be summed up as a trait, but as an experience, or a feeling.

For me the process of selecting flowers and developing seed lines is at its heart a musical one … it is built upon some mysterious resonance. I am not sure I have found a better way of summing up my process and how it feels than this.

When a note is played in tune on a stringed instrument, any open string tuned to (and more subtlety in harmony with) that same note will also audibly resonate. Somehow it feels like this to me when I meet certain plants, and combinations of colors, forms, textures … that something in me responds and resonates with them.

While I can and do determine certain essential objective traits that would make a seed line worth pursuing, my true guiding light is selecting flowers to parent lineages that resonate palpably with something inside me, as their caretaker. I quite literally feel certain flowers and qualities singing inside my body and am drawn deep down to follow those songs. Whenever I have followed this personal inner resonance while selecting seed parents, utterly magical things have unfolded between myself and the plants in the following generations. Practicality and logistics must subsequently go hand in hand with this for me.

You are breeding and selecting many varieties of flowers, but your main focus is zinnias. What do you love most about this particular flower?

It’s quite mysterious really. I love that you ask this. I feel as though I stumbled into this soul relationship with zinnias right before I needed their support and guidance the most.

My relationships with all plants have always felt as much a mutual exchange of energy and goodwill as any of my human relationships. That is to say, in my experience of the world, every plant I encounter has its own palpable personality, and there are many, many, many different plants that I will say without hesitation are my dear friends. 

Working alongside zinnias now over these years of my life and so many generations of theirs, I sense they collectively radiate equanimity. They inspire curiosity, generosity, playfulness, and resilience in me. They have a sense of humor and a sparkle about them and feel ready and enthusiastic to be in a mutual relationship with humans. They feel like a very community-oriented flower. Specifically, I have always had a sense that the ones I have been drawn to have their own mysterious evolving plans, and that the magic lies in partnering together for as long as it feels mutually energizing for us all. 

The seed lineages I have been working with have also always very clearly communicated to me when and how they are ready to share their magic with the wider world, and my decisions to share seed from this evolving relationship have always culminated in response to this. When I became critically ill with a soil-borne illness in 2020 and our family and farm were forced to change course and relocate away from the source of my illness, my relationship with these seeds and the process of sharing them with other gardeners and inviting in community support through our first fundraiser carried our small family through the most intense and challenging years and uncertainties of my life, and ultimately allowed me to continue my work with seeds.

I understand that this way of speaking about plants may be strange or unfamiliar, even uncomfortable, for some people to read. I honor that, I am not here to try and change anyone’s perspective or experience. I am putting words the best I can to how I experience my time with plants and know that these words will resonate with some and not as much with others. 

If it helps anyone reading this to hear in more practical terms, here’s another way of explaining how amazing zinnias are: in the climates I have grown them in, zinnias are content to flourish with very little assistance in a wide range of soil types and growing conditions. They flower and set seed in abundance, and propagate quickly from both seeds and cuttings. They are incredible, long-lasting cut flowers perfect for local growers and local flower markets, because despite their stellar vase life they aren’t suited to commercial shipping methods. The genetic diversity they carry is absolutely astounding, and it feels to me as though the potential for exploring color and form combinations through thoughtful breeding is quite possibly limitless. If one were to find themselves drawn to begin their own seed-saving and breeding journey, zinnias are a supportive and encouraging place to begin.

Tell us a bit about your breeding efforts. What’s the process? Technically, how do you do it? 

The answer to this question easily fills an entire book! For anyone reading this who wants to dive into zinnia breeding in particular, my dear friend Tiffany Jones recently published her first book, The Zinnia Breeder’s Handbook. I had the immense honor of consulting and contributing to this treasure trove of information, and highly recommend it as an accessible resource for anyone who feels drawn to begin their own zinnia seed-saving or breeding journey with step-by-step instructions and a wealth of information. 

I will say that there are many ways to approach breeding open-pollinated seed varieties, and some significant variations in approach depending on whether the species you are working with is primarily outcrossing or incrossing in nature. That is, there are plant species (sweet peas, for example) that by design rely primarily on self-pollination, and have no notable issues with inbreeding depression. 

In contrast, outcrossing species such as zinnias thrive in an environment of genetic diversity and rely on cross-pollination via insects and wind to bolster vitality across generations. It is essential in the case of outcrossing species, that breeding be approached with a lens of maintaining as much genetic diversity within a seed line as possible, and extra care is taken to steward the seed population over generations to maintain this diversity (and thus vitality).

There are many species of zinnias, and all rely to a certain extent on outcrossing (some so heavily that individual plants will not produce seed unless pollinated by another individual with sufficient genetic differences). Zinnia elegans, which most gardeners think of first when they hear about zinnias, is generally considered outcrossing, though in my experience falls along a pretty wide spectrum of potential self-compatibility depending on the seed lineage.

I approach developing varieties of outcrossing species from many angles depending on the individuals at hand, from carefully controlled hand-pollinated crosses to larger collective winnowing of traits. I am committed to maintaining as much genetic diversity within a population as possible while honing in on cohesive colors, forms, vigor, and productivity within a population. The exact step-by-step how-to honestly feels like too much for me to distill down in the context of this interview (and again I will point to Tiffany’s book as she has a knack for explaining the essence of things in a very accessible way!), but I think of my own process in terms of three stages:

  1. Gathering of desired phenotypic traits/qualities via careful observation and selection of parent plants, hand crosses, intuition, and guided insect pollination.
  1. Winnowing of the established gene pool to approach a sufficiently homogenous population via five or more generations of progressive seed parent selections, using insect pollination chambers to guide pollination. Again, this stage is a balance between maintaining genetic diversity and reaching a stable and cohesive range of phenotypes and for me involves observing and listening to the seeds themselves each step of the way.
  1. Stewardship/maintenance of seed lines. Once an outcrossing seed line has reached a notably stable and reliable place, it requires care and tending to continue forward for generations to come. This involves growing out large populations (ensuring maximum genetic diversity) for seed production while editing out individual seed parents that exhibit more nuanced undesirable/dominant traits. 

For example, in zinnias, the single flower form is dominant over the fully double form, and it is challenging (and in some cases undesirable) to prevent singles from emerging in populations over time. Because of this, the percentage of singles in a seed line will often increase over successive generations if the population isn’t maintained in a balance that supports the double trait.

What do you hope a person experiences when they look at and hold the flowers that you have bred? What is your hope for their future?

Above anything else, a sense of hope. I have grown intertwined together with these flowers through so much personal difficulty, and they have offered me the most incredible support and curiosity through their beauty, presence, infinite variation, and promise for the future. 

For me, spending time in friendship with them has time and again lifted the heaviness of the world from my heart and allowed me the space I needed to breathe and maintain an ember of hope even in the darkest stretches of my journey. I wish that anyone who is in need of encouragement, a quiet nurturing presence, or some other felt sense of support will find what they need in moments exchanged with these flowers.

My hope is to help our seeds reach the hands of people who will cherish them and enjoy being in a relationship with them. People who will plant them, nurture them, resonate with their beauty, adore them, and save their seeds to plant again and again. In this way, both the plants and the people that love them have hope for the future. 

Can you tell me what you’re excited to be offering for the 2024 growing season?

Well first of all, I am beyond excited that this will be the first year that the first four seed mixes of our zinnias will be introduced by Floret and available to purchase retail. I am also excited to be working on some opportunities to share more of my personal time/experience with those who resonate with my work and my voice. I have been contemplating ways to do this and have some sweet ideas that I’m still feeling out, but anyone who has been drawn to connect with me on a more personal level can sign up for our mailing list to receive upcoming announcements.

Do you have any other exciting projects in the works?

Breeding-wise, I am beyond excited about the direction of our in-progress zinnias …. I also have a number of ongoing seed projects in addition to zinnias that I am dancing with—yarrow, columbine, species gladiolus, Agrostemma, roses, and more that I am hoping to have energy to devote to in coming seasons. I began growing roses from seed in 2021 and am very excited to continue to witness the development of the last few years’ seedlings!

In terms of public-facing projects, there’s not really much more to report at this time. I have been in a pretty private cocoon …. My energy beyond working with plants is currently focused on raising a small human, navigating healing, and hopefully soon, getting the go-ahead from our county to start building a home and having the opportunity to put down roots on the land we purchased in 2020.

What is the best way for someone to place an order? Do you have particular growers that offer your varieties?

Cut flowers: Many cut flower farmers across the U.S. and a handful abroad are growing zinnias, Agrostemma, and Xeranthemum developed on our farm and offering them locally through their flower sales channels. For those looking to purchase cut flowers, I would recommend talking with local farmers and seeing if they are interested in and able to add Dawn Creek varieties to their crop plans. 

In my experience, having customers request specific varieties is a fantastic way to help spread awareness among local farms and increase opportunities for floral designers and farmers market customers alike to access them. With Floret releasing so many new varieties retail this winter, seed will finally be more widely accessible for the coming season.

Seeds: Floret is the only seed company that we have officially partnered with to sell our seeds at this time, and many who have followed our journey will be happy to know that a generous portion of every single sale of these seeds comes directly back to supporting our farm’s continued work. I have gotten inquiries from others who are interested in offering our seeds for sale, and I’m looking forward to making guidelines available for those who are interested in saving and selling our seeds consciously on a smaller scale to do so. 

As you and I have talked about, it feels meaningful to take care to share an example of how to do this in a way that supports breeders devoting themselves to developing and stewarding open-pollinated seed varieties in continuing to realistically fund their work, and that makes the immense time and energy needed to do this possible.

Do you have any upcoming important dates for shop launches, fundraisers, catalogs, or anything else people should know about? Also, where do you ship your seeds? 

In the past, we have opened up our annual fundraiser in February (shipping to the U.S. only) and updated our online seed shop with the seeds we have leftover to share from myriad projects at the same time. 

With Floret’s new introductions, I’m sensing that we will be changing some things up for 2024, though exactly how is still developing as of writing this. I would love to invite anyone interested in updates to join our farm’s mailing list via the form on our website!

Thank you so much, Kori! I am so happy that our paths crossed all those years ago and that I get to play a part in your breeding journey. I am so excited to release your special mixes and continue to support your work. 

To celebrate the upcoming release of the Dawn Creek varieties, we’re giving away 10 seed bundles. Each bundle will contain a packet of each of Kori’s mixes: Dawn Creek Blush, Dawn Creek Honey, Dawn Creek Pastels, and Dawn Creek Peach. 

For a chance to win, please leave a comment below answering one of the following questions. Winners will be announced on February 15. Please note: Because we can’t yet send the breeding varieties internationally, this giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

Update: A huge congratulations to our winners Rhonda Martin, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Geri Olson, Craig, Jennifer Hockett,  Amy DeCastro, Amanda Reynolds, Amanda Chalkley, Sueze and Sara M.

  1. When life is hardest, are there plants in your garden/ecosystem that you find yourself turning towards to help steady or buoy your spirits? What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times? 
  2. If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, what seeds would you save from your garden this year? What plants do you want to grow alongside forever? 

To learn more and connect with Kori, be sure to visit her website and follow her on Instagram.


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2,535 Comments

  1. Jen on

    Congrats winners!!

    Reply
  2. Sarah on

    Last season one of the few flowers I had growing on the farm were cosmos. I would cut large bunches of them to bring into the house. They brought me great solace during the incredibly difficult season. And they gave me a deeper appreciation for this incredible flower.

    Reply
  3. Jenna on

    I’m a novice hobby flower gardener. I didn’t grow up around flowers or have any pivotal experience with flowers and a desire or dream to grow them. Life moved us close to some really good friends who have a love of flowers and shared that with me. It’s become this beautiful outlet for me as a busy mom of 5. On those hard days, the flowers help so much. Specifically my zinnias, dahlias, and cosmos. For now, those are my favorites. If the catalogs disappear (and for me that’s really Instagram and online ordering as I’ve never actually ordered or looked through seed catalogs) I would save my dahlias, zinnia and cosmos seeds. Hands down, they will always be grown in my garden as much as I can help it.
    Thank you Erin for all you do to share your knowledge and flowers with the world!

    Reply
  4. Tim M. on

    Actually, IF I were one of the “chosen” few, those won seed of Kori’s would be what I would most as plants, and seeds, turn to, when sowing, watering, weeding-nurturing, esp. after reading all Kori heartfelt shared and exposed of her purest self.
    I wouldn’t need any other. Those seed would represent it “all” to me.

    Reply
  5. Joan Levesque Arguin on

    All flowers bring me joy! From zinnias, the workhorse of the flower garden, to dahlias that grow from less than glamorous tubers to roses the divas of my flower garden. No greater joy can be had for a gardener than to see tiny, tiny seeds break ground and flourish. My New England flower garden is barren in the winter. To satisfy my need for fresh flowers through the long, gloomy winters, I raise amaryllis and cut the fabulous blooms for an extended vase life.

    As a volunteer to the elderly in my community, I see many senior residents who are house-bound and their gardening days are long behind them. When the garden cooperates, I bring them a vase of cut flowers from my cutting garden. The joy this bouquet brings to their day outweighs every challenge I face in my garden.

    Seeds that I continue to save from year to year are celosia, calendula and nigella.

    Reply
  6. Paige on

    One of the dahlia seeds I saved has just sprouted! I was about to give up on them, realizing that I’d harvested the majority of them too early. Gardening offers so many opportunities to learn, experiment, create and sustain our hearts and bodies. Sow the seeds, spread the joy!

    Reply
  7. Sandy Wheeler on

    I will continue to save sunflower seeds. Sunflowers 🌻 remind me of the wonder I have shared with my children, neices and nephews and there friends who have marveled at the height, beauty and strength of these flowers as the have survived high winds, drought and seen them grow in poor soil where the birds have planted them throughout thebyard and garden as well as those we planted. But through poor and great conditions these flowers like the children who have shared gardening with me have grown strong and resilient and now they bring their children to my garden to share and learn about gardening and can eat veggies out of the garden and pick flowers including sunflowers to give to their parents.

    Reply
  8. Margaret on

    I bought your zinnia seeds for the first time a few years back and have now been hooked on growing zinnias each year. I check on them a couple times a day to see if there are any changes or new flowers blooming. When life gets hard the zinnias are the flowers that bring me most joy. And when I share cut flowers with others, the giant blooms instantly brighten their day as well. 🌸🌸🌸

    Reply
  9. Heather Lloyd on

    In my experience I have always been drawn to trees in times of stress. The big, protective maples and oaks of my childhood provide a lovely little escape. This year, as I struggle through seasons of family loss and dreary winters, I’m excited to explore cut flower varieties. I’ll be growing my first zinnias!

    Reply
  10. Celeste on

    #2 – Seeds I am saving…cilantro, chives, onion, shallot, kale, lettuces, broccoli, beets, parsley, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, nasturtium, ground cherries…to keep my plate delicious! For serenity and beauty to be shared with my family, neighbors and the curious passer bye, the birds and the bees of course… dahlias, black eyed susans, zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, sweet peas, hollyhock, snapdragons, agastache, and cerinthe❤️

    Reply
  11. Vinny M. on

    Seriously, this is just ….me…really, no disrespect or offense to anyone, but, I don’t use nor hope to use nor turn to plants as therapy.
    For me, there is a higher power I feel in touch with, whether it’s the darkest or happiest of times. And it is from having plants grown from seed that ultimately puts me even closer in touch with our earth mother “to infinity & beyond”.
    There is a disconnect I feel, to cull. I understand the concept as well as that of thinning, but I will never be a “plant Nazi”. Who am I to take even a plants life?
    I don’t have time to spend hoping against hope I will get a plant’s seed, when birds, squirrels & other assorted varmints always seem & perhaps are entitled to have “first dibs”.
    So you reap what you sow in life, and you see that correlation clearly with ultimately , especially what you grow.
    I could never profit off of plants and their flowers.
    I’m not faulting anyone that does.
    My values & beliefs are not the same for me to accurately answer this question.
    But thanks!

    Reply
  12. Carol Martone on

    Though it is difficult to choose just one flower, I suppose I would choose Alistromeria. As a cut flower it is long lasting and here on the central coast of California I can go to my gardens almost any time of year and pick a bouquet that will bring joy to anyone that may need it. It also provides for the many pollinators (a variety of hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and this year I had sphinx moths for the first time) that frequent my flower gardens. I feel it is so important to foster these pollinators with a garden free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers although it creates quite a challenge to the perfect bouquet.

    Reply
  13. Ash on

    When life gets hard I find myself walking around and looking at all of the wildflowers/native flowers and just the natural beauty around me. It grounds me and reminds me how beautiful life really is. I’m also always in awe of the beauty and joy zinnias bring me in the summer months as well. My grandma grew them when I was a child and now I get to grow them and share them with her as she can no longer do it herself.

    Reply
  14. Katy on

    Well I would likely save a lot of different seeds! The zinnias, phlox, and the white sunflowers that I want to grow this year. and herbs too! Basil, cilantro, parsley….

    Reply
  15. Amanda on

    When my sister got married we went to a huge dahlia farm and picked dahlias for her special day. I lost her a few months before my wedding but I went back to the dahlia farm and picked dahlias for my wedding day. Now I love to grow dahlias, it’s our happy flower along with zinnias and cosmos. I love posting pics of them and looking at them on cold winter days. I look forward to seeing these happy flowers everywhere.

    Reply
  16. Wendy on

    In the last few years my family has been hit with childhood leukemia, Parkinson’s and the unexpected passing of a daughter. Throughout that time and continuing, my flower garden has been my special sanctuary. I love all of the plants that I grow but my favorites are Hydrangea, Peony, and Columbine. Last year was the first time I planted Zinnia’s and will definitely plant again this year. I usually save the seeds from my columbine and share with others. They are very prolific. I have tried Dahlia’s and love them but have not been very successful in their flower growth the following years. My garden evolves every year but I will always have my hydrangeas, peony, columbine. and primrose.

    Reply
  17. Craig on

    My wife would kill me (I repeat kill me) if she knew I was commenting on how she tries, really tries, but kills any and everything she tries as a plant to grow-even the plastic plants indoors have seen better days.
    For me, I try not to view one’s garden as mere decoration.
    I try to incorporate even in planters herbs with the flowers and veggies.
    Ever since I was a kid, I saw, knew, that “we are all connected”.
    When you have that connection to Mother Earth, you’re more apt to be in sync.
    Have a sense of peace, tranquility.
    I marvel at how some people gravitate towards a certain flower.
    It has to be a connection.
    I don’t have the time to save seeds.
    I buy my seeds fresh each year, because of not just ease or convenience
    But that those as here, I trust them more to do what I would consider a good job than I ever would. Leave it to the experts.
    Maybe one day, when my little girl becomes old enough to plant a marigold or zinnia seed, I’ll treasure when I’m old & gray, that shared memory.
    For now it’s just kinda nice how everyone seems so genuinely hyped up over all this.

    Reply
  18. Alanna on

    Amaranth is the flower I most gravitated towards last year (2023). Its weeping shape and color were very much a picture of what my heart felt it had been doing for 2 years in relation to the farm we had purchased but could not live on. It was weeping and bleeding and that beautiful flower demonstrated that for me.

    Reply
  19. Jonanne Rankin on

    Inspiring interview! When life is hardest the flowers I find myself turning towards to lift my spirits are not only the beautiful flowers but the ones with beautiful scent; snowball viburnum, magnolia, peonies and roses! The fragrance puts a smile on my face :)

    Reply
  20. Kristin on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, I would gather seeds from my garden that have heartfelt significance. For instance, saving dahlia seeds would connect me with two very special friends who have shared their love of dahlias with my youngest daughter. Cosmos and zinnias are grown in honor of my mom who introduced me to the love of being present in the garden. And now I am blessed to pass that love on to my daughters. Lilies are for my dad’s Mom; grandma could never tell a lion from a tiger or a rose from a daisy, but always loved showing off her weekly bouquet on the dining room table! And sweet peas, oh my, just thinking of their scent and the beauty of my children’s hands brings tears to my eyes. The list goes on, but one must take the first step to begin the seed-saving journey. Thank you to all the hands who gather and share!

    Reply
  21. Diane Wilde on

    I started growing dahlias after my mom passed away last year. She always had dahlias planted against the fence that bordered on our backyard lane. They were all one variety. A peachy pink cactus type. I tried to buy some, as close as I could to the type mom used to buy. I did this to honour her memory and in the process, I fell in love with dahlias. I created a curved pathway in my garden and lined the dahlias on each side. I would often walk through the garden at dusk and feel a special connection to my mom through our shared passion for gardening. I have always grown zinnias and now I like to save dahlia and zinnia seeds as well as my favorite Maxibell bean seeds.

    Reply
  22. April VanDerwerken on

    I would save the seeds from the coneflower, blanket flower and sedum that the bees and butterflies love in my yard.

    Reply
  23. Snowball on

    Every time I get frustrated and wax about moving to a quieter space, I go collect all the seeds from my yard that I love and want to take with me. I don’t actually pack anything from inside. Last year when they shut down our local garden I went about 100 times and bagged and labelled all the flowers in my beds that I loved most. Does anyone else do this?

    Reply
  24. Angela on

    I think my answer is the same for all the questions. The seeds I’d save, the plants that brighten my dark times, the ones that lift my spirits and I hope to grow forever are: Dahlias, Peony, Sunflowers, Zinnias, Sweet Pea and eventually antiquated garden Roses. I saved all the seeds I could last year and bought new. I love to share and spread the joy! I can’t wait for this year’s blooms 😍 Thank you Erin, Kori and your teams for all your efforts to bring these beauties into the world!

    Reply
  25. Lydia Primm on

    This comment is for the seed give away. To lift my spirits, I turn to the plants that grow wild at my family’s farm in western Tennessee,. Among some of my favorites are : Wild Sweet William, Seedbox, Devil’s Walking Stick, False Foxglove, Violet Wood Sorrel, and many more. I also have a place in my heart for the plants in the cedar glade ecosystems which I came to love when I lived in Lebanon, TN (middle TN). Some of those plants are: Eastern Pear Cactus, Nashville Breadroot, Tennessee Milkvetch, Gattinger’s Prairie Clover, Widow’s Cross, and many more.

    Reply
  26. Michelle on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, I would save every variety of sweet peas previously purchased from Floret. Sweet peas and dahlias are the

    plants I would want to grow alongside forever. Can’t imagine a world without flowers.

    Reply
  27. Elizabeth Crabb on

    I love how a bouquet of cosmos picked when they are barely opening give a different bouquet each day. It may not look like much at first, but each morning it is more beautiful than the day before. The smell of lilacs, the memories of my grandma with daffodils, my daughter always finding the tiniest flowers possible, big orange flowers with the promise of a pumpkin, little faces on pansies… The list never ends. Flowers are a gift from God!

    Reply
  28. Alexandra on

    When life is hardest, I find comfort in flowers in particular–but as far as particular varieties go, I love them all–cosmos, zinnias, roses, peonies, dahlias, lisianthus, etc. I’m also fond of fruits, vegetables, herbs and any plant that is already native to my growing zone. I love getting out into nature whenever I can, but it’s also nice to have a small piece of it’s splendor through gardening.

    If seed catalogs disappeared tomorrow, I would save all the herb, fruit, and flower seeds I possibly can! Basil, tomatoes, chilies, zinnias, marigolds. I don’t know if it’s hyperbole to say I’d like to grow all of the flowers, lol. Lily of the valleys are dear to my heart because they were my grandma’s favorite. I love lisianthus for their underrated beauty and because they’re native to where I’m from. I love zinnias because they’re beautiful (I must add that my obsession is mostly due to the beautiful varieties made possible by Floret and Dawn Creek Farm. I’ve been looking forward to their arrival for years) and easy to grow. I love dahlias, marigolds, and peonies because they remind my of my favorite place. I could go on, but the list is never-ending.

    Reply
  29. Christina CV on

    My mind always changes, but lately I love to see my borage and phacelia popping up. The little blossoms cheer me up and when I see the bees hovering over, it makes me feel hopeful. I saved a lot of tomato seeds last year, and also saved some Lemon Drop watermelon that I’m excited to grow again this year. I am looking forward to growing some new-to-me celosia this year. Every year I say that I am going to stop doing a garden because its too much work, but around January, I start pulling out my trays and jugs for winter sowing.

    Reply
  30. Rebecca on

    In hard times I find myself turning towards my sugar baby watermelon plant! I’ve had such great success with growing them and the joy they bring me and my daughters watching them grow and eating them. This will be my first year growing flowers so I can’t wait to see the joy they bring us along side my watermelon! Gardening in general has brought so much joy for me mostly because I get to share it with my sweet daughters. Anything they help me grow I find so much joy and happiness in. It’s the special moments with them in the garden that lift my spirits.

    Reply
  31. Allie H. on

    In hard times, I find comfort in the biggest trees I can find. Certain redwoods and sequoias are destinations on my daily walks – gotta go say hi to my friends! :) In the summer I’m grounded by my vegetable garden and all that it provides. I’m so excited to start a deeper dive into growing my first flower garden. Thank you for the constant inspiration!

    Reply
  32. Mai Deo on

    I found comfort in daisies and purple lilacs in my garden. Growing up in NH, lilacs were everywhere as it’s the state flower. It reminds me of simpler times and the welcoming of spring.

    I would save queen lime zinnias and lisianthus seeds as they’re tried and true in my summer cut flower gardens! And more hard to find.

    Reply
  33. Adrianna Allen on

    When life gets difficult, I have always turned to my plants. It used to be my vegetable garden, now it’s my orchids. Last year, I kept seeing orchids dying in our local grocery store. I decided to buy a bunch and do a ton of research to save them. Changing the medium, pruning roots and proper watering/fertilizing. One of my little babies if finally blooming again!!

    Reply
  34. Ellie Chenault on

    Sweet Annie (wormwood) has a way of opening up my heart space. It brings me peace, love, and joy.

    Reply
  35. Heather Fraelick on

    1. Borage! I’m still learning why but she’s the plant that simply shows up. Reseeds and surprises me and I always let her grow wherever it is. She’s hard to kill! If she’s knocked over or stems are broken or snipped she simply grows a new stalk and flowers inevitably show up. ♡

    Reply
  36. Jennie Andrews on

    1. I successfully bred my first dahlias last year so I would definitely say that they are super close to my heart. The joy in the surprise of a new variety is so real. But there is also nothing like growing tomatoes and other veggies that sustain us all year long and bring added joy to my kitchen.

    Reply
  37. Annie on

    Last summer when I had unexpected major abdominal surgery I found so much solace in sunflowers. As I emerged from my cocoon of healing, there they were- large, bright beacons of hope. Landing pads for bumble bee naps- and a pop of color to bring inside. I grew some pro cut and some of the Van Gogh fantasy mix from Sunflower Steve and I loved not knowing what face might greet meet from the mix each time I walked the garden during recovery. I will never forget the deep purple-red sunflower that I cut the first day I was able to walk into the garden- pure magic.

    Reply
  38. Heather K on

    I would grow tomatoes with marigolds annd calendula with herbs if seed catalogs disappeared! I can nourish my body and make it flavorful while still seeing beauty.

    Reply
  39. Barbie on

    I’m a new gardener. Just started in November 2022. I have only grown flowers from starts and plants. One of the most enjoyable things I have found in my short time is growing something from seed. I’m still in awe that so much can come from a small seed. So to answer your question, I don’t have one favorite. Growing anything successfully has brought so much joy to me. I have found being in the garden so healing.

    Reply
  40. jody on

    “When life is hardest, are there plants in your garden/ecosystem that you find yourself turning towards to help steady or buoy your spirits? What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times?”
    i have to say that there isn’t just one…or two…. how can one ever pick one flower or plant when gardening in it’s whole is the life force running thru my veins. i simply don’t know what i would do without it. having an all consuming autoimmune condition i simply live to garden. it’s my reason to get up in the morning and endure & push thru the physical challenges. it nourishes me thru the long dark isolation of winters where i dream of colours…running the dirt thru my hands…new varieties of zinnias, dahlias, clematis, roses…tomatoes.
    ever listening to nature & what my flora friends are teaching me – persiverance (failures are a gift)…patience (take life as it comes)…beauty comes in all shapes & sizes…if you put the work in you’ll always reep rewards…and last but not least to enjoy the simple things in life.

    Reply
  41. Andrea H. on

    When life is hard, I turn to my roses. I love smelling them! I put a vase on my kitchen island so it’s easily accessible to smell all thru the day. I will be saving zinnia seeds this year and cosmos.

    Reply
  42. Daniela Emborgo on

    I’ve loved getting to see behind the scenes and reading about the parts of how this story came to be. I can’t believe I get to be a part of such a groundbreaking celebration of years of hard work, love, passion, and art! Thinking it’s cool and exciting that I get to live through the release of what I believe will always be my favorite zinnias brought into existence in real time…is an understatement! Thank y’all for bringing seed saving, and the beauty and fun of flower breeding to the attention of the masses. I love Floret’s message of not wanting to see return customers, but to see us learn how to seed save. If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, I would definitely save all my zinnia, poppy, basil, and sweet alyssum seeds! I would grow zinnias forever because they remind me that one can flourish in even the harshest conditions (which is in Austin, TX blazing heat)… reminding me of the beauty that can come from nourishing oneself, persisting, and growing. On the other hand, I love that poppies remind me of how important rest is in order to flourish as well. The juxtaposition between these two flowers reminds me that it’s normal and lovely to be gentle with yourself in different seasons of your life. Regardless of what life throws at me, I am meant to and will flourish. I love the sensory experience of sweet alyssum; it smells like the sweetest honey that lights up my senses and reminds me of Psalms 119:103. I would also save my basil seeds (thai, purple, italian genovese) because of its diverse uses such as being my favorite filler flower. Seed saving is exciting because maybe those plants may grow even better in my environment in the future.

    Reply
  43. Kate Ellis on

    I’d save zinnia, tomato, and basil seeds. Zinnias are so cheery and easy to grow. Eating a homegrown tomato fresh off the vine is one of my favorite summer experiences. And I guess I just love basil.

    Reply
  44. Stacey Erwin on

    Watermelons! I can’t explain it but the joy they bring me is deep. I look forward to planting them all year, love watching every phase of their growth and somehow never tire of them. My soul is somehow intertwined with the melon. A strange love story of sorts 🤣

    Reply
  45. Doree Lipson on

    So moving and incredible! Thank you for your gifts and partnership with one another.

    Reply
  46. Robin aka bird hauger on

    I know your flowers will help you heal Kori🌸🌺🌼my flowers are also my friends and have helped heal
    My body and spirit . Breast cancer took many things away from me , but brought me back closer to my gardening roots and all my
    Posies bring me hope and love .💕

    Reply
  47. Stefan N. on

    Hmmm….Maybe I’m the absolute newbie to this blog because the only experience I really ever had either with growing plants or even starting them from seeds, is THE one packet of Floret Original Zinnia seed I just placed an order for.
    How funny is that!
    I can’t really afford it , but I was (seriously)
    Following “everything Floret”, on you tube, reading as seeing the deep earnestness of Erin, just loved, absolutely loved, maybe even more than her, the pure exhilaration to share in Erin’s accomplishment’s –
    My fav. Memory is of Erin swimming” through drifts upon drifts of dahlias…
    Build it and they will buy.
    And that’s exactly with trepidation, maybe fear, I’ve done.
    Ha, me maybe foolishly thinking, that nearly half a days take home pay , maybe I too can see and experience maybe (whatever the % is)
    Something that not just Erin feels
    But just about every single other person that left a comment on here in show of support has….
    It has to begin and hopefully not end with something, right?
    Soooo
    I placed my order for my one (1) packet of alpenglow zinnia, it selling out, so I MUST have “good taste”.
    I’m glad to have “participated” in the shared hope and dream of “something bigger than myself”..
    So if “successful”, that upon receipt will be what I would not just save, but hope to save.
    I just hope the one packet of seed I ordered
    I will in fact plant
    Instead of seeing it as some, in time “gots to dust off “ what I should have planted but didn’t because I was too afraid to fail.
    Because
    I wanted to save it.

    Reply
  48. Patricia Arena on

    My garden gives me a tremendous amount of comfort throughout the seasons. I especially enjoy my roses. I’ve taken care to buy rose varieties for their scent. I remember when I was growing up, my grandma had beautiful pink roses with a wonderful fragrance that I’d pick for bouquets. Zinnias are a more recent choice for me. They definitely are a cheerful flower, and I love any color.

    Reply
  49. Priyanka on

    If seed packets were to disappear, wow that would be tough. I think I will go into a frenzy with dahlias, cosmos, poppy, tropical plants like jasmine, veggies like eggplant, okra, beans. If growing roses from seeds were more main stream, I would hoard all rose varieties, as that plant will always have my heart

    Reply
  50. Emily on

    Question 2: I would want to have the seed packets of snapdragons, sweet peas, and zinnias. Women in my family tree loved these flowers and I do as well. I love to grow them and could not imagine a garden without them.

    Reply
  51. Rachel R on

    When life gets hard and heavy, the garden in general is just a sweet escape and remedy. In particular though is bearded irises. Not only does their beauty bring me joy but there is so much nostalgia and memories with every bloom.

    Reply
  52. Sara Hague on

    What great questions! I would save zinnias and tomatoes first. Zinnias for their beauty, hardiness, and endless variation. I’ve grown them since I can remember. And, I also, have saved seeds of the most beautiful peach/pink zinnia that I hope will be even better this year. And tomatoes because they’re just as magical! The smell of a crushed tomato leaf means summer is here and a fresh off the plant, sun warmed tomato is simply divine.

    Reply
  53. Meghan on

    What a beautiful and thought-provoking story and interview, thank you!
    If seed catalogues were to disappear, I’d likely want to save all the seeds in my garden, but what first comes to mind is poppies. Their delicate, ephemeral beauty and incredible resilience combined are so amazing. I’d also be sure to save zinnia and dahlia seeds, sweet peas, runner beans, and snap peas. ❤️

    Reply
  54. Ashley Slamon on

    It’s eucalyptus and lavender for me!!!!
    The smell and the colours transform the environment and have ability to take me anywhere!
    These lovely plants are what sunny day dreams are made of !
    (And our coastal Bc deer don’t eat them, so that’s a bonus haha)

    Reply
  55. Elizabeth on

    In difficult times, my gaze naturally drifts towards the peonies in my garden. Though their blooms are short-lived, their vibrant colors and exquisite fragrance never fail to lift my spirits. Their very transience reminds me to appreciate the fleeting beauty of life, and to find joy in the present moment, even when things seem tough. In their delicate dance between full bloom and graceful fade, I find a quiet strength and acceptance. They symbolize impermanence, yes, but also the constant cycle of renewal that lies at the heart of nature. Witnessing their transformation gives me hope and resilience, reminding me that even in the darkest winter, spring always returns.

    Reply
  56. Lorelei Fischer on

    When the hardships of life weigh heavy, the garden in general is a source of peace and restoration. However, those resilient zinnias are definitely the ones that can cheer up even the most overwhelmed. We live in hot and humid Atlanta, GA. The zinnias start early and stay late. We try to succession sow them so they are not all going to seed at the same time and so we have bright, cheery, fresh zinnias as long as we have the dahlias. As long as we have dahlias and zinnias, there is hope in the world! Well, their Creator gives the hope, but oh my! how He uses the flowers of the field!

    Reply
  57. Melanie on

    When life is hardest all my plants both indoor and outdoor have had a huge impact on my mood, I started collecting more and more indoor plants to get through the winter as I’m dreaming of spring and planning all my cut flower gardens!

    I absolutely love zinnias and cosmos I always save those and larkspur, I ordered some of the floret dahlias and zinnias but wasn’t able to get the dawn creek kinds, I love the honey ones they are stunning!

    Reply
  58. Maggie Morgan on

    All flowers bring me joy from the first tips of the tulips and daffies I see poking out of the earth right now telling me to hang on because spring is coming to the last dahlia I clip in the fall after dark because our first hard freeze is coming. Each give me joy I can hold in my hands and heart and share with others. I thank God for flowers!!

    Reply
  59. Mariann Brown on

    I love my zinnias. They are easy and reliable in the Texas heat and I love the serendipity of the ones that go to seed. I am not organized enough to have selected and briefed them but I have had some beautiful volunteers.
    I save lots of seeds from all my flowers but have a hard time following up and processing, labeling and replanting. It’s a goal of mine to get better at.

    Reply
  60. Nicole Swinton on

    When life is hardest, the plants in my garden that I find myself turning towards is my rose garden. I have collected David Austin roses over the years and have a beautiful collection that I love. Not only are the stunningly beautiful when they bloom, but the fragrance that comes from them is heavenly and fills the air. They bring me so much joy, and always put me in a better mood. A close second would have to be my zinnias each so unique and beautiful with their own personalities I love them all!!

    Reply
  61. Nishia Matthews on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, I would want to save my veggie, fruit, and flower seeds. Particularly my tomatoes are what I want to grow alongside forever. They were the first thing I ever grew and did it successfully for the last two years. We LOVE fresh homegrown tomatoes. I just added in flowers to my garden last year, and grew sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, and a wildflower mix and loved how well zinnias grew. They truly are the best cut flower for beginners.

    Reply
  62. Martha Brogdon on

    I love growing many different plants in my garden… vegetables, fruits etc, but the ones that bring me the most joy are my flowers! They can lift my spirits and bring a smile to my face on even a “cloudy “ day!!!

    Reply
  63. Martha Brogdon on

    I love growing many different win my garden… vegetables, fruits etc, but the ones that bring me the most joy are my flowers! They can lift my spirits and bring a smile to my face on even a “cloudy “ day!!!

    Reply
  64. Jennifer on

    I have been saving seeds from my sweet peas, zinnias, and dahlias. Last year I also collected from foxglove, cress, strawflower, and Chinese for get me nots.
    I would save seeds off of everything I grow, that would be extensive :) It’s a fascinating world that I want to continue learning about. .
    Flowers, whichever flowers are currently blooming, I love. They are essential to my life!

    Reply
  65. Pauline van Hemert on

    If I had to save any seeds, I’d first save my zinnias and then any dahlia seeds I could. I’m also thinking my sweet orange cherry tomatoes need to be saved….

    In fact, last year I did just that.

    Reply
  66. Steph Romanowicz on

    The flowers that invigorate me the most in the darest days of the winter and on my hardest days are my hellebore. Year after year they show up through the snow. They get more abundant with every season. I love collecting different colors as many are now rare and hard to find. Everything about them captivates me.

    I saved lots of nigella seeds from last season. I could barely keep up with harvesting them so knowing the seeds are the byproduct of my failures feels like a success.

    Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge!

    Reply
  67. Megan on

    1. The garden in general helps my anxiety, its the place I can go that I don’t feel stressed or worried. I would say the plants for the most are the zinnias, celosia, dahlias and veggies tomatoes and cucumbers. But in reality anything I can grow in my garden with my girls is amazing. Teaching them that sharing goes along way, flowers bring so much joy to people and they learned that last giving to friends and neighbors. We would give flowers with a basket of cherry tomatoes :)

    2. I would save seed from it all, I have already started saving seeds each year to help eliminate the process of constantly having to buy. I would forever need flowers to companion plant with my veggies. Zinnias, celosia, dahlias, calendula, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and peppers. So many to save and grow again and share with others.

    Reply
  68. Suzanne Tom on

    My roses are a stalwart in my garden and I couldn’t be without them come May o November! They fill my senses with wonder, awe, beauty, scent, grace and just pure loveliness, just by seeing, smelling or touching. A feast for the senses and a beacon of hope shining out when needed most.

    Reply
  69. Nicole Swinton on

    When life is hardest, the plants in my garden that I find myself turning towards is my rose garden they bring me so much job when in bloom not only are they stunning but the fragrance that fills the air is so heavenly! I have been collecting David Austin roses over the years and have acquired a nice collection now that I am in love with, but in a close second place would be my zinnias they are all so unique and each so special!

    Reply
  70. Amber Langerud on

    1. I love all the flowers and vegetables. Just the art of growing and watching these plants mature brings me so much joy.

    2. I’m very new to this whole world, but last year I planted some zinnias and am excited to grow a whole bunch more this year and will be experimenting with other flowers as well. So hopefully at the end of this growing season I’ll have a solid answer to this question!!

    Reply
  71. Karouna Thompson on

    Roses and lilacs always brighten my spirit and make me feel better. I am so happy to finally have my own land to grow them and hopefully they can help me grow. Seed saving is new to me but I would like to save nigella and poppies. I love their seed pods so much and am fascinated by the amount of seed in each pod. Also love in a puff is pretty magical.

    Reply
  72. Jeanette LeBourdais on

    I just love sunflowers, they are so beautiful, tall and happy looking. I tend to love the different varieties. Cosmos are another favorite, they are easy to grow and beautiful as the flow and wave so gently in the wind. I gave grown Zinnias in the past and love how they become one of the long lasting flowers in the garden. If there were no seed catalogs I would be saving all my sunflower, cosmos, zinnia and celosia seeds. I will forever be growing sunflowers and they will be a staple in my garden every year. Flowers bring me so much joy, and if my garden comes to fruition, I will be sharing the beauty with senior living, memory care facilities and nursing homes. Everyone gets a smile when they see flowers and I want to bring joy to everyone.

    Reply
  73. Ellen Gresham on

    The flowers I turn to in hard times are my roses and the flowers I started from seed; zinnias, dahlias, celosia, and statice. I’ve only been gardening for a few years, but have found so much joy and accomplishment in growing flowers and tending my garden. It brings so much peace.

    Reply
  74. Susan on

    The first spring blooms are what buoys my spirit after a long cold rest. I love the hellebores, crocus, daffodil, tulip and also in the heat of summer it’s the amazing zinnia and sunflower that bring me energy and joy! Watching any seedling grow gives me hope! I totally resonated with Kori and the importance of relationship and connection with the plant world as it connects us all!

    Reply
  75. Cayce Lee on

    The flowers that most comfort and soothe me are my lavender friends. Their ethereal violet hues are so calming and spiritual. I even named my firstborn Violet Zephyr like a sweet lavender breeze.

    Reply
  76. Melissa on

    I think the plants I turn to most to buoy my spirits are the spring ephemerals. Things like red dead nettle, chickweed, dandelions…they are giving love in the most unlikely stage of the season and it always reminds me that the daffodils and next growing season is right around the corner and the earth provides what sustains us. I truly enjoy wandering my property (typically in inclement weather) seeking out these beauties as a reminder of spring to come. I have always been connected to gardening and raising plant babies, but most recently I feel extra connected to a patch of stinging nettle that volunteered in the perfect place on my property. I know this is a strange one, but it gives me the feeling that if I keep that one thing in my yard, all else will flourish, it is beautiful and provides sustenance to me, my family and gardening endeavors (think teas and composts) I also didn’t have to break my back or my spirit, it just showed up as nature’s gift to me. As a maniacal seed saver, I would be saving them all, but stinging nettle is top of the list.

    Reply
  77. Sandy Gruber on

    I think if there were no more seed catalogs, I would save seeds from as many zinnias that I could. I get lost in all of their layers of petals. I also absolutely love hydrangeas and would always like to grow them!

    Reply
  78. Donna McRoy on

    The flowers I turned to in hard times are daffodils !!!
    They are steadfast and bring us hope for new beginnings.
    Like the Lord, who created the heavens and the Earth they
    Are persistent and pop up no matter what the conditions. They are bright and give hope and joy.
    No matter where else I’m too busy in my garden daffodils are always there to comfort me !!

    Reply
  79. Savannah on

    Honestly if all seed catalogs suddenly disappeared, i would save all my seeds they are all special to me.
    they are almost like little children in the way you have to carefully cultivate and nurture each one for them to bloom.

    Reply
  80. Linda on

    My absolute favorite flowers are hydrangeas, dahlias, and zinnias. Growing these and sharing them with friends and family brings so much joy. I don’t know anyone who isn’t thrilled to receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I cannot wait to grow the zinnias from Floret and Dawn Creek Farm. The colors are unique and like no others. Thank you Erin and Kori for all your hard work!

    Reply
  81. Lori Gouin on

    Zinnias are my favorite. Lovingly started from seed every spring, pinched, watered and tended. I scatter seeds in various colors so I’m always surprised at the colors that pop up. My zinnias in my planter box were 6 ft tall with long strong stems! They just make me so happy! I share with my neighbors and for me that’s a great joy.
    Can’t wait for spring to start the seeds again!

    Reply
  82. Kristin on

    Oh, I love both of these questions! Hydrangeas are my soul-flower. They bring me equal parts happiness, hope, and peace. If I could only ever have one flower in my home, it would be a big pitcher overflowing with hydrangeas.

    Reply
  83. LA on

    Life is a continuous cycle of ups and downs… And honestly that is how I began in my flower journey. To this day I don’t consider myself a good gardener but more of amateur. Seeds, sprouts and flowers are quite the obsession and to they keep me going each day. I find myself dreaming of more outdoor space to fill or researching new flowers to grow which fills me so much joy.
    I’m about to burst…just due to waiting for the new seed for Florets and Dawn Creek Farms! I cannot wait to share these new beauties that I get the luxury to grow and share with friends and family. In all honesty, I cannot believe the colors that are offered – the color palette is everything and more!

    I hope you both continue your breeding programs and allowing us all be on the receiving end. You both have something so special and wonderful – thank you for your hard work and sending these rare beauties out into the world!

    Reply
  84. Geri Olson on

    When times are difficult, I count on sweet peas, zinnias and sunflowers to provide joy, both for myself and others. These are the flowers I grow for bouquets to give away to the nearby rehab center, to church events and for neighbors and friends who can use an uplift. Flowers bring a smile, create warmth and share friendship. One neighbor brings her young granddaughter who is nearly blind to pick a bouquet in this magical sea of color and scent. Another neighbor gathers flowers for her elderly dad when she visits him. Thanks to the work of Erin, Kori and their teams, seeds of joy are spread everywhere. My deepest thanks.

    Reply
  85. Julia Burnett on

    I love to “talk” and “pray” with my plants when life is hard but honestly, I do it almost every day. Some of those plants include daylily, amaryllis and rain lily bulbs as well as rex begonia and orchids that I transplanted from my childhood home. Others, are longtime friends like my roses, camellias, and azaleas.

    If seed catalogs disappeared I’d save every seed I could harvest but especially my sweet pea and zinnia seeds. I’ve been sharing my zinnia seeds with a friend for many years. We trade them back and forth – she lives in Pennsylvania and I’m in Florida – the Victorian meaning….”thoughts of an absent friend.”

    Reply
  86. Todd on

    “Why why why”…..
    -can’t it be every flower
    Instead of one or a few
    Because as you age
    And hopefully continue to be open and learn
    You
    as well as the seed you sow
    Grow
    You realize
    You can, you can, really-truly,
    -be (essentially) creating
    Your very own seed “catalogue”
    One of pictures
    Of memories
    Of pressed dried flowers
    A sachet with your linens perhaps
    Or tucked within the case of your pillow so you have as you sleep the scent you could only wish what everyone should experience
    Made during either the darkest or brightest of one’s days
    And still be able to turn the “pages”
    Still be able to dream as when one would on those dreary winter days
    When one can order a fresh packet of seed
    Actually hold within one’s hand
    The dormant sleeping life that’s yet to unfurl
    I’ve really have learned not to be biased until actually growing a plant
    You just don’t know
    You will have your very own seed catalogue
    And be all the better for it (amen)(“-“)

    Reply
  87. Kathleen Faulkner on

    Snapdragons always lighten my spirit. I love that I can make them speak to me. Lavender is the other friend when I am in need.

    Reply
  88. Amelia Baggett on

    I am always inspired by everything you share. Lavender is always by comfort flower, but I couldn’t imagine being without sweet peas (also my nickname for my 11 month daughter) and geraniums. They are such happy flowers.

    Reply
  89. Rhonna Jerauld on

    If seed catalogs suddenly didn’t exist, first of all ouch, what will I nerd out with all winter?? I would continue to save sunflowers and try my hand at zinnias because of their happy faces, dahlias because of their unreal beauty, and rudbeckia because I can’t ever get over their classic fuzzy wildflower vibe. I can’t wait to try some of these new beauties, thank you for all the work (so much work) you ladies have put it to creating such a stunning variety and sharing them with the world! <3

    Reply
  90. Bree King on

    I enjoyed this story so much and am excited to grow your dahlia and celosia seeds I ordered today. My summer favorites that I save seeds from are for sure stock because I love the scent, zinnias, amaranth and Mexican sunflower since the pollinators absolutely loved it. I will also grow lemon basil and a blue Persian basil for the scent they add to my bouquets. I would be delighted to win a packet of new seeds!

    Reply
  91. Lourdes Laurente on

    In the darkness of winter the images of Iceland poppies, cosmos & zinnias bring me joy and happiness as January nears because I know it’s almost time to order seeds and scheme!
    Last summer was a transitional year for my garden…I started lavender from cuttings and seeds vowing to prune them rigorously to keep their shape. I went wild planting poppies in every blank space!
    If seed catalogs were to somehow disappear I would horde the sweet peas, both edible and floral, poppy, zinnia & sunflower…and tomatoes!p & beans. Each year I save seeds with average success, but I keep trying and am always excited when they germinate! Oh joyous spring!

    Reply
  92. Fawn Hensley on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, I would have to save seeds from zinnia’s, cosmos, and poppies. They offer so much color and are probably the easiest cut-flower annuals for me to grow. The color of zinnias about is just gorgeous 😍.

    Reply
  93. Lori [email protected] on

    Dahlias and sunflowers gives me the greatest joy in the growing season out of all the varieties I grow.

    Reply
  94. Tami H on

    I’d save all the zinnia and sunflower seeds I could possibly gather! I’m new to cut flower gardening but I’m now obsessed. I hope to be surrounded by zinnias, cosmos, dahlias, sunflowers, roses, celosia and blue butterfly peas every day for the rest of my days on earth!

    Reply
  95. Beth Elliott on

    Ever since a friend gifted me a dahlia, that has been my flower that has always picked me up. Roses are precious to me for the memory of my first ever plant that I planted as a little girl.

    Reply
  96. Beth Elliott on

    Ever since a friend gifted me a dahlia, that has been my flower that has always picked me up. They just seem to be such happy flowers. Roses are precious to me for the memory of my first ever plant that I planted as a little girl.

    Reply
  97. Kathleen Fitzpatrick on

    My flower picks would definitely be Zinnias with cosmos a close second.

    I have loved flowers my entire life. When we married 37 years ago, i let my husband off the “hook” by making a deal / that I could buy as many flowers as I “needed “ and I wouldn’t complain that he didn’t bring me flowers … lol … Since I began my from seed journey while flighting breast cancer, the flowers brought me peace snd joy.

    I hope to grow enough to help with a family wedding later this year and would be delighted to win a packet!!!

    Reply
  98. Suzanne N on

    Really enjoyed this story, information and beautiful photos; thank you for sharing. My flower friends would have to be zinnias. You can’t help but SMILE when you see their cute puffy selves! I’m new to growing them and very glad I tried them. They are hardy and beautiful; just how to be during hard times! LOVE a happy sunflower as well. I would forever want to grow Love-in-a-Mist, sunflowers, zinnias, larkspur and beloved sweet peas.

    Reply
  99. Jessi on

    The flowers that bring me the most joy remind me of my grandma’s garden—a small place of refuge built from love of interesting patterns and colors, ruffled petals, and scented blooms. She’s always said that working with her plants was the best mood booster, and she’s not wrong. Last year, I lost all of my plants to a flood. This year, I get to experience the excitement of choosing new ones to enjoy; watching their roots grow alongside my own.

    Reply
  100. Martha Z on

    If seeds catalogs disappeared tomorrow?! I would legit take cuttings of ALL my plants and save all seeds I possibly could. The only problem is that I always grow a whole bunch of F1 plants that I absolutely love (Nature Antique Shades violas that I just started on seed trays for example) and would be heartbroken if I couldn’t enjoy them every Spring and Fall.

    Reply
  101. Peggy on

    My lily garden brightens my days and brings me joy. Except when I see a lily beetle!

    Reply
  102. Lauren Cogley on

    Kori is such an inspiration! Years ago I always knew I wanted to grow lots of flowers, but as I have learned more about Kori, and Erin’s, efforts and journeys in breeding flowers it really makes me want to put that on my goal list for the future. So much work goes into it, but as you can see with how stunning all these varieties they have created, it’s worth it!
    Flowers have always brought me so much joy, on my highest days and my lowest, they are always steadfast for me. Although I have a list of favorites, honestly any and every flower brings me joy. When I have having a rough day or time in life, I find myself picking up a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store, or supporting someone local if possible, and bringing them home to brighten up our house. My husband also knows how much flowers mean to me and sometimes will bring them home just cause, but also makes sure he does when he knows I need a little pick me up.
    When I look at certain flowers I think back to watching Alice in Wonderland as a kid and the flower garden scene where all the flowers are depicted as animals or with little faces. Sometimes I feel I see the flowers smiling up at me in that way :)

    Reply
  103. Patty Grove on

    I’d be sure to gather Coreopsis….beautiful yellows!

    Reply
  104. Kerry on

    I always feel great in my garden.Over the years I have started gardens with lots of people. One I really loved was a garden at a veterans center with 1st and 2nd WW vets, and how much joy it brought to many residents ,some had been gardeners and farmers in their past lives. A handful of flowers goes along way to brighten a colourless day

    Reply
  105. Carolyn Teeter on

    Boy to pick one is hard as I love them all. I have been on a path of discovery as I build my garden and design and explore the possibilities. I played with Dahlias and then inherited a friends garden when he passed and it sent me off in new directions. Zinnias caught my eye and I love their cheerfulness. So am wanting to do better with them this year.
    I have done arranging for friends wedding when some young Native friends felt they couldn’t afford a wedding. Flowers and design were up my ally.
    In developing my garden I think of Monet and Carl Larson who developed their gardens and then painted them. I’ve enjoyed painting and depending on the directions of life find gardening a bit like developing a painting.
    Thanks for sharing your creative journey. I had hoped to take your class when the changes for online happened. I was still working so was not ready for that step. I live in Birch Bay, WA now and looking forward to some new garden exploration

    Reply
  106. Deb on

    I am just starting my cutting garden this year. I suffer with anxiety and depression and feel God lead me to you and Erin through your beautiful plant souls!
    I am going to start with a small area in my small backyard and see how the flowers grow.
    I am starting with zinnias Celosia and eucalyptus. Not many but enough to give my time and attention.
    I am excited to start my new journey at 64 years of age.
    Thank you again for what you love to do!
    I love both uou and Erin with all my heart!
    God Bkess you both,
    Love
    Deb

    Reply
  107. Shannon Jones on

    I find Nigella flowers uplifting AND I will always save their seeds. One bonus is that any extra seed of Nigella leftover (as long as it’s saved by us and therefore organic and not treated with anything) is also edible (the most common species eaten is Nigella sativa, however we’ve used seed from all the species as edibles). We typically grind the seed as seasoning, but we’re interested in pressing the oil out too.

    Reply
  108. Ruth Gulden on

    Such an amazing journey you have been on! I admire and I am so impressed with what you have accomplished with breeding your fabulous Zinnias! I can’t wait to have them growing in my garden…
    I so love your sharing about your relationship with plants…it makes me feel like I am a kindred spirit! So much positive energy in our flower gardens. Whenever I am going through difficult times, I seek refuge in my garden and find strength in the flowers that bloom thete. Some of my favorites are ranunculus and dahlias and I am completely
    obsessed with my delicious romantic garden roses
    that bring me such joy! Thanks for all you do!

    Reply
  109. Starr Linden on

    Flowers are an ancestral connection for me. I Love Hollyhocks, I consider them an antique plant because they give me the feeling of being in my grandmothers arms. I surround my flower beds with them and they happily march forward populating the land. Whenever I feel I need a boost I look over at the Hollyhocks and they lift my spirit. I have an old picture of my great grandmother sitting in a bed of her flowers and when I look at my lavender, dahlias and zinnias she comes to mind and I see her sitting there with a happy smile in the middle of the bed. When my granddaughter who is 9 visits the farm each summer we always play in the flowers, my hope is that she will remember me someday when I am gone in the flowers with her and it will bring a smile to her lips.

    Reply
  110. Olivia Sanchez on

    There isn’t one particular plant that I gravitate towards when I’m feeling out of sorts. It depends on what I’m feeling and what I need. There are those times of such a large overwhelm that just walking through the garden, touching the plants, whether it’s the strong stock of a sunflower or the fragrant leaves of my cherry tomatoes, brings me back to the present moment.
    I’m not a “formal” mediator, but have found over the past few years of growing flowers and veggies that when I am feeling vulnerable or anxious, when I go out to the garden to tend to it and start watching the bees on the flowers, my mind slows down and for a few moments, all the thoughts stop.

    Reply
  111. Luli Fichter on

    If seed catalogues disappear tomorrow, I’ve been a good steward of what my garden produces and would be fine. I’m diligent about seed saving and keep track of my varieties. Not to sound too dorky, but I’ve got a spreadsheet of different varieties, colors and quantities and I’ve got around 675 different seed varieties.
    My favorite are the dahlias and second the zinnias. I’ve love zinnias since I was a little girl. They embody happiness to me. Kori’s description of her relationship with them really resonates with me. When I’m out in the garden with them particularly, I feel a wave of butterflies (dopamine) just looking at them. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s that feeling of teenage love. They are so independent and easy, yet they give so generously. As long as I have zinnia and dahlia seeds, the rest of the world could crumble, but as long as there’s sunlight, warmth and water, and my garden of ‘friends’, I’ll be fine.

    Reply
  112. Christopher on

    Last year I was inundated with projects that took away time to have my hands in the dirt, both from planting flowers and in the garden. So my wife and I’s solace in our space’s was all of the green things and flowers that show up from previous years plantings and those that mother earth give us as prezzies. What a wonderful circle of life! To be able to walk around all the beauty and splendor of what these plants offer diffuses any kind of ugly or negative energy or feelings in a matter of minutes. Half of what I’m growing this year are things that I have not grown before so I’m very excited for the outcome. I have come to appreciate the ones that just show up when your least expecting, and bask in their beauty and tend to forget about having a favorite. Thank you for your continued love and commitment for what you do.

    Reply
  113. Cecilia on

    In late winter, my hellebores brighten those cold dreary winter days. I get so excited to see their pops of color outside my bedroom window. Zinnias are my favs in summer. I think of my parents and my dad calling them “zinnies”. I understand what Kori says about the relationship with flowers, I feel that when I am with zinnias; they bring so much joy.

    Reply
  114. Connie on

    Thanks for a wonderful and informative article.

    Reply
  115. Rhonda Martin on

    A few years ago, after going through a very traumatic and dark experience, I went out on a limb and started my very own micro flower farm. I felt deep in my soul that I needed a way to bring beauty back into my life and bring joy to others. Erin’s cut flower book was read cover to cover, taken to the garden as I planted, smudged with dirt, and became my number one resource to turn to throughout the growing season.

    Zinnias and celosia have been my steady flowers along with my obsession with dahlias. I easily become hyper focused on unique zinnias with beautiful coloring and fullness or characteristics, saving seeds from the best. I remember seeing the joy and delight of my U-pickers wandering through my long zinnia rows of every Benary, Oklahoma, and tiny ones I could find. I had planted them in an ombré effect starting from the whites, keeping all one color together, and ending with the reds. I had a special row with just your Little Flower Girl zinnias and Kori’s Dawn Creek 1st fundraiser mix and I fell in love! It was the most beautiful thing to see by the roadside and caused many to slow down.

    I would say that zinnias are my allies in hard times. Their beauty just shines without fuss. The plants often remind me of a strong, steady and quiet person needed during hard times. They grow in abundance and give, and give, and give some more, sometimes without the best care. And maybe the best way to sum this up is: I want to be like a zinnia!

    Reply
  116. Kathleen Church on

    I’ve only been gardening for three years on my small 1/4 acre lot, and I have over 300 taxus of plants. The garden is my therapy, my healing place. Everyday the garden brings me joy and excitement as I look for daily list changes. Right now the dahlias put the biggest smile on my face.
    I have been out of work and at home for six months due to an accident, so I have spent a lot of time collecting seeds as part of my vision therapy. I quickly learned to appreciate those that collect and clean seeds, and what a huge value they are to gardeners. My to go list of seeds to collect would be dahlias, verbena, zinnias, poppies, and snapdragons.
    Thank you Floret for sharing your seeds with us.

    Reply
  117. Traci Wilcox on

    The plants that steady me when life is the hardest are my grandmothers peonies that I dug from her house with my daughter when I was a young mother. She had passed and the property was sold, but I needed them in a way words can’t explain. They are steadfast in my garden returning every year no matter how long and dreary winter seems. The petals are so soft and velvety and the scent is exquisite. I put armfuls in the house trying to bring that lovely scent inside, I pin blossoms in my hair with a claw clip and even bath in the petals. In the garden, I have cried among them, sang and daydreamed. I have prayed among them and even whispered thoughts to my grandmother. They remind me of times gone by and things to come. I share bouquets with my dearest friends and I’m trying desperately hard to learn how to paint them in watercolor. My peonies are romantic and beautiful; even their foliage is lovely. They remind me of my grandma, family and my happiest of times. I live alone, my family is gone and I am sick with Lyme’s. My peonies have seen me through more than I can say. They are a blessing and an Allie indeed.

    Reply
  118. Jimmy on

    Would have to be asclepsias (milkweed).
    I never found a plant to be more responsive to one’s care.
    The other year was the first time ever I grew milkweed, so besides the desire of finally getting about to sowing THE packet of purchased in a nursery of “hello yellow” seed
    There was no prior story –
    No history there;
    With this plant-
    Other than seeing it sold in nurseries and on line.
    Well that seed packet labeled & pictured as the coveted “hello yellow” grew into not the dwarf variety it was meant or sold to be-
    But a monsta of a plant reaching in height over five feet tall.
    Upon googling learnt it wasn’t “hello yellow” but the annual tropical Mexican golden milkweed ….that so many sources tell you not to grow.
    I showed it my respect & love just the same. I was initially horrified seeing the amount of aphids that would present themselves as uninvited,
    Unwanted visitors thinking they would get a free meal ..
    But they got to know my index & thumb fingers intimately. Each and every day, until they got the hint.
    This was not THE milkweed for years I was meaning to get about to sowing its one packet of seed, but it was still a living , breathing plant I reared and incredibly well from nothing. What next occurred was even for me more unexpected, surprising. I got to see a, that is, one (1) monarch butterfly,
    She came to lay her eggs. Sixty of them. On my one plant. Within not even an hour.
    Who would expect to see and up close, a monarch butterfly?
    I didn’t. I had grown that plant because I wanted to grow that plant, not have a single solitary butterfly, that’s listed as endangered, egg dump onto my one milkweed plant, because for miles there are no milkweed plants around. Oh I looked I did. I learned. Learned a monarch is meant to lay only one egg per plant. Learned that monarch larvae are wild animals and as such will eat the eggs of their unborn brothers & sisters, even their smaller younger brothers & sisters, if they haven’t the food. One milkweed plant doesn’t provide anywhere near enough food for sixty larvae.
    Seven monarch butterflies I reared and released. Who would ever guess what life a mere plant can bring and fulfill a lack thereof , right before you.

    Reply
  119. Michelle Lindsey on

    My afternoon white Cosmos almost talk to me as I garden around them. They were the first flower I ever grew and it was for my daughter’s wedding.
    If seed catalogs disappeared, I’d save seeds from those and from my zinnias, because cosmos and zinnias go hand in hand to me.

    Reply
  120. Laurie Stunkel on

    Browsing and dreaming with seed catalogs are one of the highlights of my year every year! It would be extremely hard if I didn’t have them to dream with and winter would be even more dull!
    I love all types of flowers but especially Zinnias, Sweet Peas, evening Scented Stock & Pansies. Pansies have always been around in my life. I started loving them when I was young & 45 years ago I had them in the middle of my wedding bouquet. I still love them as much today as when I started.
    Zinnias just are happy flowers to me. They can immediately lift my spirit and make me full of joy.
    Thank you for this chance to win some seeds. I look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the future.

    Reply
  121. Kathryn S on

    Excellent and informative and inspiring interview!
    I love dahlias and have saved the seeds this past season although I think I harvested them too early but we’ll see if any germinate. Thanks to you both for you work and inspiration!

    Reply
  122. Teri on

    I first experimented with seed saving a few years ago, and it was with ornamental pumpkins. I loved growing pumpkins before my cut-flower itch took hold. I love the versatility of a pumpkin d be it ornamental, cooking, or feed for livestock, so I would hate to see pumpkins disappear and I would definitely save their seeds. Thanks for all your knowledge and hard work/grit to share these beauties with us.

    Reply
  123. Margit Kaltenekker on

    Oh – that’s a difficult one to narrow down! There is something comforting about tulips as I recall planting the bulbs alongside my mother as a child, and cutting tall blooms to share with teachers in the spring. I have always loved them, and though ephemeral – they bring that kind of stately, steady presence.
    If seed catalogs disappeared?? I hardly know what I’d do right off – but it makes me wish to start saving and collecting seeds of my own with more intention.

    Reply
  124. Gina Tyhuis on

    Life can be tough sometimes, especially when things don’t go as planned or when I face unexpected challenges. But when I feel overwhelmed or discouraged, I always find comfort and hope in the vineyard, the vines that grow on my family’s farm. They remind me of the beauty and resilience of nature, and the rewards of hard work and patience. They also symbolize the joy and celebration that await me when the harvest comes, and I can share the fruits of my labor with my family and friends.

    Reply
  125. toni murray on

    I have such a new appreciation for zinnias having experienced this interview! I am always so taken when I hear someone talk with such passion and work with such dedication. Until I have opportunity this growing season to share in planting these new zinnia offerings, I would have to say, saving bachelor button seeds of any variety would be near and dear to my heart. Scattered in the fall and braving winter to sprout in early spring and bloom into summer!
    I also adore peonies; their plumpness & fragrance I look forward to every year.

    Reply
  126. Suzanne on

    The flower that I love to hybridize is the daylily. Although it isn’t a good cut flower, it has a lot of genetic diversity which leads to many different seedling faces. Exploring the new seedling bed for novel blooms in July is a huge joy. I’ve taken my experience hybridizing with the daylilies to help select better cut flowers. One of my favorites I’m growing are tall, well branched double French marigolds. They last great as cuts and are in demand as filler flowers in my area. Currently I’m selecting for strains that are pure orange or pure yellow or pure red so the florists can order them as straight bunches instead of mixed. And of course like Erin with her zinnias, I’m on the lookout for an soft color to show up that may not be the favorite shade for gardeners, but will work great in floral arrangements.

    Reply
  127. Katelyn on

    I feel like my flower journey is just beginning so I’d be super upset to see seed catalogs disappear. I’ve saved some zinnia seeds and a few other Alberta successful flowers from my mom’s garden but hoping to save a lot fall 2024. Love not knowing what treasures I may find.

    Reply
  128. Kayla Krueger on

    These are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing these varieties with us! I would save seeds from Senorita zinnias. The fun shape and texture of the dawn creek varieties reminds me a lot of them. Thank you again!

    Reply
  129. Ruth Gulden on

    Such an amazing journey your have been on! I admire and I am so impressed with what you have accomplished with breeding your fabulous Zinnias! I can’t wait to have them growing in my garden…
    I so love your sharing about your relationship with plants…it makes me feel like I am a kindred spirit! So much positive energy in our flower gardens. Whenever I am going through difficult times, I seek refuge in my garden and find strength in the flowers that bloom thete. Some of my favorites are ranunculus and dahlias and I am completely
    obsessed with my delicious romantic garden roses
    that bring me such joy! Thanks for all you do!

    Reply
  130. Karen on

    My plant ally would definitely be dahlias. I live in a climate that keeps me out of the garden from Nov-Mar so doing all things dahlias, year round is magical. From storing and checking on the tubers to waking them up, taking cuttings and getting them out in the field. Not to mention the beauty they bring in the summer. It’s so worth it and brings me joy!

    Reply
  131. Julie Peachey on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, I would save zinnias (all the colors), celosia, sunflowers, tomatoes and lots more!!

    Reply
  132. Linda Vollertsen on

    The Sitka rose is my go to for connection to Mother Earth and that buoys my spirit.
    I love smelling the sweet unlike-no-other-rose aroma, I love picking a petal and letting it absorb on my tongue; the sweet rose flavor takes me back to other lifetimes.
    Every fall I pick the Sitka Rose rosehips and make jelly and rosehip tea. This keeps me connected all winter here in Alaska to the sleeping plants.
    When I was a little girl I picked rosehips and my mom drove me from Seward, Alaska to Homer, Alaska to deliver them to Wild Berry Products for them to make their preserves. That’s a very special memory from 55 years ago.

    Reply
  133. Katie Riedl on

    When life is hard, I find myself thinking about the flowers in my mom and grandmother’s gardens. I think about tugging a phlox flower off of the bunch and sucking the end to get the sweet nectar out. A simple memory like that is grounding and soothing. If seed catalogs were to disappear, I would save seeds from the native plants we have growing on our property (columbines, woodland sunflowers) to work toward my family’s goal of restoring the natural landscapes in our slice of the world.

    Reply
  134. Beth on

    If seed catalogues were to disappear, I’d collect cosmos, dahlias, strawflowers, celosia, tomatoes, cucumbers and peas. Oooo and sunflowers.

    Reply
  135. Lourdes Burson on

    Thank you for sharing this lovely story. I find beauty in all the plants in my garden as with the seasonal changes none will be there the full duration of a year. Pansies and ornamental cabbages are winter favorites. Tulips, peonies, lily and hyacinths for spring. Zinnias, roses, hydrangeas and daisies for summer. And lastly chrysanthemums, dianthus and rose of Sharon for Fall.
    I can’t pick just one!!

    Reply
  136. Dana on

    My Zinnias keep me grounded and happy. I save the seeds and plant again which makes me feel so accomplished.

    Reply
  137. Bobbi Winniestaffer on

    Whenever I’m stressed my roses have always been a comfort for me. Growing up my grandmother always had them in her garden so for me, it’s like she’s always there when I need her as I turn to them. Roses, like some of us, have a thorny exterior that turn some people away. For me, that’s what I’m drawn to, this strong, sometimes impenetrable force that is so powerful and beautiful that they can cause you to hold your breath. This is my first time attempting to start them from seed and I’m excited to what they’re willing to show me.

    Reply
  138. Denise Love on

    Zinnias are my favorite and have been for years. I count myself blessed to have purchased a packet of beautiful zinnia seeds from Floret two years ago. They have a lime green center and a pink exterior. They are called, “Queen Red Lime.” I have never seen a Zinnia this color before and was anxious to plant them in our new home. When the seeds came up I was thrilled. This is my first time gardening in Colorado and the soil and altitude are all new to me. When the zinnia’s began to bloom they were gorgeous. I came up with a plan to bless everyone that supports our non-profit work to provide education to high school girls that are not allowed to attend school in a difficult country. I dried all the flowers when they finished blooming and printed labels on small seed packets and shared the story in our Christmas Newsletter about The Floret and their website with a photo of the flowers. I told them the few seeds I was sending them was a thank you for caring for young girls who are being refused an education and may the beauty of these flowers they grow remind them that there is still beauty and love in this world. The responses I received back from our friends and family was overwhelming. Many said it was there favorite and most original Christmas gift.

    Reply
  139. Kristie Peterson on

    Plants keep me steady. Every important person in my life that has passed on, owns a plant in my soul. I find comfort in garden tomatoes as my dad grew “tomatoes” when I was a child. I learned later in life he wasn’t growing tomatoes which is fitting knowing my dad. Regardless I grow tomatoes to honor him. My dear grandmother Ven, owns sweet peas and gladiolas. She was a sweet soul and I can still remember the scent of the sweet peas in her backyard and the majestic gladiolas that shined in her garden. My Grandma Lori had massive geraniums and a huge Zinnia field. I remember her teaching me to dead head to patiently “make room” for the new flowers. To this day I think of her when I am dead heading my Zinnia rows knowing she was wise in her words. Yes, plants and people have taught me how to be at peace, appreciation and patience.

    Reply
  140. Cheryl Browning on

    My favorite is the zinnia ! I started saving some of my zinnia seeds this last season in hopes to replant (for the first time) them this spring . I grow my zinnias (cosmos, celosia and gomphrenas) so that I can deliver bouquets in Ball or Kerr jars to the nursing homes, the church, the neighbors and have friends over to harvest their own bouquet. This has been such a blessing to me to share the beauty of these flowers and brighten spirits ! Since I am retired, this gives me a daily “job” to be responsible for, which I am so grateful. Cheryl Browning Weatherford, Texas 76087

    Reply
  141. Renee Fleurent on

    My garden is my sanctuary & my safe place. It helps me ground into the moment & get out of my head. I always gravitate to my herbal allies when I’m in need of support. Calendula, hyssop, lemon balm, mint, nettle,echinacea… the list is endless. Connecting with the plant by rubbing, smelling, tasting & harvesting for nourishing teas. Herbs is where it all started for me at 13 when I planted my first garden alongside my dads that summer. Even though I love all the flowers, food & perrenials I grow my herbal allies will always have a special place in my heart.

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  142. Natalie Vazquez on

    Cosmos always feel so friendly and kind to me. I would have to save seeds from my dahlias, celosia, Yarrow, and zinnias first!

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  143. Jamie Reid on

    Honestly if I couldn’t order seeds anymore I would cry, but then I would collect as many seeds as I can from all flowers in my gardens. Petunias, celosias, coleus, sedum, astilbe, Columbine Zinnias, Cosmos. This way I can continue to still grow my garden for many years to come and learn so much along the way.

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  144. Sammy on

    I can’t name just one flower that makes me the happiest or one type of seed I would save. They all bring me joy. Each flower, tree, bush, plant, and herb may have a special memory to me. When my daughter passed away from cancer, I sought comfort in the flowers from the weeping cherry tree and the wisteria, because she used to build her forts (secret hideouts) under them. Bee balm reminds me of my son, because he heard that colonist drank tea made from bee balm to avoid the British tea tax. He wanted to try tea from bee balm, so we had a bee balm tea party. Zinnias and strawberries remind me of my pup who sat and watched me weed the strawberry patch. She then decided to help me out by pulling a big weed, which was actually a zinnia! I absolutely love the smell of roses and lavender, which often have a very calming affect. I can’t just pick one….I want to keep them all! I want my future grandchildren to be able to experience all these beautiful flowers/plants too!

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  145. Kaylie Campbell on

    If seed Catalogs disappeared tomorrow I would save seed from every vegetable plant in my summer garden and I would save as many flower seeds as I could. My plan is to keep as many seeds from my garden this summer so that I can use them the following year and will not have to keep purchasing the same seed over again! I am particularly excited to save seed from the zinnias and celosia!!

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  146. Laura Aronson on

    When life gets hard, my garden keeps me going… I love zinnias especially and all the many types of basil, especially African Blue which I grow for the bees 🐝… I then take cuttings of it and overwinter yearly. All of these plants attract so many pollinators … I sit in amazement & enjoy them daily.

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  147. Cheryl Rohleder on

    When life is hard just being in my growing space brings back the joy and light and peace in my soul. I love every plant that grows there even the weeds as they show me that once again the seasons of my life dance onward. And because I come from a strong agrarian background, it gives me that tight connection to my past and my parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Thank you Kori and Erin for all of the amazing work you’ve done. I cannot wait until the seed sale.

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  148. Terri-Anne Hardie on

    I want to add that I hope to tune my ear to the song of the Zinnia this summer!
    Thank-you for sharing your Dawn Creek seeds with Erin that are now (tomorrow) available to us all.

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  149. sandy van oirschot on

    ornamental grasses, they bend in the wind, poke through the snow, get tattered by hurricanes, but you know in spring the brown leaves will be reborn again starting fresh to take on whatever nature brings.
    when we bought our dairy farm there was a tiny clump of daffodils growing on the bank of a ditch, i marked the spot and returned in the fall to dig them up. i multiplied them and planted them all over our yard. I have never been able to identify the variety. the smell is amazing. fast forward to 2023, we sold the dairy farm and in all the crazy work to transfer the business and move to our new mini farm (cut flowers and small fruit) i forgot about those daffodils, i couldn’t leave them behind. I didnt want to ask to remove anything from the established yardscape, although it was our son who took over the farm, he probably would let me. i walked over to the ditch where i had originally found them and to my suprise there was a small clump of daffodil leaves, so i will be nurturing and multiplying these little tiny bulbs at our new place, i guess i was meant to find them! Or maybe they found me!

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  150. Kathy Berrens on

    Seed catalogs brighten my days!!! Winter dreaming from spring catalogs are my favorite days. I love flowers, Dahlias and hydrangeas especially. As a child, our local fall fair would have a huge dahlia display with their catalogs available and I would spend hours looking at each flower and marking my favorites in the catalog, anticipating the spring sale.
    Local growers are hard to come by and the zinnia is so hardy in Washington, I would love to get some seeds! Great interview!

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  151. Terri-Anne Hardie on

    Thank-you Kori for sharing your heartfelt love for your Zinnias. I loved reading the interview.
    When life is hard, I receive hope and joy from the beauty of flowers: snowdrops and crocuses in the winter; daffodils, tulips and lilies in the spring; zinnias and dahlias in the summer and fall. The relationship is beautiful through every season-from the storing of the seeds and tubers, the preparation of the soil, the planting, the joy of seeing the plants emerge from the soil to that first bloom. Love it!
    I would save the seeds of every type of plant in my gardens that produces seeds that I may have the fulfillment of planting the following year and enjoying the beauty of creation.

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  152. Genessa Lane Claeys on

    First, I would like to say thank you both for sharing the intimate details of your journey with this amazing seed legacy. Since 2020 the garden has been my healing place. I was named after my Italian great grandfather Genesio Torcellini – after coming here as immigrant and working in the auto factories of Detroit he was avid gardener. He saved seeds from Italy and planted what my mom said was an incredibly massive self-sustaining garden in their city lot. So I’m in love with heirloom seed stories & I stay up at night reading through all my seed, catalogs, the stories of where each seed or plant came on my own obsessive journey with gardening now. So, not only because he’s my name sake but mostly because it’s the first time my soul felt completely at peace I realized I’m a gardener now: Then when my husband built me seven raised beds and I planted every fruit tree we could afford … in our historic Victorian house on our little city lot. It’s my goal to make it, the most sacred magical, loving place where these rare, unique varieties can thrive & breed new varieties. I can’t wait to leave this beautiful garden to my children, and teach them to save seeds, because I believe every seed tells a story.

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  153. Tiffany Lee on

    I definitely turn to spring flowers (ranunculus, tulips, anemones) when life is hard. I’m not sure if it’s because I love these flowers that they also tend to be the flowers gifted to me in seasons of trials or vice versa, but they are definitely the flowers I take comfort in most. In addition to those, I would put peonies, roses, gypsophila, and hellebores as the flowers I would want to grow alongside forever.

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  154. Mary Gehling on

    We have some yarrow plants that renew each year. I planted them as a young mother on our farm, dug them up and re-planted in our garden when we moved into town and again when we moved across the state to the coast. Now 30 years later they are still pumping out blooms all Summer long and still one of my favorites. When we bought our house here on the coast we became care takers to the oldest looking (and beautiful) Santolinas. I couldn’t get over how thick and gnarled their mini-trunks were – they had so much personality and presence! I named them Papa Santolina and His Brother, and have tended to them carefully for the past 12 years. Their trunk are twisted and even splitting in places but they continue to prosper, giving up beautiful blooms (and scent!) each year. They’re part of the family for sue.

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  155. Kayla Krueger on

    If seed catalogues were gone our farm would be set for veggie seeds but for flowers I would want to save the queen lime blush series of zinnias. Partly why I am so excited for your release tomorrow because I have a feeling I am going to love alpenglow, dawn creek honey and really ALL of your new zinnias more!! So thankful you have done this project and are choosing to share something that has been missing from the flower world!!

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  156. Sherry Bishop on

    Honestly, this answer can cover both questions. I would save hosta seeds, zinnia seeds and peonies. You can’t just save one, right? Zinnias connect me to my grandmother. When I was a little child I would stay with her and help her in her garden, it was a connection I will always cherish. Gardening and making homemade donuts 🥰 In May I lost my sweet momma and she was an avid gardener and flowers were our connection through her battle with dementia. So I would save these three for my connection with the two most special people in my life.

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  157. Chrissy Lapham on

    Question number one is hard to answer but it does speak to me mostly because of the healing properties of flowers, specifically those which come from my garden. The chosen one changes seasonally, but as I’m approaching Spring and thinking about how much joy Ranunculus bring to me when they are in bloom, I would have to chose it. A flower that feels somewhat magical to withstand such harsh conditions in early Spring and continues to bloom and evolve in the vase as a cut flower for so long. It reveals the awesomeness that nature can offer, and that you can provide for yourself with a little effort and care.

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  158. Sara on

    I am just a couple of years into flower gardening, but to answer question #1- I would share that at my stage of being new, any flower that successfully is grown from seed brings me immense joy and feelings of “we did it!” dahlias and Zinnias are the two flowers I am growing most right now. Having some of these beautiful seeds would be such a happy addition to my garden!

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  159. Angela Hurst on

    I turn to my dahlias to bolster my spirits! They are all so unique and beautiful in different ways! I even save some of their seeds. Growing a dahlia from seed is like having a kid. You have no idea what they will look like, but are so excited to find out!

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  160. Sheri Nobel on

    If seed catalogs were gone I would try save everything haha! Both flowers and veggies! But I will always try save my sweet peas, zinnias and marigold seeds. This year I’ve also been inspired by you to try save my dahlia seeds!

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  161. Amber Codling on

    I believe that every season brings to me a desire to leaen from a new flower – that connection comes from reading a story that might refer to one, or reading on Floret or another grower – it is inspired! Much like a seed, it starts with something small that becomes something much bigger and more magical and knowing that this happens in this window of time that is agreed upon by mother nature and the flower makes it more special. We sold our city house and moved 3 hours away onto acreage, mainly for peace and mostly for flower growing – this was inspired by people like Erin and Kori and so many amazing nature enthusiasts. So this season – I am most looking forward to Zinnias! A few new varieties. It gets me through our long winters

    Much love

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  162. Nancy H. Lawrence on

    I have had the privilege of working for a museum that has large grounds and greenhouses which I look after. I know in the winter time I can look at the orchids and tropical plants to help me get through long winter days. In the summer I can walk around the grounds and look at the perennial and annual beds. My favorite flowers are dahlias and zinnias. I am retiring this summer so I will have to find a different outlet for my passion to grow plants. I will have time to spend in my gardens and looking forward to growing more at home. I have a large corner lot in a quiet neighborhood but have not had the time to work in the gardens. I was thinking of what plants are my allies as the questions asked. It is hard to think of a particular plant as a ally as I look at all living plants as our bright spot in this crazy world. Whether it is the first showing of the tulip and spring bulbs in the spring. to the dormant perennials as they emerge, or the placing of the annuals to give us colour in our garden along with bushes and trees as they start forming their leaves after a winter break. While my work career is ending, my love of plants is ongoing and will always be there.
    If seeds catalogues were to disappear, I would save any of my vegetables I grew along with some annuals like zinnias, snapdragons and dahlias, marigolds. I would also hopefully be able to form friendships with other gardeners who would be saving seeds as well and swap them. The diversity of seeds is something that is lacking in the bigger seed catalogues as there is so many plants out there that many smaller growers like yourself and Kori, offer. Different seeds that are not ready available to the masses.

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  163. Alicia Gorman on

    My dahlias are the plants that bring me the most happiness and buoy my spirits! It is such a wonder of a plant. So much care and effort to grow and then carefully watching (and hoping) as they overwinter! Then the planting and waiting for their wonder to reveal itself! This will be the first season that I saved my own seed from last year’s harvest. I am so excited to see what will bloom this year!

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  164. Sue Ohol on

    Zinnias are my jam, but I have started saving seed from several flowers including sweet peas. Can’t wait to try these new zinnia varieties!

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  165. Judith Goodell on

    If there would be no more seed catalogs to purchase from, I would diligently save the following seeds: wild petunia, browalia Americana, borage, honeywort, , nicotiana alata, cosmos, blue flax, scuttelaria incana, and balloon flower(blue).

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  166. Paige M on

    Tulips, daffodils and crocus, all the spring bulbs that emerge where I live in zone 5a, oftentimes below the snow! They push out and even at the edge of the woods often some old daffodil varieties emerge through detritus and fallen logs. Showing me I can grow through hardship and each spring brings an opportunity for new growth, new discovery and new life.

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  167. Krystal Bowman on

    I’d try to save seeds from all of them… but especially from the zinnias, the vintage rose mix celosia, lemonade sunflowers, madame snaps, purity cosmos and coco orange marigolds

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  168. Robert. S on

    Without seed catalogs I would put more attention and focus on saving more seeds and sharing them with others. I really like cosmos and the way they magically float with a light breeze.

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  169. Mandy on

    I would most definitely save my zinnia, celosia, amaranathus, and gomphrena seeds like I normally do but I would also try to capture every other seed as well if I knew I wouldn’t be able to acquire more. I would really like to grow a peach colored zinnia because I think that everyone around here would love to see it growing because of its coloring.

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  170. Carolyn Young on

    Answering question #1 , I would say Lisianthus and specifically the voyage series just makes my day. It’s frilly and delicate blooms look so fragile but last so long in a vase, makes me feel like I am in a wonderful dream. They are so feminine and yet so durable. A full bouquet just looks so elegant and gets me through the hard days.
    I can’t wait to mix Lisianthus with the these new zinnias you are breeding as I think the combination will be stunning. Thanks so much for all your hard work.

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  171. Tamara on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear I would save seeds from our daisies, snapdragons tomatoes, zucchini, basil. But, especially the daisies.

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  172. Violet on

    1. Certainly flowers. Some include calla lilies and campanula 💙

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  173. Katie on

    (2) Wellllllllllll I’ve never ever grown one from seed before but lilacs would certainly be one of them! And maybe zinnias & buddleia for butterfly/cute bee beacons and bouquets. But oh gosh dahlias! We MUST have those too. And idunno if a garden can be considered a garden without a rambling rose… but also have never grown one of those from seed. I guess I’d simply expand my already seed-hoarding tendencies and save as many flowers as possible! Plus cucumber & tomato seeds because I’ve actually been craving garden fresh ones this whole winter and I may not survive….

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  174. Claire on

    Honestly I think I would just be excited to be part of something so special to you and the whole flower community. I was thrown into the flower industry in away and sometimes it can be quite overwhelming. I have really found comfort in the goofy plants. Your rainbow hues of celosia just get my heart racing. Your Celosia has always been my favorite for many reasons shape, color, selection, etc… On that note, dahlias are the flower the captured my heart. Experimenting with bees choice last year was so much fun. I kept seeds and tubers and I was just so proud of my hard colorful work, I can only imagine how you feel on a daily basis. Thank you for all of the beautiful opportunities, you gift us. I appreciate the whole florett team so much more then you guys will ever know. Have a great day!

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  175. Katie on

    For me (just naming a few) dahlias inspire resilience, sunflowers confidence, cosmos a feeling of times more lightweight, lilacs & roses refreshing hope/daydreams for the future (will explain below Lol), and portulaca & zinnias cheer :) I’ve seen dahlias get knocked half over and still keep putting out bloom after bloom! Sunflowers stand tall and beautiful. Cosmos always have such a wispy, light-heartedness to them that reminds me to not be so heavy on myself. Lilacs and roses (also with everything else I grow really) refresh my hope/daydreams for the future – I’ve been wanting to put my own “roots” down for years now and although I got super lucky this past year to be renting an apartment that happens to have roses and a tiny lilac bush (!!!!), few things set my passions ablaze than daydreaming of that someday when I hopefully have a whole piece of land I can fill with lilacs & rambling roses & just EVERYTHING! I’m not holding back fully as I love the idea of leaving behind all kinds of floral surprises for the next tenants, but I cannot wait until I can really “dig in”. And for some cheer/a pick me up, the many many colors portulaca and zinnia pop open never fail to put a smile on my face :) And imagining having pastel ones looking back at me?!?! MY GOODNESS! :D

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  176. Josée Smith on

    The flowers in my garden that give me peace are the ones given to me for my birthday by my mother over 23 years ago . A stunning 3 big clumping of peonies bring me closer in spirit to her. The stems are strong with beautiful féminin pink blooms. They remind me of my mother, strong, grounded, wise and accepting spirit. We live 5 provinces from each other. These flowers in bloom seem to make the distance disappear.

    Seeds I would save would be the ones offered to me by friends and my mother over the years.
    I am well surrounded in my garden: peonies, phlox, dahlias, primulas and hydrangeas.

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  177. Jennifer Hockett on

    I am in a time in my life where I am caring for my precious twin sister who is and has been bravely battling cancer. She has thought me so very much about flowers and seeds as well as vegetables. She absolutely loves flowers. You should see her back yard. 99% of her flowers as well as vegetables are from seed or starts from her own. It makes me happy to see the excitement on her face when we talk about it all!!
    With all this said, seeds are very important as well as propagation of plants. I am blessed💗🌸💗

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  178. Samantha on

    When times are tough flowers give me so much joy, especially zinnias. Something about them connects to me so deeply, I’ve loved them since I was a child. They give me a feeling of loving nostalgia, which makes it impossible to hold on to a bad mood and reminds me of carefree days. They are just so happy.

    If seed catalogs disappeared tomorrow, I would save every flower seed I could and all of the herbs and peppers I could manage. They give food the most amazing flavors and also give us tea, medicine, and spice. Plants are so magical❤️

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  179. Sherri Y on

    Over the past few years, roses are increasingly my source of joy in the garden. I love growing new varieties and looking at roses growing in public rose gardens and in neighbor’s yards. Several varieties of salvias are also special to me. Salvia greggii has a particularly great scent and makes a great tea w/ honey. And Queen Anne’s Lace is truly soothing and magical in the garden.

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  180. Jennifer on

    I have to say, when life gets hard, I find myself turning the most towards the flowers. Vegetables are great but flowers give me something I don’t get from crop plants. When I walk through my garden and touch the soft petals of a flower with my fingertips, or catch their color just right in the golden sun, peace washes over me. It grounds me and reminds me to see in very real time, the beauty in the world. And it’s usually the calendula or the zinnias that make my heart sing the most. But sunflowers are an extremely close second.

    If seed catalogs disappeared, the first thing I’d focus on seed saving saving (after food and herbs) would be zinnias. They’re just stunning to me. And I could gather them to spread joy throughout my neighborhood as I’m assuming things would be tough for everybody in the world at large if we couldn’t order seeds.

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  181. Judi Overby on

    It is not easy for me to choose any one flower that raises my spirits. I love all things growing. Cosmos are one flower that I find carefree and easy to grow. I am always happy to see their colors gracefully sway in the breeze. I have been saving seeds from my favorite flowers since I began gardening and I always have hope of new life in the spring.

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  182. Darla Wiebe on

    I can remember 2 years ago when I sowed my first seeds into seed trays hardly believing anything could grow from such tiny little seeds, being moved to tears when the first snapdragon bloomed! I could hardly believe my eyes. What seed ? .., who can choose, but zinnia, celosia, yarrow and dahlias would be at the top of my list, oh but cosmos too!
    I can hardly wait for another season to begin😊

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  183. Tiffy on

    I find that hyssop is one of the flowing plants that really lift me up when life is hard. I find bees happily enjoying the blooms. The aromatic of the flowers are heavenly. The smell reminds me of my childhood in my grandmother’s garden. In hard times I would go out, sit in my garden watch the bees , enjoy a cup of hyssop tra and enjoy the sent of hyssop which help me forget my worries for the time being.

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  184. Caitlin White on

    The way that nature interacts with all the features of my garden in such different ways always buoys my spirit. This past year I kept finding fat, fluffy bumble (?) bees snuggled up in my giant marigolds! They were so cute with their little bums sticking out in the evenings. I didn’t care for marigolds until 2023, now I’m hooked. Dahlias, lavender, species tulips, cosmos, sunflowers, and ranunculus.. how to even choose!? Each with their own personality and fan club of insects.

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  185. listeningvalley on

    Roses and Ranunculus! To be specific, my Evelyn rose and my Hanoi Ranunculus. I would (and do) harvest my cosmos seeds. May they bless our summers forever!

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  186. Holly on

    I would focus my seed saving on heirloom tomatoes because they are multifaceted – the base of many foods with the beauty and diversity like a flower. I so enjoyed this interview! Thank you! I can’t wait to grow these precious plants.

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  187. Elizabeth Torres on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear I would save dahlia seeds. I became super drawn to dahlia and thought it was because they were such unique and beautiful flowers (which, they are!) but I came to understand the connection was more than that. After researching them a bit more, I learned they are actually native to Mexico and Central America and were used as food, medicinally and held significant weight in Aztec culture. I feel that it’s important to honor my heritage and having these blooms makes me feel more connected to my family lineage as a 1st generation Mexican-American. The love of the dahlia on a deeper level is me honoring my family history through blooms. 🌸❤️

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  188. Liz on

    The plants I rely on in hard times are my African Violets. I have over 30 of them in my house, many that I propagated from my mother’s plants. My mother passed 16 years ago and to see the beautiful blooms on my plants just makes me happy.

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  189. Megan M on

    If seed catalogs disappeared tomorrow, I would save all veggie seeds and watermelon seeds. Our young family loves the garden experience from sowing to harvesting. We are just starting to branch out in our flower growing and I would have to say that our Zinnias and poppies have been a favorite that we would definitely want to save!

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  190. Michelle Stevens on

    Zinnia’s are one of my very favorite go to flowers that lift my spirit. The waiting for them to bloom , and the fact that they have so many colors and blooms. If seed catalogs disappear ,I would plant seeds from snap dragons from the garden. 🌞

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  191. Margaret Wolf on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, I would save the sunflower seeds from our garden. My husband initially started with about six different varieties, different colors, heights and flower head sizes. Each year since, we have seen new varieties in our garden emerge from the seeds that have fallen into the soil, so it’s always a fun surprise to see what pops up! Neighbors that walk by our garden, often stop to admire them or take photos. So many would miss seeing our sunflowers, if the seeds disappeared.

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  192. Colleen Connor on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, I would save: cucumber , tomatoes, lettuce, carrots… all my veg really. From my flower garden I would save your zinnia seeds and my Veronica/ speedwell, blue lace flower and coreopsis this year. I want to grow alongside my hydrangeas, zinnias, blueberries and roses forever!

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  193. Kari Ward on

    If seed catalogs were no longer, I would save Zinnias with a close 2nd marigolds. Hands down. I am new to planting seeds as well as learning how to save seeds each year to plant the following year. This is a great adventure of trial and error. However, overall, zinnias and marigolds have given me some success.
    I enjoy how happy they are and how they delight everyone who sees them.

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  194. Charlene on

    The plant that seems to steady me in my own landscaping I’d have to say are a variety of hydrangeas! I do not have cut flowers per day if like to add them one day! For now the hydrangeas are a ray of colors shapes and sizes! Some are lace like while others are large and have a beautiful aroma.
    The plant blooms the whole spring and summer and some take me into the fall. The seed is plant perhaps a Red Canna Lilly, Along side of a foliage? Lavender and clematis is another favorite! Thank you for inspiring me !

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  195. Jennifer Lathrop on

    I have grown zinnias for years. I have saved seeds the last several years and shared them with friends. They are so quick to bloom and have such a variety of colors. They have a decent vase lofe so it makes beautiful bouquets. If there were no more seed catalogs then zinnias would for sure be what I would save. I hope to win!!!

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  196. Lynn Bauer on

    I’ve been growing zinnias for years and will always have them. Profusion and State Fair have been my favorites…until I saw the zinnias from Dawn Creek!

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  197. Sue Rosenfield on

    Each year my favorite seed to save are the sweet peas. I buy rare varieties but they become so entwined over the season that in the end I just mix the seeds together and plant what I have room for in the mix, then buy extra of my favorites. I love the Zinnea and dahlia, but my go to healing moment in the garden is to pick a bouquet of sweet peas and bury my face, and sometimes tears into their soft enlightening fragrance.

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  198. Hannah G on

    I would have such a hard time deciding what to save from my garden, so I’d have to choose all my favorites: all my varieties of bush beans, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, all the herbs (especially basil and thyme), bee balm, hyssop, yarrow, zinnias… the list goes on! I would save everything! Roses make me really happy, if I need something to cheer me up!

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  199. Amber on

    My favorite flower friends are zinnias and dahlias. I even love the soil they grow in! It is really hard to put into words how I feel about these flowers and the soil. They ground me, helping me to remember where I came from. They give me hope in a crazy world where everything is in turmoil. My flowers are steady, always following the same pattern of growth. They bring stillness. Cancer worries are lost in the flowers. I can work in my flower farm and lose all sense of time and space. They have all my attention. Zinnia’s and dahlia’s bring me such joy! I see the different varieties and even the different characteristics in each of the varieties and I am just in awe! The Creator of these flowers must be such an artist! And have such a sense of humor! And that brings me back to hope. I know there is a greater force at work here. I’m just a small part of a great plan. I feel like I have been given a gift every time I get to plant a seed in deep rich soil and watch a beautiful, individual flower emerge. It’s just me. It’s a huge part of my joy. Family, faith, and flowers.

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  200. Amy Van Pelt on

    During the hardest times of my life, I think about daffodils and snapdragons. Both are remarkably resilient and reliable. I try to be both. Daffodils often poke their heads out early, some even flowering in the middle of winter, only to be hit by snow and hard freezes. That they can recover from such weather is a lesson I hold dear. And snapdragons are so undemanding, reliably growing from seed, surviving neglect, and providing such beauty to the world. And they might even overwinter to do it all again the following year!

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  201. Amanda Gilmour on

    I turn to my dahlias when times are tough. This last year I only had plants that were grown from my own seed I had saved and seeing all the gorgeous blooms, colors, and petal shapes as each new plant bloomed was a whole new feeling of excitement wonder and contentment. I MADE THAT. My kids (7,4,1) love using the blooms for their soups and potions, as well as decorating the garden in their own special way. Seeing my littles grow their connection and wonderment to the natural goodness around us makes all the time and energy put into the garden worth it.

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  202. Bethany B. on

    If I had to choose one seed to continually grow along, and make sure to collect each year, it would be my purply pink Phlomis. I love the stacks of ruffled flowers and I am finally seeing self sown babies arising. I recently added a yellow variety last year. I am impatiently waiting for Spring to see if they return in our climate.

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  203. Sarah E on

    Dahlias are my flower that lift my mood, I have dealt with an autoimmune disease for a few years and my cut flower garden is what lifts my spirits on the days in don’t feel like going on, flowers give me hope, better days are yet to come…

    Reply
  204. Chris Boone on

    It’s a close race between dahlias and zinnias. During the growing season, every week I take my mother buckets of flowers and we at arrange them. She will be 90 this year. I’ve introduced my daughter to growing flowers and I wish we lived close enough to do this together every week!

    If I could only save one variety of seed it would be zinnias. They come in so many colors, shapes and sizes. Definitely a close second is dahlia seeds. I look forward to the unique varieties each year and my grandkids name them!

    Reply
  205. Kara on

    So beautiful ❤️ Thank you for sharing!
    My garden and flowers are what keep me going throughout the year. All the stages- from planning the upcoming year’s garden, looking through seed catalogs, starting seeds to harvesting and sharing with others the beauty and love that is the flowers. I love it all.

    Reply
  206. Elizabeth on

    I would save my Cosmos <3 (I am already learning to save seeds of all kinds!) Cosmos are my favorite and I wouldn't ever want a garden without them.. that said if I had Kori's zinnias, I would save them forever! What a gift to this world.

    Reply
  207. Katie on

    Gratitude for the garden and ecosystem anchor my soul. Perhaps that’s why in 2020 I began bringing flower arrangements to work to cheer up my public health teammates and clients in our lobby areas. I’m hoping to grow and share Floret originals, including Dawn Creek, during this fifth year of sharing flowers at work.

    Zinnias’ varieties and color evolution throughout each season amaze me; so I’d save these seeds for sure!

    I enjoy reimagining perennials and herbs as foliage options from my backyard; false indigo, smokebush, mint and basil.

    Early spring flowers, like old-time favorites daffodils and narcissus and new-to-me Iceland poppies sherbet, lift my spirits after Ohio winters.

    (These questions were beautiful reflections. Thank you!)

    Reply
  208. James on

    Been doing something similarly by saving specific colors and digging them up and isolating them. It’s tedious and I love it. There is so much that is involved with that on its own is sometimes I forget about everything else we grow! Love just the passion that all of us put into this to just the spread love and flowers! Keep it going!!!

    Reply
  209. Nancy Davey on

    I grew up in a military family. We moved every year or two until I was 12 years old. To make us feel at home in a new place my Mother planted zinnias. As I grew older my own family moved many times and even though I love all flowers I planted zinnias. Their patches became my place for quiet time, peace, joy and wonderful memories! Now I am excited to grow new Floret and Dawn Creek varieties to discover and enjoy new hues, shades and texture! Let the new memories begin!

    Reply
  210. Janet on

    I would say Dahlias, hands down have the power to boost my mood and refresh my spirit. The positive impact growing and harvesting flowers of all kinds has had on me, and the impact my bouquets have had on family, friends and co workers, is unbelievable. Erin always speak about the magic of flowers and how much they can move people, this is 100% true.Truly magical.

    Reply
  211. Jack Hillard on

    Without a doubt my answer to both questions would be the flower that I look forward to, that has without fail, never has disappointed, & yet asks in terms of care, so incredibly little yet represents as well as brings forth such representative immense joy-that being the reliable turns her face towards the sun daffodil.
    I am grateful as well as thankful for each and every year I see her bloom.

    Reply
  212. Helen Baldwin on

    I have to say it’s the first flowers in spring -the spring ephemerals and the hellebores and the narcissus that keep me going. Just around now in winter I start thinking of them and it’s so uplifting knowing just weeks from now there will be flowers! I love the Virginia bluebells, crocus, and marsh marigolds!

    Reply
  213. Jane Griffin on

    A bad day is always made better by flowers, whatever the flower or season, but for me the flower that instantly springs to mind is the Pansy.

    A small flower with such a BIG personality, they refuse to be ignored! They have made themselves at home in many areas of my garden, seeding from pots and containers into the beds below. They are so resilient, and their smiling faces and delicate fragrance always manage to lift my spirits.

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  214. Katherine Horton on

    Anytime I feel poorly, I go to my garden. It is a friend that understands and is very patient with me. Lol, it defiantly doesn’t talk back either. I love seeing God’s creation in all its splendor right in my back yard. My favorite flower is the rose. I have grown them for years and I’m slowly learning their loves, hates and quirks. They are so elegant and smell divine. They are so gentle and yet so resilient. Thank you to God for creating such a beautiful, glorious flower!

    Reply
  215. Sarah Fry on

    Oregon White Oaks are the plant in my ecosystem that I turn to in hard times. I would save sunflower and bush bean seed in the horrifying event that seed catalogues disappeared!

    Reply
  216. Briana on

    The thought of seed catalogs disappearing tomorrow is horrifying.

    I would for sure learn how to save seeds from all the tomato varieties I grow! I love how there are so many different colors, shapes, sizes, and flavors among tomato plants. I cannot imagine my garden or life without a tomato plant growing. The highlight of my summer is when all the varieties are producing at the same time and I get to take that first family photo of all the beautiful fruit varieties together.

    Reply
  217. Lynette Carlson on

    Every bloom in my garden is a joy that lifts my spirit. I find all the colors and forms of dahlia are amazingly beautiful. I love zinnia in all sizes and colors. Marigolds are so bright and hardy into the fall season. Snapdragons are just lovely. The spring sweet smell of lilacs in the air and lily of the valley. Fragrant pink shrub roses that have spread into a hedge from a small transplanted branch are a true delight. Peony blooms always lift my spirit. All of these have a time and place in my heart and garden.

    Reply
  218. Robyn Morris on

    I have grown my Echinacea and Globe Thistle from seed. These are huge pollinator attracters. I have a public side walk in front of the bed. When I see people and even children of all ages stop and stand still to watch the bees and butterflies, they just seem to drift off in a dream state. Writing this literally gives me tears of joy. I live in Manitoba Canada zone 3 where our season is short and these plants give creatures of all sizes resources for our ecosystem all year round. These have really drawn me and pedestrians to the garden. To provide more for the pollinators has been rewarding.

    Reply
  219. Lorraine Lively on

    As a home Gardner and recent dabbler in floristry I would have to say my go to flowers when life is hardest are the snapdragons , zinnias and sunflowers. I find these bring me such joy. There beauty is always sure to bring a smile to my face and I can spend endless time just walking through the garden and allowing them to take my mind away from my troubles. They are simple to grow and I can always count on them to come through regardless of the intense heat we can get in my area. I so appreciate the zinnias stamina as a cut flower , the snapdragons whimsy in a bouquet and the sunflower’s cheerful presence, and attraction for bees in the garden.

    Reply
  220. Laurie on

    When life is hardest -I always look forward to walking through my dahlia beds and in spring –sweet peas always lift my spirits–I relax and feel restored. I try every year to save zinnia seeds and and sweet pea seeds.

    Reply
  221. Jo on

    When life is dark the garden restores my energy. Really it is the combination of plants growing beautifully together that does it for me. My favorites are the dahlias, the tomatoes, and the zinnias. I love the sophistication of the dahlia, the joyfulness of the zinnia (and the buzzing insect life surrounding them!) and the fruitful deliciousness of the tomatoes.

    Reply
  222. Jessica Duncan on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, I would actually be ok. I’ve been saving seed for years. Especially in my vegetable garden, that one is most important. I do buy seed that is not isolated and carefully planted far away from each other so obviously I’d have to be much more thoughtful. There’s a sense of peace and accomplishment when I have a bag full of little dried seeds waiting to return to the ground and start a new life.

    Reply
  223. Shari on

    When life is hardest, are there plants in your garden/ecosystem that you find yourself turning towards to help steady or buoy your spirits? What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times?
    Scent and sight are the two things that lift my spirits, so roses, sweet peas, freesia etc are definitely favourites, but I also love beautiful colours, which you have in abundance in your offerings.

    Reply
  224. Kendra Morse on

    I love every version of dahlias, it began with one purchase of a plant from a local nursery and now I am hooked forever. I dream everyday of quitting work and starting my own flower farm, which will likely never happen as the growing season where I live is not long, but it gives me solice as I head to work each day.

    Reply
  225. Trisha Collier on

    When life gets a little tough and things seem a little too hard to get through I turn to my fragrant rose collection. It instantly brings me back to my late Grandma’s beautiful rose garden when I was a child. I miss her very much and wish I had her guidance but the roses speak to me where her voice no longer can. When I smell a rose I know she is there helping me through the tough times. This will be my first year attempting zinnias from seed and so am very excited for the new journey.

    Reply
  226. Jewels L on

    The plants that are my go to friends in hard times are my peonies. Discovering the first red shoots rising yet again from the earth gives me hopeful expectation of yet another season of beautiful flowers.
    Due to a painful disability I often can not plant seedlings and garden in time to produce new varieties of flowers. But each year there are my peonies waiting for me to yet again love them.
    My seeds I love to save are columbines. So easy to save their seeds, easy to grow and so many lovely colors!

    Reply
  227. Felicia Campbell on

    When I was a young girl, I would get to stay with my grandma and help her in her flower and vegetable garden. We would sit snapping beans and enjoying all of her zinnias that bordered her whole garden. She would always pick a small bundle and wrap them in a damp paper towel and waxed paper for me to take home. They were the first flower that I ever grew my self when I was given a small spot on the yard when I when in 8th grade. I have grown them ever since. Years later when I developed cancer, I would spend most of my mornings tending my garden and picking lovely bundles of zinnias. What joy they bring. Thank you for your beautiful website and for your work.

    Felicia Campbell

    Reply
  228. Nic on

    When life is hardest, are there plants in your garden/ecosystem that you find yourself turning towards to help steady or buoy your spirits? What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times? Red and yellow sunflowers, zinnias, the smell of gardenias and sweet alyssum always put a smile on my face. I would save seeds from any flower possible!

    Reply
  229. Kira Nichols on

    In hard times, I find that the garden as a whole seems to be a place to find comfort and peace. I can go out with pruners, and do a little light work, or just walk around and look at things. If I had to choose something specific though, I live far from family, so it brings me a lot of joy to see the roses that are growing from the cuttings my mom brought to me a few years ago. Clones of the very plants I grew up watering as a kid.

    Reply
  230. SJC on

    Delphinium/larkspur flowers are what I gravitate towards. Really anything blue.

    Reply
  231. Tiffany Wolff on

    1. When life has rough patches, it’s actually my bedroom sansevieria/snake plants that line the glass patio doors which provide me with love and care. They tower in their pots and create a green & yellow wall of beautiful sculptural presence which lifts my mood gazing upon them. I know they are cleaning the air throughout the day and tend to my respiration as I sleep.
    2. I would grow cilantro every year and allow it to flower and go to seed forever! I love the smell of cilantro leaves and the bees, butterflies and wasps love the white umbellifers it produces.

    Reply
  232. Mary Wooding on

    The flowers that steady me and bring me to a place of grounded inner-peace are: sweet peas (the fragrance), peonies (gushing beauty), snap dragons, (whimsical fun), nasturtiums (so yummy), zinnias ( bring on the giant swallowtail butterflies:), cosmos (sheer joy) and dahlias (striking beauty) but all for the joy they bring to me and others, as it is most rewarding to given flowers.

    The above list answers the second question. I do, and will continue to grow and seed save these beauties all my able bodied days 🌸

    Reply
  233. Mary Wooding on

    The flowers that steady me and bring me to a place of grounded inner-peace are: sweet peas (the fragrance), peonies (gushing beauty), snap dragons, (whimsical fun), nasturtiums (so yummy), zinnias ( bring on the giant swallowtail butterflies:), cosmos (sheer joy) and dahlias (striking beauty) but all for the joy they bring to me and others, as it is most rewarding to give flowers.

    The above list answers the second question. I do, and will continue to grow and seed save these beauties all my able bodied days 🌸

    Reply
  234. Diane Marie Gruber on

    The past several years have been a very difficult season in my life. An older lady at my church gave me some zinnia seeds she had saved from the previous year to plant and I have been “addicted”to zinnias since. I now save my own seeds,plant them every spring , and tending to these beautiful flowers and giving away bouquets of their blooms has been my therapy that helps me get through the sorrows of this life. 🌸🩷

    Reply
  235. Jennifer on

    In Western New York, winters are difficult to get through for many, in large part due to lack of sun. One especially gloomy February, my husband helped me set-up grow lights/heat mats in our basement & I discovered the joys of propagating seed. Visiting the sprouting plant babies in the dead of winter brought daily joy, wonder & delight, and a salve for my mental health.

    If seed catalogues disappeared, I would continue to save tomato, sunflower, zinnia, cosmo, calendula, marigold, dahlia tubers (& seeds), and in the process, hopefully master the art of labeling.

    Reply
  236. Elvira ajanovic on

    During hard times it always feels like there is one strong flower in my garden that I know will lift my spirits. My beautiful sweet peas. The way they trellis up with all their whimsical beauty. A sweet smell that takes me away from life’s hardships and reminds me just how good god is to me. That’s my reminder. Every, single time.

    This is why forever and always sweet peas and zinnias are a must in my garden. I couldn’t imagine the garden looking or feeling the same without these beautiful plants.

    Reply
  237. Summer on

    Last summer I companion planted marigolds in my veg garden and to my surprise half were African marigolds. They grew into huge lil poofs of sunshine. Such a simple flower brought me so much joy and an endless amount of flowers to share with family and friends. The pollinators loved them and one of my favorite thing was all the bees that loved to take naps in them. I also grew a couple varieties of zinnas. The Benary giant zinnas did so well planted in our clay soil and gave us flowers for months. Cut flowers brought me so much joy last year. It inspired us to build a 30 ft cut flower garden on our property. We planted a cover crop in it to flourish and build the soil, it’s brimming with life this winter! We can’t wait to plant dawn creek and floret seeds on our property this summer.

    Reply
  238. Sarah Fry on

    When life is hard, I look to the towering, ancient, Oregon White Oaks in our ecosystem that sustain life for so many species, and who have witnessed the land where I walk over centuries of change. I also look forward to spending time with my cut flowers, because they remind me of who I am.

    If seed catalogues were no more, I would save sunflower seeds, dry beans, bush beans, and bright blue bachelor buttons.

    Reply
  239. Inna on

    If the seed catalogs would disappear, I would save my zinnia, poppy and strawflower seeds. Zinnias are the flowers that I absolutely adore and want to grow forever!

    Reply
  240. Sonia Gahlhoff on

    My grandmother taught me the practice of saving seeds from her marigolds, sweet peas, and sweet asylum, simple companion plants to her vegetable garden. She worked hard her whole life yet always found joy in tending her garden. When I am at loss, troubled or needing answers I turn to my flowers tending them so they will return the love, if not at the moment, then in the future. In turn I have taught my children, grown now with homes of their own, the love of planting and growing. I now have my own chance to teach my 1 year old grandson the joys of gardening along with his parents…who gave us seeds from their garden this Christmas to plant in our own. Life is a wonderful and full cycle.

    Reply
  241. Lin on

    I just typed and deleted lots of words back and forth. Gardening is the only thing that can make me calm, smile and feel happiness for the past 6 years. Seeing flowers can me feel I’m still myself, remind me that I still have a garden dream. My dream garden would have flower walls and arches with climbing Roses, Clematis, Honey suckle, and Morning Glorys. And all kinds of flowers along with a big fence around the backyard (no fence yet).

    Flowers/seeds I currently have:
    🌸Climbing Rose: New Dawn, Perfume Breeze, Blaze, Zephirine Drouhin, Joseph’s Coat, Iceberg, John Davis, Westerland (some others died like America, Angel face and Golden gate).
    🌸Clematis: Belle of Working, Crystal Fountain, Josephine, Taiga, H F Young, Piilu, Snow Queen…
    🌸Morning Glory: I grew Mixed pack before, got some special ones this year like Split Second, Mount Fuji, Sunrise Serenade, Carnival of Venice…
    💐 Others: Peonies, Bush Roses, Magnolia, Hydrangea, Azalea, Rhododendron, Purple Coneflower, Sweet William, Apricot Blanket flower, Alpine Pink Aster, Salvias, Russian Sage, Pink speed well, Mums, Creeping Phlox, Stoke Aster, Shasta Daisy, Sunrise Coreopsis, Dahlia, Calendula, Petunia, Moss Rose, Marigold…
    💗Dream garden wish list: Eden, Rainy Blue, Lady of Shalott climbing Rose; Peony, Pompom, Mother of Pearl, any double Poppies; Colorful and Double Echinaceas like Cantaloupe, yellow, white, Green or twister; Double Hollyhocks especially peach apricot colors; Double Delphinium; Perennial Painted Daisy & Double Carnation (seeds I bought were not true to type); Different varieties of Zinnias, like Queen Lime series, Zinderella, Starlight Rose, Any Light unicorn dream colors…

    Reply
  242. Bethany on

    Fragrant flowers are really impactful for me in rough times. In summer that means sweet peas. In winter it might be daphnes or witch hazel. In spring the lilacs are a real favorite, and they especially remind me of my Grammy who loved them dearly. The other kind of flowers that help lift my spirits when the world seems too large and harsh are the ones the pollinators visit most. This last year I grew goldenrod for the first time, and in August, September and October, I could go spend 30 seconds by a blooming goldenrod and see six or more different kinds of insects working them over. It was such a great reminder of how much life there is and could and can be just outside my doorstep.

    Reply
  243. Deb Mur on

    Swamp milkweed is my pick-me-up plant that is native here in NJ and has self sow all around my house from one mother plant purchased at a farmers market. I love looking for monarch eggs on the underside of the leaves and fostering the hatching caterpillars and releasing the butterflies. It brings me joy to involve the neighborhood children in this process. When the seed heads are ripe, I collect thousands of seeds to give away, and sprinkle seeds along our riverbank hoping to spread more milkweed joy.

    Reply
  244. Taylor on

    If seed catalogs went away, I would definitely save zinnia seeds. The variety of sizes and colors that they come in is just unmatched.💕

    Reply
  245. Dana Bull on

    Snapdragons hold a very special place in my heart, they remind me of my grandmother. I had to include them in my wedding bouquet, it made me feel that she was with me. Whenever I see them, I am almost instantly in a better mood. They definitely hold some magic.

    If seed catalogs were no longer, I would definitely save zinnia, tomatoe, and sweet pea seeds. Those would probably be my top three :)

    Reply
  246. Jade Elms on

    In the spring of 2022 a good friend took me to Adelman’s Peony Garden and we walked among 25 acres of blooming peonies. It was literally a life changing experience. I had been feeling at a crossroads in my life and was also wondering if there was anything I felt called to do with the open space on the beautiful 5 acres of land where I live. “Why am I here?”, I kept asking. Walking among those millions of peony blossoms, I knew- I want to grow flowers- Peonies, Sunflowers, Daffodils, Lilacs, Snapdragons! All my favorite flowers from growing up working in my mom’s wholesale flower warehouse. Zinnia’s were one of the most encouraging and forgiving flowers to start with.
    I have a fairly cold site with heavy clay soil but 10 years earlier there was some soil blown into an approximately 1/3 acre deer fenced garden area intended for vegetables. The garden space needed to be wrestled back from the weeds and volunteer trees attempting to take over (luckily I had started this process during the pandemic and built some raised beds for veggies). 2023 was my first year attempting a flower farm here. I had a blast starting the plants from seed and following them through their life cycle. I kept having the feeling, “I think I work for them (the flowers) now” and that made me laugh. I supplied flowers for a wedding! I spent way too long making bouquets! I gifted bouquets to people in the community dealing with grief and great challenges when their stories reached me. I found bees sleeping in the flowers all summer long. I spent hours in the garden harvesting, watering, weeding, admiring. I’ve always adored flowers but growing them in this way was healing in ways I hadn’t imagined. I planted 1300 daffodils last fall and Im so looking forward to meeting them all!

    Reply
  247. Ashley on

    I’ve unintentionally fallen in love with calendula. Reading about seed breeding has me wanting to be muddy more selective in the seeds I save this year, as I’ve send some really special blooms in the past years. They’re a somewhat ordinary flower, but they’re prolific and easy to grow, which is exactly what I need in this season. They’re one that I plan to have around for a long time

    Reply
  248. Lisa Ewald on

    Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan) and I have a strong connection. We have always shared space with one another throughout the years. Rudbeckia grows in abundance at the entrance to my home and there is a shared feeling of us protecting and supporting one another. Each spring I anticipate her awakening and there is that joy of welcoming an old friend when the first new green leaves unfurl, tucked close to the earth at first and then reaching up to greet me with open arms, as the season unfolds. There is particular grace in the way that the buds unfurl into flowers that is all her own. I am in awe of this process, this dance, in every flower I know. I sit there on the earth, surrounded by the stems, leaves and blossoms of this dear friend, with her roots stretching into the soil below me and we share that connection and energy of living and growing things. For this I am grateful.

    Reply
  249. Caron Hardy on

    If seed catalogs went away, I’d save cosmos and then arrange a mass trade so everyone could share what they saved!!

    I’ll always have Irises.

    Reply
  250. Becca Niemeyer on

    I love poppies – all sorts, any kind. Big, little, all of them. I love how their heads sort of droop, seemingly sad, all the whole they are carrying an invisible magic bundle, and then they perk up when they bloom. It makes me think about how some of our most meaningful experiences are after we come through hard times, and we don’t know what’s on the other side except when we go through.

    I’ll save poppies, hollyhocks, and strawberries for sure! Tulips, daffodils and hyacinth also bring breast joy, but more nervous on saving bulbs… Haven’t yet dabbled in dahlias but hoping to get there soon!

    Reply
  251. Annadele France on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, I would save all of my Nasturtium seed for eternity. There is never enough! I would also collect seed from all the Zinnia, Cosmos, Dahlia, special varieties or Marigold, Mullein, Bells of Ireland, Garden Phlox, pansies, POPPIES!!! And all the heirloom veggies, and herbs of course!

    Reply
  252. Evy Jenkins on

    We live on a corner lot with a white picket fence that allows everyone who walks by to enjoy our entire cottage garden front, side and back. Our garden is filled with a variety of all colors and types of annuals and perennial flowers, some that stand tall in their beauty and splendor beckoning visitors to take everything in and feel the calm and serenity it has to offer. My favorite flowers that gives me these feelings are coneflowers, daisies, zinnias, roses and Black-eyed Susans, sunflowers, but I love so many others. The greatest honor our garden received was from someone who told us everytime they come by our garden they can feel their blood pressure going down.

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  253. Melissa Griffis on

    Zinnias all the way. Their colors, their ease of growing and saving the seed.

    Reply
  254. Amanda on

    1. Oh my, during the lockdowns several years ago my garden was our retreat, our happy place, my shelter from the storm!!! I find comfort in garden roses whose scents are otherworldly and dreamy dahlias and carefree, whimsical cosmos!!! :)
    2. I would hope to save ALL the seeds!!!

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  255. Kathleen on

    I have pretty extreme anxiety and the last few years I’ve used my garden to keep it in check. The winter months I plan and start plants. I draft elaborate plans, slowly converting more and more grass to flower beds. In the spring I transplant the babies. All summer long I harvest daily bouquets for every corner of my house and many neighbor homes as well. The flowers that bring the most joy are my heirloom mums, roses, sweet peas, cosmos, rubeckia, and, of course, zinnias.

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  256. Robin Emerson on

    I love all of my flowers! They all make me happy but I especially love my sunflowers! They are happy flowers and make everyone smile!

    I would and do save seeds from cosmos and zinnias!

    Reply
  257. Alexandria Campbell on

    Such a lovely read. Thank you!

    In hard times, roses, lupine, daffodils, and zinnias have been my favorites :) they bring me such joy. I also love clematis and honeysuckle and anything vining. Dahlias are also such a delight to have around.

    If that were to happen I would save sunflowers, lupine, zinnias, cosmos, dahlias, sweat peas, and edible peas too, as well as mint and squash seeds. It’s so hard to choose just a few.

    Thank you <3

    Reply
  258. Mary Bloom on

    As an Oncology nurse, I had the privilege of caring for and supporting people and caregivers experiencing cancer and AIDS. So many times I turned to gardening, connecting to the earth, hands and knees in the dirt to find joy among so much sadness and to grieve for so many lives touched or lost. I learned to love nurturing my plants and flowers through all of their cycles from a single tiny seed to their fullest potential to reproduce for future generations. It is all so symbolic of lives lost that can go on through the next generation and through our memories of their beauty and strength. Although I love to cut my flowers and share with friends and family; I love the flowers most that I keep growing until their last stage to collect their seeds to replant or share with friends and family. My favorites are my zinnias, calendulas, hollyhocks, cosmos and lavender.

    Reply
  259. Diane on

    Such hard questions! All my plants bring me joy! I think the ones that give winter interest too, would be a the top of list. Echinacea and Agastache. And I would want to save all seeds. Zinnia’s really are a winner though. I self sowed them for the first time last year and what a wonderful joy to see the variations of the plants though out the summer. They really are workhorses and keep on giving.

    Reply
  260. Stacey on

    If seed catalogs would perish, learn more about difficult heirlooms, propagation methods, and save seeds treasures. Sweet pea flowers would be one I would miss. Also calendula, my ride or die, it’s so medicinal I don’t think I could ever go without it to soothe my skin. The toxic scent and beauty of all basils would truly be one to save seeds! Easy to save again and again! I love them in bouquets and in yummy pesto too!

    Reply
  261. Sharon on

    Fresh flowers have been a part of my solace as far back as I can remember. I am thankful for the ability to grab a fresh bouquet in a local shop during the winter months. I am at my happiest when wandering through a garden and discovering what is currently blooming and emerging as the seasons change. I love to photograph and share the beauty and diversity of flowers. The range of colors and hardiness of zinnias are hard to beat. The fact that they also attract so many pollinators makes them crucial to any garden small or large.

    Reply
  262. Nancy on

    Flowers definitely boost my spirits and bring me so much joy. If I grow along side with Dahlias, Zinnias, Sunflowers, Cosmos and Snapdragons I will be happy forever!

    Reply
  263. Terri Wilson on

    Peonies always make me happy and conjure good memories from my childhood. They also represent happy marriage which is why I have peonies tattooed on my shoulder in honor of life with my sweet husband.

    Reply
  264. Jennifer on

    I would save seed from sweet peas, snapdragons, cosmos, sunflowers, and dahlias. Along with my perennials, I think these are the annuals I would most miss, other than zinnias, of course.

    Reply
  265. Cathy Groulx on

    I hold on to the various small conifers and some young and small Japanese Maple trees which are the bones of my new garden spaces. Their inherent strength, colours and shapes consoled me through a tough cancer recovery, where I could see them in the winter when flowers were gone. It is winter again, and I stare at them all from inside the house, visualizing the flower placements that will happen between them in the spring. I begin each day staring out at the gardens designing and redesigning the spaces in my mind. With the addition of a few more perennials and the boost of annual flowers in the late spring, the bones give the structure and the flowers fill in the spaces, holding it all together like the painting that I am creating (I am a professional artist as well as a mad gardener).
    I love the subtly of the colours of these Zinnia varieties. They give a sense of quiet and peace and I can understand why these colour varieties were the selections that attracted Kori.
    What seeds would I hold on to if catalogues disappeared- Zinnias of course, Verbenas, Salvias and Marigolds.
    What seeds do I want to grow alongside forever- Zinnias and double white hollyhocks.

    Reply
  266. Robert on

    When life becomes tough, I gravitate toward herbs and flowers such as the curry leaf plant as it’s flowers are as fragrant as jasmine and leaves elevate dishes with the flavor and collective memories of countless generations

    Reply
  267. Rebekah on

    I turn towards holy Thai basil. It’s smell is like nothing else I’ve ever smelled; so glorious and calming.
    If there were no seed catalogs, I’d save everything. Tomatoes, green beans, okra, cucumbers, zinnias, celosia, gomphrena, bachelors buttons, chives, blupleurum…so many.

    Reply
  268. Ann Forrester on

    Loved reading this interview and the growing journey of Dawn Creek. Flowers in general are such “pick me ups” during hard times. As a fellow flower grower as well as wedding and event florist, there are so many flowers that I’m drawn to, but peonies, lilacs and hydrangeas always pull at my heart strings :)!~

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  269. Sara Peterson on

    I love spring and daffodils buoy the spirits when they first arrive. The color, texture and softness of a daffodil is something that gets me through the rainy early spring in the Pacific Northwest. They lift you up and let you know that spring is on its way. Daffodils in combination with hellebores is especially exciting and comforting, bringing happiness and peace and reminding you of the power and comforts of nature.

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  270. Halie Herigon on

    When life gets hard I turn to my garden for an escape to my happy place. I lost my husband almost 2 years ago and turned to my garden in the darkest of times. I’m just getting into the cut flower world but last year I dumped a seed packet of zinnias and had surprise flowers months later. After cutting, sharing, and enjoying so much I decided to do more! I can’t wait to see all my pretty flowers this year.

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  271. Beth Undem on

    I live in 4a in North Dakota. I have always only grown perennials, shrub roses, hydrangeas, and peonies in my flower beds. Most are in full sun. As a former teacher, I relax in the summer by wandering my beds in early morning with my coffee cup and before I go in for the night assessing what I need to do the next day and enjoying the blooms.
    I retired in May and am looking forward to planting and growing my first cut flower beds knowing that I have time to start them over the winter and enjoy them in the fall because I won’t be going back to work.
    Right now my favorite flowers are my roses, but I am looking forward to all the annuals I will be starting this winter and spring. I went a little crazy with seeds so I will have a wide variety by summer and fall to share with family and friends. Then I will be able to pick a favorite. I ordered several kinds of benary zinnias but they are more vibrant colors than your beautiful zinnias that I would love to add to my garden.

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  272. Jontal on

    When life is hard I look for anything blooming or showing growth. My first serious cut flower garden was planted while grieving the loss of a mentor/second father, while experiencing a pregnancy punctuated by hyperemesis gravidarum. That time gave me so much opportunity to feel the hope of every day being a new day and an appreciation of the cyclical nature of life. When Kori said she wants people to feel hope when they’re experience her flowers I got choked up. Looking for anything showing signs of growth and progress is insanely inspiring and grounding for me in the process of living this one, beautiful life.

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  273. Truc Mertz on

    I’ve only started learning how to seriously grow roses a few years ago and I am really proud of how well they are doing in my garden. When I’m feeling overwhelmed with farming chores or just need to take a break, smelling a rose or two will brighten my mood. If I had to choose, I would save seeds from snapdragons, because they were the first seeds I saved as a young person, forget-me-nots, zinnias, and celosias (although I’m sure I will collecting from every flower that will give me their seeds). I also recently started growing tuberose, which I later learned that my mom had not seen a tuberose flower in more than 40 years, not since her mom grew them. My mom and I have had many discussions since about what variety my grandmother grew and how they were used in her home, along with other floral memories from her youth. The tuberose without intention became a connector between the three of us, so they will be my forever flowers.

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  274. Melissa Scott on

    When I need uplifting, I immerse myself in my farm. The colors and fragrances everywhere, the pollinators and bird song. Every piece of it, I find myself aways gravitating to my zinnias, Dalias and snapdragons though. They stick around for me the longest during our hot growing season. They provide versatility to create with or can be used and designed with as a stand alone flower. The layers of petals on a zinnia, they just seem to want to bloom beautifully and big for me.

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  275. Amiee on

    My go to is the madrone trees around our property, I didn’t grow them but they are my companions as I try to grow and experiment with flowers and veggies in the Sierras foothills where we live …
    I love their steadfast nature, their intriguing bark, that they shed leaves in summer and have insanely red bright berries in fall. They are a true native species in California and I cherish them very very much.

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  276. Paula Keeler on

    Dicentra spectabilis ‘Alba’, and Cosmos bipinnatus are two plants in my garden that bring peace and joy to my spirit and soul. Delicate petals that dance with the elements reminding me to keep moving, keep dancing and the constant dead heading of cosmos that pruning back, allowing for new vigorous growth is a daily reminder for me

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  277. Janet Lewinsohn on

    So excited to order zinnias for myself and share with friends. We will be zealous zinnia flower arrangers…. cheers,

    Reply
  278. Melissa Grimmet on

    I have not ventured into growing flowers yet (hoping to this season) but my vegetable garden has brought me so much joy for the past two seasons. To be able to go out and cut fresh lettuce for a salad or eat raspberries fresh off the plant is such a blessing!

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  279. Starlene Walker on

    My grandma grew dahlias when I was a child. Any time I go into the garden I feel at peace,but when I see the smiling faces of the dahlias it always brightens my day.The memories flood my mind playing in the garden,spending time with my gran.If I knew how. lol I would save dahlia seeds.

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  280. Peg Pickering on

    I especially developed a love for digging in the dirt when we moved, with 3 small children, to the family farm in the late 70s. I finally had my own space to plant whatever I wanted. And with only 2 trees on 3 acre building site, I had a lot of space to do it. We ended up planting 50+ trees and dug up multiple small and large gardens for my flowers. My focus then was perennials and I had oodles of them but I also dabbled in some seed plantings of cut flowers.
    After 28 years on the farm, my husband retired from farming and we “moved to town” and built our forever home on 2/3 of an acre of bare ground. My nursing management career was extremely busy and stressful at that time but my refuge was beginning (again) to surround myself with the trees and plants that I loved. And again, my emphasis was on hydrangeas, peonies, lilies and more, developing beautiful perennial gardens.
    Fast forward 14 years and I am retired and in the depths of the pandemic. I found Growing Floret on TV one day and binge watched all the episodes. I can’t put into words the peace and hope that those stories gave me at a time when I was struggling to find peace and hope. I have been following Floret ever since and thinking about planting annuals again.
    That is a long way to go to tell you that only last year did I begin again to plant cut flowers, primarily zinnias and I am hooked. I can’t get enough of the dusty blush and coral colors and continue to look for those varieties. I love Dawn Creek’s story. Her description of her relationship with flowers speaks to me and I wish them all good things on their journey. I only grow my small patch of flowers for my personal pleasure, outdoor therapy, and the occasional opportunity to share with a friend, neighbor or church bouquet. Thank you to the breeders and growers for your stories and the inspiration you gift to fellow flower lovers.

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  281. Zaida Edmundson on

    When life is hard, I turn to wildflowers. They are resilient throughout life — they flourish in good soil, proper light, and yet, stand in unison with their peers during tough times too.

    If catalogs were to disappear — after a long sigh and cry — would call my neighbor to let her know and rush out to jot down what I have in the garden that needs tending with the preservation of seeds. We would meet to strategize our growing plan for the future.

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  282. Tracy Kuchar on

    I planted a large swath of Agastache a few years ago and it is always a favorite spot to visit in the garden. The huge 4 foot high plus plants are loved by the bees and butterflies and are always filled with life. I know that I can always have a visit with the pollinators at the Agastache!

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  283. Ashley McClatchey on

    There may not be a specific flower that I lean towards when things are rough but more colours. Any colour that makes my soul happy I tend to gravitate towards, purples, lavenders, orange peach yellow pinks . Those colours to me mean joy and happiness .

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  284. Suzanne Woss on

    If catalogs were to disappear, I would be saving zinnia,poppy and delphinium seeds as well as tomatoes and squash seeds. There is something very satisfying about starting flowers and vegetables from seed. Watching them push their heads through the soil and nurturing then along the way. The entire process is soul satisfying even if there are a few bumps along the way. I am feeling the pull of spring and the need to put my hands in the soil and begin another year of the growing cycle.

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  285. Delacy Leverette on

    We are planting our first fields of cutting flowers at our naturally grown vegetable farm operation. Having many years of growing flowers and vegetables beneath our belts, we are ready for the abundance of Peonies, Dahlia’s, Zinnias, which are our favorite, at our farm this year! We would be over the moon happy to receive the collection of Zinnias, which are absolutely stunning, to our flower gardens. Thank you so much 🌸

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  286. Summer on

    The fall my husband left, Cosmos were there. Earlier that year, a few volunteers of sensation mix and tip top picotee came up along the back of my house. I left them because I love cosmos. In the fall, we had many hard frosts. Everything died, except the cosmos. They lasted a month longer than everyone else! They kept me sane and they were beauty in the midst of life’s ugliness.

    I wondered if it was because they were by the house, but this year the same cosmos came up in the same place and they died on the first frost. I think those cosmos were God’s gift to me during a hard time.

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  287. Elianna on

    My Moms roses and peonies are always my favorites, anythings with lots of ruffly petals. They always cheer me up! If seed catalogs were to disappear I’d be saving poppies, zinnias, and all my veggie seed! Nothing like homegrown vegetables in the summer!

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  288. Marcia Houston on

    For me, absolutely, the flower that comes to my mind for happy memories is the Zinnia. I can see my grandmother on knees, with her wide brimmed garden hat, tending the many zinnias (thousands) she grew in her garden. The Zinnias were always the second outer rows that surrounded the entire border of the garden. The blossoms were the Tutus of tall straight ballerinas, with their long strong green stems of legs. I always imagined that all these ballerinas were going to unfurl from the blossom Tutu centers on hot summer nights. It was a magical childhood playing in the garden rows of zinnias, marigolds, asparagus fern, espaliered raspberries, tomatoes, and so on. She tended the garden 24 hours a day, and would set her alarm through the summer nights, to move her home made driplines through the rows of the garden. Floret is the good fairy of seed saving.

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  289. Mo on

    I have always grown zinnias as my go to cut summer flowers but I never realized the intense beauty of them until I read this article.( By the way I read this while waiting to go to surgery for my knee.It put me in a happy place dreaming.)I definitely want to try these seeds.

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  290. Chris on

    I would save all the zinnia seeds I have and Dahlia tubers.

    Reply
  291. Elizabeth on

    I have a very stressful job where I work 80 hour weeks for 3 months and even afterwards I felt so drained and unhappy. I started gardening after I bought my first home and gardening became an obsession. Every plant brought joy but mostly I loved growing tomatoes and peppers and reduce going to the supermarket but I couldn’t resist finding a spot for flowers as my grandma was a florist and I inherited her love of flowers. Zinnias speak to me and I love seeing bees go from flower to flower. It makes me so happy to see them. Gardening has been so life changing for me.

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  292. Angela Walter on

    For me, it’s not the particular plant or flower being grown. It is the process I love. Anticipation. Patience. Great expectations. Recovering from set backs. Labor. Sharing the results. There is no instant gratification in a garden. It is earned gratification. I will save almost any seed and try to make it grow!

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  293. Andrea A on

    I would say my entire garden and all the plants in it buoy my spirit every time I step into it. It’s like my own little oasis. have been primarily a vegetable grower but started dabbling more in flowers a few years ago. I am particularly smitten with calendula, for their beauty and medicinal properties. Cosmos for their gentle spirit. And, thanks to Erin, I am now obsessed with English climbing roses. I love the history of them.

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  294. Sarah C. on

    What a beautiful questions to think about! The flowers that steady me are those I’ve transplanted or grafted from my mom’s garden. They have a legacy and remind me of her love of gardening and my grandmothers and how it’s passed down through each generation. Current favorites from her are Lenten roses, hydrangeas, and a rose coming this spring :)

    Reply
  295. Bernadette Butler on

    I have discovered a love for snapdragons! Especially rockets and madame butterflies. I get sturdy tall stems that work well in vases and sell well at the Farmers market. I really like cosmos! They make a nice filler in bouquets. They keep on giving with deadheading. I am starting a lavender farm this year. Although it takes about three years to fully thrive, I’m looking forward to the journey!

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  296. Erin on

    1) this feels like a cop out, but truly, it’s zinnias. These composite flowers have helped me stay alive during my last fat year of grief
    2) i love my queen lime blush zinns and my shiso. I definitely would continue to seed save my shiso because i think it’s culturally important to keep it going

    Reply
  297. Maryellen on

    Thank you, Kori, for sharing your story and your seeds with us. A flower that takes my breath away, especially when I serendipitously come across it, is the lily of the valley. Those tiny bells never fail to evoke within me the feeling of unconditional love and security from my childhood. Definitely lifts my spirits!

    Reply
  298. Elizabeth on

    Rose campion is my steady date, a thread through all the gardens we’ve started & nurtured. It has a striking contrast of silver foliage & vivid magenta flowers, self-seeds prolifically, over-winters consistently, fills in the empty spots in new borders and will happily thrive when ripped out & tossed into a new section of the garden as a border fills in. I first saw it 30 years ago in the garden of a dear friend, so it also holds warm association with a gardening mentor.
    We save seed compulsively: poppies, sunflowers, linum, scabiosa, salvia, foxglove, zinnias, nigella and more.

    Reply
  299. Lindsey on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, I would be saving zinnia from my garden! While I grow a handful of favorites, I started my gardening journey with zinnia (on my fourth level apartment balcony). Since then, I always end up growing the most of zinnias, mostly unintentionally because I just want ALL the zinnias to look at. I love their different forms and colors, so it is a hands-down easy answer that I would save seeds from these pretties!

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  300. Sharon on

    I am a newbie gardener. I am researching seeds for both vegetable and flowers. Last year I grew Floret’s celosia’s with great success. Heirloom tomatoes, celosia, dahlias, and anything I get to grow! :) My soil is very poor so I am working on fortifying that.

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  301. Ellice on

    Dahlias, zinnias, sweet peas- all these brighten my day. But honestly all and any flowers fill me with wonder when I look closely.

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  302. Sue on

    I have always told my husband and kids that gardening is my therapy. There’s nothing like spending the day there forgetting to eat and coming in tired and dirty. You can figure out a lot of life’s issues in the garden! I am so glad a friend let me borrow his Floret Dalia book which inspired me to save tubers this year. Which led me to the website, which led me to dawn creek zinnias! Can’t wait to order some of these beauties in a couple days.

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  303. Olga on

    Cosmos are flowers that make me smile. They are delicate and move with the wind. Each unique and beautiful.
    Dahlia are my favorite. A flower I want to grow forever. They are workhorses and produce so many blooms from each plant. And always leave you with more flower for next year. And of course a garden rose, the aroma, the petals. Withstands time, harsh weather, and comes out stronger and better each year.

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  304. Jodi on

    I guess I would say I turn to dahlias. I love growing from seed, not because I want to be a great breeder of flowers but the surprise you can get from every plant.
    If I were to collect my own seeds, it would be from celosia, zinnias and sunflowers. Love playing with flowers and all the wonderful things that flowers bring!

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  305. Ggpete on

    In the cold ,long days of winter my heart longs for the promise of spring…violets, daffodils, lilacs & tulips. Summer brings the zinnias…oh my!!! I really just discovered them in the last 6 years and everything Kori said about feeling them inside is SO true🩷🩷🩷. I am working on growing dahlias…but they are so hard for me to grow..not sure why…others around me grow them easily.

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  306. Ali Greenland on

    When times are tough walking in my garden brings me joy no matter what is growing. In winter, I’m excited by the potential the upcoming season holds. During the growing season I love when I come out in the morning and something new has bloomed. I would be collecting seeds from every plant really, if seed catalogs were gone. Leaning on my community for seed swapping would be crucial! Zinnias, marigolds, celosia and tomato seeds would be my priority!

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  307. Lani on

    Golden hour is my favorite!

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  308. Anna on

    I would literally save seeds from every plant that makes seeds! Thank you I for bringing these beautiful flowers into the world.

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  309. Patricia Verona on

    I would save my zinnias and dahlias as they are a perfect combination of elegant and whimsical. I also appreciate that the deer honor them and leave them alone.

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  310. TJ Yeager on

    My entire garden is my refuge. When my kiddos were little I would wander out to the back garden to have moments of peace and quiet. When my own personal health crisis changed my life dramatically- my garden remained – even though it was neglected for a few seasons. I would walk through it and concentrate not on all the “chores” that wouldn’t get done but on how the plants continued to grow, bloom, reseed, survive and thrive with very little help from me. It gave me hope and courage to press on – to survive and thrive. Now that my health has improved – my garden continues to offer me “life”. I stroll through it every morning with my coffee in my hand before heading to work- just to take notice of the small changes that happen from one day to the next. It grounds me, centers me and prepares me for whatever the day may bring.

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  311. Annie on

    During hard times daisies bring me a little bit of joy. It is amazing how flowers can be an avenue of healing.

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  312. Sara on

    I absolutely turn to dahlias! There is so much work involved but it is also calming and so rewarding as an escape from work and life. There is nothing that compares to seeing the first dahlia of the season open and the endless blooms to come. There is also so much joy in sharing tubers, mystery seedlings and the flowers with friends.

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  313. Brenda on

    If seed catalogs were to dissappear… Zinnia’s, Sweet Annie, Snap Dragons and Penny Cress would all be on my list to preserve. I would also keep the common vegetable seeds, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc. Life would be sad without new growth in the spring. Love to watch things grow!

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  314. Angela Morton on

    This is my third season flower farming and it has given me such a grounded and beautiful purpose! The plant I love so much is not even a cut flower! My front flower beds are always full of Vinca and they are so trusty! When things get hard with our 5 children or I just need to be outside I just pop out the front door and they are always so fluffy and happy! I would definitely save this seed but as for cuts I would save all of the Strawflower!

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  315. Jordan Messmann on

    Seed catalogs disappearing is so sad to even think about but also exciting in it’s own way, of yes, I can do this! I too can save and preserve seeds for generations, for my 3 daughters!
    I would save a few of my favorite flowers, dahlias and sunflowers. They bring so much joy and color to our world. And cannot forget tomatoes. If I were to never taste another home grown tomato, it might bring me tears! This has inspired me to save more seeds this year!

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  316. Beulah Cox on

    I have always had a fondness for Zinnias and Marigolds because of their endurance and can grow most any type soil I think of them being like the last rose of summer! My grandmother planted Zinnias and I remember her calling them “Old Maids” because they were mostly grown by spinsters….

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  317. Victoria Kennery on

    I would say hoyas as my passion started in a condo with house plants and the ability to propagate grow and share my plants brings me so much joy during the hardest times.

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  318. Chris Klein on

    Zinnias are my true flower love. They bring me such contentment.With them all looking a little bit different from each other, they are always a delight to see in bloom. The seeds that I would save are zinnias, and celosia.

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  319. Jorja on

    What a beautiful article. If there were no seed catalogues left I would have to save zinnia and snapdragon seeds from my garden. I love them!

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  320. Linda Q on

    It is hard to decide what plants lift my spirits but think that springtime is what I look forward to the most. Daffodils, tulips, peonies and of course all of the flowering trees bring me joy!
    I would definitely save zinnia Unicorn seeds! I have to admit that I was truly entranced by those tiny remarkable flowers the year that I grew them!

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  321. Shelly Borgerson on

    Thank you for posting this wonderful article. You always do such a great job of teaching us everything you know with such a generous heart and wealth of flower knowledge! Zinnias became my favorite flower in Georgia because of the long growing season and the beautiful bouquets they make on a weekly basis. I would be so grateful to receive some free seeds to start in my new greenhouse! Love from Georgia 💜

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  322. Lisa on

    During hard times, especially in the last year, my entire garden has been my refuge. It has shown me patience, peace, strength, and persistence. The plants that surprise me the most are the ones I’m drawn to. The strongest, most brilliantly created and designed flowers like dahlias, zinnia, peony, and so many more! I love watching how they all intertwine with their surrounding environment and all the little creatures that enjoy them as well.

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  323. Christy on

    If there were no seed catalogs, I would need to save the larkspur and sweet pea seeds. These flowers bring me so much joy each spring and I can’t imagine living without them.

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  324. Kathy Glenn on

    I would save zinnia seeds. My joy rekindles each morning when I walk to my flower garden and see the bees sleeping on my zinnia flowers.

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  325. Elise Conley on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, I think I would first save snapdragon seed. Then maybe zinnias and some of my herbs, like dill and lemon balm.

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  326. Sarah McMillan on

    Such a beautiful, generous article. I would plant zinnias. They are easy and love the hot summers in the south. But more importantl, I would plant them for my daddy who I just lost a few weeks ago. He was a flower lover and devoted gardener. He was obsessed with beauty. My heart is broken and spring will be extra hard this year b/c my yard is covered in things he helped me plant. Zinnias were always one of his favorite so this year I’m going all out. Planting a cutting garden that he would be proud of and to share the beauty with everyone … just like he did.

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  327. Dawn on

    I would want to grow dahlias and zinnias forever. Knowing I will get to grow these in the spring/summer is what keeps me going through the winter months.

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  328. Kelly Snyder on

    My yard and garden are my escape for when I need some time to think or recharge. Some people need sleep and rest, I need time to enjoy and work in my garden and yard. Whether it be working or just enjoying the view. I enjoy my tulips the most in Spring, they just bring me so much joy. Then my go to summer flowers have always been my zinnias and dahlias.
    I can’t wait for Feb 6th
    Thanks for being so awesome and bringing such unique products to the market for us to enjoy.

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  329. Jessica Tedder on

    I started gardening to grow food to offset grocery costs and know where my food comes from. But I have found that growing flowers like food for my soul. There’s nothing better than going out in the early. Morning with my daughter and picking a fresh bouquet of zinnias to brighten our day. If seed catalogs were no longer available, I would of could save seeds from my food garden (squashes, lettuce, broccoli, etc) but there is no doubt my zinnias, sunflowers, and cosmos would be too priority for seed saving.

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  330. Deena on

    I love zinnias, especially the striped ones. They remind me of my Mamaw. I love growing them to bring bunches to friends. I always leave a few so the bees can enjoy them.

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  331. Lacy Lewis on

    I would save seeds for pollinators. I always plant flowers for my bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Zinnias and sunflowers are a couple of my favorites that make me happy year after year.

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  332. Lucy on

    Soft, frilly ranunculus are my current love. I can lose myself in the ruffles, and having a vase—or seven—throughout the house is such a boost of joy.

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  333. M k Wills on

    When times are hard I melt into my zinnias and peonies…of course the floret zinnias are my favs and seem to attract the most interesting bees and other pollinator creatures. Thank you for your life work❤️❤️

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  334. Melanie on

    Yarrow, mullein, sunflowers and lavender are the plants that buoy my spirits always.

    I would save sunflower, sweet peas, dahlia and bachelor buttons.

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  335. Mackenzie on

    My garden is my favorite place for a little therapy. There is just something about finding healing in getting your hands in the soil and watching something you’ve cared for grow into something beautiful. My favorites in my garden are all of my hydrangeas, dahlias and always my sweet zinnias.

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  336. Mary Milstead on

    Zinnias and cosmos and cleome and hollyhock seeds are the annuals that I love and would save their seeds.

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  337. Jess W on

    OMG these questions hit home. It was such a time that propelled me into making half my family garden into cut flowers.

    Staples for me are dahlias, zinnias, strawflowers, mignonette, asters, cosmos, celosia, and snapdragons. But it is definitely my snapdragons, cosmos, and herbs that bring me a sense of peace and grounding. I could get lost in a field of delicate and free-flowing cosmos, gently swaying in the breeze of life and always beautiful. Snapdragons draw me in and love me like the open arms of my grandmother, soft to the touch and that smell that takes you back to a simpler time. Herbs bring me down to the ground and the dirt, centering me. Even more healing is sharing them with others.

    When it comes to the question of what would I save if seeds were never sold anywhere…the answer would be EVERYTHING. I treasure it all. My vegetables, my flowers, my herbs…I would do whatever needed to save them all and share with others. I love seeds and often get chuckles from my family when I haul out my containers for seed saving. I have a mix of purchased packets and those I’ve collected from my garden and from others.

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  338. Shelly Fangman on

    When life is tough just working in my garden calms and centers me, but it’s working with peonies make me the happiest.

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  339. Rita Myers on

    Lantana never disappoints! Bees, hummingbirds & me love their individual petals. Drought-tolerance is a big plus as well. When planted en masses, they are stunning!

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  340. Krissy on

    Zinnias! They just scream summer to me. I love how a bouquet of zinnias brightens any room.

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  341. Marissa on

    Yarrow and daisies have a special place in my heart. They remind me of when I was younger ❤️

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  342. Erin Dixon on

    1. In my ecosystem, in northern Canada, the trees are my refuge. In particular the willows and birches. My yard is surrounded by them and sometimes, when the world is too much, hugging one of my large birch trees and feeling the smooth bark makes everything better.

    2. Last year I saved my first seeds, mostly sunflower and lupin, but of all the things I’m growing for 2024 I think I’ll save seeds from my new favourites zinnias and dahlias. I’m excited to see if I get any surprises from the seeds I grow this year. Fingers crossed!

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  343. Shannon on

    2. Agrostemma and feverfew

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  344. Tracy on

    Dahlias are my allies. I wish I could fill my entire yard with them.

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  345. Nora on

    Cosmos make me smile. These flowers flutter and bob in the breeze growing tall and wispy. I’m growing the seeds of the seeds of the seeds of plants dear friends gave me several years ago and I think of them when I’m in the garden with cosmos.

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  346. Lori on

    Sweat peas! I love the simplicity of them and marvel at the beautiful colors and variations. The sight draws me in but the fragrance gets me to linger and enjoy. They are my ally in hard times.

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  347. Jennifer Guyor Jowett on

    My very first garden was a heritage garden and contained the favorite flowers of my relatives, especially those of my grandmother as we often spent time in her garden when I was little. Several of those plants moved from yard to yard as we moved through life. Gardening is my way of nurturing. It is an escape from the chaos of the world. When lilacs are blooming, I make an effort to breathe in their scent every day. They immediately return me to my grandmother’s garden.

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  348. Lori John on

    Flanders Poppies, blue flax and daisies… these always take me back to the mountains I spent so much of youth in.

    Reply
  349. Julie on

    I think I’m most drawn to dahlias. I leave mine in raises beds and I’m always amazed at their resilience to the cold and rain in the PNW.

    Reply
  350. Lorri on

    Growing up in a small, central Illinois town, my mother shared her front flower bed with me from a very young age. She let me pick out a variety of flower seeds to fill the bed. She taught me to start seeds in eggshells and how to care for the emerging plants. Down the street from us was a peony grower. The bushes filled his entire backyard. I’d walk past and admire them on my way to school every spring morning, catching the most incredible scent. And along the schoolyard fence, hollyhocks grew abundantly creating a beautiful supply of blooms to create with. All of these memories from fifty years ago remind me that flowers are the seeds of life, transforming ordinary spaces into places of discovery. Thank you Erin and Kori for expanding the journey.

    Reply
  351. Amy on

    Marigolds. Always marigolds. They glow like embers and are just as mesmerizing. Plus the pungent smell. They demand your attention, taking your mind off whatever is ailing you.

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  352. Teresa Byington on

    I run to the roses. Their beauty and fragrance restore!

    Reply
  353. Andrea on

    Raspberries. I can keep track of their above ground progress year-round. So much fruit that I can enjoy it nearly year round and then remember the friends who gave me those original canes.

    Reply
  354. Jessica Masha on

    Even though they are invasive, I love morning glory and they remind me of my nana; poppies and geraniums will always remind me of my mom

    Reply
  355. Jessie on

    1. I love the vining plants. I turn to sweet peas and runner beans and clematis. But mostly sweet peas. I could bury my face in their heavenly scent all day long.

    2. I’d have to say borage. It’s so gorgeous, prolific, and my children, husband, and myself love to sit and gaze at the pollinators covering it. One year we had painted lady butterfly caterpillars hatch on it and that was so magical.

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  356. Elana Quinlan on

    I have always turned to plants in hard times. Two that come to mind are moss and sweet peas. Soft textures and sweet scents to pull me through emotional upheaval and sadness.
    If catalogs disappeared tomorrow I would save every seed I possibly could!

    Reply
  357. Kori Hendrix on

    Daffodils. My earliest memories include annual family photos at Daffodil Hill near Sutters Mill in California. Now I live in Texas and my cottage garden is filled with a wide variety daffodils each spring. The ritual of planting each fall fills me with the hope of blooms to come in the spring. That hope carries me though the winter connecting me to the roots of my past and my bright blossoming future.

    Reply
  358. Emily F on

    A few weeks ago I was left totally reeling after a sudden family tragedy. Usually I take time to slowly inspect every flower in my patch and make an arrangement as a way of centering myself- I especially adore my zinnias- but it being a miserable rainy January day there was really nothing. So I put in my rain gear and sat in the mud and rain and started weeding. Something about sitting directly on the earth and slowly pulling weeds with my hands was quite literally the most grounding experience while I was dizzy with grief. Never thought I would feel grateful for mud and weeds! I felt so much lighter.
    I was gifted sweet pea seeds by a neighbor last year and grew the most beautiful blooms. It inspired me to save seeds from anything I can manage to gift and swap! Especially zinnias, cosmos, and tomatoes!

    Reply
  359. Lori on

    When I think of where I’ve come from…without my grandmother’s love of gardening I wouldn’t have been taught by my mother. So when I garden, I feel close to my family who is no longer with me.
    Pinching snapdragons and shaking poppy seed heads will always be a childhood memory as years have now passed by and now I garden without my grandmother or mother, I feel close to them and remember the heritage I have and it all simply started from a few poppy seeds and so many garden memories will last forever ❤️

    Reply
  360. Tai Quirke on

    This year it’s Sweet peas, larkspur apple of Peru! But the more I grow the less dependent I’m becoming on seed companies. But to support independent growers like yourself that have a dream and go for it will always have space in my garden.

    Reply
  361. Riley on

    On hard days or mornings where I don’t want to get out of bed, I can take a peek out my bedroom window or go outside to experience the joy of flowers growing! Flowers are a mood booster and joy in the flesh! It’s an easy call as for what seeds I’d save: zinnias, dahlia tubers, ranuncula corms, cosmos, amaranth and celosia.

    Reply
  362. Peggy Crow on

    I’m most excited about Precious Metals! But watching you bring all of these to life has been so fun and inspiring!!

    Reply
  363. Laura Jennings on

    We have the most amazing sunsets where I live on Sauvie Island. I started my garden there a few years ago. One evening, a group of Buddha Hand Cosmos caught the fading sunlight just perfectly.. Their bright orange petals simply glowed. Whenever I’m in a difficult place I like to recall the cheery, orange/red flowers swaying with the breeze, illuminated by the glow of the sunset.
    I think I’m general, any Cosmos, with their light airy ways are my allies in hard time.

    If seed catalogs disappeared forever I’d be packing my zinnias, sunflowers, strawflowers, tomatoes, cosmos, calendula, nasturtium, lettuce mix and red roaster peppers.

    Reply
  364. Blanca García-Rinder on

    I will always save seed from the milkweed and checkermallow. Our native plants are the cornerstone.

    It seed catalogs disappeared I would save zinnias and sunflowers and from the veg basil and tomatoes.

    Reply
  365. Carmen Wishlow on

    I love how I am not the only one with having a relationship with plants is so important and meaningful. My plants are my babies and they connect me to my father who has taught me everything I know. He has recently diagnosed with Dementia and I grow everything he did to keep him close to me as I loose him to this disease. Dahlia’s, zinnias, lilies, roses and echinacea, blacked eyes susans. He taught me the appreciation of the the process from seed to the product and how each stage teaches us about the plant you grow and to pay attention to them as they will tell you everything you need to know.
    My love for zinnias though has gotten so much stronger as they are just so beautiful and my bees love them and watching them fall asleep as I water or when I see them in the morning my heat just bursts with happiness. So I turn to them for my peace and when I feel I need me dad with me.

    Seeds I would save for sure are zinnias, nasturtiums, Dahlia, nodding onion, cone flower, agastache, hyssop, sunflowers and calendula seeds for sure! I also remember all the seeds my father used to keep and wondering why he spent souch time and effort collecting when he could buy them again. As a young child I didn’t get it until I had my own garden and started saving my seeds. I have seeds from him that he has saved for 35 yrs over time from his first crop of lettuce that he grew when he came to Canada and I grow it to this day.

    This interview and all the interesting ways that plants have gotten you both to the journey you are at bring me hope that we all have a journey with plants we just have to follow and do what we love and know with hard work and passion it can happen. I admire you ladies so much and you have made an impact on all of us. So thank you!!!!!!

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  366. Christina on

    If there were no seed catalogs I would make sure to save seeds for both food and flowers. I think I would make sure to get tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, dahlias, sweet peas, zinnias and celosia.

    Reply
  367. Mollie on

    If seed catalogues disappeared I’d be sure to save foxgloves, agrostemma, stock and sweet peas! I have loved growing out and harvesting and saving floret azureus sweet pea seeds and koris blush agrostemma. Thank you!

    Reply
  368. Deborah Morgan and the furry gang on

    In the early 1990’s I had a difficult time. Death of my sweet Mother-in-law, request for a divorce from my husband of 15 years. Also a health scare…you may have cancer, no it’s TB, NO you’re healthy.

    The little patio home I purchased only had sad builder’s landscaping. I ripped it out and made a magical moon garden front and back yards. Since then I have had an all white garden at every home. I adore white!!! Sitting outside having coffee, wine or dinner with friends, I am at peace, my heart is full and my soul is restored.

    White cosmos and oriental lilies are special to me as are those sweet smelling heirloom petunias and Moon flower vine.

    Reply
  369. Krista Gogan on

    I truly love all flowers but the ones that I turn to most, when I need them the most are narcissus and tulips. There is so much hope and joy to be had when they start breaking through the soil during the doldrums of winter. I literally feel them in my soul, feel the upcoming beauty they will share with me and my friends I gift them to. They are a sign of sunshiny days on the way, hours of seed starting and hands in the dirt that will be my leisure time, my recharging spirit time, my joy. Thank you for all you and your team do to bring some much needed beauty and joy to this world!

    Reply
  370. Heather on

    If seed catalogs disappeared, I’d save seed from the African marigolds I grow because they are edible, they are a dye plant, pollinators love them and I love their smell.

    Reply
  371. Tim on

    My wife’s roses have always brought me joy, celery and cherries have always helped me in hard times! I would save Appalachian greasy grits beans! Yum! And those black dahlias my girls hate!

    Reply
  372. Lori H on

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the process of creating these new seed varieties and about Kori’s personal journey and reflections. I’m also enjoying all the comments here!

    I think that plants touch our lives in more ways than we can imagine. They stir memories and emotions, and they can heal not just our bodies but our souls. Their natural cycles mirror our own and remind us of our connection to the natural world. They inspire us with their toughness and their beauty.

    Certain plants hold a special place in my heart. There is an orange oriental poppy that has been in our garden for over 20 years, a heliopolis that came back after I was sure that I killed it, and a patch of zinnias I plant every year in a semi-shaded spot that still manages to look like a little piece of heaven. They are like old friends; loyal, reliable and forgiving.

    I find plants and gardening to be therapeutic and essential to my sense of well-being. After immersing myself in the garden for an hour, I feel physically tired but emotionally refreshed. Spending time in the garden doesn’t make any of my problems go away, but it does help to relax me, lift my spirits and change my perspective. My garden is where I feel at home.

    Reply
  373. Juanita on

    For flowers, I enjoy zinnias and dahlias the most. Tomatoes and peppers for veggies. Some years, like last, the garden was hit with one storm after another. We had so many hail storms and even a tornado. The garden was shredded several times. So what ever bounced back and managed to thrive brought the greatest joy last year. Watering at dusk with the bats flying overhead. Watching the spiders and butterflies pass through during the day. Really I just enjoy being outside.

    Reply
  374. Isabella on

    Since I was little roses have always brought me joy (nothing can lift your spirits like stoping to smell the roses!) and of course foxglove, whether wild or in my garden they always make me smile. Both will be my lifelong companions! I’d be hoarding away seeds from foxgloves, sweet peas, zinnias, dahlias, and a little native plant called fringepods!!!

    Reply
  375. Kim Hoffelt on

    I always love roses in my yard, when I’m down they cheer me up! I’ve just found zinnias only 2 years ago and I now have an additional love! The seeds I would save would be from my Mexican sunflower. They are gorgeous!

    Reply
  376. KarenAnn on

    Choosing a favorite flower is about like choosing a favorite child or grandchild….I love them all!! It really gets down to whatever happens to be blooming at the time. Daisies, sweet peas, roses, you name it, I love it! Seed collecting is one of the favorite garden pastimes for my granddaughter and I and I love seeing that she has the same delight in flower seed gathering as I do. Some of my first memories are my grandma’s glads and peonies.

    Reply
  377. Sab on

    I enjoy watching flowers come the next season. Zinnias are fun because they evolve. I also enjoy seeing poppies, cosmos, love in a mist , and bachelor buttons come back with seed we saved.

    Reply
  378. Kimberly on

    When life is hardest, I turn toward my garden to bask in it’s beauty, to tend and weed, and to wander and discover. I spend hours in my garden during our short growing season here in the northwest corner of Massachusetts – often during work conference calls, after a hard day or before what I know will be a challenging busy day. Zinnia, cosmos, amaranth, dahlia, hollyhock, marigold, viola, yarrow and monarda all bring me joy. Zinnias most of all and I really enjoyed this interview with Kori because she articulated what I have often felt, which are that zinnias are allies! In good times and hard times, too.

    Reply
  379. DeAnna on

    Tulips and peonies in the first of Spring are so hopeful!
    as for saving seeds, I’ve not done much of that, but I’d love to learn…. At the moment, I’d save my Green been seeds😄. I’m only recently discovering the dahlia world and LOVE them

    Reply
  380. Taylor on

    I love saving tomato seeds because it’s a simple process and it’s hard to beat a homegrown tomato. But if seed catalogs were no more, I’d probably any seeds I came across! haha

    Reply
  381. Mandy on

    When I was struggling with pregnancy complications it was a very low point emotionally. My husband was was overseas, serving in the military, for a short period—and I was left with our then 3 year old daughter. On restrictions I was allowed to carefully walk around the house/garden and that was about it.I felt like a bad mom, since I couldn’t play and lift, and largely unseen without help from others. But a moment sitting in the backyard my daughter began to laugh hysterically—I looked up to see her chasing what seemed like hundreds of butterflies in the zinnia patch. It was the zinnias that caused such joy and a reminder that there is so much hope found in the little things that sometimes we need to adjust our hearts to fully see. We are seen, loved, and gifted with an enormous amount of beauty—if we choose to open our hearts.

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  382. Becky Merkley on

    1. Roses. My earliest memories of planting had to do with roses. Roses lined our driveway, walkway and fence line. We always bought my mom and grandmother barefoot roses for Mother’s Day.
    Right before my brother died we were walking through a church that had a lamp that was made to look like a bouquet of roses with the lamp coming out of the center. He loved the lamp because of the roses and kept coming back to it. He passed away a month later. I was in college studying horticulture at the time and the funeral director let me pick the flowers for the casket spray. I picked roses.
    One of my dreams is to become on expert on roses. When I watched the first episode of season 2 of Growing Floret and it was all about roses, I cried. It resonated with me. All of the other flowers I grow will never mean as much to me as roses.

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  383. Zoe D. on

    I have grown and saved the seeds from Golden Hour each year since purchasing the first seeds offered from Floret. The subtle yet rich colors work with dahlias in either summer or autumn arrangements. I am a seed saver but not a variety breeder. I geek out on all the science but am not wired to produce new varieties, just grow and enjoy what ever the zinnias decide they want to be. I want to add all the new zinnias! I was so excited to read Kori’s email last year that this project was a go! I remembered she said “You can think of each of these mixes as both a celebration of possibility, and a preview of the many beautiful things to come.” Flowers by their nature bring hope to the world with strength and resilience in each seed. I dwell in possibility and can’t wait until they bloom this summer!

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  384. Juliana fox on

    I love cosmos, they are resilient and happy and just bounce around in the wind without a care in the world!

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  385. Ruth van Rensburg on

    Zinnias are hands down the seeds that I would save. My grandmother grew them in her garden in the desert where nearly nothing grows, so they are little miracles to me. I always feel like she’s with me when I am among them in my garden, so they bring me a sense of peace and belonging. And they are also my children’s favorite flowers to make bouquets with. They have always been special but I continue to cherish them for what they bring me now that I am older.

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  386. Pamela Crawford on

    I would save my dahlias, cosmos and zinnias. They are the ones I love to grow and turn to when I need a smile on my face

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  387. Aspen Muraski on

    Sunflowers are the one flower that always brings a smile to my face! I planned our entire wedding around Sunflowers down to the colours of the decorations and bridesmaids dresses! They always bring such joy!

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  388. Gwendolyn Mullin on

    Dahlias always make me stop and appreciate them.
    I love to look for the frilly and striking colours that come from the many varieties.
    If the seed catalogue disappeared
    Dahlias, zinnias, lacy flower would be a few that I would choose to seed save

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  389. Monica DeMars on

    Marigolds and Zinnas are the flowers I will always want to grow. Lots of colors to keep me bright and cheerful. Easy to grow and keep the seed.

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  390. Megan on

    Tulips and daffodils are the bright spot that you’ve made it through another long, cold winter. They are a pop of color amongst the usually dreary landscapes. Planting the bulbs in the fall gives me the hope that yes winter is coming, but so is spring.

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  391. Lindsey Cohen on

    2. I have to say columbine is such a unique and special flower. I would definitely grab those. The seeds are super tiny and so difficult to gather. It’s also hard to find the true natives so after planting mostly native plants this past year (along with several Floret zinnias, cosmos, and sweet peas) I made the decision to go all in with natives. With that being said I am taking advice from the author Douglas Tallamy that it’s okay to keep non-native plants as long as they aren’t invasive and natives are the main attraction. I’m really excited about zinnias and cosmos. So besides my beloved columbine, I would keep zinnias and white cosmos right there where I could see them together. So sweet and gentle.

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  392. Jessica Labate on

    It’s both my veggies and my flowers that give me purpose and joy in summer. The flowers (zinnias and dahlias) for there beauty and ability to share gifts with those around me. And the veggies for filling my family’s bellies. Tomatoes are my favorite veggie and everything about my little orange tomatoes make me happy. I’d save zinnia seeds and tomato seeds.

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  393. Ashley on

    Alliums are my allies! They are my steadfast loves, that lighten my spirits with their Seuss-like vibes. I love how they emerge from the depths and shout look at me in all of their weirdness. And, who doesn’t love that the deer (mostly) leave them alone?!

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  394. Leslie on

    I’ve recently been introduced to zinnias. I’ve had two growing seasons with them. I’m 60 years old and each morning I go into my garden to see my beauties is thrilling. I dearly miss my friend who helped me with the planting! I never knew growing from seeds could be so satisfying! Thank you both for your stunning pictures, mine certainly don’t look like yours!

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  395. Susan on

    Hollyhocks always make me smile and remind me of my Grandmothers. And if I could only save one type of seed, that’s such a difficult decision. It would have to be Zinnias – for the sheer variety of forms and colors

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  396. Becky Joy on

    The plants that lift my spirits the most are definitely the tulips because they are crazy hardy, we got slammed by a very late season hard frost last year and they were coated in thick frost and I was sure they were done for, but the sun came up and they all perked right back up! And just a few weeks later the entire farm got hit by a freak hail storm that wiped out everything in minutes. And somehow the zinnias and sunflowers bounced right back despite all that.

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  397. Cheryl Mandler on

    I love dahlias and have been growing them and saving the tubers for 30 years. After reading about Erin’s dahlia breeding program i hope to buy some seeds and try to grow out my own as well as the tubers I saved last fall. We are moving from Massachusetts to Denver so not sure how that will work.

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  398. Erica on

    I’d daisies, zinnia, petunias and all of the veggies

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  399. Ashley Bowers on

    Cosmos, my grandparents always had them , they just make me smile and think of them

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  400. DarlaN on

    My absolute favourite flowers will always be ranunculus. They are such a miracle with their layers and layers of delicate petals and the prettiest colours. They always make me smile and can make any day better. 💐💖

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  401. Stacey Carpenter on

    I would say maybe roses have cheered me up the most over the last several difficult years, but then again, they also cause me a lot of stress with thrips and Japanese Beetles! Last year I grew mums for the first time, and their abundance and health was such an encouragement after a hard season!

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  402. Marnie on

    I turn to zinnias when I’m feeling down. They are so resilient AND cheerful. They can’t help but being a smile to your face.

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  403. Kariann Myers on

    If seed catalogs disappeared, I would be racing to Save some zinnias. I’m already a seed saver/collector. I currently don’t save zinnias seeds because I grow so many colors and like to know what I’m growing. I definitely don’t want to be without them.

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  404. Hannah wilhelm on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear? How scary!! The seeds I would focus on saving (not including vegetables)
    Zinnia- zinnias are such a favorite of mine, they are easy to grow, they come in so many great colors and some even look like cupcake icing. They make great bouquets, and they’re so cheery along my fence.
    Sweet peas-vintage sweet peas have become probably my #2 favorite flower. Their scent and their connection to vintage gardens fill a special part of my heart.
    Native wildflowers
    Sunflowers of all varieties- my micro flower farm is very focused on preserving nature and sunflowers are such a great way to keep the birds and the bees (and the flowers and the trees hehe) happy.

    And alongside forever I would have roses. My father, grandmother and great mother were all lovers of roses and I have so many memories of all of them and their immaculate rose gardens and all of the hard work they put into them.

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  405. Jolene on

    I would save seeds from dahlias, zinnias, and cosmos. I will also always grow roses 🌹

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  406. Stephanie on

    One flower I will always grow in my garden is the calendula. It is such a beautiful flower with understated beauty to it. Every time I find a seeds of a new to me variety I make room in my garden for another plant. They are one of the first flowers to bloom and continue to bring a smile all season long. They will forever be a part of my garden!

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  407. Jennifer on

    Sunflowers make me smile. I grew them from seed for the first time last year and loved their bright happy faces. Challenging times are just around the corner and I’m ready to plant! It’s great therapy.

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  408. Chris Moore on

    Isn’t it wonderful there are people like this in the world? Floret and Dawn Creek and countless others. If you listen to the headlines, everything is awful. But all over the globe thousands upon thousands of people are quietly going about their way and creating beauty, connection, new techniques or improving on old techniques tomake everything more beautiful and better. Than you so much.

    Reply
  409. Jentre Brault on

    Zinnias, sunflowers and any wildflowers native to Alberta would be what I would save. We have added multiple varieties of wildflowers around our pond to attract more pollinators and to always have perennial flowers. I’d also always love to have peonies and bleeding hearts forever since they remind me of my grandpa’s house.

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  410. Heather on

    My herbs save me. I can sit in silence in the garden with them all around me and smell their fragrant smells. The do so much for me and my garden.

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  411. Anne Phernetton on

    Zinnias are one of my most favorite flowers. I love all the varieties of form and colors that there are – from the pastels to the greens, to the brights – I love them all! When I’m stressed after a hard day’s work, I love to visit my flower garden to see what is new and admire the wonderful nature that we get to share. I actually enjoy weeding – though as I’m getting a little older, my back tells me when it’s time to wrap it up for the day. :-) Really all of my plants are my allies when times are tough. They all have their own personalities and I love that I can talk to them and they seem to absorb my worries/cares and expect nothing in return except some basic care in return.

    I resonate with Kori’s feelings of being very close with my plants both indoors and outdoors. I’m grateful for being part of generations of women who love flowers and love to grow them. I feel like I’m part of something ‘bigger’.

    It’s also very rewarding when the neighbors walk by and share their appreciation for my gardens and landscape. Glad that others can share in the beauty that comes from the hard work of growing things.

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  412. Jane on

    I would save seed for Iceland poppies, zinnias, and sweet peas. Color (poppies), texture (zinnias), and fragrance (sweet peas)
    But truly, I love all flowers so I’m sure I’d be trying to save everything!!!

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  413. Emma Teahan on

    The flower that has really kept me going the last couple of years have been the queen lime Zinnia flowers. I call them nature’s cupcakes and their beautiful coloured layers have given me a lot of joy.
    If catalogues disappeared I would be saving seed from the ruby parfait celosia my vegetables and these Zinnia in the hope that I could grow it all again!

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  414. Lauryn on

    I’d save the dahlias and the zinnias. They have won my heart over so many times I feel drawn by the universe towards these flowers. It’s a mild obsession!

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  415. Chris on

    Snapdragons! Have always picked the out with family at the greenhouse and just enjoyed their vibrantly coloured florets as we squeezed them open. Would definitely save their seeds and be surprised by the colours each season.

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  416. Patti Burns on

    Oh Zinnias and dahlias, peonies and so many more they are sweet reminders of my mom and grandmother and my cousin, all who have passed away. My mom would grow row after row, my grandmother loved the bouquets brought to her and my sweet cousin could arrange flowers into beautiful arrangements!

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  417. Amy on

    Zinnias! My mom has been saving zinnia seeds since I was a little girl. This year I am getting married and I’m growing a lot of my own flowers! I’m using the zinnia seeds my mom saved! This is something so special to me and I want to pass it down for generations to come 🥰. Along with saving zinnia seeds I’d save tomato seeds because I’ve always loved growing my own food and making salsa and sauces.

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  418. Sarah on

    Lavender is always a constant in my life and in our household. Its smell and calming beauty helps me be at peace. So I would always want to be along side of lavender and I’ve grown to love and cherish dahlia bees choice and zinnias because of their stunning colors and beauty so those are two seeds I would save if seed catalogs were to go away.

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  419. Jessie King on

    I’ve always loved peonies for their amazing smell and high petal count. They’re a symbol that summer is coming!

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  420. Fidel Negrete on

    The iris seems to always charm my soul. Cascading pedals withstanding the harsh winter rains in my Mediterranean climate are a symbol of hope, blooming time and time again throughout the ever-changing seasons!

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  421. Anne on

    I adore my iries in their many sizes and colors. I love spending time with them every season. If seed catalogs disappeared I’d save my celosia, zinnias, marigolds, tomatoes and bean seeds for sure!

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  422. Grace on

    I would forever save the dahlia seeds. Each year would be a new adventure as the seeds always give you something a little different and it a joy to grow them forever.

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  423. Alexys on

    My first plant ally was cannabis. She held my hand and heart through the most difficult of time. She grounded me down to the Earth and taught me my love for flowers which has expanded exponentially. I was especially touched by this article as my passion has become flower dyes and textiles. Calendula was the first seed I was gifted, by my best friend, and has helped my wounds for years. I have found a lot of delight in her cheery, giving, and easy to grow nature. In recent years, Hawthorne has been a love of mine. It is wonderful to know that after the first frost, one of the most powerful heart medicines is ready to harvest. I made the most delicious oxymel last year that lasted all winter. Speaking of winter, St. Joan’s Wort is a staple for me. It is so exciting to work with because of the deep red it produces from bright yellow flower. The intoxicating scents of lilac and jasmine have a special hold on me. I could spend every one of my days with them. They fill the air with the promise of brighter days. Last, but certainly not least, I must mention the tress. Oaks, redwoods, palms, eucalyptus, aspens, the list goes on. I have always found so much comfort in being amongst the trees. They have been there through it all and I am eternally grateful for their medicine.
    Much love and shout out to Summit Road!

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  424. Jenny Rose on

    In a year of profound loss, plants and flowers have gently walked with me. From my nightly soothing chamomile tea to the soft coloured zinnias that I grew myself for the very first time last summer. My hands in the dirt was a soul soothing balm. I take flower remedies every day and they have supported me immensely. This fall, I made a Rose hip oxymel from a neighbours rose bush for the first time. So, to answer your question, I could not choose just one as they are all allies.

    I just watched the documentary which led me to this beautiful article. The way you look at, touch and talk to flowers is so touching. Thank you for what you are launching into this world and sharing with others. The sense of community you are cultivating, through the seeds you will send out into the world, is as rich as the soil you plant in. I am deeply grateful.

    Jenny Rose (yes, that is my last name 🌹 😊)

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  425. Sara Hillegass on

    Celosia is the flower that grows so well and is stunning in bouquets. Love the variety of colors and shapes!

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  426. Cathy Dunn on

    There is a farmers market nearby and the mother and her daughters make the sweetest little bouquets that come from their gardens and always bring joy, even more delicious than John’s corn!! A Sunflower seed because my grands love to see them grow upwards…

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  427. Carla on

    If I could only grow what seed I collected from my garden this year I would have columbines, nasturtium, milkweed and butterfly weed. I could not have spring without alliums, tulips and daffodils. I love my perennials like the peonies and iris that come back every year to be divided and shared. I have irises that my Grandfather gave me, those ones are very special. I have a habit of collecting up wildflowers and bringing them into the garden. I might be ok if I couldn’t buy seeds but oh I am grateful that I can!

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  428. Paula on

    You guys always come up with the great questions! For Seed- I would save anything and everything I could. From potatoes to snapdragons, from tomatoes to zinnia….. It makes you really take a step back and think-” What if?!?” My garden would definitely look a lot different if I grew only the seed I saved… I read an article about the future of farming and one of the topics was seed saving – the comment that stuck with me about heirloom seeds and ancient seeds was ” the depth and knowledge that those seeds hold is so vast and so important, if only we take the time to listen to what they are saying”. Seeds are magical…. and they produce some pretty magical flowers……

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  429. Maryline on

    I miss flowers so badly during long winter in Quebec city, I miss peonies and ranunculus the most! I find confort in your pictures and stories, dreaming about spring.

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  430. Stephanie Peoples on

    Without a doubt, I would save all the zinnia and Cherokee purple seeds!
    I wish that I had discovered how healing the garden is 20 years ago. I didn’t start until about 10 years ago and even then it took awhile to stick. I have a son who was born 13.5 weeks early and had a brain hemorrhage at birth, and years later, another preemie at 29.5 weeks. I was mommy and caregiver and therapist and researcher. Advocate. ‘Crazy’ mom. Exhausted. I didn’t feel like I had the freedom to even dream of a garden. Freedom was the F word actually. Then one Spring my Father-in-law asked my husband to irrigate a designated area on a piece of land we owned out in the Hill Country. He planted (mostly) Cherokee purple tomatoes, and zinnias. A FIELD of Zinnias! Like maybe 1000 plants. We had a ball filling buckets full of incredible zinnias and baskets of tomatoes (the most intensely-flavored tomatoes I had ever tasted) and sharing with friends and family. It was a delight! The flowers were beautiful and the tomatoes were like nothing I’ve ever tasted- and we handed them over to people we loved. If you got some you knew you were special to us. And that was my first taste. The following year we sold that beautiful property (for good reason but it was painful). I vowed to plant them in my yard but as the next chapter in our life became more complex, the first things to be neglected were my plants. Looking back now, I know that God was showing me something he wanted for me but I wasn’t quite listening. A couple years later we moved into a new home-built to be accessible for my son. It was beautiful, and just what we needed, but I wasn’t comfortable there, not yet. We had a giant planter that needed to be not empty so I tossed some zinnia seed in there, and covered them with dirt, and watered. Sometimes. Though I barely watered it, it burst into the happiest corner of my yard. A constellation of color, abuzz with butterflies, hummingbirds, and all kinds of life (I’m not gonna lie I was constantly scanning for snakes because they live here too). Next season I called on my FIL to help me plant some tomatoes, and that finally took too. Fast forward, I might be a crazy tomato person alongside my FIL and it’s our special connection. We start talking about seeds at Thanksgiving. In fact, we just planted a few early seeds last weekend. For the last couple of years I’ve been thinking about that field of zinnias, and this year I’m hoping to dedicate some space to growing some special ones, along with a few other cut flowers. While in the rabbit hole I discovered Kori and Dawn Creek, only to find a dead end. It didn’t take me long to find Floret (while chasing down the dahlias-even though I know this isn’t the best place to grow them), and when I did, I realized I was under a serious rock. When I discovered Growing Floret, it was/is this amazing gift and I happened upon at the perfect time. Each episode stirred up my emotions and I would watch with tears pouring down my face, not really knowing why. And then rewind a little and watch again. I would tell my husband, “I’m not sad, I just really love this show and these people”! When I learned about the Floret originals, and also the collaboration with Kori, I couldn’t believe it. Honestly. I felt like I had picked the right page to read in the Choose your Own Adventure book. And since then, I have ordered the books, read the blog posts, signed up for whatever lists I could find, and checked the site everyday for any new little tidbit. ‘Growing Floret’ was a brilliant idea and a wonderful way to connect in a more personal way with so many. I have been enlisting a few friends and family members to think about Growing Floret originals with me. I’m most excited about getting to grow your precious zinnias, and plan to also add Celosia, and even try Dahlia from seed. I am trying to figure out the best plan for that right now. My little garden has become my escape. It grounds me. It heals me. And now I’m ready to make some garden friends :-). Thank you for opening up your heart, your family, and your farm!

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  431. Becky Barnes on

    Living in a place that has 4 distinct seasons, I look to different plants at different times for comfort and respite. In spring I love the bright cheerful daffodils that bring sunshine to still dreary drizzly days. In summer’s profusion of blooms, I especially take comfort in cosmos and daisies that always seem to brighten the day. Vivid scarlet maples bring joy in the autumn and beaded raindrops on drooping birch limbs delight in darkest winter.

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  432. Jude on

    Orchids, amaryllis, hibiscus – I live in New England and am fortunate to have a 1920s home with a south facing sun porch. It is very cool this February, however this climate has increased the beauty of these plants exponentially. This is where I read and dream about gardens and gardening. All my plants have been blossoming for months: outside snow-inside plant perfection. If there were no plant catalogues, I would harvest hellebore, lavender, anemone, love in a mist, and especially hollyhock❣️

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  433. Theresa on

    I always always come back to calendula. She grows year round for us here in Northern California and is always there for a bouquet, infused oil, dye or tea. It’s also one of the plants that I have continually grown from saved seed for so many years now.

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, I’d be saving all of my zinnias and winter squash!

    Loved this interview and learning more about Kori.

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  434. Nathalie on

    When life is hard, I look up to the tulips and daddofils, and others flowers of the moments in my garden. I sit there and observed them looking at there shape, the insects around them, smelling them, etc. Just taking a moment to pause and breath.

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  435. Ruthie Gibbs on

    When I need strength from the garden I gravitate to the zinnias, sweet peas, calendula and sunflowers. Always bring comfort joy and gratitude!

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  436. Lindsay Kozicz on

    Calendula! That color is so vibrant and brings a lift to my soul every time I lay eyes on them. 🤩

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  437. Holly Riehle on

    I’m just now, as ny husband and I retire from farming, finding that I have the time to devote to gardening. Cut flowers are speaking to me, and I am so excited to be able to plant my first dahlias, zinnias and celosia. I’m hoping to instill a love of flower gardens in my four-year-old granddaughter. She and I will be planting some flowers to take to the fair in our little county.

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  438. Tina on

    When I was diagnosed with cancer a few years back (all good now!), I felt so strongly that time spent with flowers might be important to my healing, and specifically time spent interacting with live flowers growing in my garden; even more specifically, flowers with a strong fragrance. Breathing in their essence both cheered and soothed me. I have a special fondness for lilacs, daffodils, sweet peas, and fragrant roses and peonies. For the sheer joy of their vibrantly colorful faces, though they aren’t fragrant, I always grow a variety of zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers and nasturtiums. Kori’s discussion of her relationship with plants was SO interesting to read! I’ve never heard that expressed before, and it was very moving and inspiring. Thank you for all you share with us Floret!

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  439. Jan L. on

    Roses are the flowers I turn to in hard seasons of life. I love their multi-petaled beauty coupled with their amazing fragrances.

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  440. Julie Anderson on

    There isn’t just one thing that I grow that does that for me. I have had some really hard things happen but anytime I just needed to feel like life was going to be okay, I could go in my garden. The roses that bloom every year, the catnip that my fat orange cat likes to roll around in, the blackberries with their sweet little flowers that usher in the heat of summer, the zinnias that were given in an envelope from a cousin with handwritten growing instructions that bloom with surprises of color. Those are my favorites, the things that spark joy and hope.

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  441. Andrea on

    When life is hard I find extra enjoyment in snapdragons, dahlias, peas, and tomatoes! 😂 They’re beautiful plants, workhorses and they are my kid’s favorites. So much magic in seeing an old garden favorite through your kiddos eyes.

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  442. Hien on

    I like to keep tomato, pea, carrot, broccoli and vegetables. I love to grown zinnas, dahlia and sunnflower.

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  443. Jasmin on

    I would grow sweet pea flowers and zinnias forever! Sweet pea flowers always make my day. Zinnias are just so cool to look at.

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  444. Nerissa VG on

    Besides vegetable seeds, probably sunflowers and celosia (but I don’t think I would stop at just those two BC everything is so pretty).
    Every flower bright and colourful because it brings so much joy to everyone’s life. There is nothing better then a beautiful, fresh and homegrown bouquet to lift up someone who is down.

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  445. Randi Pratini on

    Since food is the most important item (besides water) in a human’s life, I would save seed for the most nourishing and easy to grow. This would not be one seed but many; tomatoes, garlic, broccoli and greens. And, because we all need visual joy, I would save some flower seeds as well; eryngium “blue glitter”, strawflowers and violas.

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  446. Allison on

    When life is challenging, I find myself drawn to cosmos. They are my favorite. I love that they are quick to rebound, adaptive in their environment, and easy to grow with the necessary resources. It encourages me, that to can thrive with the simplest of things around me and be adaptive when I need to be. I would absolutely love to add flowers from this collection to my garden, offering not only more beauty and encouragement for myself, but also my community.

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  447. Sharon Tree on

    I would save my zinnia, sweet peas, bunny grass… Ih so many more!!!

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  448. Nicola on

    I don’t know what I would do with out my Snowdrops. They help me weather through the longest, darkest days of winter and give me such a sense of calm and hope. I can’t get over how they have such distinctive markings and how different they can be from one variety to the next. They just make me so happy!

    Last November, my 20 yr old well established english garden got completely destroyed to put a new septic system in. Gorgeous trees and shrubs gone to an excavators jaws. I tried to save what plants I could but many of them won’t be able to go back in their original spots. So I spent a lot of time thinking about what to save. I saved seeds of special unusual perennials but also my favorite sweetpeas, dahlias, and of course zinnias.

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  449. Ana on

    It’s interesting because the flowers I would choose is the same for both of those questions. I started growing Little Flower Girl zinnias when you first released them and they have carried me through each and every year since. As my seed numbers have dwindled, I’ve made an effort to save my own. They bring a familiar comfort that I don’t feel with any other flower. For this, I am eternally grateful for your work and Kori’s.

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  450. Tessa on

    Peonies are my anchoring plant, they ground me and bring me back to why I started growing.

    I would save my peony seeds to see what beautiful new plants I could welcome to the world.

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  451. Jessica on

    Peonies & Lilacs are my pick-me-ups. It’s a combination of the color and scent that I love. If I had to pick a seed to save, it’d be wild daisies.

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  452. Cassandre on

    Sunflowers for myself , the bees and the birds since they really enjoy them too 🌻

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  453. Danielle Becker on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, I would save cosmos seeds. I love their wispy nature, and the way they move delicately in the breeze. I find it extremely therapeutic as they go to seed to collect clusters of seeds every few days and store them in a paper bag for the next planting season.

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  454. Elaine Forum Smidt on

    I have a small garden and grow flowers for my personal pleasure. I started gardening with more interest only about three years ago. Because I live where the climate is rather extreme, very, very hot summers and mild winters I have been choosing plants which can withstand these harsh summers and are at the same time pest resistant. What seeds would I harvest? Definitely Celosia, Zinnias, Snapdragon, Marigolds, Mandevilla and Egyptian Starcluster (pentas lanceolata). They are my go to plants. They fill my garden with colour and bloom all the time. The only thing I notice is that as the temperature rises the flowers of zinnias and mandevilla grow smaller in diameter and the colour seems to fade fast. My garden is definitely where I go when searching for peace. It makes me so happy to walk outside every day and visit each of my plants and see how they grow and the gifts they offer daily.

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  455. Debbie on

    I would try to save seeds from all the plants I could! I love having a large variety of flowers blooming throughout the year. Each season has its standouts, but my favorites are poppies, rudbeckia, salvia and zinnias. Their blooms bring me joy!

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  456. Mona Batchelor on

    When life is hardest, are there plants in your garden/ecosystem that you find yourself turning towards to help steady or buoy your spirits?

    My three favorites are the historic daffodils and irises and then the zinnias. My daffodils and irises were handed down from my paternal grandmother and two aunts. It brings me joy to cultivate and care for them year after year, and to share bulbs and rhizomes with friends and neighbors.

    I began planting zinnias on my own and they are my summer salvation. Once the other two are spent, I work and cut zinnias until frost, saving and sharing those seeds. I have only ever grown the garden variety zinnias, but have longed for the day I could add Floret varieties. Now, it’s here!

    What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times? Ah, this may be cheating a bit, but my biggest plants are my champions—literally. On our small family farm, we have the former Tennessee State Champion American Beech, as well as the current state champion American Hophornbeam and Tulip Poplar, our state tree. I am a Lorax and derive lots of pleasure, not only caring for my trees, but educating others about the importance of preserving our big trees.

    Best to you, all.

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  457. Jessica on

    If I needed to save my own seed I’d definitely start with zinnias and celosia. I’m hoping to learn how to do this soon!

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  458. Sally Ervin-Mabry on

    While all flowers bring me joy, there are 3 of my grandmother’s roses that grow in my side bed. They’re the palest pink, so, so many petals, and just luxurious to look at. The best part is their fragrance. Once opened, I bury my nose in the petals, breathe in deeply and am filled with the sweetest aroma and, best of all, my grandmother’s smile.

    Forever?

    Daffodils, peonies, sunnies, peach blossoms, hydrangea, cosmos, dahlias, zinnias, tulips, and the loveliest purple violets who grow wild in the yard. I still pick handfuls of them just like I did when I was a kid. These flowers will keep me young as I grow old.

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  459. Jenna on

    #2

    Wow that is such a hard question ! I would have to lean towards saving some of my favorite vegetables like tomatoes and peppers. But I would absolutely save zinnia and snapdragon seeds -anything pale in color or purples.

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  460. Emily on

    My rose garden is where I go when I seek peace and a chance to center myself. They are like friends that I can rely on to bring me back to myself.

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  461. Catherine on

    If seed catalogs disappeared I would save craspedia seeds. Craspedia are some of the funnest, conversation-provoking, joy-evoking flowers I’ve ever grown. They have such a wonderful and happy spirit. Craspedia are also a great dried flower. Really now that I’m writing this I think I’m discovering that they are my favourite flower to grow. So for the social, fun, practical, eye-catching qualities – for me it’s craspedia:)

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  462. Jenny G on

    I think double tulips/peony tulips would be the plant/flower that has helped me lift my spirits. Back a few years ago, I randomly planted some tulips (for the first time) since I found it on sale/clearance. Didn’t think much of it as I was planting it as a spontaneous trial (I didn’t do much of any gardening/planting at that time). A few months later I was going through some things and was at a really low point in my life when I saw the tulip buds peak out from the dirt. Those little buds gave me something to look forward to during those dark times. It gave me a glimmer of hope, of something good to look forward to. Everyday I would go out and check on them to see how much bigger it had grown. And ever since then I’ve been looking forward to growing flowers in my garden.

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  463. Marissa on

    I have so many beautiful flowers in my garden but I have a special spot in my heart for strawflowers. They remind me of when my kids were small always feeling the papery petals, enjoying the crinkle noise with a sense of satisfaction, making the booms close tight when theyd spray them with a water gun or spray bottle. I grow them every year and cant walk past without touching them.

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  464. Scarlett Dunn on

    A childhood spent in my mother’s flower gardens have always been my buoy in hard times. Lilacs & Daffodils announcing spring by their wafting scents or her burgundy Dahlias & heavenly Peonies that she treasured from our 90 year old neighbor, Mrs. Musser’s garden, coming back each generation with a place of honor in her garden. Life would be so terribly difficult without them.

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  465. Karen Holland on

    I love zinnias and they are the answer to both questions. They are easy to grow and sooo beautiful

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  466. Kelly on

    Living in New England the winter months can be brutal. I always find myself turning toward ostrich fern, blood root, trout lily, all other spring ephemerals, and the many shades of green that come from our native trees. Walking the paths by the river brings such joy because I know I can begin planting again soon. 💚

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  467. Megan Haney on

    Which seeds wouldn’t I save?? I already save my sweet peas, Dianthus Carthusinorum, helenium, zinnias, amaranth, you name it!

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  468. Elizabeth W Szamreta on

    I am a lover of dahlias and Zinnias more than any other flower, possibly because they were always in my mother’s garden. Twenty years after my mother’s passing I still have some of her dahlia that I dig up in the fall and plant in the spring. I try to add to my collection and last year I purchased seeds from Floret that produced beautiful flowers and this passed fall those were dug up with my others. It was amazing how large the roots were. I find it challenging to save the zinnia seeds and look forward to see how well they propagate. I do purchase from seed catalogs but only when I am not successful.
    This year I have a friend who will be getting married in September. The bride would like to have her flowers as Kori did for her wedding. It would be an honor to grow your seeds to provide her with unique blooms for her special day.

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  469. Cathy on

    If seed catalogs disappeared I would be grateful for the seeds I do save and I would definitely look to save alot more. I love all the zinnias!!! The colors, shapes and sizes are great for bringing the love and happiness I feel in my garden into the house in bouquets. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  470. Carra S. Cripe on

    Roses love the smell and flower forms, especially the heirlooms! Nothing makes me happier than a vase full of them on the tables in every room of my house.

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  471. Morgan Gasser on

    My garden is definitely my happy place. Would I ever purchase a bouquet flowers from the grocery store to cheer me up? Probably not. But watching my baby seedlings poke up through the dirt… pure joy! If I’m ever having a bad day my husband “bans” me to my happy place.

    A few of my favorites are dahlias, lisianthus, ranunculus & zinnias 🌸🌼

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  472. Melissa Devore on

    I love daisies and zinnias. I have a delightful white zinnia bush that seems to be a mix of both. It blooms all summer like a zinnia but it looks like a tiny daisy. I get a lot of compliments and questions about it. I would definitely save the seeds from it but I would try to also to save seeds from all zinnias, daisies, and foxgloves. I am a crazy dahlia lady but they are the same without the beautiful mix of other flowers in my garden. My motto is my favorite flower is the one in bloom.

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  473. Soo-Jean Yee on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, what seeds would you save from your garden this year? What plants do you want to grow alongside forever? For me I guess, when I was oh so tiny living in small town Saskatchewan I loved the lilac’s and honey suckle growing in our yard. Now so many years later and 2 provinces farther west I still have those images and smells in my head and always have wanted to bring them back into my life. So those are the ones I would want to have growing alongside me forever. And now with the knowledge I am learning through all of your posts and workshops I am learning to save seeds for so many flowers and already save vegetable seeds so my answer would be that I would save any and all seeds I could. I want to provide somewhere for my children and their children to go forward in this world and being able to grow your own gardens and provide for your family and your senses with your own garden is so amazing.

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  474. Sandy Bury on

    I love color as it helps to brighten our cloudy days in northern Illinois! Zinnias, black eyed susans, coneflower, snaps, along side beautiful grasses would always bring a smile to my face – and those I share my garden with. Best part, these attract birds and other pollinators.

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  475. Jayne Tiehes on

    I’m all about the zinnias. They are so cheerful, fun to grow, and give! That said, I also save foxglove, echinacea, and celosia.

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  476. Tracey Sherman on

    Roses, lilacs, peonies, and tulips help get me through the hard times. My love of roses evolved from the first time my boyfriend sent a bouquet of yellow roses to me at the beginning of our dating years (yellow, because we lived in Texas, and yellow represented friendship). This same man, now my husband of 43 years, still surprises me with bouquets of roses, though my favorite bouquet is often a single stem clipped from our potted balcony garden and set in a vase on our dining room table. I love nothing more than burrowing my nose into a blooming lilac bush and inhaling the fragrance, much as I did when we took our son to Montana and Glacier National Park for his college graduation. And the first time this southern girl saw a bouquet of peonies was at a cookout at a friend’s home in northern Virginia. A friend of hers had gifted her the bouquet, and they were the most exquisite flowers I’d ever seen. Tulips took on their magic for me the first time I visited Skagit county with my husband and son to see the blooming tulip fields. That beauty, against the backdrop of the Cascades, literally took my breath away. Flowers fill my soul. They give me reason to pause and reflect. They are a link to the past and offer hope for the future. And now, that future looks promising that we will finally settle after living in 55 homes (truly, 55), and will put down roots of our own. I cannot wait to grow my garden.

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  477. Eliza on

    1. Tomatoes and peonies

    2. Everything???

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  478. Lindsay on

    Before flowers, the forests of Montana were my companions in hard times. They have observed many highs and lows in my personal journey, standing testament to the resilience, the beauty, and community that I yearned for. No matter the season, they are there.

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  479. Joan Way on

    In the past few years I have had the privilege of planting flowers grown from seeds on my son’s vegetable farm. First nururing them and and then walking alone or with my grandchildren through rows of breathtaking colour and beauty. They have brought me peace and contentment at a difficult time. The zinnias and celossia brough the most joy and amazement, the movement so calming.

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  480. Emily on

    I have had success and failures in my backyard garden, and I have learned a lot from each, but zinnias have yet to fail me!! So I pick zinnias. Beautiful, loyal, and resilient.

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  481. Tricia on

    Goodness, these are beautiful questions! In my own garden, I love to save cosmos, zinnia, poppy, and amaranth. There are so many others I adore, but these 4 consistently bring me joy!

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  482. Dana Askew on

    In response to the second question, if seed catalogs were to disappear I would save seeds from the zinnias, stock, sweet peas, poppies, yarrow, delphinium, celosia, nigella, snapdragons, calendula, scabiosa, dahlias, amaranthus and I would try very hard to collect lisianthus seeds. Many of these find a way to reseed every year in my garden anyway but I couldn’t take a chance on losing them ❤️

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  483. Tey Stiteler on

    Zinnias and marigolds. Both flowers gave me the confidence to garden and save seed. I also love these flowers as they are native to Mexico ans they bring me closer to my Mexican heritage.

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  484. Carissa on

    I find flowers and plants with fragrance to be particularly buoying in the hardest times. And if they have a soft appearance even more so. Roses and sweet peas, among many others, are so comforting and inspiring to me. :)

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  485. Leanne on

    Dahlias. Dahlias will always be the plant I go to most when I’m struggling. Working the land to provide an area to grow and nurture, then tending to my dahlias gives me the space I need to heal, rest and find my next step. I will never not grow these beauties!

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  486. Dahlia Smith on

    Dahlias and Zinnias. I always find myself drawing near to these two plants. Being that my name is Dahlia I feel a special connection with them. I love how versatile, resilient, and beautiful they are. Watching the bud of a dahlia unfold never gets old. And seeing nee unique blooms pop up from your Bees Choice mix was the highlight of my first year flower farming!

    I can ALWAYS count of Zinnias to produce a beautiful bloom even when all the other flowers are falling behind. My one little patch of zinnias helped me through my first year of flower farming.

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  487. Dianna on

    I am pretty fond of my coneflowers and also bee balm. I love the pollinators. I like seeing these bright ones thrive Zinnias are a favorite also and hoping to get more to to bloom this year.

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  488. Kat on

    Question 1: When life gets hard I turn to the gladiolus in my garden! Glads were the first flower I ever planted when I rented my first home. I remember sitting in the garden bed googling which direction to plant the corms in the ground because I had almost no experience with gardening at that time. Later, I would learn that they needed to be dug up in the fall where I lived. That first year, the Glads encouraged me to persist in life even in the darkest times. Every year, I plant those same original bulbs and save them again in the winter. At the end of 2023, I saved a bundle of seeds for the first time and I am excited to see what I get this year! The process of planting the corms, enjoying the beauty of the blooms in late summer, tucking them away safely in the winter, and accidentally knocking into them in their stockings as I walk by them in the basement of late winter, provides me little reminders throughout the year to persist through the dark times. If the Glads can persist in my basement all winter and still bloom in the summer then I can persist through my dark times too!

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  489. Patricia on

    When I feel stressed out flowers always make it better. I love getting a fresh cut bouquet of peonies. They make my heart happy! and they were in my wedding bouquet. But I can only get them in early spring here. (Ontario, Canada) Another springtime garden favorite of mine is Lily of the Valley.

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  490. Amy on

    In response to the first question: When life is hardest, the plants in my little backyard garden that I turn towards the most are zinnias. Their strength and beauty inspire me. To boost my mental health, at the end of every week in the summer months I look forward to my “floral Fridays” where I harvest the zinnias I grew from seed and forage greenery and other fillers from around our yard to create arrangements for my home and to give to local family and friends. Zinnias are a constant source of hope in my life.

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  491. Anne McGilvray on

    If I could figure out how to collect cup and saucer vine seeds I would gather them all. I only recently discovered this vine and am amazed how swiftly it grows.

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  492. Marcina on

    If seed catalogues were to disappear, I would absolutely save pansies and violas. 😍

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  493. Kathleen Else on

    After struggling through the winter…pussy willows are the first signs of hope. Also…snow drops give me a reason to hope & have faith.

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  494. Stefani H on

    2. I’d have to save my tomato and Cosmo seeds! They’re just too easy and too much of a staple to ever give up

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  495. Erin on

    Dahlias and peonies have helped my little family through so many hard times. My daughter was born at the beginning of Covid lockdown, and for the first year of her life, we had to stay home. The summer of 2021 we were finally able to go outside and we found a wonderful little peony and lavender farm that provided a place of refuge. We also bought dahlias as a Mother’s Day present for us to grow together. Last year, we added peonies from our beloved local farm and Floret’s bees choice dahlia seeds. We’ve loved to watch them grow and we’re already getting excited for our 2024 garden as we know the flowers will get us through anything.

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  496. Julia Merrick on

    Turned 40 this year and a sudden ankle injury prompted an unexpected move to my parents’ cabin on Whidbey Island, a magical modest one bedroom cabin retreat they have started to created in their retirement.

    Captivated by Erin’s work at Floret Farm, I yearn to gift my hardworking parents a vibrant flower garden. However, financial constraints stand in the way. The magic and inspiration lies in the memories of my grandparents garden – it was an exact carbon copy of The Secret Garden, which they had me reading to them while they tended to the magical world they created, their legacy etched in my memory. I can still smell the light pink wild rose bushes and when I close my eyes I can see the beautiful flower dancing about while the wind chimes echoed through the yard.

    My Grandfather died unexpectedly two days before my 10th birthday. A conversation shared with him days before he passed during a sunset overlooking Lake Washington, guides my daily path: “Whenever life gets tough, always remember to stop and smell the flowers.”

    Awakening to the potential on my parents’ Whidbey land and with my mom’s expertise as a 1990s Master Gardener, a whimsical vision has bloomed in my mind.

    As my parents continue their tireless work in their 70s—mom caring for the elderly, dad driving a school bus for the island schools —I aspire to create a haven for them with the language of flowers. Winning seeds from Floret Farm would be the magical start, honoring my grandparents, parents, and transforming my parents cabin into a blooming sanctuary.

    It’s not solely a garden; it’s a dream emerging, a floral tapestry that binds the past, present, and future—a legacy of family, memories, and blossoming traditions for the coming generations.

    Thank you Erin and Floret Farm for creating such a beautiful farm and thank you for sharing and passing on the beauty and all of the knowledge.

    Reply
  497. Julia on

    No seed catalogues? Zinnias!

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  498. Lesley McCain on

    If seed catalogue’s were no longer available😳 securing the zinnia seeds would be first on my list! With all of the new gorgeous varieties you have given to the world my soul would still be filled up with this beauty!

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  499. Nicole babcock on

    If there was one seed I would save and couldn’t order any more it would be cotton seeds. The cotton seeds I have have been saved for generations through my family. Since we live in NJ where cotton doesn’t normally grow it makes these seeds extra special. My mom and I currently grow and save our seeds but before her my grandmother and great grandmother did the same process!

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  500. Ashlie Donaldson on

    I have not started my garden as this will be my first year! But I would have to think I’d save the sweet peas, dahlias, and zinnias because they are all so beautiful, how could you pick just one! I’m so excited to get started with growing flowers and having them bring me joy everyday. I can’t wait!

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  501. Brianne on

    I would hoard all the sweet pea seeds my plants would give me.
    I couldn’t imagine a year without getting to smell my way thru my sweet pea patch

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  502. Courtney on

    If the seed catalog disappeared, I would want to save seeds from my zinnias, coneflowers, and desert globe mallows. Zinnias always remind me of my grandmother, I’d love to alway have them in my garden. Desert globe mallows remind me of spring in the desert, something sweet and beautiful among hard circumstances. Coneflowers just remind me of the bees that love them and to remain hardworking and enjoy the beauty around me.

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  503. Amy on

    The beauty of zinnias and dahlias really lift my spirits! Last year I had an accident that kept me from the garden (significant fall with a broken pelvis that kept me in a wheelchair for 3 months before being able to rehab and walk again), and my mom and mother-in-law lovingly planted me a bed of each that I could sit on the back patio and watch for hours. There were many days I’d sit and look at the flowers and look forward to the day I could walk over and tend them. By the end of my 3 months of non- weight bearing, I walked to those beds every day, tended the flowers and brought them inside to enjoy in almost every room of the house! Now that I’m almost a year out from my injury and Spring is so close, I’m looking forward to nothing more than being in the garden, playing in the dirt and watching everything grow this year. Thank you for all you do, Floret Farms! Your beautiful books and puzzles helped me through my recovery and gave me even more appreciation for the beauty and ability of flowers to lift the spirits! And I’m so excited for the work you and Kori have done to breed more amazing flowers!

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  504. Kari on

    I love the springtime ranunculus! They are so beautiful and whimsical after winter.

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  505. Ruth on

    If seed catalogs disappeared, I would continue collecting all my cut flower seeds – esp Zinnia! I shared a huge amount of seed this past season with flower-loving friends and it brought me so much joy to see their delight growing their own flowers 🌸🪻🌸

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  506. Sara on

    Edible flowers are one of my first loves and a huge reason I became a gardener and now a farmer. I would pick borage, violets, chive flowers, comfrey blooms, nasturtium, any flower in mom’s garden that she had taught me was safe to eat. I would wrap them in a violet leaf, call them burritos, and ask my mom to eat them with me, which she always obliged. I learned not only medicinal uses for plants, but also the simple joys of flowers. I still find happiness in adding petals to salads and beverages just for the joy of it!

    So thankful for what Kori has helped bring to the world. I grew fundraiser zinnias a couple years ago and saved seed to grow in my personal garden. Such beauty 🥰

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  507. Jenny on

    I’m training as a trauma therapist and growing flowers and giving away bouquets has not only been a source of joy but truly part of my own self care as I navigate helping others heal. I love the sturdiness and dependability of zinnias and love the flamboyant showstopping nature of dinnerplate dahlias. Zinnias, dahlias, Bishops flowers, and celosia are my plan this year to grow some stunning bouquets!

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  508. Christina on

    I am drawn toward all the flowers in my garden . They all have such a different personality and make me smile. I particularly love those that sway, like guara or have lots of texture like Celosia.

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  509. Jennifer Karnowski on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, what seeds would you save from your garden this year? What plants do you want to grow alongside forever? Everything honestly! I just love flowers (dahlias and orchids are my favorite) I really enjoy my vegetable garden too.

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  510. Noria on

    Daffodils to start the season bring me so much joy. Then the peonies, roses, lavender, and sedum!

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  511. Kate on

    When life is hard, I enjoy meandering around all the plants growing in our yard. It’s fun and meditative/therapeutic to see the growth and wildlife each day.

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  512. Caryn on

    Wild flowers in my garden bring me great joy.
    But I also love my roses , peony , and stock .
    I can’t wait for your blush colored zinnia !
    Thank you !!

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  513. Andrea Underwood on

    We always try to save seeds from most of the plants in our garden and experiment with them the next season to see what happens! Always a fun surprise to see what’s successful and what’s not. It’s hard to find great information on seed saving so we just decided to give it a shot!

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  514. Vicki Bryant on

    Dahlias buoy my spirits like nothing else. And the delight of sharing the multiplying tubers is sheer delight! Seeds from my garden…definitely the Queen Lime mix zinnias, Blue Lake pole beans, Lemon Gem marigold…

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  515. Catherine on

    Zinnias definitely lift my spirits during hard times. The resilience of zinnias is an amazing thing. Watching them volunteer out of season, grow in drought, and produce beauty in summer heat is a gift. The seeds I would save and currently do save are zinnias, Everglades tomatoes, and pickling peppers. Those three plants are so easy and can make any gardener feel confident in growing.

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  516. Melinda Rafferty on

    I would save seeds from my zinnias….they are my favorite of any flowers I have ever grown….they are resilient, strong(surviving our super hot STL summers), and they just make me smile everytime I cut them and put in vases. I cannot wait for to add your pastel beauties to my menagerie. Thank you so much for sharing your stories.

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  517. Jobiana maciel on

    Omg when I started reading this interview I didn’t expect at all that I was about to read of a loving relationship between Kori and the flowers . When she said “ Plants have for as long as I can remember called me into a relationship of REFUGE,PROTECTION and Quiet acceptance.” I started to cry. As I’m crying now writing this. My little tiny garden has carried me thru so many joys and grief. My zinnias always seems to know ,how to put a smile in my face, they are so resilient and by looking and observing them I learn how to be resilient myself. Flowers will speak to our hearts! I’ll tell you that I think they conspire with my herbs to bring Refuge,Protection and Quiet acceptance to my heart and soul. Thank you Floret for the Blog and Kori for sincerely opening her heart. It reasoned more than you can imagine. Sorry for any errors in my writing English isn’t my first language. Love and gratitude, Jobiana.

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  518. Samantha Hansen on

    I’ve found that for me it’s discovering that one unexpected flower still in bloom on difficult days that provide the greatest tender mercies to my soul. It’s being able to go out in the garden and appreciate what is there in the moment that helps me get through those difficult times. 💖

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  519. Kayla on

    My go to plant would be hellebore. It always feels like such a sign of hope amidst winter that sunny days and beautiful flowers are ahead!

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  520. Alena Haan on

    My go to plant will always be eucalyptus. How the simplicity in a flower vase single or bunched can create growth in any room. A bunch in the shower is relaxing. The scent of freshness will always be one to help during difficult times.

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  521. Sharlee Moran on

    2. I would have a long list of seeds I would save if I could no longer order from catalogs, zinnias, snapdragons, marigolds, dahlias, cosmos, sunflowers, beans, corn, squash. These are the ones I think of walking through the garden with my daughter taking it all in

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  522. Briana Green on

    Zinnias and Dahlias… when my husband and I first bought our house, that summer I knew I wanted a garden like my mother had. After having a disappointing… scarce… some my say sad looking garden, I was determined to try again. That winter I finally bought my first Floret book and discovered the of all cut flowers but drawn to zinnias and dahlias. I had only ever seen the varieties and colors at big box stores and still was so new to gardening that I really only knew to shop there. Obviously from there I was hooked on Floret seeds. My husband may even call it an addiction…

    Fast forward a few years, we welcomed our second baby girl. That previous year had brought many challenges for our family and this one was no easier. I have always struggled with anxiety but postpartum depression and anxiety started to consume me. It was clear to my husband and I that going back to my previous job was no longer an option for my family and mental health. That same spring I bought more zinnia and dahlia seeds I had room for which of course led to requests for more raised beds to be made. That summer when they started to bloom I often felt drawn to them when days felt sad, hard and overwhelming. Whenever I was able to get some self care time I was staring at my beautiful flowers that I grew from little seeds. That’s when I decided I could have a restart. Career change. Live again. And now with my little micro farm I call myself a Flower Farmer who is constantly dreaming up all the dahlia and zinnias varieties I plant to hopefully spark joy for someone else.

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  523. Levi on

    I really enjoy climbing flowers such as sweet peas, and climbing rose. The magic and free nature of them are amazing. If seed catalogs were to leave us tomorrow I would save anything I could! I’d start with the useful vegetables and fruits and then go with zinnias. We saved two gallons of zinnia seeds last year and have a dream of planting a small field this year!

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  524. Dawn Sowle on

    Zinnias, Sweet Pea and Poppies. But really..all the seeds I could grab from Thumbergia to Marigolds. How can we choose. Xo

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  525. Atty Collins on

    I gravitate towards herbs when life is challenging. I enjoy using them for cooking/baking and simply just to smell and use dried for decorations. Sunflowers also bring me so much joy! Especially the giant ones. If seed catalogs were to disappear, I would save zinnia seeds and gladiolus bulbs and all my vegetable seeds like tomatoes, zucchini, sweet corn, and green beans.

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  526. Kathy Stewart on

    When things are hard, I head to the peony patch. They are always there. Popping up in late winter or early spring. Growing lush, green and budding up in mid spring. Blooming their heads off in late spring and early summer. Resting and absorbing that sunshine through the end of summer. Preparing for rest in early fall. I tend to them each season in some way but they also tend to me. I also know that if I am unable to tend to them in any season, they will still continue to tend to me when I need it.

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  527. Jordan on

    I have a bleeding heart in my garden that my grandmother planted years ago. It’s been split and moved and shared so many times. Now it’s my strongest physical memory tied to her.

    Marigolds make me think of my Mom and collecting marigold seeds are some of my earliest memories in her garden. They’re so prolific and great at deterring pests that I’d save these seeds time and time again

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  528. Patricia V on

    When life gets tough I do not find myself going to any specific plant to lift my spirits. The garden in general lifts my spirit. If there is anything blooming or harvestable that makes me happy. I will say that as a new gardener anything blooming is an ally since I am still learning and don’t really have a history or memory with anything in particular yet. I hope one day a specific flower can do that for me. Seeing anything bloom is a proud achievement and makes me happy.

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  529. Jen on

    At the end of the long snowy winter I begin my tomato planting indoors. Nurturing and watching my babies grow brings great joy and anticipation for the coming summer. Each year I try new varieties and then share what I learn in ‘off the vine’ taste tests with my friends all summer. I surround my gardens of vegetables with flowers to encourage pollinators and to brighten my visitors homes.

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  530. Dede Ledford on

    Immediately, violets and lavenders come to mind as they are my heirlooms from my grandfather, who shared his love of gardening with me. He made cuttings from his lavenders for my first garden and I always picked sweet smelling violets for him from his garden. Touching the aromatic lavender leaves and seeds always comforted me and raised my spirits, reminding me of his spirit. Zinnias were among the first seeds I successfully started and have always had them in my cutting garden. They flourished during our hot dry summers and delighted my senses with their range of bright colors and forms. I’m excited to grow the new zinnia seeds this year to experience their softer colors along with Chris’s Sunrise.

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  531. Michelle Furlong on

    I have Rose Lilys that have healed my soul more than once. They smell like spicy vanilla beans which reminds me of my grandmother. I sit down in the grass and go back in time

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  532. Victoria wilk on

    Having just come out a tough first year postpartum, I am so excited to use my love of growing a cut flower garden to feel like myself again! The things I love to grow the most are lace flower, zinnias, dahlias and ranunculus. I love flower arranging for my self care time and these varieties bring me the most joy when doing that! But if I had to save seeds it would be ALL the seeds, I couldn’t live without the joy of every flower I grow!

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  533. Rita on

    Today is my 77th birthday! So many years to learn, study, enjoy and grow as a gardener. As I age, I am overwhelmed by the amount of physical labor that is required to keep my 2 acres tamed. The discoveries that are made and the beauty I enjoy, mentally balance the deep aches and pain my senior body endures. Thank You Garden……it’s been an adventure and a joy to know you!

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  534. Mary Hoffman on

    I have found solace in aromatic herbs: lavender, rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, mint. Their faithful growth in my garden gives me hope. I have also loved the self-seeding columbine, and cheerful, sunny cosmos, whose tenacity on fragile little stems surprises me every spring & summer. I especially anticipate the pale blush blooms of peonies and shy lilac clusters that take my breath away with their subtle fragrance in the spring. I’m so thankful for their beauty, reminding me of the beautiful women in my life who have taught me how to live and love: grandmothers, mother, sisters, & my grown daughters, who all share a love for growing, cultivating, gathering, & enjoying the diversity of flowers. As we now live distanced, sharing seeds, flowers, and garden tips help us to continue to grow together.

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  535. Debra Booe on

    Lisianthus seem to be my go-to in the hardest times. They have to fight so hard just to germinate and begin life! They are comforting as I remember that If they can push through simply to be a part of nature’s world, surely I can see my way through whatever life brings!

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  536. Tamy Stewart on

    My last comment I posted wrong email – it was concerning compost tea.
    I have another question about dahlias. I am planning to order seeds from you on February 6 and after the season is over – do I dish up tubers or save seeds throughout the summer by deadheading? Thanks! Tamy in Georgia

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  537. Sharon Dejong on

    I would save impatiens, they do so well in my shady backyard with their cheery blooms.

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  538. Angelina on

    I love garden roses; they cast back to all things old fashioned and their scent is something to dream of! I always want them in my garden. I also really love saving seed from my dahlias to see what gems pop up each season! I just love the dawn creek pastels and I would definitely be saving them every year!

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  539. Tamy Stewart on

    I have a question about your compost tea. How do you make it? I really want to use these and just not sure how. We do compost on our farm here in Georgia. Thank you! Tamy

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  540. Christina on

    I’ve always been drawn to coneflowers. They are such a cheerful flower and there are so many beautiful colors. I love that they provide food for bees and birds. Every year I try to add more to my garden.

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  541. Jewel on

    Horrible thought to not have any seed catalogs!!! I would first save any and all zinnia seed, then the gomphrena, celosia and Victoria blue salvia seeds!

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  542. Angelina on

    I would save seeds from delphinium and foxglove, two whimsical flowers that I always want in my garden. They are peaceful and I love the magical way that they wave in the breeze! They beckon me to slow down and notice beauty in the world. I can’t wait for the dawn creek releases, they are so beautiful!

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  543. Tabitha chuprin on

    When going through bumps in the road I turn towards my vegetable garden, to be able to take a little seed and grow food that I can eat and enjoy really lifts my spirits, and then taking a walk through my perennial garden beds to look at the soft beauty really lifts me up. If I had to save seeds the most important flowers to save are zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos, sweet peas, snapdragons and stock!

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  544. Melissa Kramer on

    When life is hard I hang out with my roses, baby them or look at pictures of there blooms to get me through the winter

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  545. Ericka on

    When hardships come my way, I always hide in my garden as a calm and secure place in this world to feel safe. I have deal with several chronic illnesses through the years, and a way to cope with the strong pain has been to grow flowers from seeds. There’s something about Calendulas, Zinnias and Cosmos, that turns my tears into happiness. No matter how I feel each day, I look forward to waking up and go out to my garden and watch these flowers grow and bloom. I could bring them into my house to put them in vases and cheer me up, but every summer I look forward to their blooms to cut them, put them in vases and share with others to cheer them up. If catalogs would get to disappear, I would keep saving these precious seeds from Calendulas, Cosmos and Zinnias for ever and for an eternity if I could.

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  546. Kristin Reilly on

    i never would have guessed just how much my soul needed daffodils. the first to rise up and bloom, reminding us that winter truly is just a season that comes to its end. in the summer months all my flowers, both perennial and annual being such comfort when the chaos inside or in my mind feels big. i love to do daily walks to watch as they grow, and of course ending the time by snipping a few to bring inside. hydrangeas also have been comforting me in news ways. they wither beautifully in such a free surrender to the warm season ending without letting the cold, darker days steal their joy.

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  547. Ally on

    I would save strawflower, rudbeckia and zinnia seeds!

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  548. Veronica on

    I started seriously seed saving in 2021 and have repurposed an old library card catalog for all my seeds. My goal with anything I grow is to replenish each tiny jam jar with seeds from flowers/fruits/herbs/veg I grew myself. I do the same with any local bouquets I’m gifted. I grew up hearing “waste not, want not” and try to carry this on through seed saving. My favorite things to seed save so far are loofah, calendula, and nasturtiums.

    Maybe unexpected but the plant I seek out for peace the most is moss. We have a handful of native varieties in our yard and it brings me comfort every time. It’s like a little tiny world and I imagine myself small enough to walk on top of without disturbing it.

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  549. Scott on

    Question 1.

    The plants we find ourselves turning to when times are hard are zinnias and dahlias. Not only are their wide array of shapes and colors mesmerizing, but our zinnias and dahlias are loved by our local pollinators. Watching swallowtail butterflies and hummingbirds dancing among our dahlias and zinnias brings us so much happiness. We can get so caught up in the demands of running a business. Wildlife enjoying our gardens reminds us of why we started growing flowers in the first place. Life can be challenging, but flowers help us navigate through it.

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  550. Angelica on

    I’ve always been enchanted by the beauty of nature and when my husband and I bought our house, we both absolutely loved that it was filled with lots of fruiting trees. In the middle of our front yard, is a really old avocado tree. Its branches hang down in a canopy and if you sit underneath it, it feels like it swallows you up in its world. I like to lay underneath it and watch its leaves shimmer and sparkle in the sunshine. When the wind moves through it, it makes this sound that cancels out everything else around you and grounds you to the earth. When times are hard, and even when times are perfect, this is where I go. It relaxes my soul.

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  551. Corinna Lau on

    I will answer # 2.

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, I would start saving statice, scabiosa, sunflowers, zinnias, strawflowers and eucalyptus.

    What plants do you want to grow alongside forever? Definitely roses and dahlia in every color of the rainbow! 🌈

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  552. Ann on

    Tbh, roses would probably be my favorite when life is hardest. They’ve been with us for many years and started my dream of what I then called Rose Cottage. In more recent years, I started growing dahlias. Also, to be honest, they are beautiful but exhausting esp as my nest has emptied.
    So I’m learning what flowers I wouldn’t want to live without. I’m going to try harder with my annuals this year as they seem more sustainable over time for me. The farther I go, the more I discover the beginner I am. So I’m excited to try some zinnias in compelling colors both soft (Alpenglow and Golden Hour) and bright ( looking at you Chris’s sunrise) and petite floret dahlias. I have practiced seed saving on both dahlias and zinnias, but I haven’t tried growing much out yet. So that’s where I am. I’d love having flowers that have nice foliage for filler as well.

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  553. Janet on

    My soul is comforted in the garden. That feeling I get when watching my plant friends sway in summer breeze, and the bees , they work so hard , a bird perched on the fence to have a look around and my cat rubbing against me to to say hello!
    Flowers are beautiful.. sounds cliche, but they comfort and amaze me .
    Now, if seed catalogs were gone…I’d save, dahlia, zinnia,sweet pea, tomato.. hmmm,gladiolus, clematis.. ect..😊

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  554. Tami Volz on

    1. The flower that seems to always do well and give me joy is the dahlias! I just can’t believe how they continue to produce beautiful blooms. They help me overcome the frustration with so many of my other plants!

    2 if I couldn’t buy anymore seeds I would save sunflower seeds! They are prolific and so cheery in the summer!

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  555. Amanda Badger on

    In tough times especially I turn to my garden to recharge and settle my nerves. I never would have thought gardening would become such a special part of my life. Early morning walks in the garden with my coffee, casually weeding or watering, listening to the birds and the bees get to work is such a special feeling. There is no one particular plant for me, rather something about being surrounded by any and all plants that steadies my spirits.

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  556. Jana on

    My husband and I just bought our forever home on a beautiful piece of property in Whatcom County in November so we are still in the planning stages of our garden! However, we are lucky that the previous owner left us some surprises in the landscape and I’ve enjoyed discovering and attempting to identify what I can in the off-season. Looking forward to all that will appear come spring and beginning our own journey towards becoming flower farmers! I’m currently a major fan of yarrows and goldenrod, but I would save all the seeds I possibly could from every plant I had :)

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  557. Z Smith on

    I love saving native wildflower seeds! Last year I collected milkweed, bee balm, echinacea, beardtongue foxglove, and hoary skullcap seeds. I also collected petunia, zinnia, calendula, and snapdragon seeds :)

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  558. Tami Volz on

    Wow!! Sums it up! What a deep love for plants!

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  559. Alina on

    In our very hot climate, zinnias are one of the few flowers that really thrive. I will be saving their seeds forever 🤍

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  560. Brenda on

    It would have to be zinnias and sunflowers when life is the hardest. They never give up on me even when I start to give up on them! Zinnias…cut and come again!

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  561. JAN BURK on

    My go to flowers when I need a lift are zinnias and dahlias. I am almost 70 and just started growing them from seed and from tubers. I like to mix them with queen annes lace and some greens. I love to share my flowers with anyone else who needs a lift in life. I cannot wait till spring and already have new plans in my mind for extending the gardens.

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  562. Jennifer Rotter on

    In tough times I enjoy going to my garden in the early morning to water and see little pollen covered bees sleeping in the cups of cosmos or cozied up in between zinnia petals with their little fuzzy butts hanging out. I harvest these flowers and take them to the Montessori school I work at and share them with the children in their classroom for flower arranging lessons. This steadies my spirit because I can provide food for the many pollinators that visit my vegetable garden and introduce a love for flowers to children from 18 months to 6 years old.

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  563. Mary Lenker on

    During my hard times I love it when I can spend my time tending my garden! All aspects of the garden bring me great peace and solace! The beauty of the plants feed my soul! Well, maybe not the weeds, but I find them so intriguing as they find so many mechanisms to survive. They do amaze me and at times frustrate me. Some of my favorite flowers that make me happy are the Delphiniums and the foxgloves. Their tall spikes provide such magical flowers that remind me of fairy tales. Of course, I also love the zinnias and dahlias. Oh, can’t forget my pink roses. My garden is God’s gift to me and my neighbors!

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  564. Diane E. on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, I would save seeds from all of my vegetables, hot and sweet peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cantaloupe, and whatever else I am growing. I would want to grow alongside peonies and stargazer lilies forever. I love many flowers but those are my very favorite.

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  565. Lisa Godbolt on

    Pansies and sweet peas always put a smile on my face! I’d try to save those seeds as well as zinnias, iceland poppies, dianthus, godetia….so many beautiful flowers to chose from & save!

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  566. Ruth Brandt on

    During one of my darkest periods of clinical depression, I was gardening at our home in Virginia. Working around a mess of lambs ear, I paused to look and take in the beauty of one of the leaves. The softness of it spoke calm, and gentleness to my aching soul. God, creator of all things good and beautiful, was reflecting His tender heart, soft and gentle, towards mine through my lambs ear. It was a gift, reminding me of who He was. That I am seen and heard by Him. That He loves me and tenderly cares about all I am suffering through. That healing would come as I waited on His perfect timing. I’m happy to say that it did! I will forever have lambs ear in my garden. :)

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  567. Dawn on

    Where to begin! Gardening has and always be will at the heart of who I am. It has always provided a place of respite during difficult or challenging times. It keeps me grounded and is my therapy.

    I have only started growing for sale in the last year as having spent two years just growing for experience. A lifelong learner and there are so many lessons I can take away from this flower journey. And truth be told, it was only last year that I successfully grew zinnias. It took me 3 years to be able to grow them.

    Last year was the first year that I harvested seeds to save. Note: Not zinnia seed due to powdery mildew. Something, I am very interested in doing. Again another skill that needs doing to learn how too.

    So if catalogs went away, I would catalog my own flowers and find a way to harvest the seeds I really would want to grow and keep coming back too.

    And zinnias would definitely be at the top of my list! What’s not to love! And definitely dahlias too!

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  568. Judith Brook on

    I also grow zinnias and save seeds for following year. I absolutely LOVE and ADORE watching bees in my flowers, so I try to choose plants that help beneficial insects. They love to curl up to sleep in my dahlias, and in other flowers. I look for them at evening time, thinking of it, as ‘tucking them’ in for bedtime. I grew Crimson Clover as a cover crop and the bees went crazy for it. If seed catalogs were un-available, I would save seeds from my cutting garden tall snapdragons, the fantastic Cosmos Rubenza, and my dry beans such as Dutch Brown.

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  569. Heather on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear I’d be sure to save:
    Zucchini- so prolific and surprising with such little effort!
    Peas- because there’s nothing like going to the garden to pick a snack
    Zinnias- so cheerful and low maintenance
    Lavender- there is something so soothing about running your hand through a plant and releasing the pent up fragrance.
    Actually now that I think about it I believe lavender would be the answer to question 1 as well! Even though it doesn’t thrive in our zone 3 climate I always have to grow at least one plant every summer, and this year it is the first seeds I am going to sow to get practice with my new soil blocker!

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  570. Dehnel Eekhoff on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear I would start by save seeds from my zinnia, sunflowers and my favorite heritage pumpkins. I love the cut flowers that I grow and share with family and friends. Growing my own vegetables and enjoying them is a must. Having healthy soil with many of our earthworm friends to keep the soil well drained is where my gardens shine. Learning from Erin and Kori is another way to keep my gardens growing and living forever here in Iowa!

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  571. Katie Noah Gibson on

    I love so many flowers, but tulips are my favorite – vivid and colorful, and a sure sign of spring in the Northeast U.S., where I live.

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  572. Kamala Naidu on

    Gardening always takes your mind out of stress. You forget once you start digging the soil.
    I would go to tuberoses if there are no seeds. Even Mary gold will fill our yard since we have a lot of seeds saved up. I have a few dahlia bulbs & am planning to increase them. Thanks to Erin, I learned how to save & replant dahlias.

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  573. Linda Schneider on

    My husband and I have been growing zinnia (and saving the seeds from year to year) for years.

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  574. Lori Oelfke on

    In tough times I have had to to distract myself by mentally taking myself on hikes through subalpine meadows full of colorful wildflowers, visualizing the colors, forms, and aromas as the gentle mountain breezes assuage my spirit. Now that I am a gardener, I create that colorful variety using zinnias, dahlias, roses, and other plants in my own yard. Those flowers buoyed my spirit while recovering from a bone fracture last summer. If seed catalogues were to disappear, I would definitely save seed from the dahlias and zinnias as well as seed from the tomato varieties that I grow. While flowers are a delight to my eyes, there’s nothing more tasty than a sun ripened tomato! 💕

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  575. Linda K. on

    Roses and dahlias. Roses have always been my ally. They are the smell of France where I lived when I was a child. I greet my roses with “Hello, Beauties!!” Dahlias are my happy-color palate. I love to mix roses and dahlias together in an arrangement. I would surely save my orange/ red dahlia bulbs, and root stock from my favorite pink Tea Rose, and a peach-colored Old Rose I resuscitated.

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  576. Linda Pettee on

    All flowers bring me joy ~ I think when I am feeling low, I tend to be drawn to light pastels in the garden, as they are very calming.

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  577. Nancy Jones on

    Delphiniums, bluer than the sky with their unique iridescence returning each year are an occasion to remember. Foxgloves popping up in stately pink and peaches, freckled, with their own independence to grow where they want! The most cheerful and long lasting perennial sunflowers , double, yellow and of such a sunny disposition!
    I admire seed growers and their crafted catalogues, having used this source to learn gardening and design, but save a grow my favorite seeds, in case….

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  578. Ronald Caldwell on

    Creating a flower bed keeps the soil active throughout the year and allows it to nurture and support a wide range of flowers and veggies. The process of maintaining the soils health is a key factor in both the quality of the flowers that bloom and your personal involvement in the process. Zinnia’s add a wide range of color and shapes to the flower area announcing the arrival of Summer until the Winter frost providing bouquets and hours of appreciation simply watching them grow and mature. Saving seeds from favorite plants whether veggie or flower adds a personal touch to the process that personalizes your relationship with the plants. Sweet Peas are a personal favorite that are started in early Fall and winter over in the mild Sacramento Winter. Watching them survive the Winter and magically transforming into a mass of Spring color makes for a deeper appreciation of the garden.

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  579. Cindy Hingley on

    When life is hardest, are there plants in your garden/ecosystem that you find yourself turning towards to help steady or buoy your spirits? What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times?

    The plant that kept me on this planet when my whole world was falling apart was lemon balm. I planted it for the first time that year and every day I smelt, tasted, talked to and listened to it. Lemon balm is the happiest plant I’ve ever met.

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  580. Jill Steiner on

    In the spring, I turn to the tulips. In the summer, it’s the zinnias and love-in-a mist nigella. Especially the nigella. It seeds itself and comes back again and again. I find that to be so encouraging. When life gets tough, there is still flowers that bloom and bring a joy.

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  581. Jennifer on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear I would save my sunflower, gomphrena, celosia, dahlia, and zinnia seed’s because I can’t imagine not seeing them in my garden. I would be a bit panicked though because I have learned to save dahlia or zinnia seed yet which I am looking forward to doing this season. I am beyond grateful that Erin and the team will be showing us how to do that ! I am also grateful that Kori and Erin are encouraging us to our own seeds from the beautiful babies they have created. I hope to discover some unique treasures of my own to share 🩷

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  582. April on

    I love the way zinnias light up my yard. I live in a more urban neighborhood and I plant a mass planting in my front yard that attracts pollinators and people alike. It has become a bright spot that offers unexpected beauty in my neighborhood. Instead of a yard filled with well managed bushes and bark dust, my yard is a happy cacophony of color and beauty. I have found people delight in the unexpected beauty. So for those reasons, I think I would always save zinnia seeds and marigold seeds. These hardworking plants are just plain happy. Their bright sunny blooms are joyous. And I find they bring people a lot of joy. I often cut bouquets and offer them for free to passersby, it just makes people smile. And I think we all need more of that.

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  583. Jp on

    When life is hardest I find myself with my marigolds and zinnias. I love how reliably cheerful they are and how good it can feel to be amongst their joyful faces.

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  584. Paula Olivares on

    Thank you IMMENSELY Kori for all of the beautiful work you have done & all of the amazing knowledge you have freely shared! Every time I have received a message from you I have been so blessed by you kind and sweet words! You truly are a gem!
    To answer question #2 I would most definitely save the following seeds (which I already have been doing with many of these and it has been one of the most fun experiences on this flower journey):
    #1 Zinnias
    #2 Sunflower Steves Sunflowers
    #3 Celosia
    #4 Dahlias
    # 5 Amaranth
    #6 Sweet Peas

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  585. Emily on

    Flowers are such a great way to bless your neighbors and others…such a beautiful way to comfort, celebrate or encourage those around you. I think any flower can provide what the recipient needs…I most happy when I am gifting someone a bouquet or plant start, especially when it is a surprise. Zinnias are a favorite because my son loves to help me start and plant them. Just a sweet memory for me and hopefully for him too as he grows up.

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  586. Abigail Page on

    Zinnias really are the flower that gets me through hard times. They were one of my mom’s favorites, and I have lots of memories with her and zinnias. Whenever I grow them I feel closer to her and my grandmother.

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  587. Jessica on

    The Dawn Creek series are absolutely beautiful. So excited to add some to my garden this year.

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  588. Erin on

    When life if hardest, I am happy with anything that is blooming in the garden. In the summer, it is Sweet Peas and Zinnias. Right now I have Anenomes blooming and they are bringing me so much happiness.

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  589. Jessie Zanella on

    If seed catalogs disappeared tomorrow I would save seed for Purple Sicily Cauliflower, Calima green beans, Sungold tomatoes( knowing they wouldn’t be totally stable), Grandma Hadleys lettuce, Chamomile, Dill, Marigolds, and Oklahoma Zinnias. Big Max is my favorite OP pumpkin so I would stash some of those too…

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  590. Tammy on

    Flowers are such a mood booster! There’s nothing quite like walking through rows of blooms for a refreshed outlook on life- particularly zinnias, snaps, yarrow are some of my favorites💚

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  591. Iliana Jones on

    Currently life is hitting us hard, we are going to move in with nana and help her through her dementia. I’m renting out my current garden as a way to keep peace in my mind and life as we navigate these new waters. My old reliable and special friends are Lisianthus. We have a greenhouse nearby that grows them from seed and I am forever grateful for them because that is a task. They are amazing flowers, every year I learn so much from them. I will for sure need them in my life these future growing seasons. I will need their healthy reminders, they need support and so will I, they need a healthy soil, I’ll need a healthy environment, they don’t complain when they are cut they come back, I will not let harsh words from my nana end our love, instead it will come back with as much grace and beauty as a lisianthus bloom.
    The seed savers in my garden that I will forever harvest are snapdragons, zinnias of course, and dahlias were new to me this previous year but I extremely enjoyed the process! I hope to save some of these new zinnia seeds to add to the beauty in life for as long as I can.

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  592. Elizabeth on

    Our winters are long, cold and dark and I often find myself low without energy from January into March…. just plodding through life until the sun breaks out in the spring. But this winter I’ve been experimenting w forcing tulips in my basement and the transformation of my spirit is delightful! The colors of the tulips, the flouncy petals of the big double buds, the work of tweaking the timing of the bloom! Amazing! So TULIPS are my go to flower! (At least from January to spring!!!)

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  593. Meghan on

    If seed catalogs disappeared I would save zinnia seeds. They were the flower my grandmother grew that inspired my love of gardening and will forever hold a special place in my heart.

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  594. Cindy Metcalf on

    I come from a long line of gardeners and still to this day grow my father’s favorite crowder pea and several of my mother’s tomatoes and hot peppers. I know that they are smiling up in heaven seeing me carrying on their tradition of growing what you love and brings you serenity. These seed were saved from when I was in college and helping with our hobby farm of 4 acres. I dearly love all the new varieties of tomatoes that are offered and for the last 3 years have grown over 500 for our local community gardens and churches. Last year I grew 38 different varities – a rainbow of deliciousness and I have carefully saved seeds from the most productive and delicious ones. While I love to read my seed catalogs and long for anything new – my husband calls it “seed porn” LOL! I’d still be able to grow my garden with all my seed bank.
    So looking forward to growing the new varities of zinnias!!!

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  595. Jessalyn on

    If catalogs disappeared, and I had to pick only one, it would probably be sweet peas! They’re so simple to make a posey (don’t need any arranging skills), and smell soooo amazing. I love putting a little bouquet in each room, and have the fragrance fill up the space. And saving seed is so easy too!

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  596. Dana P. on

    Hi, to everyone involved in this beautiful world of growing precious little flower souls. I love all things colorful especially Zinnias. I only came across these girls in the last few years. Since losing my precious daughter, flowers are my saving grace. Thank-you for sharing these beauties. Peach variety Zinnias are my favorite because my girl had red hair. : )

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  597. Marisol on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear I would try and save every seed possible from my very small garden. I am amazed every time I plant a seed and get to watch it grow into something beautiful. As a new gardener, it’s a wonderful learning experience.

    Picking a favorite flower is hard because different flowers remind me of different people and evoke different emotions. Zinnias remind me of a friend that introduced me to them many years ago. She would invite me to cut bouquets of them for me to take home, and she shared her zinnia seeds. I now save zinnia seeds. Rudbeckia makes smile whenever I see the blooms and this will be my second year growing them from saved seed. Clematis is dainty and beautiful and I have much to learn about growing it. A sunflower is natures way of giving us a hug and then feeding us.

    If I had to pick only one today, it would be zinnias, for their ease in growing. It’s been nice to have a sure success every year while I learn to grow and try other flowers.

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  598. Crissy on

    My dahlias give me a peace and solace when things get rough. Their resiliency during tough times reminds me that I can overcome difficult situations. And their beauty makes me step back and appreciate all nature provides to us!!

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  599. lisa on

    Dahlias and zinnias are my go-to’s right now not just for my own personal benefit but they are my favorite flowers to give away. It’s so fun seeing people’s reaction to receiving stunning beautiful unique flowers. I loved this article and am so happy you guys found eachother. Tears, giddiness and feeling lit up with inspiration. Thank you!

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  600. Lezlie Loewen on

    I love the way Sweet Peas dance in the wind and the amazing sweet uplifting perfume that fills the air, they lift my spirits and fill my soul with joy when I’m feeling down
    I just attended a seed saving meeting at our local garden club I have saved seeds from sweet peas , chocolate lace flower , zinnias and orlaya , I would try to save as many as I could to keep growing flowers for the future and preserving the varieties of flowers I love

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  601. Kaitlyn Bearinger on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, what seeds would you save from your garden this year? What plants do you want to grow alongside forever?

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where to spend my gardening efforts. I’m starting a Ph.D program in the fall and my free time (and extra money) will be very limited, so the energy I spend growing flowers needs to be an investment into the future of my garden. With this in mind, I imagine myself growing alongside plants like zinnias and celosia that do well in my climate and are easy to save seed from. I want to reach a point where my garden is self-sufficient, with all perennials and open-pollinated varieties like celosia texas plume and zinnia dawn creek blush that can continue to grace my garden year after year. There’s something really exciting about one day, no longer relying on large corporations for seeds, but having my very own bank of home-grown seeds to share and trade with local friends and family.

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  602. Nicole Dorway on

    In 2020, when the world was quiet and still, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had time and space to think, rest and heal, and find peace in my garden. I enrolled in the Floret class of 2021 and soaked in every moment of teaching and learning about flowers. In March of 2021, alongside my 3 established vegetable beds, I started three small janky 4 x 4 raised beds made from pallet wood—zinnias, cosmos and nigella—and 10 rose bushes. My heart was smitten and each day I could not wait to see the growth and beauty that was taking place before my eyes. Absolutely miraculous. I was hooked.

    My cut flower beds have grown in size and number and variety, but zinnias and cosmos still make my heart smile the most. They are part of my healing and hope journey and forever will be.

    They say,“to plant a garden is to have hope for tomorrow,” and I could not agree more.

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  603. Peggy Hill on

    Nothing lifts my spirit like visiting a garden center, Greenhouse or a friends garden. I collected poppy seeds from my Mom’s garden and so many grew. When I’m really missing her I go to that spot and talk to her.

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  604. Beth on

    When life is hardest I find solace in the ecosystem as a whole. All I have to do is walk, one foot in front of the other, into the forest, into the desert, on the prairie, over the mountain. The perfect harmony of the natural world exsists complete with its myriad of relationships. Soil, plant, water, and air are in balance and too, so to am I. I hope someday to become as a flower does, on its own path of resilience.

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  605. Nancy on

    Zinnias and marigolds have always been my passion. They are so hardy and produce so many beautiful blooms. I love filling my house with them and sharing them with family and friends. Their bright beautiful flowers always bring a smile to all. Their flower beds are my happy place!

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  606. Haley Peterson on

    The seeds I would save from my garden would be the buckwheats, yarrow, lupine, self-heal, etc. All of the CA native plants that I’ve been acquiring over the years. The buckwheat, however, is ultimately the one that steals my heart. The tiny, delicate flowers combine with the robust and strong plant. The fact that it is food for so many pollinators and produces so much seed. I love it.

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  607. stephanie on

    My garden is my sanctuary! I do flowers and vegetable garden. It soothes my soul like nothing else. My husband supports my gardening addiction in large part because of this. He sees and understands what it does for me. My neighbor even jokes about how I’m always out there. I am currently obsessed and entranced by dahlias, zinnias and celosia. Sometimes you get those that have a glimmer in their color and it just looks so extra magical. But another thing I truly love is my buzzing pollinators it brings. I love finding them sleeping in my flowers in the morning and listening buzz as they work. It’s a complete circle of nature that just grounds me as we work together to make magic happen!

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  608. Pamela Ritchie on

    I love flowers first of all. I find myself wanting to grow more and more. I love Zinnias! I plant them just as soon as I can. The variety of colors are amazing. I’m a recent widow and I just can’t wait to get my hands dirty. My loneliness has just about got the best of me, but I think that growing more flowers will help me to ease the burden. I’m so glad that I came across these emails from you Erin. Thanks!

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  609. Jada on

    In so many ways I feel like a doe eyed newbie in this world. I fell into my own love of cut flowers just last summer and have spent every moment since researching, redesigning layouts, saving and cleaning seeds/tubers, and dreaming of what my cut garden can be like this spring. I deeply resonate with the analogy of music underscoring our relationship to these little treasures (and will be using that analogy going forward!) so for me my garden for the first time ever last year was filled with music. Waking up, gripping a warm mug of coffee, and walking through my dewey grass to check on my Zinnias had the most playful piano score to it. They have to be my current favorite. Filling my house with them was a constant reminder that joy comes in the morning.

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  610. Pat Smith on

    For years I have been saving seed from red field poppies, larkspur, California poppies, butterfly weed, Rudbeckia triloba, and columbine and scattering them around my crop farm (from the back of my horse) to establish wild populations. Whenever I find that a patch of them has “taken”, it fills me with complete delight.
    But for support in all times, including hard ones (which includes dark, drab, damp, cold, LONG winter in southwest Michigan) I cherish the collection of dwarf conifers scattered around the farmstead. Most of them are now 25 to 35 years old — mugo pines, Japanese white pines, birdsnest spruce, startlingly large dwarf Alberta spruce which sometimes produce witches’ brooms of totally unexpected textures and shapes, false cypresses, and a few other things whose tags got lost a long time ago. They stay green in the winter (various shades of green) when the rest of the world is all black and white, they produce the most wonderful lavish, energetic, soft green new foliage in spring, they pour clouds of pollen all over the place in mating season. They are very alive, all the time. They fill me with gratitude when things are good, and they replenish me when I’m a bit emptied out.

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  611. Beverly Spear on

    I turn to a variety of snapdragons when I want my spirits lifted. They start with the tiniest dark dot and grow into these beautiful tall elegant plants! My garden space is small, but every year I grow at least 12 varieties of snapdragons to keep me company all summer.

    I start seeds of several varieties of zinnias, snapdragons, cosmos & dahlias every year. I especially like growing dahlias from seed because you never know what color/form will emerge; I usually plant them in large pots around my patio & am amazed at their height and the large tubers I find at the end of the season. I would definitely save the seeds from these flowers so I would always have them blooming all summer long.

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  612. Rue on

    I’m partial to the common violet. I love that they pop up in random spots, and I have moved some into my garden beds. If you never have, I encourage you to lay yourself down in a patch of violets and wait for the bumble bees. They bounce from bloom to bloom as if they’re in a circus act.

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  613. Christine Mercer-Vernon on

    Anise Hyssop, Cosmos, day lilies, and Zinnias. As a floral painter, I love all my flowers, but these four alone bring me such joy. Day lilies reside in my flower beds and the shiny black seeds are like little gemstone, I couldn’t imagine a summer without them. But Anise Hyssop, Cosmos, and Zinnias, all happily reseed in my small garden and their existence there brings pollinators and beneficial insects galore. I try and save a little seed from them each year, just in case they don’t reseed. Although I kick myself for never saving the zinnias with unique colors. I end up cutting them for bouquets and painting. It’s a hard sacrifice.

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  614. Edith on

    Although finding many flowers comforting, when I see the life of our perennials in the beginning of Spring, I think to myself, they have survived. Through as much harshness in life as many of us, they have survived. This leads me to the one plant I look to—peonies. My grandmother’s favorite, I remember her walking to them in the mornings-smelling them, cutting them and telling me how old they are. I have one of her plants and it is just 1 of my memories of her as soon as I see it emerging in the Spring.
    One seed that I would save—would be the zinnias, long lasting, produces many different varieties, cut and come again, they are just a power house.

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  615. Aimee on

    Last summer I saved more seed from more flower varieties than I ever have before. I loved the gorgeous Cupcake Cosmos mix that I grew and I saved as many zinnia, Sweet Peas, Annual Phlox, Scabiosa and Pink Beauty Saponaria as I could. Now this year I can sow much of the seed I collected and share the seed with friends and co workers. Flowers have brought me so much joy and have been so therapeutic to work with. I look forward to learning as much as I can about growing them and enjoying all stages of their development. My shoe box of glass vials of seed is a precious thing indeed!

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  616. Janelle vert on

    I would save zinnia seeds for sure because when life is hard/busy and all you have time for sometimes is to throw down seeds they always come through. I can neglect them and they don’t care they still put on a show. I also would save pumpkin seeds. I love pumpkins and the big orange flower they put on before they fruit are so pretty.

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  617. Robin Proffitt on

    The seeds I would save from my garden this year are Chrysanthemum seeds. They are just beautiful and I don’t think they get the love and attention they deserve. They have so many colors and forms and last forever as a cut flower. I am really looking forward to a chrysanthemum resurgence.

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  618. Kim Felcher on

    I would absolutely save Zinnia seeds and probably daisies. Zinnias have been part of my life since childhood. Every year my mom would grow a row of zinnias along one side of our giant vegetable garden. My weekly “job” was to pick her a bouquet from that row and at the end of the season my mom (and later myself) would gather dried flower heads into a paper bag to save for next year. Zinnias are so bomb-proof and survive tough conditions! Daisies are a “happy” flower to me and always make me smile so they would need to stay!

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  619. Jean King on

    The answer to both questions is Zinnias of course! I’ve only been flower gardening for about 8 years and never had much success with seeds. But, a friend gave me some zinnia seeds and they grew beautifully and I was so happy. Every time I walked by the zinnias I had a great sense of accomplishment and happiness. I am now trying my best with Dahlias, not having too much success (zone 8b) but I will keep trying. Love your content!!

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  620. Melanie T on

    I find joy and solace in the roses, salvias, kale and rosemary (really all the herbs). Once winter sets in I turn to the evergreens – cedar, pine, spruce. Their fragrance, feel and beauty combine to provide such a lift and balm for the heart, spirit and mind. Thank you for your labours of love, creating these seeds and growing and nurturing such beauty in your corner of this planet. An true inspiration! Sincerely, Melanie

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  621. Sheri Bruun on

    The plant that has always encouraged me through my life is the columbine. I remember as a girl being introduced to this lovely flower on a walk with friends. My friend’s mother was escorting us through a lovely nature preserve pointing out interesting things. She explained how there is a bit of sweetness tucked deep into their long trumpet like petals. That fascinated me. As an adult, I have planted them everywhere I have lived. I was love how their seeds are well protected and rattle inside the dried flower. That is encouraging as well. It takes quite a force of nature for them to release their seeds; a good shaking to reproduce. I think of that in my own life when things are difficult. “This good shaking we allow for reproduction and growth in my life.” I do save these seeds from my yard!
    I’m just beginning the journey of seed saving and have planted a lot of perennials in my yard. I do love zinnias and sunflowers so those would be some seeds I would save as well. Thanks for all the encouragement with all things growing and for this opportunity.

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  622. Brie on

    The plant I turn towards are tomatoes because they are the first plant I ever grew in my garden. I planted six tomatoes in a small front garden as an attempt to share an activity with my young kids when I was deeply ill. It gave us something to watch grow and to talk about and share together.
    The seeds I would save from my garden this year, if I had to pick one are marigolds. Last year I picked all the flowers right before the frost and then strung them and hung they. I was able to enjoy they while they dried. Now I am parcelling out the kids to give to a friend’s kindergarten class. They are so easy to save and so easy to grow.

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  623. Brittney Plummer on

    Currently I’m in a hard season, I’m starting some very tricky seeds ( lisianthus) and they’re definitely keeping me occupied and bringing me joy because they’re finally growing in size. Every year, without fail I look forward to zinnias. The first year I grew them I didn’t know the joy and beauty those little seeds would bring. I’ve grown zinnias every year for almost a decade and I cannot wait to try out these new varieties from you and Dawn.

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  624. Sarah Strouse on

    Thank you for offering a seed giveaway contest! The Dawn Creek zinnias are just lovely 🥰 The plants that buoy my spirit are the bulbs, perennials and shrubs that return year after year. I look forward to the appearance of each one and look for them to start peeking out at their particular season when I walk the farm. They feel like old friends that visit at the same time each year. The seeds I would save are ALL OF THEM lol. I save seeds from more than 100 of our annuals and perennials. Often I buy seeds anyway for our cut flower production field, but I use the seeds I saved in different areas of the farm to make it a beautiful place to live and work and for others to visit. I love sharing the magic of the farm with other people :-) Our farm is @strawberryhillmd on insta, I’d love for you to see photos of the beautiful flowers we grow from your seeds.

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  625. Ellen Pierno on

    There’s the times in my summer days that are so joyful, and that’s when I’m amongst my vegetables and blooming flowers, dahlias and zinnias in particular, picking. I share the many buckets full of incredible colors and personalities with my friends, my cousins florist shop and local neighbors. I love that they go out into the world to be enjoyed.

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  626. Leah b on

    Seeing morning dew or raindrops on petals soothes my soul in the mornings as I sip my coffee. I turn to pansy’s and violas when I want to be reminded of my grandparents gardens- I would run out and see if the “Mickey mouse plants” had grown. It reminds me of that little girl, finding joy in flowers without a worry in the world. When I get The scent of sweet peas on the breeze- I am reminded to be present and still, I find it grounding. I am enjoying keeping my seeds from zinnias and Marigolds this year- they have supplied me with endless blooms & I’ve learnt from them. Cosmos is another love of mine! I love watching her buds & checking to see who they become.

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  627. Donna Cash on

    Zinnias have been, and always will be my favorites! My grandmother grew them, and my mother grew them so they take me back to my roots. Both my mother and grandmother were amazing gardeners. I wish that I had known about saving seeds then and I am thrilled to have read your blog and learn more about saving seeds. this is so encouraging and so inspiring. Thank you for all that you were doing to bring beautiful flowers into the world!

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  628. Austin on

    Peonies are my hope in the garden. They are fleeting in the presence, but the glory of their season is worth waiting the entire year. The memory of their scent lifts my heart and soul.

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  629. Chelsey Carmody on

    When life is hardest I have found that whatever happens to be blooming brings me most joy. The flowers all seem to stand out and have greater depth in those moments. This past year my apple blossom snapdragons, garden phlox and scabiosa were extra cheerful.

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  630. Linda on

    Zinnias…I planted zinnias for the first time last year, and enjoyed them all summer long. I would walk along my flower beds and see what new ones popped up overnight. It was therapeutic to walk among these amazing beautiful creations from God. I saved seeds from my zinnias and my dahlias, so I am excited to start some plants from seeds in a few months.

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  631. Cathy Henderson on

    I find that any time I walk through my garden it brings me peace. Different plants remind me of loved ones, holly hocks brings me back to my grandparents farm, bleeding hearts my husband. When I see the first tomato or pumpkin or new bulb come up in the spring brings hope and calm to my life. Can’t wait to try growing your flowers.

    Reply
  632. Donna Danner on

    My vegetable and flower gardens have given me a sense of purpose. My children are grown and I have retired. Growing vegetables and flowers have given me such joy. I was even asked to start plants for our church’s community garden. I have given plants to my neighbors and helped them grow successful gardens themselves. I have saved seeds from my beans and my flowers every year so that I can grow more of my favorites. I specifically love the zinnias I grew from seed. I love the comments I get from my friends on how successful my gardens are.

    Reply
  633. Tammi on

    Saving our Seminole pumpkin seeds would be top of the list since it is one of our first successful veg crops to produce delicious food and more seeds that have successfully germinated, but Veronica, echinacea, papaver somniferum, CA poppies, and columbine would be saved too…really any flower that thrives and blooms here!

    Reply
  634. Brooke on

    I will forever grow and save Shirley poppies. This time of year, I love to scatter their seeds over snow and mud and take in all the hope that their seeds hold. It’s magical to see how they scatter their seed around the garden. When it’s gray and mucky in the winter, I love to wander and see where they are starting to grow and dream about spring.

    Reply
  635. Jayme cain on

    I’m always looking towards marigold. She is my soother of hard times, simple yet always cheerful. I’m often burned by the intense oils in the leaves but I think that defines our relationship. I’ve found her useful in my new journey into the natural dye world. Such a useful flower, from keeping pests above and below ground away, bringing pollinators, flowering until the frost, drying into cute shapes, being the best bones for a bouquet, garnishing foods, changing garments into art, and bringing everyone cheer. Marigolds, while most see as a simple flower, is one that I will always hold on to.

    Reply
  636. Jill Childress on

    All plants but particularly flowers are a happy place for me . As a child I have early memories being in the tomato fields, playing in the dirt. My parents were crop farmers. Changing over to tobacco crops as I grew older my summers were spent pulling weeds in those long rows. I came to love the dirt, I loved getting side tracked watching all of the different bugs and beetles. I developed a heart of loving to see things grow things. I’m 48 now still sharing time with my family in the field although now it’s my Daddy’s vegetable garden. I started growing a few flowers in it just for hobby, I quickly fell in love with all flowers. This year I’m venturing out and starting a flower farm.
    I’m so excited!!! The dirt, bugs, and all flowers lift my spirits, growing flowers allows me to destress and let go of the hard things and focus on the good!!!!

    Reply
  637. Brandy on

    I don’t know if I could pick just one flower, they all bring me such joy! And sometimes the ones I enjoy most, change from season to season. Last year, I had one small section that I really enjoyed in my garden. A beautiful, bright mix of snap dragons and Valkyrie mix Asters, that I started from seed. I also love hollyhocks. I was so excited to have some first year blooms from seed last year! I won’t babe all the ones I love, we’d be here for awhile haha. I’m in the process of building up flower, and vegetable, gardens at our new home. Buying plants gets expensive really fast, so I’ve been starting many from seed!

    Reply
  638. Katherine on

    My garden is certainly a place where I can quiet my heart, and gardening is often my favorite time to pray. If I were to pick one plant that especially brings refreshment when the world is heavy, I would say it would be my roses. Their beauty and fragrance have been a source of joy since I started growing them, starting with my climbing rose, Madame Alfred Carrier.

    Reply
  639. Katie on

    This interview was very inspiring and reminded me that being true to yourself pays off in the most beautiful ways. I love Chamomile, Rosemary, Tumeric and especially Calendula. My Uncle has Alzheimers and when I have him smell flowers his eyes light up and he remembers joy, right now my lemon trees are blooming and those blossoms are out favorite to visit.

    Reply
  640. Kara M. on

    In the winter, I turn to Hellebores, the beautiful perennials that never fail to bring me joy in January. In the early spring, Virginia Bluebells. They are an ephemeral reminder of the beauty that can be found hidden in the shadows. All summer, Rudbeckia. Especially brown eyed Susan and the waterfalls of sunlight they produce.

    Reply
  641. Ali B on

    There are so many plants that I always want to grow in our garden! Hellebores, peonies, hydrangeas, irises, and dahlias are must haves for me.

    Reply
  642. Darla Batty on

    What relaxes me most after a day at work is getting out in my garden, pulling the organza bags off my dahlias, and cutting buckets of them. I’m always amazed how beautiful and different each one is. I love how the dinner plates barely fit the bags, and when I tease it off, the bloom unfurls. Breakout is the most impressive in that category. And then the ball dahlias in their uniformity, and the cactus with their whimsical form. I love taking pictures and videos of my flowers because it sustains me during our dreary Cleveland winters. There’s something about dahlias that captures light so we’ll and translates into magnificent photos. I often turn to those photos and screensavers when it’s dark and cold outsid and the winters feel so oppressive.They help me feel hope for the next growing season.
    If seed packets weren’t available anymore, I would collect veggie seeds first as a matter of survival. But as for flowers, I have about 30 varieties that I grow in my back yard garden. Lizzie’s, Snaps, Apple of Peru, Gypsophila, Feverfew, Statice, Bupleurum, Zinnia Bells of Ireland, and a few new varieties I’m trying this year.
    BTW- I saved some seed from my zinnias last year. Some really gorgeous large flower heads. Can’t wait to grow them out this year!

    Reply
  643. Marilu on

    This February 15 would have been Mums 80th and my garden has been tribute to her since she’s been gone. I’ve created a sanctuary where I can remind myself, if I’m surrounded by beauty, Mum is with me enjoying it too! Precious jewels emerging from tiny wonders are what you, Kori and Erin have been creating and knowing there will always be a magical beauty I can grow along side with makes for many more days to come. We lost Mum too early and I’d love to keep my memories of her in the garden last forever. Ty🦋

    Reply
  644. Martina Luppen on

    In my very small cutting flower garden cosmos and zinnias are the two flowers I wouldn’t want to do without. They are easy to grow and reliable and make me happy each time I look at them whether that is in the garden or in a vase in my home. I find immense joy in discovering unusual varieties of flowers and so am very excited about the Dawn Creek selections.

    Reply
  645. Margaret Ullman-Hess on

    Collecting seeds is such a wonderful experiment to see what returns the following year! If all catalogs were gone I would want to save as many of the flower and vegetable seeds as possible from what I usually grow. Living in an urban environment with close neighbors who also grow these plants I know there is lot of opportunity for pollen to spread and new varieties created. It would certainly be a learning curve to see which varieties I can isolate enough versus those I could not in this space.

    Reply
  646. Cynthia Rogers on

    When life has been at its hardest I’ve grown roses. Watching something that starts as bare root and a few stalks, and then branches, leaves and eventually buds and flowers, demonstrates nature’s way to heal and renew itself every year and mature into something beautiful. The amazing scent of roses brings such joy down to my soul. Being able to cut a bloom and bring that indoors to color and add life to the inside of our home just adds to the healing properties of this plant

    Reply
  647. Charlene Lee on

    I’m So fascinated with learning to collect seeds anytime I see flowers going to seed. I especially love wild flowers! The variety is so exciting and such a pleasant surprise. Flowers are truly amazing. I’m so grateful for all the knowledge you share!

    Reply
  648. Jennifer on

    Definitely dahlia seeds, and would all the bulbs we put in last fall count? Tried to focus on “older” strains for a bit if of a sense of history, so I could look in my garden and marvel at how long some of these flowers have been around.

    Reply
  649. Kari Stetson on

    I am new to gardening…but fell in love with flowers as a child visiting my grandmother’s house for vacations. She always had pansies growing in the flower beds and whenever I see them I instantly am taken back to sitting on the porch swing and feeling the warmth of the lazy day sun on my face and reminded of her. What I love about flowers is how it takes you back to a memory, a place and time so vividly that you can’t help but be right back in that moment. My favorite flowers have always been hydrangeas, but recently after finding Floret flowers, I have fallen for Zinnias. For me, it is the colors more than the shapes of the flowers. I plan to get some seeds and see if a little bit of grandmother’s gardening wore off on me all those years ago as a child swinging on the porch in the sun.

    Reply
  650. Heather Bright on

    When I am down I usually go to the garden centers or florist section in the grocery stores to look at all the flowers. How can anyone be sad when you have all those beautiful happy faces looking back up at you. I usually end up purchasing some of those flower, plants, or seeds to take home with me. That way I can watch them grow and continue to enjoy them. I am a bit obsessed with celosia, zinnias, and dahlias for a few reasons. One they produce like crazy, and two they can cross pollinate and possibly give you something new and special for you to call your own. The excitement of possibly discovering a new look or color can be overwhelming while waiting for them to bloom. I am getting excited just thinking about it. Reading this article and seeing how Kori and the Floret team have accomplished this let’s us all know it is possible and maybe just maybe I can have a wonderful new discovery of my very own. Thank you for all of the hard work you and your teams have put into these seed.

    Reply
  651. Alicia on

    When I lost my grandma this past fall, it was the Dahlias that I needed to turn to. For so many months they are work that I can barely keep up with. But in grief, the act of snipping, stripping, and bundling felt like a gift they were giving back to me. They were my companions.

    Reply
  652. Abigail on

    I have been thinking about how to answer these questions and it has caused me to peel back so many layers to the onion of my love of plants. It is so sweet to read other comments and see how blessed we are to enjoy nature!

    I ache every time an ancient tree is felled because I know how long it took to become so reassuringly steady. I feel a spark of joy when I see even the tiniest flower in nature amongst the greenery. I love to observe the life growing and moving around me.

    I think most of all I love the butterflies and flowers that attract them. Believe it or not, one year I had the privilege to save around 30 or more butterflies which had been hit by a hailstorm while flying over a lake in the mountains. As I sat by the water I noticed something fluttering on the surface of the water. At first I thought they were leaves, but I leaned in and saw they were orange butterflies. I scooped each one out to a sunny boulder and breathed on them to thaw them out. They started to move and one by one flew away. It was indescribable!

    The nearest I have had to that glorious experience was in a field of zinnias in Tennessee, surrounded by a variety of happy butterflies and bumble bees.

    It has been a dream of mine to have a garden with flowers to share. I have finally started working on this dream this year, for now in my backyard. I’d love to add your beautiful flowers to my growing collection of favorite plants.

    Reply
  653. Shelly on

    I saved sweet pea, Orlaya, honeywort, dahlia and apple of Peru seeds this past season. I hope to save more seeds from our farm this next season. I love the idea of growing roses from seed, how Marvelous would that be! It just always amazes me the beauty that comes from such a tiny seed. Everyone should try growing from seeds, it will amaze you and teach you so much about the wonderful world we live in.

    Reply
  654. Nina on

    My first experience of growing flowers was with your zinnias during Covid. I worked from home (telehealth) during Covid with children with special needs (0-3 years old). After 30 years in the field, it was extremely difficult not being able to see them in person and mostly seeing how difficult was for parents. I needed breaks between my calls so I started to garden more so I tried zinnias. I was amazed how wonderful it me feel being outside and seeing a new variety showing up. After that I started to think about roses and sweet peas (have hundreds of seeds saved now, their so amazing) I was always afraid to grow roses…so after watching you documentary about roses I ordered some roses…it has been amazing discovering new varieties and learning new skills. So if I had to save seeds if catalogs were gone, I would save sweet peas, zinnias and lavender (easy to grow from cuttings and seeds) and grow them among my roses.

    Reply
  655. Linda A. on

    Last Spring, a peony I’ve had for several years in a pot and moved with me twice to new homes, finally bloomed! Its foliage kept re-appearing each Spring and so, like it, I couldn’t give up on the prospect of it someday producing flowers.
    When it did, I was thrilled. Its huge pink blossoms were gorgeous.
    I learned I had planted it too deep. But it was its faithful return each Spring that kept saying to me, (figuratively, of course), “If I can hang in there through yet another move, so can you.”

    So now, we’re best friends, along with my irises – both of which will be in my garden forever.

    Reply
  656. Mellissa W. on

    In 2020 I paused my career and decided to stay home with my kids as we moved across the country. That decision to focus my time and efforts on my children has been a source of happiness and also of grief and sadness at times. Gardening has been a welcome and happy escape to the challenging focus of motherhood. It has become a way to meditate and also focus on myself and create.

    In my new home I decided to plant some Dahlias and Zinnias. Dahlias were new to me, but Zinnias were an old love that I’d help my grandmother tend in her garden as a child. These flowers brought me so much happiness to care for and bouquets soon ended up on the desks of my children’s teachers, on the kitchen tables of a friend battling cancer, and to many neighbors and church friends. It has been 4 almost years now and another cross country move for my family, but I’m still growing and sharing. I’ve sold out vases from local stores more than once and my husband always wonders where all of the mason jars are going.

    In the hard times I have experienced I found joy in these friendship bouquets with marigolds, basil, yarrow, and others. But my heart always finds joy in the Dahlias and Zinnias.

    Reply
  657. Michael on

    I’m hoping to save seeds from numerous plants this year! Peas, kale, tomatoes, ground cherries, radish, lettuce, melons, zinnia, strawflower, celosia, ageratum, chamomile, basil, cilantro, bouquet dill, white borage, new jersey tea, milkweed, joe pye, rudbeckia…I’m sure I’m missing some, but I like to share them at local seed swaps and seed libraries!

    Reply
  658. Sylvia Osterloh on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear and I would have to choose a lifelong flower I would have to pick the Chrysanthemums, Marigolds and Zinnias! I’ve had all three flowers around me all my life. Being a Mexican-American, the meaning of these flowers are such a strong connection to our family members that have passed on. What they symbolize for those of us still living gives us a garden of purpose and delight. I cannot imagine myself without these flowers…ever! They bring me peace, they allow me to cry and they give me purpose in planting them every year. Yes.. most definitely my Chrysanthemums, Marigolds and Zinnias , will always be a very important part of my life. It brings me joy knowing that the seeds I buy or gather every year will continue into our next generation of gardeners in my family.

    Reply
  659. Katelyn on

    When life is hardest, I find solace and comfort in the rose bushes, oak trees, and fruit trees in our garden. Their steadfast presence and predictable seasonal rhythms help me tap into those things in myself, and remember that I am in a particular season as well, whether of growth, flowering, fruiting, pruning, dormancy/rest, etc. My mom has grown lots of roses in her garden for as long as I can remember, so they have a special depth and sense of co-journeying with me. My journey with growing annual flowers is newer and I’m finding them to be a boon and a joy each in their own ways. I’ve always had an affinity for snapdragons though, for both their beauty and playfulness — I loved them as flower “puppets” as a kid. I’m very excited to add some of these incredible zinnias this year!

    I’m not a flower breeder so it’s a different iteration/particularity, but totally resonate with the musicality that Kori talks about. Loved reading this, thank you both for sharing so thoughtfully!

    Reply
  660. Chanel Patterson on

    The seeds I would save and grow for a lifetime— the foods I need to nourish my family! But when it comes to flowers- the plants that I’ve dug up and moved have all been sentimental- dahlias and daylillies given to my by my grandfather and a jasmine plant from my sister-in-law.

    Reply
  661. Cindy Schultz on

    Sunflowers are my happy flowers. Where we live there are fields of them, and I am always amazed at how they stand strong , tall, and bright. As often as possible I keep flowers in my home, I especially make sure that I have them during the winter months in Minnesota. As far as seeds go, I would save marigolds, salvia, zinnias, and sunflower seeds.

    Reply
  662. Kristin Teske on

    The garden is always a place of peace and reflection for me. From my foundling days, my grandmother inspired me with her begonias and her tall Gladiolas that she would cut and bring the house to make giant bouquets like I had never seen before. I always grow begonias in her honor . But it is the peonies and the lilacs that lift my heart and sooth my spirit.

    For over 25 years I’ve been a schoolteacher and in the spring it’s always a challenge for teachers to give their best. Weary and depleted, most teachers drag themselves to school for the last few months, trying to find a smile and some inspiration. But I traipse into the building each April dawn with my arms full of candy-sweet cream, lavender and plum blossoms, filling my classroom, my heart and my students’ imaginations with beauty. When I return home, with a little more light in the sky than the day before, the bright crimson tendrils of my beloved peonies are break through the ground. The anticipation they bring is a herald of hope, “summer is coming,” they whisper…and then, as if they need do more, for the last 8 weeks of the school year they deliver the fluffiest, yummiest, most deliciously gorgeous blooms, like a king sized fairy bed ready made for joy.

    Reply
  663. Kim on

    Thank you for sharing Kori’s story of resilience and her love of sharing beauty through the “music” of flowers. I would save the seeds from the marigolds I have saved the past 15 years growing in my city gardens including an alley garden. Having recently moved to the country in the woods, where we’re starting from scratch – the marigold seeds will be the first thing I plant this spring. I hope to always live with roses which remind me of my grandma, Mimi.

    Reply
  664. Zandy Russell on

    1. My Oak trees….Started so small …Acorns and now producing themselves. Started in pots in November…Planted in June the month my husband passed away when I knew I was able to stay on the property we fashioned together. Now they are showering me with acorns. I plant the acorns and give away baby trees.

    2. I save all my flowers and veggie seeds. So fun!

    Reply
  665. sara :o) on

    Thank you for sharing Kori’s story.

    Born and raised in Hawaii, but recently relocated to Oregon, my fragrant rose bushes (Lady of Shalott, Koko Loko, and Just Joey) as well as Spring Tulips are what bring me great joy, hope, and comfort.

    I am often home sick and miss my Hawaii family terribly, but Oregon’s cooler weather has opened an exciting new world of gardening for me. Home grown roses are quite rare in Hawaii, and Tulips are all shipped in for obvious reasons, so it’s been a treat to grow.

    Being from Hawaii, the seasons particularly Spring and Fall is such a treat to experience. That said, simply stepping out into my garden and experiencing so many miracles has been my greatest comfort…including my new garden friends (humming birds, bees, and even our mischievous squirrels). Nature is so welcoming and comforting, and wisdom can be found in abundance.

    Wish all a season of Beauty and Abundance!

    Sara.xo

    Reply
  666. Deanna on

    I thrive in nature. I live with the tallest redwood trees in the world. The redwoods breathe life into me and help keep my life in perspective. I also enjoy my flower garden. I love the zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers, sweet peas, poppies, and pansies. My favorite flower is whatever is blooming at the time. Watching the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds enjoy the flower garden helps every fiber in my being relax and breathe deeply. Behind the lens of a camera, I am often capturing natures beauty as an act of mindfulness and meditation.

    Reply
  667. Joanna Vinson on

    Connecting with nature and creation is food for my soul, growing a variety of flowers and food. Callas are on the top of my favorites then peonies and dahlias. If I had to save seeds this season, it would be green beans, peas, beets, tomatoes, dahlias, sweet peas, sweet williams. I could go on! Thank you Erin and Kori for your inspiration.

    Reply
  668. Elle on

    Sungold tomatoes, Mrs. Burns’ lemon basil, daffodils, garden roses and peonies.

    Reply
  669. Shannon Jarvis on

    Zinnias are just such happy flowers. They always lift my mood and I love how easy they are to grow.

    Reply
  670. Julie vaught on

    Roses lately, out of nowhere two years ago they seemed to have a banner year and this common rose my whole life I never noticed because of the trite context of our culture became this special magical being in my life- the beauty the fragrance – the gentleness and the thorns a symbol of healing and openness and boundaries and strength – I can’t get enough – it continues to unfold – the healing of the rose 🌹

    Reply
  671. Brenda on

    1. I get seasonal depression and gardening has really kept me going. Because I have to plan a season ahead, it keeps me looking towards the future and gets me excited to see things bloom instead of feeling stuck in my sadness. I do have to say that the ones I turn towards the most on my bad days are my roses. I love buying bare roots and seeing the progress of them growing and creating something so beautiful and fragrant. Every time anyone visits, I make them go smell my roses. Also, after it rains, i tend to get a lot of aphids on them but I always go out there and inspect them real close and make sure i get rid of the aphids. My grandma always had roses and I helped her trim them/deadhead them when I was little. My mom also loves roses and we live in different cities, so they always remind me of her. Roses help me in my darkest moments and bring me comfort, and closeness to my mom who I only get to see every couple of months.

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  672. Sarah A. on

    What a lovely interview!

    There are many plants I turn to in my garden that ground me. It’s all very seasonal, first is the pop of the crocus, it’s always the first sign of what’s to come. Then the daffodils and tulips give me so much joy after the cold and darkness of winter. After that, the peonies. It’s short lived, but their huge and bountiful blooms bring me so much joy.

    Then the zinnias and dahlias carry me through summer and fall. Their endless colors and shapes never cease to amaze me. I fall deeper in love with them every year.

    Thanks again for sharing. I’m so excited to order some seeds!

    Reply
  673. Jaime on

    I would save celosia seeds. They are my favorite. I would save as many different kinds as I could.

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  674. Christine Gonzales on

    Thank you for this beautiful interview! I love how Kori speaks of the magic and hope in these wondrous flowers, as well as the reverence with which she holds them.

    Because we live in the high desert, I never thought growing flowers made sense (with limited water, the dry climate, ecological concerns) but my mother in law inspired me with her stunning garden (flowers of all kinds) and her thoughtful practices. She brought so many people so much joy-brought herself so much joy as well– it was impossible to walk through her garden and not feel delighted and hopeful yourself. She gardened through cancer and up until her last weeks of life. I was learning alongside her, and struggling with my own physical illness as well, but we didn’t talk about this. We just kept faith in the seeds and our devotion to beauty and another day. She passed away before we had the chance to grow our first garden together. I knew I would continue to grow in absence, in honor of her, but what I did not expect, was the healing and joy I would find in the garden for myself.

    For this reason, the seeds I would save this year, and those I want to live alongside for a long time yet, are many. But above all, I will always think of her when I see delphiniums, dahlias, zinnias and sweet peas and so these are the ones I will plant in her memory, knowing her spirit is in these beautiful plant beings. Growing flowers and being in relationship with them has become my way of praying. I grow seedlings and plant with my young daughter–knees to the earth, heads lowered, hands together, we listen and we offer love to the moment and to the gift of the flowers.

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  675. Claire on

    This is my first year growing cut flowers, mainly Zinnias to get started! Up until now I’ve been a big veggie garden gal, so if seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, my focus would be on my veggies. My number one would be tomatos, I love them for their versatility and I just adore tomato plants, with no explanation other than I feel like I can relate to them.
    I am so excited to start growing Zinnias, we have a large acreage so I got to choose the “perfect” spot, I have been thinking a lot about getting my site prepped. I hope I love growing them and suspect I would feel the need to save seeds from them if I were no longer able to order from seed catalogs!

    Reply
  676. Meg on

    1. Yes! I love the challenge of gardening. I’m not very good at it, but I love learning and trying again. My zinnias and sunflowers boost my confidence when I can get things to grow (they never let me down haha).

    2. I’ll always grow sunflowers and zinnias because they are beautiful and reliable. I think I’d save some vegetables too. I want to try to grow the majority of my produce someday!

    So excited for this new release!

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  677. Kathleen Chandler on

    Dahlias are therapeutic for me. I love watching them sprout and gain their first leaves. I get so eager for the first pinch! Lol
    They calm and soothe me and bring such beauty into the world.

    Reply
  678. Sheila on

    I turn to the largest and smallest plants (or parts) when I need support— I love to hold my hands against trees, feel their bark and listen to their message. Sometimes they speak to me. I once found a tiny translucent mushroom maybe 5mm tall on a fallen log. It gave me hope and calm. I also look very closely at plants to see the lines in leaves, the fuzz, the colors. Both those large trees and those tiny plants provide me comfort and strength.

    Reply
  679. Chastity Propes on

    When life gets hard, I love looking at all my hibiscus flowers. They make me so happy! I save seeds from every food and flower I grow. This year will be my first year to grow a Cut flower garden. I’m super excited about all the possibilities with breeding flowers and putting a smile on so many people’s faces with beautiful bouquets!

    Reply
  680. Jeanne on

    I would save zucchini seeds because they have the best of everything. Amazing yellow blossoms, versatile enough to eat at any meal and so hearty anyone in the world could grow a crop big enough to share with everyone. Zucchini is a misunderstood flower, and that is a plant everyone should go on a journey with, because are we not all searching for compassionate understanding ?!

    Reply
  681. Susan Kay Waller on

    I was SO surprised when a packet of Zinnia seeds I bought at Walmart actually grew. I have always had problems growing anything from seed. It has given me confidence to try more. I want everything but will try more Zinnias, sweet peas and save my own seeds! Your IG account has given me lots of helpful information!

    Reply
  682. wendi on

    Peonies are my first love as they remind me of my grandmother. She had them surrounding her house and i loved them. After her passing several of us got a peony but i lived in a condo at the time and no longer have that one but have many others and think of her often. Dahlias, zinnias, snaps, amaranth, celosia and many others are my new loves that i am adding to my garden and feeding my soul.

    I save seeds today but would continue to save the seeds of my anise hyssop – the smell captivates me just brushing past and the hummingbirds and bees go crazy for their purple spikes. They are so alive with scent and life. I would also keep saving my lupine seeds as they are early blooming and so unique and come back year after year. So many others, rudbeckia, snaps, strawflowers – so unique! Loving this passion for growing new life. thank you both for all of your inspiration!

    Reply
  683. Veronica Runge on

    When life is hardest, are there plants in your garden/ecosystem that you find yourself turning towards to help steady or buoy your spirits? What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times?

    The plants in my garden that saved me when I was struggling though an unknown disease at the time and saved me through the recovery of it were zinnias and salvia. From the butterflies to the soil, every part of the joy those seeds brought me I cherish to this day. “All the power of creation starts from a single tiny seed,” ferngully.

    Reply
  684. lisa craddock thitoff on

    Which plants buoy me? Pretty much all
    of them. The whole garden. Together and separately. If I had to pick, I may be able to pick to season. Bleeding heart-a sweet spring flower which is just so calming and pretty. Sunflower- healthy and strong and defiant. The Siberian iris, the zinnia, the dahlia that has taken so long to show itself and is such a beauty. The native plants/flowers supporting our native species. The soil. The garden.

    Reply
  685. Kara on

    To pick one flower is a very difficult task. My true loves are flowers that dry with beauty and strength. Gomphrena, statice and straw flowers are a solid favorite in my garden I just love the sidekick flowers! But zinnias are where it all began! If I had the space I would have rainbow rows of zinnias in every shade and color!

    Reply
  686. Rhi Urton on

    I had some accidental zinnias pop up in my raised veggie beds a few years ago which brought me immeasurable joy now I tuck them everywhere for random glimpses of bright beautiful happiness.

    Oddly I’m obsessed with hit chili peppers! Colors, varieties, country of origin, those bring me most pride (I can’t possibly use even 10%)

    Reply
  687. Sylvia Barthel on

    So excited for your special seeds! Congratulations!! When life is tough as it has been for me and my husband the last few years the garden and all flowers really are what bring healing. I only discovered the beauty of zinnias a couple of years ago! They are absolutely amazing! I breathe in their beauty! Sadly, I had to leave behind a beautiful garden that I had put a lot of work into when we made a big move in order to be closer to kids and grandkids and am starting over from bare dirt so cannot save any seeds yet but if I did have some it would be zinnias I would save. Maybe next year! 😊

    Reply
  688. Lori Schutz on

    I find that my spirit is most buoyed by cheerful composite/daisy type flowers, especially rudbeckia sand coneflowers. It’s hard to pick a favorite!

    I grew Queen Lime Orange. Zinnias last summer and fell in love with all the colors seen in a single bloom. That led me to Facebook groups for zinnia enthusiasts. That is where I learned of the Floret and Dawn Creek varieties. I am eagerly awaiting launch day, and hope to land several.

    Should seed catalogs disappear, I’d save seeds from as many plants as I have growing. Zinnias, rudbeckia, coneflowers, tomatoes, peppers and garlic would be priority plants I want to carry with me into the future.

    Thank you for asking the thoughtful questions. Sending good vibes to everyone at Floret and Dawn Creek. You are all doing lovely things.

    Reply
  689. Edie Lang on

    I love my zinnias, dahlias, and ranunculus, but if I had to choose just one plant to take seeds from it would be my snap peas. I sow them with my kids every year and then harvest and eat right from the vine.

    Reply
  690. Kristin on

    Life hits each of us with days that we wish circumstances would allow us stay in the warm snuggles of our children, pets and warm blankets. A few tears might fall, but looking out the window and watching the sky brighten barely perceptively and remembering we have heaven on earth out in our gardens gets us up. A bit of caffeine and the knowledge that the universe is brightening again gets us out the door. It’s still mostly dark but the promise of a new day and the sunrise… always. A chance for beauty & growth. The turmoil of life forgotten for a moment while the beauty of the miracle of a tiny seed planted a week ago, a month ago, a season ago makes us get the silliest smile. I’m so thankful always. Best wishes & much love to us all who understand ❤️ We’re the lucky ones.

    Reply
  691. Rhonda Willms on

    My true flower loves for cut flower bouquets are snap dragons, sweet peas and dahlias. Tried and true and so many beautiful varieties. My flower garden has become essential in maintaining my mental health. Thank you, Erin and team, for your guidance and inspiration.

    Reply
  692. Kristin on

    Life hits each of us with days that we wish circumstances would allow us stay in the warm snuggles of our children, pets and warm blankets. A few tears might fall, but looking out the window and watching the sky brighten barely perceptively and remembering we have heaven on earth out in our gardens gets us up. A bit of caffeine and the knowledge that the universe is brightening again gets us out the door. It’s still mostly dark but the promise of a new day and the sunrise… always. A chance for beauty & growth. The turmoil of life forgotten for a moment while the beauty of the miracle of a tiny seed planted a week ago, a month ago, a season ago makes us get the silliest smile. I’m so thankful always. Best wishes & much love to us all who understand ❤️

    Reply
  693. Judy Mieger on

    1. Sweet peas have saved me. Since I can no longer garden in the ground much, I have a wonderful Deckfarm with huge waist- high planter beds, large pots, and horse troughs. There are sweet peas in most of them— they are long and faithful producers in our climate— I plant them with tomatoes, hanging onto the cages , trailing down the edges of the planter beds forming a blanket of color, with pot cukes, climbing the driftwood together, even with snap peas — I think they enjoy entwining with their cousins ( I won’t save those seeds…) I talk to them as I deadhead and pick flowers to tuck into little vases or test tube vials to give away each day. What a gift to see faces light up as flowers are inevitably pressed to noses and eyes close and they say FROM YOUR GARDEN??

    Reply
  694. Kathi on

    I love so many of my flowers but my Peonies are definitely the ones that I turn to to help steady my spirits. They hold a very special place for me because my daughter and I planted them together when she was little. We tend them together every spring, cutting them and bringing them in to enjoy in vases, hers in her bedroom and me in various places around the house. Now that she will be leaving for college this year, I am going to cherish our time tending them this spring even more.

    Reply
  695. Clarisse on

    Lilacs, peonies, sweet peas, sweet corn- all give peace to me- reminding me of my childhood
    I would save sweet peas, well truthfully I would try and save all my seeds if I knew no more ordering. Love love zinnias ,these colors are perfect

    Reply
  696. Erin on

    1. There’s about an acre of native joe pye weed and golden rod growing along a creek at the back of our property. They’re such simple plants on their own, but when growing together in such a large quantity it’s gorgeous! Along with the sound of the creek nearby, it’s so beautiful as the sun sets over them. Other than the garden, It’s the best place to go when I need a second to myself.
    2. There’s so many seeds I would save!! But at the top of the list would definitely be sunflower, zinnia, snapdragon, and sweet peas.

    Reply
  697. Michelle on

    Salvia has become my home in our garden. If I’m being honest, I would truly tear up to see hydrangeas in my yard, they seem to bring peace to the soul, but being in zone 9 brings it’s joys and sorrows.

    I would save my zinnia and allysum seeds..

    Reply
  698. Marilyn Regan on

    Nicotiana Alata Grandiflora and Brugmansia Charles Grimaldi! Their form and scent are balm for the soul on summer and fall evenings, the Nicotiana like fallen stars from the sky with an airy quality that dances in the breeze, and they blossom nonstop with abundance from early summer to hard frost here in Michigan.
    Brugmansia have always been a magical enchanting plant that especially makes me feel like I’m in another world, and Charles Grimaldi has my favorite peachy sunset glow as well as a lighter sweeter scent than other Brugmansia that makes the cares of the world fade and connect you to another. The wonders and beauty of the plant kingdom!

    Reply
  699. Cathryn irving on

    I would have to say dahlias and zinnias have my heart. I can’t imagine my garden without either of them.
    ~Cathryn

    Reply
  700. Kristi on

    I love so many plants, but in my garden each year I am
    so happy to see the irises that are descended from plants I planted with my grandparents when I was 7 (roughly 4 decades ago). They give me such comfort and joy.

    Reply
  701. Rachel on

    When life is hardest, my garden is my refuge. Roses, Hyacinths and Zinnias are a few of my most treasured.
    Every year I save as many OP flower and vegetable seeds as I possibly can!

    Reply
  702. Allie Richter on

    I have lived in apartments for all of my married life, until this last year. I am so excited to finally start my garden and grow FLOWERS! My mom has gorgeous hydrangeas in her front yard, watching her care for them, cut them and dry them to display around her home was always special to me. Whenever I see a hydrangea I think of my mom, so they always brighten my mood!

    Reply
  703. Heidi on

    My soul flowers are definitely Dahlias. The variety of colors, types and sizes is unmatched. I even saved seeds from some of mine this year! I’m excited to see what they produce for me. I have to say though, these Zinnias are pretty spectacular! I’m loving the colors. 🧡

    Reply
  704. Maureen Stratton on

    The plant that buoys my spirits year after year is my Kerria japonica (Japanese rose). I look forward to the first blooms every year…the cheerful yellow color, the crazy wild/overgrown spraying growth habit, the joy it brings me that it has come back for me in yet another season. I never tire of it. I smile. It’s my touchstone.

    Reply
  705. Rachel Burgoon on

    I would save my sunflower seeds, zinnias, asters and my dahlias tubers! Pretty hard to pick!

    Reply
  706. Jacky on

    If seed catalogues were to disappear I would make even more effort to save more seeds than I do now, which is currently a lot but room for more. My favorites are love in a puff vine, celosia, feverfew, larkspur, sweet sultan, and poppies to name a few. I have hand pollinated and bagged some Zinnias in years past and loved seeing the seeds I saved bloom the following year.

    Reply
  707. Patti on

    I always save a LOT of my seeds!
    Zinnias for their bright colors & my friends get seeds.
    Milkweed for the Monarchs I raise every year.
    Sunflowers, clematis, coreopsis, coneflower, columbine, hollyhocks, 4 leaf clover & bee balm.
    Just a few of many favorites
    Kansas flower lover! 🍀🌻🌼🌸

    Reply
  708. Kat on

    I often find myself gently grazing with my fingers any sort of new growth right before something blooms or ripens, always amazed that I grew these plants from a tiny seed. This brings me great peace when I’m needing to just unwind from the world on my own.

    Reply
  709. Christelle on

    The field where we grow our flowers is the place where I feel good and where I like to sit when the whirlwind of life carries me away.
    I especially love zinnias and looking at their differences. I am impressed each time by their similarities but by their singularity. All this calms me down, I take a lot of photos and I would like to share them with lots of people.

    Reply
  710. Pam on

    my roses get me thru all the seasons- they’re such a joy even when they’re dormant and working hard for Spring. They teach me slow down and be patient (or you will get stung!), which is what I typically need to ground me when life feels chaotic.

    Reply
  711. Tavia Hutchens on

    Dahlias are my soul flower. They had always thoroughly impressed and inspired me. My sister then expressed why the dahlia reminded her of me. I asked her why and she said, “the way the dahlia appears to be small and shy before she blooms and then as she blooms, there is just a never-ending flood of layers of petals.” This was said to me after I had left a very toxic marriage and had begun counseling, going to school and working hard at healing from childhood and adult trauma. Needless to say, I cried and the love I have for dahlias deepened 1,000 fold. They comfort me and remind me of all I’ve overcome and how resilient I am through all hard times in my life.

    Reply
  712. Vicki Sakioka on

    My Zinna’s lift my spirits every time I go out to my garden and see their cheerful faces. I miss them this time of year and look forward planting Florets & Dawn Creek’s new baby’s this year!

    Reply
  713. Regina on

    I would save as many zinnia varieties that I could. I have always loved them. My mother shared the same love. The spring after she passed away I planted an even bigger zinnia garden in her memory so that I could watch the butterflies dance among the multicolored flowers. I knew my mother was there with me whenever the butterflies and goldfinch came to visit.

    Reply
  714. Elizabeth on

    I don’t even want to think about seed catalogs disappearing because the catalogs themselves bring me so much joy haha!! :) But if that happened, I would make sure to save seeds from my delphiniums, zinnias, cosmos, lupine, and snapdragons. Oh, and chamomile too! (because I love how cheery those tiny daisy-like flowers are, plus they make delicious tea!)

    Reply
  715. Chris Pettine on

    Several years ago I retired from teaching and decided I wanted to start a small cut flower garden for my own pure enjoyment. Starting out I found it hard to limit myself when buying seeds – so much to choose from to attract bees, birds, and butterflies. I knew zinnias would be easy to start from seed because as a young child I helped my mother in her flower garden. I cherish her daffodils passed down from her mom, to my mom, and then to me and my sister. She also grew colorful bachelor buttons, gladiolas, zinnias, cosmos, salvia, and pansies she called “johnny-jump-ups”. Flowers bring back so many childhood memories of my growing up in a small town with a hard working mom with so much love in her heart. In winter I start to imagine which flowers to start, especially which varieties of zinnias. My mother’s love of nature has influenced my choice of flowers that bring me great comfort and love that I can share with others. My neighbors will often find a bouquet on their front porch when they least expect it- I hope these flowers bring them as much joy as they do me. I feel the warmth of these new zinnia colors. Thank you both for your love of flowers, imagination, and dedication to hard work.
    Chris Pettine

    Reply
  716. Stacy Walker on

    Zinnias for sure. My little garden always attracts hummingbirds and I love watching them fly from flower to flower. It looks so magical. Also, I love gardening and growing them with my daughter. It’s so wonderful to share the joy of growing and tending a garden together.

    Reply
  717. Jennifer Stark on

    Seed catalogs are my eye candy to get through the Chicago winter. This upcoming growing season will be my first time sowing zinnia seeds I saved from last year flowers. Not sure I did it right, but I have a box full of dried petals with dark seeds ready to scatter when spring finally starts warming the ground. I will always have zinnias growing within my view.

    Reply
  718. Erin on

    I would save all the herb seeds I could – they add colour to the garden and a brightness to anything you cook – even in the dead of winter in cold Canada! I would also save some seed potatoes (boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew) and of course, tomato seeds!

    Reply
  719. Sarah Hostetler on

    I have grown zinnias in my garden for close to 30 years. I save my own zinnia seeds as well. But I have never grown those beautiful pastel colors! I’m so in love with them!!

    Reply
  720. Adeline Mukwamugo on

    Hello ,
    Thank you for this interview!

    In 2020 when the world shut down I was forced to move from NYC back to my mom’s house in Texas. Everything was so scary but my mom has a garden in her back yard that kept me busy. She gave me a packet of flower seeds to plant in one of the raised beds and I remember laughing about the fact that everything was going to be over in 2 maybe 3 months and I’d be back in Brooklyn living life as usual and I wouldn’t get to see the flowers bloom. Well , life had other plans and as time went by I found myself watching YouTube videos on gardening, buying all sorts of seeds and plants from our local nursery just to keep myself occupied. In that time I fell in love with African Blue Basil that I found at the nursery. I had never seen this basil before and in my quest to find seeds I learned that it’s a sterile basil and only grown from cuttings. I propagated a few cuttings and planted them all over and watched as the beautiful pink flowers danced in the wind and attracted so many bees and butterflies. I have since then made it a point to plant some just so I can have my morning tea in the garden as I watch the bees and butterflies enjoy the beautiful flowers. Also this past year we harvested so many cucumbers and I think the African blue basil helped bring in the pollinators which helped our cucumber plants produce lots of fruits.
    So to answer your question : African blue basil is one of the plants that lifts my spirits. It smells amazing and helps me take care of the bees.

    Reply
  721. Jenna on

    I love all the flowers, it’s so hard to pick. One that comes to mind are foxgloves because they have so many seeds from one single plant and the bumblebees like to sleep on them which makes me happy. My daughter loves flowers and bees 🐝 🌷🌱at the end of the season we shake all the seeds on the fresh soil and look forward to watching the baby seeds pop up the following Spring. (She’s 3, this is the perfect activity for young kids in the garden) 💜

    Reply
  722. Jo-Anne MacLennan on

    I would save zinnias, marigolds and cosmos seeds.

    I get joy out of seeing the seeds sprout from the soil and the strength in the stems as they mature. The abundance of blooms off each variety puts a smile on my face every time.

    Reply
  723. Nicole on

    Flowers, planting, and gardening is a refuge for me to refocus and clear my mind. It keeps me busy weeding, even mowing is a break from the world. My full time career has been in corporate travel, which I enjoyed but it can be stressful, then my job was eliminated with a major world retailer. They outsourced our whole department. I was blessed to be able to transfer to the new agency then a few years Covid happened and I was laid off again. I bounced back, returned to the agency only to experience downsizing and I was laid off again. Third time is the charm, I have refocused, trying to find myself again by learning new skills from wood working to formulating all natural organic bath and body products. I have always loved flowers and I’m drawn to natives. I have several acres and want to start planting beautiful flowers and beneficial plants I can incorporate into my bath and body products. I’m currently reading, following social media flower farmers, watching floret on Magnolia and learning everything I can this winter so I can begin planting and experimenting what I can grow here in the corner of NW Arkansas.

    If I had to collect seeds I would start with the beneficial plants that help keep us healthy and heal our skin. I haven’t started yet but hope to this summer. Thank you for sharing your story, experiences, and passion. You are an inspiration. I hope to grow alongside the beautiful flowers this year.

    Reply
  724. Sarah Sterling on

    I would save as many seeds as I could from all of my plants! I love them all and I would promise to carefully separate and label each variety!
    Whatever is blooming when I am in need comes to my rescue.

    Reply
  725. Dora Varo on

    When life is at it’s hardest, I find myself turning to my lavender. It is so hardy and the smell is wonderful. The flower is also beautiful and lasts long. It is my easiest plant to care for. I love cutting bunches to place everywhere in my home. I also love my roses, they remind me of my mother. She grew several in her garden. I feel close to her when I look and smell my roses, I do take time to smell my roses. I would love to try to grow your seeds and open up new friendships with new flowers in my garden.

    Reply
  726. Caro on

    I would save baptisia, zinnias, french marigolds, calendula, dahlia, Shasta daisy and cosmos seeds. Peonies too!

    Reply
  727. Sarah Helman on

    The seeds I would save from my garden are heirloom tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, carrots, and zinnias.

    Reply
  728. Deborah Copeland on

    I would want to save them all.
    Zinnias have a special connection to my last year with my grandmother. And when she came to live with me. It was then that I planted my first Zinnias.
    My Grandmother had Alzheimers and Demmentia, so together we did things to keep her active. I would pick the Zinnas and cut herbs, and she would arrange them in jars we saved. I would tie a ribbon around the Jars and then we gifted the arrangments to people. We both have always loved flowers and planted and picked them.
    During covid the idea came to me to start a flower farm and take arrangements to the nursing homes and care facilities. I started then, collecting seeds and reading and learning in order to do this soon.
    Your flowers are special and beautiful and I hope to be able to grow some and use to bless others.
    Blessings
    Deborah

    Reply
  729. J on

    Thank you for such a wonderful, beautifully written piece. What a treat! As far as which plants I turn to- I don’t yet have my own garden, but at my childhood home was a beautiful lilac bush. That was always a source of peace and comfort to me. As an adult, I have potted dahlias that resemble sunsets that bring me joy and hope. I hope to have both of these plants along with zinnias and more in my garden one day!

    Reply
  730. Emily Martin on

    The wide variety of daffodils that bloom at the Henry Ford estate near where I live get me through the hard days of wavering weather we experience during early spring in Michigan. Every year it gives me hope to see those happy yellow flowers turning their faces toward the sun.

    Reply
  731. Brooke on

    I love nasturtiums! When I’m down, I love to see how quickly they bloom and bring life to my garden. So happy and bright.

    Reply
  732. Madi fielder on

    When life gets hard or overwhelming, zinnias are what makes me smile. Candy mix is what fills my cup! I’m hoping after this next planting season dahlias will also make me smile.
    I hope to plant ranunculus and zinnias forever. I’d save seeds from all of my floret zinnias. :)

    Reply
  733. Jo Lynn Kegler on

    I plant zinnias every year by my white picket fence. I love the different varieties of zinnias and all their bright colors!
    Zinnias definitely put me in my happy place!

    Reply
  734. Parker S. on

    Currently going through one of the hardest seasons of my life but what’s getting me through is knowing that in a few short weeks/months, I get to dig my hands in the dirt, and watch something come to life. My favorite changes yearly, but seeing amaranth sway in the wind always reminds me to be in the moment, be proud, and take a deep breath.

    Reply
  735. Jen Dionisio on

    When times get hard , sitting in my garden with the roses and lilacs remind me of sitting in my grandmothers garden. That’s where my love of flowers started. It grounds me and brings me back to those summers and reminds me of where it all began.
    Thank you for sharing your treasures with the world💚

    Reply
  736. Michelle Dyson on

    Different flowers for the different stages of life have gotten me through hard times. The ones that seem to make me the happiest at the hardest of times this last year when I was taking care of my dad and then following his passing seemed to be sunflowers, foxgloves and Dahlias! I am going to try to grow all from seeds this year!

    Reply
  737. Rochelle on

    I love growing basil varieties and saving their seeds – they’re so fragrant and so well in our climate. If I could only save one seed it would be a tulsi basil variety we grow each year.

    Reply
  738. Jessica on

    I love dahlias, zinnias and rudbeckia. They are so cheery! I would save seeds from the above flowers and tomatoes too. I love tomatoes! :)

    Reply
  739. Patti Byrne on

    I was blessed to have found Kori and her stunning zinnias the same year as the sudden loss of my Mom. I had already donated to Dawn Creek and had no idea what impact these flowers would have on me. I started the seeds and watched every single one sprout, I filled my garden and waited. My world had shifted, my garden was my solace. I couldn’t wait to grab my coffee in the morning and head out to see what Dawn Creek magic had occurred overnight. My extraordinary garden healed me that year…Kori’s extraordinary zinnias healed me that year… My Mom would have loved them. She has received bouquets of them weekly for the past three summers.

    Reply
  740. Sarah Lenssen on

    My mainstays of joy are definitely dahlias. I’ve been growing them for more than 20 years, and since finding you, I have expanded my collection into more pale varieties which are ethereal.

    If there were no seed packets, I would definitely save more zinnia seeds, and Shirley poppies because they are my very favorite.

    Reply
  741. Lisa Pedigo on

    I would have to save my sweet pea, zinnia and my growing pansy/viola collection. Love the new zinnias soon to be released!

    Reply
  742. Cindy Wilson on

    When life is hard I stand and enjoy looking at the intricate web that my sweet peas build. That may sound odd, but my peas bloom early and you can immerse yourself within the fragrance They reach out and stand together through an intricate web. I always learn something from the way they live; they come up with strong roots, not to be shaken, they lean on each other and grab to hold her neighbors up. They share their beauty with the world, and. Their fragrance lifts my spirits. Thank you for the joy you bring to those involved in the world of flowers.

    Reply
  743. Dorothy Albert on

    I live with my daughter in town and only have a few feet around the house for flowers. We plant different heights of zinnias and the tall snapdragons so we have our own cut flowers all summer long. I have a number of roses that I love, but they don’t always like our weather so every year is a question mark as to whether I will get some nice blossoms. Plants are my “”centering point.” We have a garden room which has two baker’s racks filled with African violets and all manner of greenery and an occasional orchid magically appears on my kitchen bar.

    Reply
  744. Irene on

    Thank you for this wonderful interview!! If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, the seeds that I would save from my garden would be zinnias, cosmos, sweet peas, snapdragons, strawflowers, poppies and orlaya. I would also save all my beans, tomatoes and pea seeds

    Reply
  745. Jennie on

    It is hard for me to pick a favorite go to flower. I guess it depends on the season. In spring I love my lilac bushes and the small violets that pop out in unexpected places. Then come the peonies that seem to come and go too quickly. Summer is dahlia time for me and I love growing them from seed. The seeds that I collect myself are: bupleurum, zinnias, dahlias, candy tuft, larkspur, calendula, lots of different types of poppies, sweet peas, stock, and feverfew. I also save vegetable seeds like tomatoes.

    Reply
  746. Emily on

    There’s nothing quite like looking a dahlia in the face. They’re so happy, so complex, so still. Just meeting one eye to eye calms me right down and steadies the storm. I feel like I am just at the beginning of my relationship with flowers. There are so many I know I’ll fall in love with once I can get my hands on them.

    I’d save – and do save! – zinnias and dahlias! I actually loved saving some cilantro seed, they make such a fun airy addition to arrangements when they are full of seed pods.

    Reply
  747. MARYANN DONAHUE on

    In spring tulips spark joy and make me smile. I love them so much. Love that they continue to grow in a vase, that the bouquet rearranges itself into a somewhat different shape or design. In early summer, peonies speak to me. They are so lush and gorgeous; perhaps the embodiment of a feminine flower. A seductress. Then during the high heat of summer, it is zinnias I depend on for cutting and for garden beauty. Cosmos too, but they aren’t as good as a cut flower. Thank you for adding floral beauty to the world.

    Reply
  748. Ashley on

    Dahlias. Hands down. Always and forever! The anticipation and surprise to see what it will be, who it will be etc. had me from day one.

    Reply
  749. Nicole H. on

    I love how Kori talks about her friendship/reliance on flowers. Such a great interview! For me, I look toward the tulips, peonies and irises blooming just as spring sets in. In summer, I delight in zinnias, dahlias, celosia and indigo. Looking forward to these seeds so much!

    Reply
  750. Rachelle on

    Sweet peas are my go to when I need a mental boost! I would save everything, but sweet peas, zinnias , and celisia would be on top of the list!

    Reply
  751. Shelly on

    Oh my after a long day of working as a nurse if I didn’t have my seed catalogs to drool over what would I do! I try every year to save sweet pea seeds but always buy more. Zinnias are my favorites I’m excited about the pastels and hoping to try the dahlia seeds. Zinnias are my forever flowers .

    Reply
  752. Sara Upshaw on

    I so enjoyed looking through seed catalogs for the first time this winter. I would be sad not to have them. It was my first summer growing flowers last year. It’s hard to know what particularly I’d want to save, except everything because I still don’t have a lot. Probably the things I enjoyed growing and giving the most last season were the Queen Lime Zinnias.

    Reply
  753. Jenn on

    I would choose to save zinnia seeds .. they bring me happiness every year! So many simple but beautiful flowers with lots of seeds to enjoy year after year. Close second would be sweet pea seeds. I catch myself wandering in my garden looking for the sweet scent of them.

    Reply
  754. Lisa West on

    So hard to pick just a few. I’ve been a plantaholic for 20 years. My favorite the past couple of years have been zinnas, echinaceas & feverfew.

    Reply
  755. Bianca on

    When times are hard I love the joy of having cut flowers in the garden and in the house! Vegetables just look like work, lol. But flowers mostly just require a quick snip and a drink of water. I have a teen daughter with a connective tissue disorder- the “glue” that holds her body together doesn’t quite work the way it’s supposed to, which means she lives a life of pain. She takes great joy in heading out to the garden and picking a vase full of flowers.

    Reply
  756. Sarah chute on

    I’m going to be honest, I have not really grown any flowers….well, or at least not well. I’m on year 3 of the tulip battle. I planted 50 and the first year only 1 came up. The second year only 2. Me trying to grow flowers got my son to grow a garden and he was only 13yrs old at the time. His first garden did pretty well so he decided to make it bigger and grow things like cauliflowers, cantaloupes and both were VERY successful in the learning process. His cantaloupes were the size of a baseball but they tasted better than store bought. The cauliflower was AMAZING, u til we realized the butterfly’s had laid eggs and it turned pink full of worms. But I admit, that I LOVED watching the plants sprout and then grow and to have vegetables to eat after was AMAZING. This year I have plans to actually plant a few different flowers but actually in the ground. I tried to grow ranunculus in a pot but they molded. The growing process is A LOT of trial and error, but I am SO here for it. I’s love to grow Dahlais, tulips, and Zinnias. Oh and sweet peas because they smell amazing and remind me of my grandparents.
    As far as saving seeds, well, I’d save ANY seeds if I could actually get the flowers to grow…ha ha. Baby steps. I’ll get there. It would seem that trial and error is the greatest teacher.

    Reply
  757. Belinda on

    I don’t think I could pick any one plant that I run to to lift my spirits. For me it’s all about the seasonality. In later winter the first daffodils bring so much joy that spring is around the corner. Mid spring it’s the irises from my grandmothers’ gardens I’ve transplanting into my own. Near Mother’s Day it’s my peonies which is always the best 2 weeks of the year. After that it’s the day lilies with their fleeting single day beauty. Towards the end of summer it’s the zinnias and dahlias that always have my heart! So much beauty and I love that flowers force us to enjoy seasonality.

    Reply
  758. Lauren on

    Thank you both for sharing such a wonderful interview! It’s so difficult to choose…. Flowers are my life. I cannot be without them! A few the always have a place in my garden and if a seed catalog was no longer, then I would save all that I could especially- Dahlias, Foxgloves or any floral spike, Zinnias, Sweet Peas….. I could go on forever because you can never have enough seeds or flowers, in my opinion!

    Reply
  759. Sara on

    Such a thought provoking interview, thank you both for sharing.

    When I feel utterly overwhelmed by the world, I turn to any plants that the pollinators are drawn to. Sometimes I’ll start by sitting and watching the chaotic traffic on the Mountain Mint. My front yard equivalent to a bustling metropolitan scene. Then, when I’ve had my fill of trying to track so many dancing figures and the incessant humming, I’ll make my way down to my flower field where the bees are more slow and less franetic. Where I can slowly walk down the rows watching the lumbering bumblebees crash land on giant puffy marigolds and blown dahlias while stopping and ogling the colors and shapes and textures of all the flowers. I particularly love when I’m awe struck by the perfect symmetry of a zinnia or how the color fades just so into the throat of a snapdragon bloom, and a bee lands right on it, joining me in deep appreciation. An interspecies connection over a perfect bloom.

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  760. Kara Adolphsen on

    When times are hard and I need a boost or a break I go to my apple trees, I have built my vegetable garden very near and I always plant the zinnia seeds my father game me years ago and I have saved year after year. These flowers have been passed down and saved since his grandmother. They are normal colors but nothing calms me more then standing in the shade of an apple tree with “my fathers zinnias”. I do have other flowers that I grow for cutting and bouquets but there is something about the fact that these come from family and have been saved by those I love for three generations now.

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  761. Patricia Gneiding on

    Thank you so much for sharing a bit about your personal health challenges. I also have some that keep me from being able to function well at times and flowers are my go to encouragement to get outta bed! My favorite flowers are Hollywood’s feverfew & foxglove. I can get lost spending the day watching the bumble bees get intoxicated on the blooms! I am new to zinnias but also enjoying the voulenteer stems that keep on giving! Hope to get my hands on some of your seeds to try out in the new beds we are preparing for this year!

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  762. Debbie Guy on

    I always enjoy your interviews, thank you for doing them. The seeds I would save from my garden would zinnia seeds. I already enjoy saving the zinnia seeds, but they are also my favorite because they are always there in my garden. I direct sow the seeds and watch in wonder as such variety always appears.
    It’s like searching for seashells on a beach, gathering different, beautiful colored leaves in the fall, or watching each different snowflake fall in the winter. Always different, always surprising, offering sheer delight. Going out to the garden each morning to see what different ones may have appeared is so exciting and takes me to a zen place-never gets old!

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  763. Karen DuBois on

    My dahlias are the light in the darkness. I work in oncology and started growing flowers for a few reasons. One: I’m acutely aware that we don’t all “make it” to retirement where we can flower farm full time and live the dream. Two: you don’t always bring joy to people when your whole job is to prescribe chemicals to hopefully kill cancer but not the person. I grow dahlias for joy for both myself and to gift bouquets to my patients. I truly believe I could not do my day job without my flowers and garden. Thank you both for the inspiration! Your hard work is spreading so much joy in the world right now!!

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  764. Helena Norden on

    Any flower growing outside that is either touched by the sun or moved in the wind makes me feel relaxed when I’m going through a hard time. My favorite varieties I have grown changes constantly and there are so many more I want to try and grow, but I also love wild flowers, so it’s what ever is in season and in it’s prime, near me at the time I need it most. My new passion are Dahlias. I grew some from your seeds for the first time last year, as well as some tubers I ordered online. My husband and myself with our two sons left our old suburban lives behind last summer and started a little farmstead in the Blue Ridge mountains in North Carolina. I was burned out from a very stressful career and my husband is a retired army vet. We are so grateful to be here and exploring what we want to do next. The seeds that I will save again this year are definitely tons of Dahlia seeds (like I did in 2023). Hopefully some of Floret daughters (Zinnias) will honor us and our farm with their beauty this year, and I will also collect their seeds. I will also always continue gathering seeds from the flowers on our farm that has medicinal properties. Thank you Erin for all the beauty, inspiration and generosity you share with the world.

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  765. Lauren on

    Kori’s zinnias fill my heart with so much excitement. It is so amazingly wonderful that she is sharing her precious babies 🌱 into the world and I cannot wait to incorporate into my garden! Congratulations Kori and Erin for continuing the hard work that will create and fill many gardens. Good lucky to you both and we can only hope for more flower breeding creations from you both!

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  766. Mary-lu Spinney on

    When I got my first apartment I met a quiet flower hiding in the shade under the more attention seeking rose. Sweet Woodrow continues to captivate me first in the garden. They are a mirror for my introverted nature and a place of calm, “all will be well” feeling when I gaze into their tiny white flowers and palmate leaves. After taking in this understory, my heart is able to drink in the extroverted palette of flowers able to withstand the attention of the sun’s rays. I am thrilled to see the pale blush Zinnia breeds that speak more quietly of beauty and seem to understand the gazer’s need for subtle beauty in a petal. Thank you for your willful hands and hearts that did the work to creat them.

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  767. Jen on

    Zinnias,dahlias.sunflowers,coneflowers, all the herbs. They all make people smile and lift spirits.

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  768. Anna on

    Zinnias and cosmos is my answer to both questions! They’re both beautiful and dependable and make beautiful bouquets just on their own.

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  769. Whitney Luna on

    These are such thoughtful questions!

    I think if seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow I would save seeds from my sweet peas. I love the colors of course but the scent is magical. Smells are associated with memories. They trigger memories. Every year you plant them the smell makes me think of springs past with my children as they grew. And it makes me excited for the growth ahead. The new memories we will make. And I guess when I’m long gone I would like to think that when my kids happen to smell and see some sweet peas they will have sweet memories with me as well.

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  770. Rebecca Chinworth on

    My grandma used to call them her “pennies.” It wasn’t until much later that I realized she was referring to the blush, gigantic, fragrant peonies that most brides go Gaga for in the common wedding month of June. My Mom grew them in long rows on either side of our driveway growing up: each plant divided or brought in my grandparent’s old Buick on their visits to see us “Grandbabies.” I think it’s where I first got interested in the relationships between people and plants and their whole microcosm. From the tiny ants eating away at the buds that I noticed on my way to the mailbox, to their smell that always reminds me of home, to trying to learn to drive in reverse out of the driveway without running over a peony bush. I still work on that one even as an adult. Growing up has been such a journey and these flowers have always seen me through. I wore their perfume on my wedding day to remind me of my grandmother and have planted these beauties at every place I’ve lived. I hope to continue this legacy of love in my own little family someday.

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  771. Kathleen on

    I suffer from Seasonal Deficit Disorder and anxiety so when I see any color late winter it helps to make me hopeful for new beginnings. Quince, crocus and daffodils in bud help me to hold on for things will get better and I will make it through the tough days of winter.

    Seeds I should be saving all – of them. Dahlias, sweet peas, zinnias, poppies, buplereum, grasses, carnation, ammi, dianthus, columbine…….

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  772. Helen R on

    What a lovely interview, I would love to have been a fly on the wall when the two of you were visiting. Hellebores are my go-to plants for restoring my spirits. Aside from being one of the first flowers to bloom here in the PNW, the blooms last so very long and the plants remain bold and beautiful throughout the growing season. I’ve been breeding my own special varieties, which gives me great satisfaction in otherwise shaky times.

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  773. Stacey Grytdal on

    California poppies are my favorite flower. I love the deep rich orange, which shimmers in the wind. Bumblebees arrive early and on cloudy mornings they have to wait for the poppies to open.

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  774. Stacia S on

    This interview was informative and so interesting. Thank you for this. I find great joy in any flowers I planted by seed. I work in social work which is stressful but I get summers off. Since my daughter flew the coop I’ve taken on the hobby of gardening. Growing veggies is rewarding but my flowers give me great joy and purpose. If I grew it by seed it’s my favorite. If it came up voluntarily it’s my favorite. I appreciate all you do. You have given me so much inspiration.

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  775. Bellamy on

    What great questions! I’m just starting my outdoor flower journey, but the crown of thorns passed down by my mom is the one I go back to. It just keeps growing and blooming. It’s tough, hearty and soft all at the same time. Reminds me it’s okay to be all of those things.

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  776. Deb on

    Just simply being in our garden and working my hands through the soil or caring for the flowers lifts my spirit on hard days. Being in the garden puts me in the midst of our Creator.
    Last year I planted my first dahlias and what joy I had watching from tuber to sprouts to young plant then mature plant in August! My granny grew hillsides of dahlias when I was a child and I loved walking through the rows and cutting bouquets for our church and my teachers. When I had my first bloom last summer, I was so excited to bring my childhood memory to life! Dahlias brighten my days with their endless petals of grace!

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  777. Colton on

    If I wasn’t able to buy seed any longer the main seeds I would save would be zinnias and breadseed poppies.

    I have always had a deep relationship with Hydrangeas. Something about them gives me hope.

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  778. Jules on

    I have always turned to the garden to lift my spirits and bring me through my darkest times. Connecting with the soil and tending to my plants is soothing and mesmerizing. I’ve been in a love affair with flowers and have grown them since I was a young adult. Although I love the beauty and joy that all flowers bring me, I feel closely connected to, and uplifted by zinnias, hydrangeas, and peonies.

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  779. Jen on

    Sunflowers & sweet peas are two of my favorites! Sunflowers are just so cheerful and bright, and sweet peas remind me of both my mother and grandmother’s gardens & countless memories together in those gardens.

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  780. Kym A. on

    Actually…dahlias and petunias. petunias because they remind me of my grandmother who grew them in Montana and dahlias because I had a huge (to me) dahlia garden (120 plants) when my children were young and I’ve just started growing a few (in my much smaller yard!) which remind me of those times!

    I totally agree with what Kori so eloquently said…we DO feel a connection with our plants!

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  781. Anne on

    There are two places I call home and two plants I can turn to like open arms, providing safety and respite from the world. In northwest Washington where I grew up it’s Salal. I love the vibrancy of fresh tips and the deep glossy green, this deep green is like wisdom with age. Hiking off trail in thickets of Salal can be nearly impossible and so I decided one day to crawl through the thickets and found myself transported to a hidden world where no one could find me, pure magic. I had my mother bring a bucket of Salal from her yard to Montana for my wedding.
    In Montana there is sage brush country. Silver tips and woody curving bases and the sweetest scent both clean and earthy. You can’t hide from the big sky in sage brush, you’re always exposed and raw; but you can maneuver through without being seen by the animals during hunting season and if you don’t catch your quarry, it will serve wonderfully to pass the time crafting a sage wreath.

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  782. YASMIN CHINOY on

    When life leaves you feeling overwhelmed the beauty of Peony blossoms gently dancing in the summer breeze always brings peace to my soul!

    Hydrangea blossoms almost covering their entire rich green leaves always leave a smile on my face as well as Crimson bean plants reaching as high as their trellis gives you joy all summer long!

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  783. Tammy on

    I would save more zinnia seeds. They are easy to grow and you can always count on them.
    Sunflowers would also be top on my list!! I can’t wait to try and grow some of all these new seeds. They are all gorgeous!!!

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  784. Catherine Gunther on

    First off I want to say what a lovely interview, and thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences. After a long day at a desk job, I walk through my gardens and snap dragons, poppies, zinnia’s, celosia, and dahlia’s bring me the most joy. I already collect seed from most of my plants but if I had to choose only one it would be zinnia’s because they are the easiest to grow and care for.

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  785. Carissa on

    I would love to save more zinnia seeds. They are easy to grow and you can always count on them. Dahlias I love dahlias. I know they are not seeds but they would also be top on my list!! I can’t wait to try and grow some of all these new seeds. They are all gorgeous!!!

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  786. Michelle on

    During difficult times I find that it’s the nurturing of the flowers that brings peace to me. Maybe it comes from preparing a place for a seed to germinate and then tending to it as progresses to the next phase of growth. The joy of watching it sway in the wind when it’s in full bloom is pure magic. Perhaps the weight of difficult times is made lighter by the beauty of something you’ve tended and loved. It’s truly divine.

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  787. Randi Brinkman on

    I’ve have been growing plants from seed since 2009 just as a love: vegetables, herbs, annuals, perennials; sunny raised beds, community gardens, sunny garden beds and shaded woodland paths and hillsides. I even go over to my friends houses to plant flowers in their yards. Putting something in the ground and watching something new and alive arise from the earth- it is hope in its truest sense. I’ve found a lot of hope in planting daffodil bulbs the last few years. Where I live, the winters are snowy, cold and 5-6 months long, so putting down those bulbs in the fall feels like a message to my body and soul that summer is going to come again, even as the temperatures drop and the days get shorter. It won’t always be dark. The sight of a bright yellow form pushing through the snow is the reward of patience.

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  788. Manon René de Cotret on

    Bonjour!
    J’ai récemment été introduite aux travaux de Mme Erin Benzakein. En m’inscrivant à l’infolettre de floretflowers, j’ai découvert un monde d’informations sur la culture des fleurs mais surtout j’ai découvert des personnes passionnées par la culture du vivant! Wow, c’est rempli d’espoir sur l’humanité ça! Alors pour répondre à la question “If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, what seeds would you save from your garden this year? What plants do you want to grow alongside forever? ”
    I would say, that since I discovered, with the help of the videos I received with my subscription to the newsletter of floret (my flower letter), i would save dahlias (seeds ans tubers) for sure, then snapdragons (because they stand a long time here north even after some frost, pansies (so nice on a salad), scabiosas (some varieties are amazing for natural dyes, and seeds of tomatoes!

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  789. Judy on

    #1. I grow Zinnias in a container garden on my deck Watching them from seedlings as they stretch toward the sun and begin to bud. Such great expectation as the buds mature and begin to bloom. An adventure each day to monitor their growth and watch the marvelous shades of colors unfurl. A delight to the eye and sustenance to the spirit. Each year I am so grateful for my garden and the pleasure it provides

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  790. Kim Kavalsky on

    Zinnias, roses, hydrangeas, salvias, azaleas, blacked eyed susans, and sunflowers are favorites in my Mississippi yard. There is so much to learn about plants and that is what makes it so much fun. Gardening brings me immense joy and peace. It helps me slow down and appreciate my life. My grandmother was a gardener, and I feel connected to her spirit when I’m tending to my plants. Winter is always hard for me, but I know spring will be here soon. I have collected Zinnia seeds for the last 2 years and have had great success. They are so easy and hardworking. I tried larkspur for the first time this fall. I have seedlings now, but too early to tell if they will be keepers in the garden. One of my weaknesses is impatience so I think that is why I have not experimented a lot with seed.

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  791. Barb from PA on

    I loved your movie you shot together. I love plants and flowers and have flowers blooming till it snows here in Pa. Zinnias are planted every year, and I save all my seeds and even included a packet of my cosmos seeds in each Christmas card I sent I year. Sooo much fun seeing all the posies blooming the next summer and family and friends made sure to send me pics of their success! I sooo enjoyed the two of you running your hands through the blue bin of all the seeds. That fed my soul! Congratulations on all your work, fun to watch you both share your love of Zinnias

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  792. Lorri on

    When days are hard, simply digging, weeding, and planting allows my soul to breathe. Time in the garden gives me renewed energy. Every day a flower will show me a new surprise that makes my heart smile. Yes, working in my garden, has given me hope when times are bleak. I can’t say I have a particular flower that gives me peace rather the whole garden is my safe spot.
    If seed catalogues disappeared I would save so many flower seeds. Dahlias( my new favorite) are probably number one. They are number one because it’s fun to save the tuber to get an exact copy of the parent flower plus saving dahlia seeds is adventurous- never sure is what the seed will show next season. Zinnias, nigella, echinacea, sunflowers, stock, ranunculus corms, sweet peas, jewel of opar, cress, gladiolus , iris, yarrow, lambs ear, snap dragons, I know I’m forgetting some but these are the flowers that I have currently saved seeds, tubers, corms or bulbs . Crossing my fingers the seeds will grow; this coming season -my first year of trying 🤞

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  793. Beth on

    I saved my first zinnia seed this season, so I’m excited to see if it ‘worked’! I am also experimenting with saving dahlia tubers. I’m hopeful that this season more than 10 percent make it (which is what made it last year, my first attempt at saving tubies).
    Peonies are my heart flower. I wake up every spring day before work to spend time with my peonies. It’s just my absolute favorite.

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  794. Ness on

    If seed catalogs were suddenly extinct, I would try to save every seed I could! Though having to choose a few for this example – food staples, like tomatoes, peppers, peas, curcubits, broccoli, kale, lettuce, arugula, carrots, radish, beets, potatoes

    For flower seeds: calendula, zinnia, cosmos, morning glory, sunflower, forget-me-not, pansies.

    I think I now have my grow list for my 2024 postpartam garden season!

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  795. Megan on

    Last winter felt especially long, and it was the narcissus that lifted me out of the winter blues. Other than that, I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with peonies… and this year I had a few heirloom chrysanthemums that stole my heart.
    As for seed saving, if I could only pick one I’d have to go with dahlias. I love the surprise of seeing what comes up from the dahlias grown from seed.

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  796. Sarah Aumsbaugh on

    For flower seeds, I would save zinnias, dahlias, and sunflowers. This year, I am buying almost exclusively open pollinated flowers and vegetables. I plan to work towards saving seeds from each. It is a challenge I am looking forward to this year!

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  797. Sheree Finch on

    Sweet peas are the one for me. They just make me smile and instantly give me a great sense of calm. My first memory of sweet peas were on a trip to Oregon visiting relatives. They were growing wild everywhere. I was totally amazed. I’m sure my husband grew tired of my requests to “stop! pull the car over!” I couldn’t get enough of them. Sweet peas will always be my first and last love.

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  798. Abby Acuna on

    I find joy in my herb garden. Lemon balm and mint in particular calm me.

    I would save Dahlias, Zinnias, Snapdragons, and cucumber seeds!

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  799. Claire on

    When life is hardest, are there plants in your garden/ecosystem that you find yourself turning towards to help steady or buoy your spirits? What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times?

    When life is hard (and it has been recently — my husband hasn’t been able to work for the last 6 months due to injury followed by surgery)…it’s lavender. It just lifts me, makes me smile, & calls me close. My children love it too, especially my 5 year old daughter. We bunch it together, hang it to dry & hold our faces close as we enjoy its peaceful scent. Lavender’s gifts to us just keep on — in beauty for our home fresh and dried, in soaps and sachets, & in our nourishment (herbes de provence & garnishing desserts). I will always grow lavender.

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  800. Brenda on

    answer #2 I would save all the peony tubers I could!

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  801. Angela on

    #1 roses!
    #2 zinnias, celosia, amaranth, snap dragons

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  802. Megan on

    If seed catalogs disappeared, I’d save tomato seeds and all the cosmos, asters, bachelor buttons, camomile, zinnia, echinacea and sunflower seeds I could get my hands on! As a general rule, I’m the one pulling culled plants out of the neighbor’s green bins…I try to save it all! 🤣

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  803. Megan Stenberg on

    Everything about my garden refreshes my soul but the last few years I count violas and pansies as especially stalwart friends. They are happy-go-lucky, resilient gals, and gladly reseed everywhere. I like to imagine their little faces are watching for me to join them in the garden.

    (But theres nothing like a bucket of zinnias to take my breath away!)

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  804. Krystle Schmidt on

    This will be my first year growing a cut flower garden and I am a bit nervous, but I’m diving in head first. My vision is to add to my growing zen garden into a 3 acre oasis to share with everyone. To answer the first question, I have always been drawn to roses, but in the recent years, seeing zinnias and dahlias in a few cut flower gardens have changed my mind. I envision walking through rows and rows of the different color pallets of flowers with their scent lingering in the air. I cannot wait!

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  805. Marlena Hirsch on

    I save seed from many garden plants and from the woodland plants. I am particularly excited about a pink and coral zinnia with different colored tips. One of the plants had lavender surrounding the disk. It was not a double, yet I was captivated by it. I am excited to grow the seed.
    The year before, a dahlia seedling grew after early October soaking rains and the next year, revealed almost black petals on a large daisy form. I am so grateful that I can recognize most seedlings when they sprout. I love the surprises that seeds provide. Out of a carnation seed packet, one plant didn’t look the same, but I planted it to see what it would be. It grew larger and faster than the carnations through cold and heavy rain. Today we saw the flower bud of a straw flower. Now I know to plant helicrysum in the fall in zone 9 along the stone wall.

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  806. Cessie on

    If catalogs were gone I would definitely continue to save seeds of everything I’m growing- sweet peas, zinnias, sunflowers, and calendula for sure, along with all the vegetables (pumpkins are so fun to grow!). The work you’ve both done and are doing for seed saving and developing is so important, thank you for sharing the beautiful results with us!

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  807. Kathi Hinckley-Vaughn on

    I would definitely save polish heart tomatoe seeds as they originally came from a local greenhouse that got them from a very old farmer. Then I would have to have dahlia seeds that are now second or third generation bees choice because it’s like Christmas when the first flower from each plant blooms

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  808. Sarah on

    I would save snapdragons, zinnias and dahlias! And an assortment of veggies.

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  809. kim on

    answer to #2 – I would save everything I possibly could!!!! answer to #1 – I love all plants. They are all inherently beautiful. I especially love the little natives you find on a walk or hike. Everything I grow is like my children – something to watch grow and change, to love and nurture. To figure out what they need and help them to thrive or to try to fix what’s wrong. I love being able to depend on certain things – the smell of lily of the valley, the delicateness of maidenhair fern, the healing help from yarrow when the bleeding won’t stop…..etc. etc.

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  810. Nicole on

    My peonies are here for such a short time each year, but most are from mine and my husbands grandmas’ gardens. Their blooms brighten my days remembering time with them and their flowers. Dahlia’s and zinnias bright colors help during the later summer days. When things get rough a walk in the fresh air and the flowers really calms me back down. These would be definitely the flowers I’d want to save and want to make sure I keep near me always.

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  811. Faye on

    My comfort flowers are primarily daylilies, cannas, and zinnias. Oh, and iris. but I have a lot of other flowers as well. If seed catalogs disappeared I would be saving every seed I could. I try to save seed every year but don’t always manage to do so.

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  812. Shandi on

    Dahlias and Sunflowers are my allies in hard times. As a new gardener that makes a lot of mistakes, I know that I can always count on them to bloom even if I don’t get the water, lighting or nutrient’s right. I love looking out and seeing them standing there strong and beautiful.

    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, I would save all of my seeds, each flower is unique and adds joy. Besides, the bees would be unhappy with one or two varieties. LOL

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  813. Lauren on

    Clematis lift my spirit! There is a lot of symbolism in climbing up and continuing to climb and hold on through life’s storms. The type that bloom twice maybe even more so because somewhere they pull out the energy to shine again as the garden is preparing to sleep for winter. Their little wispy seeds are idyllic looking too and I leave some up in winter. It reminds me of the hope that we can still awaits us in dark seasons. Depression is a battle I’ve fought for years, and gardening is hands down the most effective medicine for my sensitive soul. Thank you for sharing your beauties Kori!

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  814. Elise Puhala on

    I love zinnia’s for their ease of growing. They never disappoint in my flower beds. I direct sow and toss a little dirt on top and they spring up like magic. I try many different seed varieties each year. Some never pan out, but that’s okay because I can count on my zinnia’s to put on a show. I am also very fond of Peonies. My late husband let me splurge on them every May when they showed up for a few weeks at Trader Joe’s in Tucson. I’m very fond of peonies and zinnia’s.

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  815. Lindsay on

    Poppies. As a veteran they remind me of the courage and strength our past and present men and women fight for everyday. It brings me peace.

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  816. Sara Rossi on

    I love my cosmos – they are so light and airy and seem to dance in the wind. I also love my zinnias – they are the first cut flower I tried to grow and they remind me of my sister’s beautiful backyard wedding – we created her an entire bouquet of backyard garden flowers on her big day.

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  817. Moe on

    Flowers saved me. Especially the dahlias and zinnias I grew in my garden! In dark times, I turn to my dahlia tubers or flowers (depending on season) and my seeds that I keep. The anticipation for the next season and the new beauties to come keeps me going in the winter when I have most of my blues. In the summertime, they are a huge part of what brings me joy in this life! Their sheer beauty and their little whispers for nurturing feed my soul. I would most definitely save seeds from my dahlias and zinnias this year if I had to because of no catalogues! They are the most magical little plant souls to me. I will grow them together, forever!

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  818. Becky Cook on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, I would rescue my prairie flowers first: zinnias, coneflowers, salvias, rudbeckias, liatris, and little bluestem grass for growing alongside. Just the thought of a prairie brings the song of wind, birds, and insects to my heart. And these will grow almost anywhere in the world I might go.

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  819. Abby Beard on

    My plants are my peace at so many times. My lady banks rose is planted near my sweet dogs for reminders of happiness. My red crepe myrtles are here for me from my grandfather and remind me of his long years of hard work in the field. The butterfly’s visiting my dahlias are a visit from Patterson. I had a zinnia last year that radiated orange and caught the evening sun. I visited it so many evenings, and I tried to keep sone seeds from it to see what this year might hold! I’m thankful for my yard and opportunities to smile and find joy in nature. Your seed collections are gorgeous!

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  820. Ashley King on

    I’ve always been drawn to morning glory’s and daisies. There is just something about first thing in the morning taking a walk in the garden and being greeted by the beauty of morning glory’s. And daisies just make me smile and happy. Whenever I’m feeling anxious and overwhelmed I picture myself laying in a field of daisies. They’re my happy place. I am growing zinnias for the first time this spring and I’m so excited. Thankyou for another beautiful story.

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  821. Annaleise on

    Roses and sweet peas cheer me when I’m feeling low… they have such sweet scents. During hard seasons, I find so much value and comfort when I can slow down and quite literally stop and smell the roses. Beautiful reminders of a great Designer!

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  822. Ashley labrum on

    When I have a hard day (I have 8 kids and that happens haha) I love to go outside to see my dahlias. I also love seeing the cosmos dance in the wind. They always make me feel better… like recharged. Then, I can go back inside to handle the family things. :)

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  823. Dee Lockwood-Hicks on

    I always save my favorite zinnia, little flower girl, purchased from Floret several years ago but if I knew I had to save seeds, feverfew would also be up there on my list.

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  824. Kathy Chambers on

    I have recently been crazy of both zinnias and dahlias. In my little brain, I thought that they were both ‘old lady’ plants. Why? I suppose because my grandmothers had them in their gardens.
    I am doing primarily these two this year. They both speak to my soul. Corny I know, but those are my feelings! I love the oranges, peaches, pinks and blushes of both.
    Spring cannot come soon enough!

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  825. Melanie Niland on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear I would save seeds from zinnias and poppies. I’d also save and propagate my dahlias and peonies. As far as what I want to grow alongside forever- peonies hands down. I love them so much!

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  826. B.B. on

    Correction: prairie moon seeds

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  827. Jackie Mier on

    In the spring, Daffodils of course and Summer hostas. I was fortunate to acquire huge drifts of spring Daffodils and summer hostas with my first shade filled home purchase. When moving to our hilltop farm, I dug up as many of both as I could making me not ready for the major move of household furniture and goods. But, 30 years later I am surrounded by spring daffodils. Initially, my poor hostas suffered with all our hilltop sun, but my dependable white pine grew and provided the shade needed for them to flourish. I am not a breeder, but so much appreciate those trailblazers, including Floret Farm and Dawn creek who do. I would love to plant some of Dawn Creeks Seeds on my sunny hilltop.

    PS: Wild violets, white and purple, resonated and sang with me at both my homesteads. giving of themselves so freely. How can you not love them.

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  828. Christine Khoury on

    These are amazing questions! When life is hard, and let me tell you last year was one of the hardest, I don’t know if I could ever pin down one plant that was a single ally. Truthfully, the entire garden was my ally. It was an escape within my reach, and when I entered that calming, inviting space, nature alone tended to my wounds more than any tangible thing ever could. So my answer to the first question might not be the correct one, but when I went out to my garden and heard the birds sing, saw the bees & butterflies enjoying and taking from the flowers, smelt the organic scent of the earth, and felt the light breeze in the hot summer days, I felt surrounded by a true friend.
    For the second question, while I do save seeds from my veggies as much as possible, I believe if I could no longer flip through the beautiful pages of the seed catalogs, I would take a page from Erin’s book. I would save seeds for all the flowers I grow. Zinnias, marigolds, strawflower, asters, snapdragons, the list goes on & on. Though my garden is focused on growing food for my family, I couldn’t imagine growing it without the flowers. It would be the best type of anticipation to save seeds from all of them & see what blooms year after year. Erin, Kori & all of the Floret team, your hard work has done & continues to do such incredible things. I hope y’all never lose sight of the beauty y’all have created!

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  829. Meghan on

    That would be little bluestem for me. It’s so pretty and airy – and happily grows in my two favorite places in the world.

    I’ve started seed saving with my native plants – and the grasses seem to be the easiest to start with. And of course, I save alllllll the milkweed for our monarch friends.

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  830. B.B. on

    There is a little known small tough as nails, succulent , native, non invasive incredibly easy to grow from seed, American “wild” flower, that touched last year my soul,
    So incredible to witness its life
    So strong to survive the cold elements
    I actually mourned after it flowered
    It’s natural passing, after it set seed.
    You either sow its dust like seed in the autumn or tail end of winter, or at latest, earliest spring. It’s deemed “a winter’s annual”.
    I guarantee anyone reading this will fall in love with this tiny plant, reaching in height at maturity 6 inches tall.
    It’s a sedum, whose leaves begin as flat and in time slowly become needle shaped, bright Kelly green. To survive the harsh elements out of doors is the most amazing awe inspiring thing I’ve ever witnessed. The little plant is not troubled by insects or disease, just needs free draining soil in any kind of planter. The tiny individual baby pink flowers are typical shape for a sedum
    But the formation on the stem is what sets it apart, and gives it the name “widows cross” or “sea star” , botanically its “sedum puchellum”
    If anyone wants to see how this tough little seemingly delicate appearing plant can withstand adversity, to illustrate strength in the worst of weather, symbolically as well as literally, spend the but 3 dollars at Pine Tree seeds, for a packet, and witness what I had. Sheer unadulterated joy. The seeds are easiest to collect as well, the sudden passing of the plant after it’s completed it’s relatively brief life cycle however is not. It seems what was once so strong, so beautiful, literally turns after flowering, to toast, having one wonder”why? I thought we were friends”.
    There is nothing so dream inspiring than perusing a well photographed seed catalogue. With one’s fingers turning each page realizing better now, how plant breeders have devoted so much of their time, to bring before us what essentially is their life’s work.
    Yet to illustrate, that “widows cross” was never hybridized, doesn’t nor need be. I urge any reader that needs natures inspiration in the smallest of containers or spaces, right out of doors their sunny door or window, to witness but for a few months, that undemanding plant. Even the harshest of critics
    Cynics
    When seeing that plant in bloom
    Will exclaim
    “That’s pretty”

    Reply
  831. Mackenzie on

    Although I love flowers dearly, my answer to the first has to be the American sycamore. Like the sycamore, the riverside is my happy place. At my favorite swimming hole there is a particular old sycamore I have come to see as a symbol of resilience. I know I am not alone in this association because another tenacious old sycamore inspired a beautiful poem my favorite farmer-poet, Wendell Berry. He says it better than I ever could:

    The Sycamore
    In the place that is my own place, whose earth I am shaped in and must bear, there is an old tree growing, a great sycamore that is a wondrous healer of itself. Fences have been tied to it, nails driven into it, hacks and whittles cut in it, the lightning has burned it. There is no year it has flourished in that has not harmed it. There is a hollow in it that is its death, though its living brims whitely at the lip of the darkness and flows outward.
    Over all its scars has come the seamless white of the bark. It bears the gnarls of its history healed over. It has risen to a strange perfection in the warp and bending of its long growth. It has gathered all accidents into its purpose. It has become the intention and radiance of its dark fate. It is a fact, sublime, mystical and unassailable. In all the country there is no other like it. I recognize in it a principle, an indwelling the same as itself, and greater, that I would be ruled by. I see that it stands in its place and feeds upon it, and is fed upon, and is native, and maker. – Wendell Berry

    As to which seeds I would save, the honest answer is all of them I could. If I had to be selective, I would have to prioritize those that are native to my region like Echinacea and Rudbeckia. Native flowers are so vital to biodiversity and I feel like they often get overlooked. That being said I would love to get my hands on the new Dawn Creek varieties. The colors are to die for!

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  832. Deborah Jean Thompson on

    I don’t want to ever be without my dahlias. Maybe I won’t grow quite so many but they will always have a place in my garden. Thankfully they give seeds and from those seeds are beautiful possibilities.

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  833. Angela on

    I would save Always Tender beets and Campanula

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  834. Kelly Kallok on

    After my dad died I bought a bowl of cacti to protect his urn. One of the last goofy pictures I took of him was him pretending to poke a cactus so it just seemed like the right memorial plant to add to my house plant collection. A seed pod formed on one of the cacti so I searched the internet to figure out what I could do with it. I plopped the seeds in some germination soil and a bunch of little green balls started growing. I managed to grow them big enough to transplant. They are thriving in my little cottage overlooking the Mississippi River. I can’t wait to share them with friends and family who knew and loved my dad. This plant has been such an ally to me in my grieving process. It has also given me the confidence to keep growing my business with starting seeds.

    I will always collect lupine seeds. I just need to keep trying to figure them out. They are a struggle for me, but they bring me so much joy when we drive the north shore along Lake Superior in northern Minnesota. I want that at my farm.

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  835. Jan Walker on

    Walking through my garden, calms my heart, cutting blooms from my roses gives me Joy. I feel grounded in my garden .., it’s my 35 year old project… a never ending palette… of beauty. If I had save seeds… I already always do… I would save cosmos, nasturtiums and zinnas. I also would take cuttings of my roses … if I ever move, they are moving too. They are my lovely friends 💗

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  836. Ariella Noelle on

    I would definitely save delphinium seeds! Some of the more whimsical varieties are my absolute favorites!! The garden in general always boosts my spirits. I love to sit and read in the sunshine with the zinnias, dahlias and roses all around, (especially roses). There’s nothing more relaxing!

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  837. Pam F on

    #1 when hard times hit…. My peaceful place is our woods and a small roses garden on the edge. I have other flowers that I consider to be more of a favorite…. But the roses are constant, steady and always there to be enjoyed.

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  838. Michelle on

    I tend to talk most to my “ladies”. I have three different clematis as part of my perennial gardens. One of them is quite well established and a show stopper. The other two are newbies but doing well. They provide beautiful color as they weave their leaves and flowers.

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  839. Suzanne on

    1. I love any kind of flowers. Late spring are peonies. Where I am they always bloom around my birthday. Summer is zinnias. Fall is dahlias.
    2. I am learning to collect seeds from my flowers, but I also need my tomatoes!

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  840. Christy Shivell on

    1. Lavender, daffodils, peonies, baptisia
    2. Honeynut squash, snap peas, several lettuces and kales, several heirloom tomatoes and peppers, my husbands grandmothers feverfew, zinnias, cosmos, heirloom marigolds, Baja basil, so many more…

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  841. Kelly on

    If seed catalogues disappear I believe I’d be saving every seed I could so can’t tell you just one! My zinnias and peonies are my favorites though for refreshing my soul and bringing me peace and joy.

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  842. Anna on

    Chickens! They’re so silly and fun to watch – they might destroy the e garden – but they just take my mind off of things. If I had to save a seed – brown eyed Susan – they’re so easy to grow and save seed from and so happy and bloom forever.

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  843. Jenise Powell on

    I would do Marigolds, because each spring we plant marigolds all the way around our garden. They are a flower that will most of the time keep reseeding them selves in the spring time.

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  844. Patricia Sauer on

    My favorite uplifting spirit plant is phlox. It’s alluring scent and clusters of small flowers on strong stems remind me to stay the course through difficult times.

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  845. Kim Ackley on

    Honestly, question #1 is very difficult for me to answer. Life can be hard for all of us at times and I find great comfort getting lost in nurturing of all my plants. Digging in the dirt is my happy place. Whatever I decide to plant each year are my allies and I do my very best to make them happy as well!! I don’t think I’ve given Zinnias a try but, this will definitely be the year thanks to the lovely ladies of Floret and Dawn Creek Farms!!
    If seed catalogs were to disappear?? I’m 99.99999% positive my decision is going to be Zinnia seeds!!!
    Cheers to dirty hands!!!

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  846. Valerie on

    Cuttings from my grandmother’s variegated Hoya. I took cuttings in my 20s and am now 65. They’ve always been there, my entire life. Easy to care for, willing to put up with occasional neglect, and when they bloom those waxy light pink blossoms, what a surprising treat!

    I would save Poppies. All sorts of poppies. Rhoeas, somniferum , Iceland, California. Such gorgeous colors, paper thin, yet so tough. Plus, the seed heads are amazing.

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  847. Jane on

    The plants that lift my spirits: the flowers would be sweet peas and zinnias. Veggies would be tomatoes from choosing which seed to start to end of season picking the last greens left on 5he vine before 5he frost.
    The seeds to save: sweet peas, zinnias and iris.

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  848. Cindy Rust on

    Thank you Dawn! And Erin! And your collaboration! My neighbor told me about Floret last summer and I cannot tell you how you came along just when I needed to know there are people like both of you who have a passion for flowers.
    1. Nasturtiums are my first flower memory from my grandmother. I sniff the smell right out of them. Love them so much. Those and cosmos also grown by my grandmother 1950’s-1980’s when she was too infirm. By then I started growing.
    2. I am new to seed saving and would def be saving my zinnias! Love these new pastel colors. Grew zinderella peach for first time last summer! And would save my nasturtium also. Cosmos reseed independently usually. Lol.
    Thank you thank you thank you

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  849. Betty Szudy on

    1)Plants that give me comfort are kangaroo paw, salvia, and zinnias. 2)What I’d save is zinnia seed, salvia (don’t know how possible) and carnations.

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  850. Ruth on

    Good old dependable zinnias. I’m wowed when perennials do their thing at their time, but zinnias just keep giving right up to freeze. Always there when you need some cut flowers for an arrangement. They self sow to do it all again each year.

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  851. Kristin K. on

    I look forward to the snow drops and crocus to know that spring is here and the warm is returning!! They are a good reminder times and seasons go on even during hard times!

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  852. Nicole on

    1. Roses

    2. Sugar snap peas

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  853. Zoe on

    For me, the plants I’ve found myself turning to in hard times are the winter berries – overlooked but surprisingly precious amidst the harsh environment and leafless woods.

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  854. Lori on

    I always save impatient, petunia & coleus seeds, this year I saved zinnias and I’m looking forward to expanding my zinnia collection.

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  855. Ginger Sox on

    Just mixing the seed starter, planting seeds and seeing the first signs of life is one of the most relaxing things one can do. I especially love my snapdragons and zinnias because they offer so many colors. When my tea olive blooms, I immediately return to my happy childhood. My grandmother had one by her porch, and she is the one who fostered my love of flowers.

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  856. Kartini on

    I haven’t been able to grow them yet, but, it would be a rose. My mom always planted them at every home we had. She was so generous with them too, gifting them to teachers, neighbors, taking them to work. They bring so much joy to my heart whenever I see a garden rose.

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  857. Madeline Rivera on

    Lord have mercy. Took me 5 minutes just to scroll down to the comment box. I’ll make this quick. Everyone else wrote a long story. On the days I’m not feeling well, I walk thru my rose garden. The beauty and smell is intoxicating.
    I would save my veggie seeds.
    Thank you for considering me. I hope you have a biggggg team to help you read all these comments. The good news is I got all three of your books and I’m just wowed by them!!

    Reply
  858. Tamara B. on

    My punk rock bee balm is my happy place. They’re starting to come up in places they shouldn’t with their unruly pink “hair” and I don’t have the heart to pull them. I love to watch the hummingbirds drink from them. They nourish swarms of butterflies and bumblebees all summer. They always put a smile on my face. I’m planning more pollinator garden space this year so I can plant even more.

    I really enjoyed this interview. I started saving zinnia seeds a couple of years ago when I found a particularly pretty one. I didn’t quite find the replica last year, but I saved a bunch of seeds again and will see what I end up with this year. Thank you both for doing what you do for flowers!

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  859. Tricia C on

    Zinnias would be my answer for both. A friend encouraged me to start buying a couple seed packets and add zinnias to my garden years ago. I’m so thankful. They always grow and are so beautiful- even when other plants are not so successful. And I’ve never actually saved any seeds, but I would have to save zinnia seeds if necessary.

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  860. Michele Karpyn on

    Zinnias! I also have seeds from a long stemmed marigold grown at Mt. Vernon that I plant each year that make me so happy. Last year’s nicotenia flower perfumed My yard. Celosia! Seeds kept from the previous year grew beautifully, some were 7 ft. Tall and the birds came in bunches to enjoy the seeds. Also have tomato seeds from Georgia (country) that I plant each year. So much joy!

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  861. Janie B. on

    One of my good feeling flowers, for seed saving and gifting, would be columbine, not only because their foliage is almost as captivating as the blooms, but also because they are such shameless hussies! They cross pollinate with other columbines with happy abandon…..and all sorts of colors and forms result. Gaiety in the garden! Makes me smile everytime a new face unfolds!

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  862. Hedi Lee on

    If seed catalogues were to disappear tomorrow that would be a sad loss to inspirational winter garden reading. But i would be busy cleaning seed from every flower species in my garden and (‘ahem the public park next door’, she confesses in a soft whisper) Beyond the raw fingers from some of the tough flower heads and bracts, it would be therapeutic to push bits of flower debris across the white printer paper with the tip of a paring knife and shake out the treasured seed into a homemade packet. Can’t wait for first sowing date.

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  863. Debra on

    Sunflowers and zinnias are my go to’s for lifting my spirits. The way sunflowers stretch to the sky always make me happy and bring a smile to my face. I love how zinnias can be so abundant in a small space and they make such beautiful bouquets!

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  864. Martha Hughes on

    I think the thing that brings me the most joy is the wonder of a seed. That simple, small brown seed can be planted sprout and grow into a beautiful plant with flowers to harvest for the season what I consider a miracle. It points to the creator, the miracle of life, and the vast variety of plants that the creator created.
    I love to plant the Zinnia seeds and watch the plants grow, flourish and give beautiful cut flowers all summer.
    I have found the zinnia to be easy to grow and very hardy in the hot South Carolina. Looking forward to these beautiful new collections.

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  865. Ashley on

    When life is hardest, when it feels like all the patients I care for are at end of life, I find solace in watching any plant, but especially flowers and my Roma tomatoes, turn into something beautiful from the death of their seed. I would save my mother in-law’s giant Mexican sunflowers and my special Roma tomatoes that originated from Three Porch Farms.

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  866. Ling on

    1. Roses and dahlias
    2. For seeds, I would collect Zinnia and lavatera.

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  867. Lee Liburdi on

    Fifty-five years ago I collected common red poppy seeds from a relative’s backyard on my first trip to Italy. The obsession with poppies began. Then, every year, for many years, I bought every species of poppy I could find and grew them with my vegetables. Now, during poppy season people wonder where my veggies are because all that can be seen are poppies. They’ve mutated in the most amazing ways and although it’s a lot of extra work to accommodate them, that is the signiature, beloved plant in my garden.

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  868. Ashley on

    Beautiful! I believe you’ve given me a newfound appreciation for Zinnias:) can’t wait to start planting this year!

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  869. Doreen grzelak on

    Zinnias. They remind me of my mother as she always grew them. They were her favorite flower and I love them as well for their variety, beauty and relative ease to grow. As far as saving seeds obviously zinnias. But I love tomatoes for eating and I’m not sure I could go without either zinnias or tomatoes in the summer.

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  870. Laura Tuthill on

    When life gives me lemons, I find my lemonade outside in nature. My garden is a place where I can recenter and find peace. Dahlias, sunflowers, zinnias, and peonies are sure to brighten my spirits! It’s almost impossible to admire a flower and not feel a sense of warmth, happiness, and connection to something greater than myself. I am reminded that this beautiful creature began as a tiny seed and that simple magic amazes me every time!

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  871. april wilson on

    My go to for a lift in the gray days of the PNW winter is Hellebore. I planted one a few years ago to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of my dear grandmother. It is a deep almost black purple. So hopeful to see such beautiful signs of life in the winter landscape. Something is always blooming..it’s just staking the time to slow down and look around.

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  872. Rachel Kotanen on

    I think that Dahlias, zinnias, peonies and verbascum are really what captivates me. Last year I found myself wandering within these flowers on a constant basis. It seemed to just draw me near it and it provided peace and tranquility while the world spins in all of its hectic, inhumane pace. Growing flowers has also connected me more with God. I am continually amazed by His creation and how something so beautiful emerges from a tiny seed.
    If there were no more seed catalogues, I would always save as many vegetable seeds as possible, but zinnias and dahlias would be my top choice for flowers. It’s like how every snowflake is different. Every single seed from a dahlia or zinnia has been touched by Gods hand through tiny pollinators and the breath of his winds. Everyone is a fingerprint of who He is, His creation and beauty and a reminder that He does exist!

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  873. Sydney W on

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Kori. It was wonderful getting to learn a little more about you! Hearing you speak about your deep relationship with these precious souls was really meaningful to me. I’m dreaming of tending a beautiful wave of Dawn Creek Pastels to seed this summer in my home garden. I’d love to grow alongside this variety for years to come, but who knows?! I’m just delighted to explore this path in this life, one that allows such creativity and connection with plants and the natural world. And I have some of the best teachers to look to for inspiration and guidance – thank you, Floret Team and Kori! Y’all really are cultivating beauty and hope out here.

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  874. Kim gruetter on

    I would have to start with my vegetable seeds for sure. I love all heirloom varieties and try to save as many as possible. But then I love saving snapdragon and stock seed,seeing what I get the next year. I love scented bouquets and the way people react when you share them. I tuck lovely scented stems in all my bouquets.

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  875. Katie Magness on

    Oh my goodness! How amazing. Thank you for sharing this interview, it is always so neat to learn from those who have so much more experience and knowledge!
    1. For sure Zinnias, they are so prolific and each one that opens is a sweet little surprise of wonder.
    2. For sure Zinnias, mostly because they are the only ones I’ve ever saved. I am excited to grow many more flowers this year and learn to save seeds from those plants as well.
    Again, thank you for your wealth of knowledge!!

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  876. Danielle Bullen on

    I have always loved dahlias, and they have cheered so many crazy seasons of life, but I think the ones that have actually stuck the longest for hard seasons are Straw Flowers. I have a bundle of them, celosia and a few others dried on my wall, and they have been so cheerful and heartwarming all year long.

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  877. Maureen on

    Sweet peas brighten my days and the days of all who see them growing wildly in the yard, and those who get vases of them delivered. By letting them come up on their own, I get a longer season. So less control works better for me. I would save sweet pea seeds, agrostemma, zinnias, nigella, everything, since I don’t want to do without anything.

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  878. Mandy Cruze on

    Zinnias always make me happy! They are a work horse on our farm and I know I can count on them plus their so cheerful and come in so many colors but lisianthus are so dreamy they have a way of transporting me to another place.
    This next question makes me feel so anxious because the answer is all of them! But I can’t imagine ever not growing celosia and Zinnias in the summer and sweat peas and Batchelor buttons and corn cockle in the spring. Oh and daffodils! (I better stop there)

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  879. Brooke on

    Dahlias- the seeds and tubers have my heart. Especially the little discoveries from seeds. Open centered ones are some of the ones that bring me joy no matter how hard the season. The pollinators buzzing around them and seeing the connection between the ecosystem components helps me feel more calm. It’s meditative. Thanks for your continued inspiration and sharing Kori’s story. What a wonderful partnership!

    Reply
  880. Casey T on

    I would always choose to save sweet peas. Before I even knew what flower farming was, I hired a grower in the Skagit Valley to supply flowers for my wedding. I was so happy to choose local like that. She put sweet peas in my bouquets and they were the highlight of my day. A few years later my husband stopped at a roadside stand and bought a bouquet of sweet pea flowers for me. They’ve always been our flower and I sit next to them when they’re in bloom and just soak in the smell.
    I wish I was better at growing them, but I’m improving, and there will never be a day that they don’t have a place in my garden.

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  881. Rebecca D on

    I tend to turn towards plants with wonderful scents when I need a pick me up. I love to pluck bits of lavender and lemon balm for a sniff as I walk by them. I also look forward to lily of the valley, lilacs and marigolds. Scents have an awesome power to bring back memories, often of childhood and playing in the garden.

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  882. Julie Smith on

    Thank you for sharing this interview and it totally hit home for me. I can relate to Kori’s words of her flowers speaking to her and lifting her up. 2023 brought one of the most emotional highs for me and my husband followed by one of my most personal lows and challenges. Our oldest child had the most amazing June wedding on our land and married the love of his life. It truly was a magical moment to be a part of such an amazing day full of so much love. Four days later I underwent a total knee replacement and began my journey of pain and recovery and facing a summer of what I thought would be sadness and limitation during my months of recovery. I had discovered Erin and Floret at the start of this and had ordered some different seeds and bought seeds locally hoping that as I was stuck at home and missing out on alll our normal Maine summer adventures that flowers would help me not feel sorry for myself. I started my flower growing journey at this time and it brought such joy and brightness to my days in so many unexpected ways. I would make my way to my flower boxes on crutches and watch my flowers grow. I gauged my improvement by how far and how many times I could get to my garden and flowers. Their beauty spoke to me and encouraged me every day and I just wondered at myself that I could actually grow something so beautiful! The best part at the end of the summer was making small bouquets in a mason jar and giving them to my family and beautiful new daughter-in-law. My favorite of my first season was growing dahlias and zinnias. If I could never buy seeds again these would be my two favorite to save seeds from. Since that time I have been consumed with gaining more flower knowledge and reading Erin’s books and interviews such as this one bring such joy and excitement for the possibilities of what 2024 will bring for me! I can’t wait to order seeds on Feb 6th and bring more varieties into my life including Dawn Creek seeds! My knee is healed and I just might be able to skip to my flower boxes this year!

    Reply
  883. Angela Bassett on

    There are certain flowers that remind me of my grandpa. When I saw Charleston Heston on the movies, I thought it was my grandpa-huge stature, big blue eyes and an incredible grin. But really, it was that he made me feel like the most important person in the room whenever we were together. He was my hero as a little girl, and I thought I could marry him when I grew up. I loved following behind him in the garden. He would turn over a shovelful of soil and wait for me to catch up a handful of worms before moving to the next.
    He had a large hedgerow of lilacs that both the bees and I looked forward to in spring. But I think it was the irises (he called them flags) that remind me most of him. Every Memorial Day visits would be made to the cemetery to honor family that had passed. Each tombstone would get irises for their marker.
    I lost him a couple years ago at age 98. Whenever I need to draw in strength, courage or humor, I can look to his memory. Irises do that for me.

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  884. Emma Voccio on

    The flowers in my garden that calm my spirit the most are my open-centered dahlias (Bumble Rumble or any with eyelashes are my favorites). These girls are truly the cheeriest little souls and on many occasions have snatched the air out of my lungs with their beauty. I tend to question and doubt myself a lot, but there is something about that type of dahlia that I feel so reassured by in the most gentle way. They are my favorite flowers to share with others for this reason too :)

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  885. KD Reese on

    Winter is hard… no fresh flowers to turn to. I turn to dahlias, Casablanca lilies, and lace cap hydrangea. Aside from completely caging them in hardware cloth, I have not been able to protect my hydrangea from the deer in our area. They don’t seem to bother my Oak leaf hydrangea, but I’ve had four hydrangeas that haven’t been able to get past about 8 inches high, before being chewed right down! The deer are beautiful but a real menace.

    I’m curious to see if my zinnia seed saving will result in what I hope for, this coming summer! Thank you both for your hard work and for sharing it with us.

    Reply
  886. Valarie Dunlevy on

    My go to flower in my gardens are always ZINNIAS! I love the bright and cheerful colors, the different heights of the plants. I use them, especially the tall ones, as a border around my delicious vegetables and other flowers, that the deer would love to eat, but can’t get through the wall of ZENNIAS!
    They are such beautiful cut flowers for surprise gifts and backgrounds for graduations and wedding photography.
    Thank you Floret for all you do to share the love of plants and to share people to inspire us even more!!

    Reply
  887. diane dawson on

    When life is hardest, just going into the garden and working in the soil is uplifting. I think all flowers are calming and deserve love. Dahlias are the best because they can continue to give.
    What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times? This is a hard question Its like asking , who is your favorite child?…hahaha
    If seed catalogs were to disappear tomorrow, what seeds would you save from your garden this year? All of them. That knowing I couldn’t get them anywhere else and have them in my possession would be a honor. What plants do you want to grow alongside forever? roses and dahlias.

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  888. Susan M. Anderson on

    The plants I turn to are the pollinator friendly plants in my perennial garden. These plants are my destination on a summer evening walk in the yard (Zone 5 in Indiana, btw). I photograph and enjoy identifying the varied insects — bees, butterflies, solitary wasps, butterflies — who visit both the bronze fennel and the mountain mint as well as many other perennials. I joke that bouquets I make from the perennial garden are varied but always about 6-8 inches high. Certainly the annuals I plant offer the drama and color!

    I’m sold on the Dara daucus carota both as a wonderful pollinator plant and a beauty in a big bouquet. I haven’t saved seed except for friends. My patch does a good job of self seeding.

    Thank you for all you do.

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  889. Joan Boyle on

    In 2021/22 in a three and a half month period, I lost my Mom, my Dad, and one of my sisters. Writing an obituary and planning a funeral three months in a row is something no one should ever have to do. On top of that, we are now in the process of selling Dad’s and Mom’s farm/ranch that I was raised on. This ranch has been in the family 80+ years. Also, My sister owned a home decor store and after her death, my Brother-in-Law and I had to organize a sale to liquidate her assets. After this hard and trying time, I turned to gardening. My Mother and sister were avid gardeners (and Dad a farmer), but I just dabbled in it. My neice gifted Discovering Dahlias to me. I read through it several times and then purchased and read Cut Flower Garden. I decided I needed somthing to focus on and realized gardening would help heal my soul. Last year I successfully grew 70 dahlias and a 100 X 3 foot row of zinnias. I shared boquets with family and friends and a local nursing home. I found healing in growing and nurturing my flowers and joy in giving them away. I’m excited to add more zinnias and dahilas to my garden this year to share with others.

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  890. Kristen Bryce on

    I think I would grow dahlias because the tubers multiple and can be divided. Seeds can also be harvested but are always a surprise!

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  891. Lorene Higgins on

    Peonies are my heart’s flower if there is such a thing. They are tied up in beautiful childhood memories and they give me such joy that I find myself giggling and screaming with delight when they start to blossom. They would be the flowers that would calm my spirit in difficult times.

    I do love the smell of lavender and the purple color. When things are hard it is lovely to rub the leaves, take the smell in and close my eyes to a nice breeze. So I would say that is my go to plant in hard times.

    If the world went black and white and cease to have seed catalogs my own personal seeds catalog would carry balloon flowers, crossandra, zinnias, geraniums, coreopsis, and tomatoes. It is hard to imagine a flower I will grow forever because as I age I am becoming more aware of beautiful species I have never seen before and my taste is getting more broad. If I had to pick just a few a ginkgo tree and peonies. These two are the first that I know I cared to actually learn their names as a small child. I love them in a pure childlike way.

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  892. Marla Corrado on

    I love saving seeds and am always thrilled when fall rolls around because I seem to see the seeds everywhere I go. I find myself drawn to the idea of perpetuity with seeds. Just like you and Kori and I am sure many, many breeders before you, there is an excitement in the promise of what just one single seed holds. I am unable to say I could narrow it down to just one or two or even several seeds. I have plants that were my late father’s and I would save seeds from those to keep them growing with me always… rose campion, feverfew, sea oats. Just to name a few that I grew from plants at his home when he was still here. While they might not be my favorite plants or flowers to grow, the idea that he is connected in some way to them means more and makes them that more treasured to me.

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  893. Marti Combs on

    I loved reading this and also really loved the YT video with Kori in it. Her Joni Mitchell-esque quote of holding sand too tightly went right to my core. To read her story and empathize with her recovery from illness, to learn she grew up in one of my favorite places (Santa Cruz was the last place I went before moving out of CA), and to find similitude in the way she converses with seeds and plants all seem to point to needing to forge the connection possibilities she has offered in this interview. Zinnias were the first seed I ever planted. They will always be special to me. Their blooms were what I’d see from bed when I could not get outside and they brought our first hummingbirds into our then very urban garden space (we have since relocated to a state and more rural area better for my health.) Pansies also uplift and inspire me greatly. They may appear delicate and unassuming but their resilience is unmatched. They do not let the outside world force them to lose their softness, to take their smiling faces away, nor do they shrink when the harshest of the elements do their worst. They bloom anyways and that is my mantra for life: bloom anyways!
    Dahlias are native to where my grandma and her family are from and I feel a very strong ancestral connection in growing them. The generations before me are with me when I’m in the dahlias.
    I’m a slightly obsessive seed saver and when my gut and the energies around me say, “save this & a lot of it,” I do it, not always knowing why in the moment. It always ends up benefiting someone I didn’t know at the time of harvest. The powers that be put them in my path at some point & I am able to share the seeds I’ve saved with then. You name it, I’m growing it & saving it lol! I’ve been able to save hundreds of dahlia & other flowering seeds, annuals, perennials and biennials, various food growing seeds, and medical herb seeds for my own growing space and to give away.
    If chosen, I’d really love to be able to share the seeds gifted to me with others. Fellow disabled growers like myself who can’t always type fast enough to get to the checkout before things sell out, a new farmer who also seed saves and speaks with the seeds, my daughter’s outdoor forest school program, my sweet neighbor, and my incredible mother in law who deserves the world.
    A few for each of us means a lot more for all of us.

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  894. Sonia on

    My relationship with flowers began with zinnias, my sweetest friends. The year I started market farming I read that vegetables love flowers and I grabbed a few packets of seeds on a whim without a clue how to grow them. I started some seeds with my vegetables and hoped the flowers would bring in more pollinators. To my surprise the flowers grew beautifully in such harsh conditions that first season. The zinnias gave me hope. I never knew of the emotional experience that flowers could bring. Now my whole life is centered around sharing that experience with my community.
    If seed catalogs were to disappear I’d save my dahlia, zinnia, and stock seed. Then I’d let the journey of saving seeds begin!

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  895. Cindy Noe on

    While I have flower beds of perennials, I LOVE growing annual flowers from seed. I can plant them at different times, use them for borders, and add so much color that my neighbors appreciate. But best of all, they’re all mine for cutting bouquets for at my house and as gifts. I am a “dead-header” and find it very relaxing to dead-head all by myself in my gardens. My very very best flowers which I grow from seeds are a variety of zinnias. I grow them in the full sunshine and they just glow. I also love watching the bees on the zinnias, and I dislike the Japanese Beetles which like to much on my zinnia flowers.

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  896. Abby Becker on

    I want to grow beside Zinnias forever. They are my favorite. I would also save some marigold seeds.

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  897. Jordan on

    I would save my ranunculus, cosmos and zinnias ♥️

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  898. Lisa Shumaker on

    Fragrance and color draw me in difficult or happy times. Lavender and other herbs amaze me. My zinnias last year were the highlight of my garden, beside the sunflowers! They were cheerful to all who came to our farm.
    Thank you for sharing and growing! Lisa

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  899. Alicia M. on

    I would save zinnia seeds, they have been a staple in my garden for years. And I love, love, love, the gorgeous new colors you gals have developed!

    Reply
  900. Sherri S. on

    Lavender always! And I am a budding dahlia obsessive (not just saying that because it’s Floret, LOL). I had an amazing summer last year and now I’m totally hooked. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Reply
  901. Robin Crosby on

    We are entering our third summer in our home, in a completely different climate & soil and our first time in a home that has these gorgeous, mature azaleas, hydrangeas, & rhododendrons. My neighbor is also a gardener and grows these stunning camellias that bloom at different times of the year. I grew up going to the Blue Ridge mountains and having these plants around me again just tugs at my heart strings. When I am stressed or can’t get my brain to stop, doing a walkabout in my yard always fixes my headspace.

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  902. Kate B. on

    The eloquence of Kori’s words has really resonated with me on a deeply personal level! This quote hits the nail right on the head for me; “ Plants have, for as long as I can remember, called me into a relationship of refuge, protection, and quiet acceptance.” I have long struggled with the emotional adaptation on the days getting shorter (aka seasonal depression), and it strikes out at me too soon each year. Dahlias entered my life story a few years ago (thanks in largest part to Erin and Floret), and to put it simply, the light from these amazing flowers healed a whole season of my seasonal struggles and gave me months of joy back. The beauty of their blooms that get brighter and more prolific as the days get shorter and darker quite literally saved me. Erin’s spoken and written words have always left a lasting impression on me, and I very much look forward to hopefully reading more of Kori’s soon! Thank you both for spreading joy to us all. 💛

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  903. Trey Rosenbaum on

    If I was unable to get seeds ever again the seeds I would save out of my garden would be my Dara, Zinnias, Celosia, Tomatoes, and my pumpkins and gourds. These are all some of my favorite plants and are things Ive grown for many years. Zinnias and Celosia were the first cut flowers I grew at scale. Ever since I was young Ive grown Tomatoes. Pumpkins and gourds have become my favorite food to feed to my chickens!

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  904. Melissa on

    The plants that buoy spirits are dahlias, cosmos, zinnias and lavender! I eagerly await spring and I dream about them all winter!

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  905. Valerie Cundiff on

    When my father in Pennsylvania became ill from a stroke, I asked him what vegetable he loved best growing in our family garden growing up. He exclaimed without hesitation : “Tomatoes!” So it became my mission that Spring to grow many types of tomatoes from seeds in my small greenhouse in North Vancouver, BC. I tended them so very carefully, spoke to them, nurtured them, touched them, smelled them. It made me feel so close to him even though he was thousands of miles away. When I wasn’t visiting him I was still “with” him in my garden greenhouse. As he withered away my tomatoes grew stronger, stretching towards the sun. Those tomatoes symbolized my brave, beloved father. He passed away before the tomatoes ripened but I truly continued to feel his presence in those tomatoes; I felt a sweeping sense of calm every time I opened the greenhouse door. “Hi Dad”. Can I tell you how amazing that first ripe cherry tomato tasted, the delicious juiciness bursting in my mouth? That experience confirmed to me how very intertwined we are with nature and its cycle of life. The act of gardening offers us healing and hope if we just open our hearts to it..

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  906. Linda on

    Here in northeast PA, our winters are long and cold and growing season can be any combo of hot, dry, wet, cool, overcast and grey, all of the above. One garden staple I can usually count on are begonias. Beautiful, frilly, ever blooming, full yellow and bright begonias.
    I’ve just started my hand at gardening for the purpose of cutting for my bouquets and I love the tenacity& variety of zinnias and my favorite beauty, snapdragons. Oh my!

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  907. Kelly Harms on

    I love lavenders and roses, and they have been a constant in my gardens over the years. We’ve moved several times over the past 35 years (but have been in our forever home on my family’s 160 year old farm) and many of my lavenders have made the moves with us. One in particular is huge and very misshapen — it has spread out and is about 8-9 feet in diameter but doesn’t bloom in the center so it looks like a giant donut! Every year I think about taking it out and using the precious garden space for something else but when it starts to bloom around the edges in the spring I’m reminded that the hardships that twist and bend us really only make us stronger and more beautiful in our imperfections.

    The 30-40 rose bushes we have are definitely hardy survivors. Many came originally from my Mom’s rose garden, but I’ve added ones in the colors and scents that I love. We tend to really let them go, with minimal pruning (mostly because when we need to be doing that we are in the middle of our lambing season and just don’t have the energy). Some of them grow to be 6-8 feet tall, full of beautiful blooms, that help provide fragrant shade for the west-facing side of our house. Once in a while we have a rose bush that just isn’t thriving and really looks out of place amongst all the giants. I’m loath to just pull it and toss on the compost pile, so we dig them up and plant them in a really awful place on the north side of the house. It is rocky soil and in the shade most of the day — really terrible conditions. We figure if they live there, fine; if not, they’d be dead anyway. We haven’t lost any, and now have several roses in this corner of our world. Every time I look at them I’m reminded that we can all thrive where we’re planted and can make the most of a bad situation — life lessons that have come in handy as I’ve taken on caretaking responsibilities for my elder parents with dementia.

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  908. Kathleen on

    When life is hardest, are there plants in your garden/ecosystem that you find yourself turning towards to help steady or buoy your spirits? What plants, if any, are your allies in hard times?

    I love plants that attract pollinators, can take the elements and that have a beautiful scent. Buoying the spirts with birds, bees, sun, rain and a scent that can bring me back to any moment in time. Sunflowers, phlox, sweetbox, echinacea just to name a few! Thanks for the chance to win some of your lovely seed packs. –

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  909. Heather on

    Thank you for the article! Delightful read….
    The seeds I would save are poppies! I have been blessed with orange poppies here from two distinctive different patches that I have had in the past. Both of them when they bloom delight me so and remind me of my favorite flower gardens I have had at other locations. I never realized their differences until they bloomed at the same times…..

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  910. Lisa W. on

    I already save zinnia seeds but I am looking forward to purchasing some of yours in the pastel colors. I also save ground cherry, spaghetti squash, basil, pumpkin, okra, and spinach seeds. I would expand and save seed from all my vegetable crops so I could feed my family. I would continue to save zinnia and cosmo seeds too. My dream job is to be a local flower farmer.

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  911. Edin on

    Sunflowers and lilacs always lift my spirits.

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  912. Desiree on

    There isn’t a specific plant that I can think of that helps lift my spirits, but our garden in it’s entirety. Our peak gardening season is my peak busy season in work and without our garden, I wouldn’t have a daily escape. I love my job , but the hours can be long and I am a workaholic. So, I try to step into our garden at least once a day at the end of the day to do a garden walk and allow myself to disconnect from day to day activities and enjoy the beauty of everything in the garden. I work from home, so this allows me to put a stop to working and focus on something beautiful.

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  913. Melinda Eubel on

    I would save my vegetables, herbs, and I love my rosemary “tree.” We grow dahlias and of course zinnias purchased from Floret so I would save those seeds/ubers as well!

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  914. Sarah Michalek on

    The plants that I tend to turn to most are those that attract multiple senses – roses, lilacs, catmint, allium – they not only bring beautiful structure and color to the garden but they also let you know they’re there before you see them because you can smell them! Just spending time wondering the garden and appreciating the haven I’ve created brings me peace.

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  915. Amy Keller on

    The seeds that I would save would be heirloom veggies and everything thing I could get from pollinator plants: hyssop, cuphea, sunflowers, zinnias, poppies, feverfew, rudbeckia, echinacea, salvias, leucanthemums, cosmos, penstemon and so much more!

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  916. MaryBeth Love on

    I have a very small garden, but I know every plant! I just started my seed starting journey, Hollyhock and Snapdragons to start. Freesias are the flowers I get most excited about.

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  917. Catherine Sy on

    1. During chemo for breast cancer, there would be days that were just so hard, the only thing that gave me strength was walking outside through my garden. It didn’t matter what time of day it was, and usually (since nights were the hardest) I would stroll through at 1am and 4am in the morning and I would touch the Cosmos that popped up everywhere. I can feel their soft petals and their button centers telling me it was going to be OK. Their bright pink faces greeted me during my walks during the day, and it never failed to brighten my spirit.

    I admired their tenacity and their ability to sprout from wherever it may be, be it a crack in a walkway, or in the driveway, they would not be deterred from living! Who knew when I planted them a year ago that they would be here again just when I needed them….a beautiful reminder that life will go on.

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  918. Michelle hudson on

    Growing up here in the south the only flowers we grew were those from seeds shared among family and friends. The smell of the old timey petunia in my grandmothers yard is a memory stored for life. I remember the first pack of seeds I bought as a young adult were Zinnias. I can still remember them, a beautiful solid bouquet in an old wooden half barrel. That seems like yesterday and I am now almost sixty. And when I am asked by younger people what flower seeds should they start out growing. I always say zinnias. Thank you Dawn for cherishing that one peach zinnia!!!!

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  919. Abby on

    My dahlias definitely bring me joy in tough times, but I get so much joy from flowers in all seasons.

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  920. Christina Gardner on

    The plants I find joy in the most during hard times are strawberries, poppies and zinnias with zinnias being my absolute #1 favorite!! We have lived in many different climates and while I can’t always rely on my tomato plants bearing fruit, I have found that zinnias seem to bloom wherever they are planted, just as I hope to do! Beyond excited to put some of these new seeds in the dirt!!

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  921. Christine on

    For me, Sweet peas!! I look forward to these flowers of happiness every Spring! Life is good when I have these flowers in my many vases displayed around my home. Also, Coral Zinnia’s, I can sit outdoors at stare at them forever!

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  922. PATRICIA A RICHTER on

    I live in MD and I would grow LENTEN ROSE for its beauty and the deer do not eat them and they flower in the winter.

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  923. Jacinda on

    I love all things flowers and they bring me such joy, but I turn to large, mature trees to ground me in tough times. Trees have always uplifted and inspired me and they remind me to be present.
    I would have to save zinnias, sunflowers, larkspur, rudbeckia, cosmos, and all my vegetables.

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  924. Ann on

    The Hellebores for me in the winter keep my love of flowers satisfied when very little is blooming. I feel like they love to bloom and let me know more are coming soon!

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  925. Bill on

    #2. My grandmothers green beans we’ve been saving for two generations and her peanut seeds handed down for three generations. And three tomatoes varieties given to me by our elderly neighbor. Finally, we have “wedding zinnias,” seeds we save and replant every year that remind us of our wedding which was held in our yard surrounded by Zinnias – which were given to me by my Great Aunt.

    Plus, our farm is covered in wild daffodils every spring and they will always be with us!

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  926. Brenda Lang on

    Last spring my husband and I planted Zinnias from seeds in one of our raised bed. We were amazed at how well they thrived in our garden. But as the temperatures increased, the garden was infested by grasshoppers. They were everywhere. I never experienced a summer when we had so many. As they died out, our zinnias managed to survive and were more beautiful. They outlasted the invasion of the grasshoppers and continued putting on a show last into the Summer season and early Fall. We will definitely grow more this year and hopefully without the grasshoppers.

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  927. Heather Frost on

    I find that the most calming activity I can do is to work in the soil. Flowers- their scent and the beauty they provide- fill my soul with joy. I always smile at a pansy face, bury my nose in a rose or the sweet pea patch, and run my fingers along the zinnias. These activities help keep me grounded through the ups and downs of life. I have saved seeds from bachelors buttons, poppies, sweet peas, stock, larkspur, love in a mist, baby’s breath, zinnias, nasturtiums, and snapdragons. I would hate it if seed catalogues were no more because I love day dreaming about what to add to my supply!

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  928. Julie H. on

    Ahhh…the joy my flowers bring to me is grand!

    My first love of gardening began with roses. Fragrant roses. David Austin roses. English roses. Maybe it’s something in eight with my English heritage that draws me to them. They are alluring and the fragrance can be intoxicating.

    My paternal grandfather loved rose gardening. When he died, I dug up one of his roses, and one that he had planted that was my aunt’s (his daughter who preceded him in death) and have moved them many times, along with us, from home to home. When I cut and prune and nurture them, I feel a connection to their spirits. Family. Heritage. Legacy 🌹 ♥️ They give me comfort and remind me of my roots- my belonging. They would be the first I would save.

    I also have the Rose named “Firefighter” , in honor of my son who is a fire fighter (promoted to Captain, yesterday! I am so proud!) And I treasure the Roses gifted to me for Mother’s Day. More flowers that make remind me of family and the love I have for them.

    There are three other flowers I can’t imagine life without, strictly for the pleasure they bring me.
    Lilacs are one. Again, the fragrance that perfumes my home on the spring with big, firm blooms of my Paul Thirion are treasured.

    The Hidcote lavender will have to come with me, too. Hardy and steadfast and fragrant.

    And, because of my discovering Floret, the show…on Magnolia Network, I discovered my love of zinnias! They were new to my garden, as an explored what I could grow in my new zone in central WA, after moving here from the coast. Zinnias love our climate here, and grace my kitchen island in long-lasting bouquets, along with roses, all summer long. They make me smile with their sturdy poms anns cheery colors. I am ecstatic to find a flower I love that grows well in the excessive heat here in Chelan, WA. I currently grow the “Salmon” variety I bought from Floret. They would be saved along with the roses and lilac and lavender.

    I can’t wait for the new showy blooms and soft color palette of the Dawn Creek zinnias and the Floret derivatives to grace my garden. You two ladies have inspired me to consider growing these for some local florists as I live in the heart of “wedding country” and I’d reap so much pride and joy seeing your seeds, grown with my hands, held by a bride on her most special day.

    Thank you for what you do! You seriously make my life, so many other’s lives, and the earth, brighter.

    Warmly,
    Julie H.

    Just living is not enough…
    One must have sunshine,
    freedom,
    and a little flower.
    ~ Hans Christian Anderson

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  929. Suzanne C on

    If I was tasked with saving seeds, I would save my rudbeckia (I’m a sunflower lover) and my coneflowers as both endure the long, hot summers of Texas with bravery and resilience. I love all my plants and learn every year from them. Saving and sharing seeds with friends and family drives my spirit. I loved reading about the zinnias and would love to add them to my list of seed-saving flowers!

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  930. Brenda Ruckstuhl on

    Oh the loveliness and passion you both share. I cannot wait to be a part of it too!

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  931. Rosalie Shepherd on

    I have been pursuing growing pastel colors of zinnias but can only grow small ones with not very nice petal structures. I think the ones you are showing and growing would hopefully work for me. I look forward to purchasing some of the larger peach colored zinnias.

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  932. Heather on

    I am always so excited for the first blooms of “spring” that we get to experience this time of year in zone 9b. I’ve struggled with getting any dahlias to grown in the heat of summer alone with just not wanting to go outside and care for the other heat lovers, but I will always be sure to have anemones and ranunculuses to look forward to during the mid-winter gloom.

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  933. Ingrid on

    Sweet peas, I consider them my birthday flower and grow them every year in the spring. For summer flowers I love zinnias, I really never paid attention to them until my friend pointed out how easy they are to grow, colorful and last the whole summer.

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  934. Becky Nixon on

    This past year, I had hundreds of zinnias pop up in my garden among my tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini. It was the prettiest garden I’ve ever had. I’ve always loved zinnias and their wide array of color. It raised my spirits every time I would go to the garden, spending extra time to look at the flowers, take pictures, watch the bees and butterflies do their magic, and eventually get around to picking vegetables. One can’t help but feel uplifted when surrounded by such beauty.

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  935. Al on

    I confess to enjoying the ox-eye daisy, not only in flower but all winter as it hugs the ground during our cold months.

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  936. Beth Glenn on

    I am an artist (watercolors and acrylics). What inspires my art are the many varieties and colors and textures found in dahlias, zinnias and irises. My mother was an artist and gardener as well. I lost her some years ago, but In the garden I feel closest to her and more at peace.

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  937. Lilian on

    If seed catalogs were to disappear, the seeds I’d save from my garden would be the ones that bring me joy and my family nourishment. Dahlia seeds to bring intrigue and excitement with their unique colors and shapes. Sunflowers to shade the ground and share with friends and wildlife. Marigolds and calendula with their abundance of seed to scatter and sow. A garden full of flowers to thank the pollinators who in turn will help provide us with trusses of tomatoes, baskets of squash, buckets of cucumbers and arm loads full of beans to keep us nourished until spring arrives and we set out to do it all again.

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  938. Leilani Norton on

    When life seems mundane or even downright disappointing, I go out into the garden and wonder at all the colors and beauty I find in peonies. I love their form and scent when they’re in their bloom and photograph them to enjoy later in cards I print or paint to share with friends.

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  939. Jillian VanZytveld on

    In 2020, my mom and I started an overly ambitious garden together. In July of 2022, my mom died very unexpectedly. The garden we were tending together was suddenly mine alone. The rest of that season was a messy blur (as was the garden), but when spring of last year rolled around, I dreamed bigger than I ever had before. I mapped out an entire zone dedicated solely to zinnias, and it was the fulfillment of all the hopes and dreams I shared with my mom. I spent hours with the zinnias, marveling over all their shapes and colors and gradients. These beautiful flowers were truly a balm for my broken heart, and I can’t wait to see what happens this year.

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  940. Erma Yoder on

    My garden is my happy place. My biggest dilemma is what I want to grow in the space I now have. Zinnias are a must have. They make everyone happy.

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  941. Carrie Van Slyke on

    When considering which plants speak to me during difficulty, I would say any flowering plant is a favorite of mine. I love flowers as they can be used to remember both sad occasions as well as celebratory ones. I find that flowers are a favorite way to express my emotions to others when there are no words or I don’t know what to say. I like choosing flowers to send to others based on their preferences and or colors.

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  942. Elizabeth Mefford on

    I would save as many flower seeds as possible. The species really isn’t the point. It’s the joy you see in a dear friend’s face when you give them a handful of blooms. The closing of their eyes when they smell them. The moment they are required to slow down and enjoy something and be made aware of the fact that someone appreciates them so very much 🖤

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  943. Gwendolen Graovac on

    When life is hardest I turn to the pollinator-friendly flowers; anise hyssop and tulsi are top of my list.

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  944. Dee on

    We have very hot summers in B.C. with unprecedented wildfire seasons in the last five years. I have relied on my propagation of lavender to ease the sadness of smoke covering our skies during the summer season. Watching the pollinators loving the sweetness lavender offers is truly calming. I also love to save my favourite marigold seeds and watch each year as they reward me with their magnificent underrated beauty. These little gems remind me of my mom.

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  945. terry strachan on

    When I was growing up, every summer my Mom planted sweet peas all along our backyard fence. They were the scent and color of my childhood. Many, many years later I still love them so very much. I cannot walk past a sweet pea plant without stopping for a sniff – so delightful.
    In the wild I absolutely love yellow beach lupine. It is also very fragrant and so bright on the coastal sand dunes of the central California coast. The smell of these lupine flowers is DIVINE.
    Both of these two members of the pea family generously share their seed in an easy to harvest way. I am smiling just thinking about them!!

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  946. Kodi on

    I would save all of my polar bears zinnia seeds, dahlia tubers, and mulberry rose Nigella seeds

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  947. Nicole on

    When life gets hard I initially gravitate to color, the brightest of zinnias, dahlias, coneflower, snapdragon. I begin to analyze them like they are little smiling face reminding me of whats important. There is also so much calm I find in the shade of ferns, the smell of wild roses and herbs. It’s so hard to pick one in particular . So many of them provide a safe space

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  948. Kaleigh Berry on

    Spearmint was the first plant my grandmother taught me the name of in the garden, the one that makes me think of all the times I spent with her and my mother on long summer days, not knowing I was learning some of the most important lessons of my life. Then, when I moved to my first ever house of my own, heavily pregnant and time flying, I lost all hope of growing a garden before the season slipped away. But soon spearmint popped up in a thick carpet, filling the entire corner of our yard. Now that I’m venturing into selling flowers, spearmint carries me through the entire season as one of the first plants to pop up when the snow melts, rounding out almost every bouquet, and reminding me that even when I feel I’m failing in the garden the plants will still find their way up and out of the ground.

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  949. Lydia on

    When I felt overwhelmed last summer I would go and spend some time in our 4 long rows of cosmos. They were so prolific and made me feel so relaxed and in awe of their beauty.

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  950. Peggy Hoelting on

    There is no better way to boost your spirit in the spring than with native wildflowers. They pop up so quickly, showing their lovely faces, then disappear only to be replaced by something new. A parade of sorts, one variety more beautiful than the next. Then they rest and renew, preparing for a repeat performance in the years ahead.

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  951. Kate on

    We bought our home (Zone 5B/6A) in October of 2018. In April of 2019, my father passed away very suddenly as the result of a surgical error. I was 16 weeks pregnant, emotionally spent and feeling completely lost as we headed back home. When we drove up, I wept: our entire front garden was awash with bright yellows, whites and green daffodils. We had no idea that they had been there as it was our first spring in our home. Every year when the daffodils start coming up I feel hope and know that my dad is still here. :)

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  952. Di Berry on

    I love the way you two worked together in these beautiful zinnias. I can’t wait to purchase them and grow them all summer! Thank you!

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  953. Lisa on

    I find myself steadied, humbled, and awestruck by every flower I grow from a seed. Every stage of growing a tiny seed into a lovely blossom is almost miraculous. I find myself amazed that all that potential is packed into such a tiny seed. Providing it with the conditions that it needs brings me joy. Sharing with others brings even more joy.

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  954. Tracy on

    I would faithfully save Zinnia. Cosmos, and Celosia seeds for replanting. These flowers never fail!

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  955. Layna L. on

    If seed catalogs disappeared, I would save seeds from my sweet peas, zinnias and dahlias. They all have a special place in my garden! This past growing season I tried saving seeds for the first time – pink & red poppies and bachelor buttons in different colours. I can’t wait to plant them this year and see what grows!