Home Blog The {Farmer} & The Florist Interview: Peace Seedlings
January 8th 2024

The {Farmer} & The Florist Interview: Peace Seedlings

Written by

I heard about Peace Seedlings, a delightful and obscure little seed company down in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, from Eric who heads up our seed program. He remembers Dylana Kapuler and Mario DiBenedetto selling their seeds in handwritten manila envelopes at the Corvallis Farmers Market when he lived there. 

When I first visited their blog (which also functions as their main catalog) I was a little bit skeptical, since there was nowhere to place an order. But I quickly learned that they are still doing things the old-fashioned way and you have to mail them a list of what you want, plus a few dollars for shipping and payment (either cash or check). A few weeks later your order will appear in the mailbox.

Last season I trialed all of their pea varieties that are part of their breeding program. I was incredibly impressed—they were all beautiful and delicious, and like nothing I’d ever grown before. If you’re looking for some fun and tasty additions to your garden, be sure to check them out!

While their whole offering is very interesting, their zinnia collections are especially worth pointing out. They’ve been working to breed some very diverse mixes that are incredibly unique and very different from anything on the market.

While I’m typically drawn to softer pastel shades, the bright, wild, boldly colored bicolor flowers from their mixes were both eye-catching and bizarrely beautiful. If you’re looking for some one-of-a-kind flowers to add to your garden, fields, or bouquets I especially loved the Day Glow Mix and ‘Rainbow Eyes’.

Peace Seedlings specializes in breeding for diversity rather than uniformity, so if you’re on the hunt for some unusual and unique new treasures, look no further. 

Dylana, I’m so happy I found out about your operation, and I’m really excited to introduce you to Floret readers. Can you share a little bit about the evolution of your seed company? From what I’ve read, the original Peace Seeds was founded in the 1970s by your parents, but more recently, you’ve renamed it Peace Seedlings. Can you talk about this transition and what you’re focusing on now?

We started helping with Peace Seeds, which was run by my parents “Mushroom” (Alan Kapuler) and Linda Kapuler, in 2007. My partner Mario DiBenedetto and I were inspired by the staggering legacy that they had created. Mushroom and Linda would talk about maybe “retiring,” but our involvement seemed to keep them inspired to keep truckin’ on.  

By 2009, Mushroom encouraged us to start our own seed company so we could get credit for our own work. So that fall, we launched Peace Seedlings. We wanted to keep some continuity of the legacy they had created and we figured we were the next generation of Peace Seeds, and thus we were the “Seedlings.” 

We were too young to think through how much we would confuse people who thought we sold seedlings, or why two different seed companies worked together on the same 3-acre piece of land that Mushroom and Linda had been leasing since the early ‘90s. 

The focus has always been on the preservation and dissemination of biodiversity,  growing organic food that keeps ourselves and the community nourished, and breeding new varieties for the public domain that make a valuable contribution to increased nutrition, architectural advances, and unique beauty.

You offer one of the most interesting and diverse ranges of seeds I’ve come across, and so many of the varieties in your catalog were bred on your farm. Can you share more about your breeding efforts and what you’re specializing in?

Thank you, it means a lot to hear that. Like I said, the legacy of my parents is staggering, so we have tried our best to honor their work and all of the amazing varieties that we have had access to. We have tried to see and grow as many different types of plants as we can so we can have deeper insight and more appreciation of the natural world. 

That leads to the next step, which is saving the seeds so you can be part of the whole cycle. Then once you grow those seeds, you might see a unique trait that you want to follow, and then you are doing your own level of adaptation and selection.

It is hard not to do this with everything we grow so after enough time, the hope is that we made a valuable contribution to as many varieties as possible.   

We’ve generally tried to be more diversified than specialized, but we have ended up being more attracted to certain plants for various reasons. We have done most of our breeding efforts in peas, corn, tomatoes, peppers, beans, marigolds, zinnias, sunflowers, and asters.

We have done some specializing in South American (Andean) crops. The Andean people are some of the oldest plant breeders and have made a lot of underutilized crops.

Many of them are very unknown for how much potential they have in gardens globally. One of which is Yacon (pictured above), which makes an edible tuber that is sweet and crunchy eaten raw or cooked, and is an amazing and adaptable plant in many climates.

This past season we trialed all of your zinnia mixes and were amazed by the uniqueness and diversity found in each collection. I’ve never seen anything like them before! Would you be willing to share a little more about how these varieties came to be, especially the Day Glow Mix?

We have both been artists our whole lives with many different mediums. Zinnias were one of the earliest breeding projects we started. So as artists, we decided to grow a huge spiral of two different species of zinnias that normally didn’t cross and see if growing them like that would encourage more intercrossing from all the pollinators.

We grew out as many seeds as we could from the zinnia spiral and ended up noticing one plant that had a unique color trait that we knew was a cross.

That is the start of many of our zinnias that have the “multi-tone”(multiple colors) trait. For the next decade, we would grow as many plants as we could manage and every year pick our favorites and save each one separately to see what happened. 

Simultaneously we grew out as many zinnias as we could find in the commercial market that had unique colors or morphology and were tall enough for cut flowers. 

Growing so many different types of zinnias and having a very diverse amount of pollinators created the possibility of anomalies to happen. A few years ago we noticed one plant that had a unique color trait that we named “multi-play.” We had never seen anything like it. The colors on the petals morphed over time so the old petals would be different from the newly emerging petals, which would create a glowing effect that we then named “Day Glow” (pictured above).

In addition to trialing your zinnias, I also grew all of your snow and snap pea varieties, including ‘Ruby Beauty’, ‘Blushing Beauty’, ‘Amethyst Beauty’ (pictured above), ‘Opal Beauty’, ‘Spring Rose’, ‘Magnolia Blossom’, and ‘Spring Blush’. I was blown away by the range of unique colors and exaggerated tendrils on many of the varieties. They were all incredibly delicious, too. Can you share a little bit more about your pea breeding efforts and a few of your favorites or new varieties that you’d recommend trying? 

It all started with the seed of inspiration to breed a rainbow of peas … My parents spent more than a decade trying to make the first edible purple pea pod. After some bitter failures and following many paths, some that led to other wonderful peas like ‘Green Beauty’, ‘Magnolia Blossom’, and ‘Spring Blush’, they succeeded and offered ‘Sugar Magnolia’, the first purple snap pea of its kind, which also had been selected for hyper-tendrils, a trait that was not readily available. A decade before that they bred ‘Opal Creek’, the first yellow snap pea. 

So, at the beginning of working in collaboration with my parents, it was natural to be inspired by all they had done and see the potential for what was now possible with all these new varieties they had bred.

The first pea we bred came from being enchanted by a pink-flowered New Zealand pea that a friend was growing and we knew we needed to use that as a parent. Using that pink-flowered pea crossed with ‘Green Beauty’ we made ‘Spring Rose’ (pictured above), which had the unique pink flower trait we were looking for. We hoped crossing yellow peas with purple peas would open up the possibilities of color and hopefully make a “red” pea. 

But first, we crossed ‘Green Beauty’ to ‘Opal Creek’, so we could make a golden snow. 

We then crossed the golden snow with ‘Sugar Magnolia’, hoping it would open up endless potentials since we crossed so many traits together. This work opened up Pandora’s box and it would take us about a decade to select almost a dozen new varieties of different colored snow and snap peas. 

New Peace Seedlings peas include ‘Opal Beauty’ (a golden snow vine pea; pictured above, top left), ‘Amethyst Beauty’ (a purple snow vine pea), and ‘Blushing Beauty’ (a purple splash over green snow pea); two beautiful magenta-colored varieties named ‘Ruby Beauty’ (a snow vine pea; pictured above, top right) and ‘Ruby Crescent’ (a snap vine pea); plus, ‘Opal Crescent’ (a yellow snap pea; pictured above, bottom left), ‘Purple Beauty’ (a dark purple snow pea; pictured above, bottom right), and ‘Sweet Rain’ (an XL green snap pea).

We’d recommend trying any of the ones we offer now—they create an awesome addition to any garden or market booth.

All of the varieties that you offer are open-pollinated and public domain. Can you explain a little more about what it means for a variety to be in the public domain, and why it’s important to you to offer these varieties?

We are inspired by my genius father who was raised in the science world and saw too much progress get stymied by privatization and ownership, which led him to dedicate his life to working for the public domain. Public domain is like “open source” software,  so it is free for the public to use. 

When a variety is offered in the public domain through a published format it cannot be patented since there is a precedent of it existing, so it is protected from control by a corporation. When a public domain variety is passed from one generation to the next, it becomes a heirloom variety, so we like to think we are creating our generation of heirlooms.

This is important because access to food is a human right, seeds are the foundation of our food system, and the more it is controlled the more we slowly lose the freedom to save seeds.

While you breed new varieties, you also focus on the preservation of heirloom varieties, which is wonderful to see. How did you become interested in preservation?

We have access to an amazing seed collection that my parents have been curating since the ‘70s. They had trialed many varieties over the decades, so when we started helping out there were many heirloom varieties we grew because they were just outstanding in terms of flavor and how they grew in our garden.

Varieties like ‘Palestinian Tomato’ (from Palestine, Ohio), ‘Aci Sivri Cayenne’ (from Turkey), and ‘Red Milan Onion’ (from Italy) have become staples in our food system at home. This is what gave us an initial appreciation for the preservation of many old varieties, but we have also gained a broader respect for the work our ancestors put in and want to honor them. 

With so many varieties disappearing in the last 50 years, it seems like we owe it to past and future generations to preserve what we can.

I have to say, I love that you’re still doing business in the old-school way with a simple listing of your offerings and requiring people to mail in a handwritten order along with their payment. It’s such a refreshing change from the fast-paced digital world that I’m used to. For readers who haven’t ordered from you before, can you walk us through the process of ordering your seeds?

Thanks, we are old-school and mostly have kept our presence simple on the internet because we do not want to spend too much of our life in front of a screen. We would rather be in the garden and spending time with family and friends. We are also multi-faceted people and one of our other passions is willow weaving, making baskets, hats, and furniture. We hope to offer some of the many varieties of willow that we grow soon, too.

We have been making a simple written seed list since 2009. We send the new seed list out every year in January to the people who ordered the year before. We also have a “blog website”, which is basically the written seed list with a few pictures.   

To order from either the internet or our written seed list, write or type your requests and send them with a check or money order for the cost of the seeds plus $7 USD for shipping to Peace Seedlings, 2385 SE Thompson St., Corvallis, OR 97333.

What are you most looking forward to in the upcoming growing season, and what’s the best way for our readers to learn about your 2024 offerings?

We are always looking forward to a new growing season. We have many new zinnias to grow out, some new red peas with pink flowers, and new bush peas we are working on, as well as an Aji pepper breeding project we are excited about, and also many others. Most of all, we are excited to watch our daughter Calypsa grow up in the garden and evolve; she will turn two on March 6.

The best way to find our offerings is to either go to our blog or you can request our paper seed list by emailing [email protected].

Thank you, Dylana. I’m really looking forward to growing more of your zinnias this year. I appreciate you taking the time to share your story and more about your breeding work with Floret readers. 

To accompany this interview, we’re giving away five special seed bundles. Each bundle will contain Peace Seedlings special Day Glow Mix zinnias, ‘Spring Blush’ snap peas, and ‘Ruby Beauty’ snow peas.  

For a chance to win, simply post a comment below telling us about someone who has been influential to you as a gardener. Winners will be announced on January 16. Please note: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. 

A huge congratulations to our winners: Emma, Elan Irving, Amber Harrison, Mel and Jessica Toloczko

To learn more and connect with Peace Seedlings, be sure to visit their blog

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


  1. Madeline Rivera on

    So glad I found this article. I will definitely order seeds from them. A very interesting way of living! Thank you.

  2. Jess Windham on

    Peace Seedlings is such an asset to our community’s burgeoning and blossoming garden diversity. What beautiful bountiful gifts! (And honestly what is better than purple peas??)

  3. Nadya on

    I love Peace Seedlings, and am friends with Dylana’s sister Kushra!
    Congrats to the winners!

    My dad Byrle gardened on sandy soil in Redmond Oregon, and my in-laws here in the Willamette Valley. In the 70s we’d plant the garden for my inlaws, and then they’d tend it. She and my (former) hubby were botanists, so I learned to harvest wildlings, and grow less usual varieties. It’s hard not to order everything that appeals!
    One of my favorites – no longer in the PS catalog – is Babington topset perennial leeks! I had a lovely patch at my last house from sets I got in 2013, and have starts from a few sets in my new Garden. Cut and come again from the base, and like multiplier onions 🌰 , increase by planting sets!

  4. Kevin G on

    My grandmother was who inspired me to garden, cook, and do my best.

  5. Natasha Lepera on

    Robbie Mitchell…. He is the brother to one of my best friends. His sister Mel and myself live in Pa and Robbie lives in Oregon. He moved there many moons ago. Every time Robbie would come home to visit I was always fascinated to hear his growing stories. From vegetables, herbs, flowers and propagating. Also his love for his community. This past Christmas he came to visit and we were able to catch up. During our conversation he was telling me about friends of his and their property. Telling me I would love it, how beautiful their flowers are and how unique their crops were. He said “write down this name and look them up when you have time. Peace Seedling.” As I’m reading you post on Instagram I became breathless for second. Thinking to myself this is unbelievable, I can’t believe floret is talking about the same company a friend of mine was literally telling me about 2 weeks ago. The passion and love he has for them and their company I know they are well deserved of the spotlight you are giving them. Much love, Natasha

  6. Tabitha on

    My mom and grandmother were both gardeners so it came naturally to me to start gardening. But I didn’t take it seriously until I had my first baby and got PPD and PPA, it helped me tremendously overcome both as my focus would go on baby, seeds, growing, planning, caring for etc and I’ve found so many wonderful seed companies like yours and it makes me incredibly happy seeing all the wonderful new varieties come out every year. Healed from both PPD/PPA and I thank all the wonderful gardeners before me who created beautiful strains and varieties of vegetables and flowers.

  7. Catherine Thomas on

    My dear friend Jackie taught me the basics of gardening as we worked on our church Memorial Garden as well as on the flower guild, arranging altar flowers weekly. After she passed away from cancer, I was angry for several years. The past few years I finally pulled up my big girl panties and cleaned up the neglected gardens. As I work in these gardens, I realize that I meet Jackie each time I’m there. I miss her and I know she will be so thrilled with the zinnias I’ll grow from the Peace Seedlings.

  8. Crystal Little on

    The person that has influenced me the most for my love of gardening is my cousin. She would let me stay at her house when I was little and she would take me into her garden and her flower patches and teach me about how to care for them. As I grew up, we would always talk to each other about which greenhouses we visit and what type of flowers we would purchase. She is also a seed saver and she has helped me to dapple in that area a little. Each year we share pics of our seed starting trays and keep each other posted on how things progress. She lives a couple hours away but that doesn’t stop us from sharing and giving each other help when needed. So, I would like to thank her for instilling the love of gardening in me. It is a wonderful gift.

  9. Krista on

    It was my grandfather who opened up the world of gardening for me. I remember coming home from a half-day at school and running to the backyard to dig in the dirt with him. He was a chemist and precise in his care of his roses and tomatoes. At our home, it was pine trees and pansies. He’s why I love gardening and the science behind it.

  10. Jessica Cummins on

    I love everything about this. I love heirloom seeds, and my family goes to feet lengths to find ones that have been lost (as freezers have stopped) over the years. 🤍 I can’t wait to try their seeds.

  11. Brian on

    Tonya with the flowers on YouTube, formerly freshcutky, has been a huge inspiration and great source of knowledge for myself getting into cut flowers, especially winter sowing and hardy annuals. I’m also a fan of Baetanicals YouTube videos. I find both of them to be relatable in that they’re growing at home for their and their communities enjoyment and sharing their experience online with a broader community of like minded people.

  12. Annette on

    My mother raised 6 children my father’s income, I remember her daily wholesome meals and her love of nature, encouraging all 6 of us to be creative, kind and hardworking. I was blessed with her love of flower/vegetable gardening which has been a labor of love as I moved back into and purchased my childhood home 12 years ago and am so grateful that every day I get the reminder of mother’s love of nature and have the pleasure of expanding the property with flowers and vegetables- best of all I get to share this passion with my grandchildren in hopes they someday will see the value of it all.

  13. Linda on

    Started growing sugar snap peas a few years ago in my limited garden space. Would love to grow the pea varieties
    you offer for their color and pretty little flowers. Particularly love ‘Spring Rose.’ Always looking to experiment and try something new. Keeps the creative garden juices flowing!

  14. Michael on

    My dad and an older neighbor both inspired me to garden. When I was little (1990s) I would pick out seedlings and seed packs with my dad and pick out flowers I thought my mom would like. I’d help till, plant, weed, harvest, shuck and shell. My neighbor had a (much larger than ours, victory style?) row garden and sometimes I’d help him and be sent home with a bag of fresh picked corn, lima beans, pears or muscadines.

  15. Aretha on

    The females in my mothers line, have influenced my gardening. They each cherished and valued their garden and each generation has taken it a bit further. I appreciate seeing where my daughters gardens are taking them, and look forward to what my granddaughters will do as they have their own gardens.

  16. Jennifer Zaptin on

    I love this story! My mom has inspired me to garden as well as a friend who I enjoy talking to about seed growing and planting. Hoping to get DayGlow and some peas grown this year!

  17. Lisa M. on

    I have had many people inspire me in the way I garden, but I especially appreciate Brianna from Blossom and Branch Farm.

  18. Yeise on

    The only person that used to garden when I was younger was my mother. She had an amazing rose garden that she planted from bare roots and a beautiful collection of perennials, now that I’m into gardening, I’m amazed that what she had in her garden is what I subconsciously plant in mine.

  19. Elodie on

    My mother is still one of my inspiration for gardening. I picked it back up deiven by the memory of my childhood eating fresh bean directly from the stalk and carrots directly from the soil! It’s my yearning for those magic harvest moment that drive me to make a garden everywhere I go~

  20. Leann Murphy on

    My mom has been my inspiration as a gardener. She influences me still to try new things and not to have a fear of failure.

  21. Saudabi Valappil on

    I have been greatly influenced by my friend Asha whom I accidentally met while exploring community farming in the UAE. She introduced me to growing heirloom varieties in the city of Abu Dhabi and taught me how to collect seeds successfully. Since then we set up a farm in the UAE desert growing mainly heirloom crops including vegetables and lot of flowers ( instagram page – cheshirefarmsuae ) The experience is amazing and I cannot thank her enough! We converted this land into a colourful heaven beaming with flies and happiness in the desert..

  22. Marianne Poteet on

    A great gardening influence for me was a woman named Renee Bijl. We lived in Saudi Arabia for several years. Renee and her husband, Lex, lived next door. They were from South Africa. I have always loved growing things, but Renee introduced me to a broader spectrum of plants to grow and I also learned about growing a swath of flowers, which can be more pleasing to the eye (and the nose) than a few plants. Among many other things, Renee grew a carpet of zinnias in front of her house, edged by white alyssum, and it was a lovely sight, plus the scent from the alyssum was heavenly. I learned from Renee what a solace gardening can be when you are struggling with culture shock and homesickness. She was a great friend to me. I remember her whenever I see zinnias.

  23. Marilyn Norberg on

    Beth Benjamin from Camp Joy in Boulder Creek,CA was influential for me. I worked as a volunteer at Camp Joy for a few years trading work for organic veggies,flowers and honey. I learned to “prick out” seedlings which became my favorite task. Now I use what I learned there in my own large garden. Nothing better than hands on learning!

  24. Jackie on

    I was inspired by my Grandfather. Growing up, he always had an old coffee can right outside the back door where we would put our food scraps, peels etc. and he would take them out and till them into the garden. He inspired me to focus on the soil if you want beautiful flowers and delicious produce. I now grow flowers and some veggies in my small suburban garden. I don’t have much space so I’m always focused on maximizing it. Love these zinnias and peas!

  25. Rachel Bowlen on

    Growing up in the South, my father was my mentor with a large garden of vegetables and flowers and he had the gift of growing. He could grow anything and I was there to “help”. I even had a red wagon that my Dad would load up and send me around the neighborhood selling our fresh vegetables. I wasn’t more than 5 or 6, but what a fun time it was and what a great way to meet and greet my neighbors and get them fresh produce. We are talking 1950. Of course we harvested a great deal that was then canned for the upcoming winter.And my Dad was a seed saver. He had a variety of bean seeds that we kept going for years until the weevils got into them. Sad but Fond memories. I have always had a garden wherever I ended up and now at 80 still have way too many but just can’t seem to stop. Do include a few new varieties each year. My son is also a great gardener…he got my Dad’s genes and it gives me such pleasure to see his gardens now. So happy to see your work and will certainly want to include some new things in this year’s garden. Thank you for all you do. So important.

  26. Lisa on

    My father always had a basic vegetable garden and growing up I would love to be out there with him. I never was involved in the planting but always helped him harvest. He would always try something new each year. Then my mother wanted more flowers and so they had several beautiful flower beds. Needless to say as soon as I had my own home with a yard I dove in to all aspects of gardening. And forty years later helping my daughter begin her journey in gardening.

  27. Kathy on

    As far back as I can remember I’ve spent time in the garden. First with my grandpa, when I was about 4 years old, I harvested Blue Grass seeds. He would show me how to remove the seeds from the tall grass and put them in my little paper bag. Then we would load up the bags and take them to town to sell. When I was about 10 years old I remember working with my mom, who is now 94 years old, transplanting irises and peonies from grandpa’s garden to ours. I caught the gardening bug at a young age and I’m so glad I did. Being in the garden is the most relaxing and happiest time in my days!
    P. S. My mom gave up working in her outdoor garden this year because of her knees but continues to enjoy her houseplants. It gives her so much joy!

  28. Kelli Munro on

    In Chelan we are lucky enough to have so many wonderful gardeners and old family orchards where gardens colorfully surround family homes. One of the most beautiful is down a dusty dirt road which winds between old and new apple trees. Fran’s (The Manson Farmers Market Flower Lady) orchard home sits in the middle of several acres of gorgeous flowers and hedges. When you first pull up, you might think she needs a hand tending to all of this, but the unkept look actually supports her seasonal garden and keeps the irrigation to a minimum. She cuts her bounty weekly to bring to the Manson Farmers Market and sells the abundant, colorful bouquets for $5 (including a glass vase). When I first met Fran many years ago, she had some unusual amaranth (love lies bleeding). When I asked her about growing it she insisted I come out to her farm and take some seedlings/immature plants to try on my own. This was the beginning of many visits and a forever friendship. I cherish the seeds I get every year from Fran’s plants and I look forward to seeing her every spring with her buckets of beauties. I would love to be able to share some more seeds with her! Thank you for all you do to make this world a more beautiful (and peaceful) space.

  29. Sarah Aumsbaugh on

    My dad and my grandpa (my dad’s dad). We always had a garden as a kid amd one at my grandpa’s. I loved walking and watching things grow. It was a special and peaceful place. I loved watching the seedling in the windows. I now have a large flower garden and a smaller veggie garden. My grandpa is gone but my dad lives 100 yards down the road. We will be trying out my new hoophouse this winter/spring to see what kind of magic we can create.

  30. Gayle Wilson on

    My little Granny and my Aunt Era were my two biggest influencers in my gardening evolution. While little Granny lived in the city and Aunt Era on a farm, I saw gardening from two perspectives – beauty and sustenance . Each taught me that growing flowers and food bring life and community to people.

  31. Naomi Wise on

    My mom created a massive passion for gardening that has made us closer. Shes my best friend and we now share thise lovely passion for gardening. Its the only addiction that feeds yorlur soul
    All thanks to her.

  32. Cassandra on

    I love this, this company is in the town I went to college in. There is an 83 yr old gardener that used to come to my work and provide the flowers for the front office. I became friends with her and she invited me to her house to tour her garden. I was thrilled and very entertained as she walked me through her large cottage garden and explained every plant and picked me samples along the way. I loved learning about her plants and having something blooming most of the months of the year.

  33. Amanda on

    My parents were my most influential gardeners in my life. I’m thankful for them having gardens when I was younger because it started my appreciation for plants & flowers.

  34. Kayla on

    There has been so many people that have influenced and inspired me. Especially my parents. Growing up as a small kid we always had a garden. Canned the majority of our own food. Once we were older and life got busier our garden slowly got smaller and smaller and soon phased out. Now that I have kids of my own, it’s important to us to raise our kids in the garden. Teaching them to grow food and flowers but still give back to the earth what we take by implementing regenerative practices. My parents have inspired me and been a helping hand in getting a successful garden going. Also, Erin her self and Kristine have been huge influences on me growing flowers. They both have been a huge wealth of knowledge and so thankful for them making an effort to make the information so easily available.

  35. Beth Snively on

    Wow! I’m always a sucker for new zinnia varieties! My gardener inspiration has always come from my aunt who instilled in me a love of flowers!

  36. Robin Gibson on

    Wow! SO excited to learn about Peace Seedlings:) I’m lucky enough to live where many of my friends & neighbors have gardens! And I find myself inspired by all of them in some way! Mostly, my dear friends & neighbors Judy, Marney, Jan, & Teri. And of course, Erin & Team Floret are massively inspiring, as is Alla from Ukraine! I’m very excited for all the possibilities this coming season!

  37. Kim on

    Besides Erin, I would say Paul Gautschi has been inspirational. His never ending optimism, cheerfulness and desire to share everything he has!

  38. Jaime Preston on

    I’m thoroughly enjoying these interviews! They’re inspiring! I too reside in Oregon just south of the Willamette valley a couple of hours.
    Both sets of my grandparents always had gardens, .. some of my love of flowers began by helping my paternal Grandfather in the summer months as a teen. He sold locally to the community long before social media became a thing.. he had decades of experience and a large following from word of mouth small town sharing. He grew the largest tomatoes I’d ever seen along with green beans and cut flowers. He would line his driveway with a mix of zinnias and cosmos .. he was the first one to teach me how to save seed. Those were some of the most special times with him working in the garden and selling produce and cut flowers on the weekends .. I’m grateful for those times. 💐 🍅

  39. JoCarol Cohen on

    My grandparents were the most influential gardeners. Each year they tended a large vegetable garden and would let me pick one variety to plant. I always chose eggplant, even though I don’t care for their flavor! I just love the color!

  40. Shelby on

    When I was a litter girl our neighbor had beautiful perennial gardens that I adored.
    I used to sneak over and pick her flowers and bring them to my Mom.
    I loved watching her water her garden always spraying from the hose with just her thumb to control the pressure. It was so peaceful.

  41. Lyndsey S. on

    Growing up I always noticed my grandpa working in the garden, tending to the land. At the time, I was too young to understand why he is was so drawn towards the garden. With age, I’ve realized the beauty and magic that is born from something as simple as a seed and one that can generate so much joy not only for the grower but also for the recipient of Earth’s treasures.

  42. Jennie Doctor on

    I have so many people that encouraged and influenced me to become a gardener. One of my earliest memories is being a little kid in my aunt’s backyard and it was just magical. Peonies, foxglove, hostas, etc. I always loved going to get house in the summertime. My grandma, her mom, was a wonderful gardener. Another aunt, on my mom’s side, loved flowers. I’ll always remember planting marigolds with her every summer growing up. She had amazing hibiscus and hanging baskets every year. Finally, my dad. He’s like a master landscaper with the most meticulous, manicured yard. While he doesn’t grow very many annuals I’ve learned a lot watching him every summer.

  43. Diane Ruley on

    My landlord, whom has since passed. She would have a gardening show on the radio in the kitchen and watching a gardening show in the living and running outside to do some gardening. It was her absolute life.She invented green thumb! Miss her and her beautiful flowers dearly. She taught me so much!

  44. Juli Bokenkamp on

    My grandmother grew a variety of flowers in her garden and helped with beautification projects around her community in Chicago. As a child I loved helping her, can remember how her backyard smelled, and how hard she worked to have a beautiful yard.

  45. simms on

    My grandparents was the influence in my gardening life. I remember going out to their garden as a little one, eating strawberries, apples, cherries, and blackberries straight from the garden. I would help pick things and my grandmother would make the best things out of them.

  46. Robin Berrie on

    My neighbor Mrs. Petersen was Dutch and had the most beautiful garden. As children we learned from her how to eat peas off the vine and to be gentle with the flowers. She also taught us the importance of bees and to be respectful to them. I have loved gardening ever since!

  47. janet hall on

    My dad is the one who taught me about gardening and gave me the love for fresh vegetables and flowers. Each summer we would compete to see who could grow the most sunflowers, he always won! I miss him everyday!

  48. Josephina Carlier on

    Im Dutch but grew up in Iran, Jordan and Egypt among others because my dad was a horticulturist working in desert development and helping third world countries start citrus and avocado programs. I have fond memories of loving to work in our own garden in Iran growing vegetables and flowers together with him because there were no stores to buy these from. Now nearly 50 years later I live in a huge city in NJ with a teeny tiny garden and use every inch to grow flowers and appreciate everything he taught me and all the memories he made for me.

  49. Shelly on

    My grandmother was the one who got me hooked on gardening. She was always planting and weeding in her garden. She would teach me the names of the flowers and have me help pick the vegetables.

  50. Gretchen on

    I will always have my momma to thank for my love of gardening! She always was planting things outside and I’m so thankful she taught me everything she knew!

  51. Maria Leonor on

    My parents were not gardeners, they just appreciated the beauty of them. My father loved gardenias and often brought my mother orchid plants. I enjoy the quiet time and physical work out in the garden along with the beauty of all the flowers and plants

  52. Marlana on

    I have always loved plants, but really fell in love with flower gardening when I moved to northern MN and visited True Blue Flower Co. and Grandflower Farms this summer. If they could do it in a 3b/4a zone, I knew I could too!

  53. M. Rountree on

    An old family friend has a beautiful cottage style garden in central Texas that I’ve always admired. When my husband and I lost our first baby, she sent us an incredible package with gardening tools and seeds for a memorial garden that we were planning for the upcoming season. Every single item in the box included a handwritten note about gardening, our son, or just life. It remains the most memorable and heartfelt gift we’ve ever received.

  54. Rebecca on

    My mother has always been my inspiration in the garden. When I was younger, my mom had this rose plant that was given to her by my aunt and was from my grandfather’s old ranch. Every time we moved my mom would dig this rose up and take it with us. My mom was the person who would never be afraid to try growing something new, even if it meant she has killed it several times over. She is the main reason why I picked up gardening and I still go to her for most of my questions especially in regard to growing flowers and roses.

  55. Emma on

    My great-grandfather was a farmer-florist back in the 20’s and 30’s. He was the kind of person that ends up getting a lot of great-grandchildren named after them. There’s this amazing picture of him and my great grandmother in their best clothes on a dirt road and she has two dinner plate dahlias stuck in the front of her blouse. Thinking about someone doing the same jobs that I’m doing now inspires me.

  56. Melissa Swenson on

    I visited a local cut flower farm a couple of years ago & they inspired me to incorporate flowers into my vegetable garden. This year I’ll be adding a section completely devoted to just flowers!

  57. Alicia on

    You all at floret have been so inspiring to me that I can grow flowers and my own cut garden. I didn’t grow up gardening and growing flowers but have loved getting started later in life. It brings such joy!

  58. Trisha DjPrete on

    I love sweet peas and did not become a lover of zinnias until I found out about Floret Farms. My inspiration for growing the sweet peas came from my mother who always grew sweet peas and for zinnias came from a delightful young woman Tova who was a great Office Asst and her mother who worked for Floret Farms and would fill my office with beautiful flowers. I was spellbound and determined to grow them myself.

  59. Robin on

    My 87 year old Dad has been planting Zinnias for years! We would get Soooo Excited when a New Color would Pop up! I would tie a ribbon around the bottom, with the Colors name on it and save them for the following year! Before Lime green became popular, We harvested seed from One plant!! Zinnias are Still are Favorite Flower to Grow!

  60. Merrilee Runyan on

    My daughter is my gardening inspiration. With her I have learned to slow down, begin the day by greeting my garden and offering thanks for its beauty and bounty. I am so much more conscious of the earth’s generosity and love my gardening time more than ever at age 77!

  61. Hillary Cady on

    I remember my mom always having a small garden growing up and having flowers to cut and make vase arrangements. I look forward to expanding what I grow and including my two kids so they can hopefully carry that knowledge for future generations.

  62. Justine on

    My great-grandma is my gardener inspiration! She always had the most gorgeous daffodils and bee balm.

  63. Jessica Toloczko on

    My grandmother Marguerite. She always wore overalls or jeans with blouses that had a small floral print and her blue eyes sparkled when she was in the garden or painting pictures of her flowers. Her garden was lush and bountiful in the humidity of Kentucky. She would teach me about the garden and also the gardening ancestors who came before her. I miss calling her for all of my “how to” questions and hearing her excitement that I love it as much as she did.

  64. Monica on

    My parents, both have had an influence on me as a gardener. I’ve grown up always being in the garden, around, gardening, at greenhouses, etc.

  65. Carrie Cook on

    I started growing after my children had mostly grown up but I wasn’t inspired until I met a gardener doing a class about herbs! She passed on her enthusiasm so well I stop her garden store every chance I get!
    Morningsun Herb Farm https://g.co/kgs/faEUjPt

  66. Lauren Ivy on

    My parents got me into gardening at a young age. I loved the garden we had at the bottom of the hill I. Our back yard and the big purple hill pea patch we kept at my grandmother’s home.

  67. Michelle Dyson on

    The people in my life who have been most influential to me in gardening our my daughters, when they were born I started getting into gardening, when they were old enough they would help me and I would always tell my youngest Makenna to “tickle the roots” for the root bound plants, she is now 22 and likes gardening and when she is planting I have heard her tell her friends “don’t forget to tickle the roots”. It’s so beautiful to hear her remember those lessons.

  68. Ashley on

    The mother of one of my best friends. She is out in her yard as much as possible, growing the most beautiful berries and whichever plants strike her fancy from year to year.

  69. Lesley on

    My mom always made me help out in her vegetable garden in Mississippi when I was growing up. It was sweltering hot and I hated it. One year she had 110 tomato plants!! Now I love growing mostly flowers and a few vegetables.

  70. Amy on

    I gardened with my grandma when I was young. We didn’t have a great relationship, she was a hard lady, but I did learn a lot out in the dirt!

  71. Lauren on

    My grandfather taught me how to care for the rose bushes when I was a little girl and I’ve been fascinated by flowers ever since. These zinnia colors are absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing them with us.

  72. Christine Wilson on

    Beginning to garden last year reminded me of an elderly couple from our church who would gift us the most delicious pickled green tomatoes and cucumbers grown
    in their garden every summer. They also gave us some lilac cuttings that we enjoyed all the years we lived at that house. I don’t have a ton of physical resources or a mentor to grow as a gardener. So I am so grateful to Floret and other farmers with online platforms who share knowledge.

  73. Shelby Humpert on

    My dad has always worked hard to make the flowers in our yard look amazing. He is so attentive to the plants and has started several of the beautiful Pride of Barbados from seeds he has collected.

  74. Bethany on

    My Grandparents. I recently inherited their house and their very generous gardens. I’m so happy and really looking forward to making this space work for me and my family. My entire childhood was spent in these gardens and I am so happy that I get to share this with my kids now.

  75. Kaily on

    My mom has been influential to me as a gardener! She is always in the garden from dusk to dawn. She has been gardening as early as I can remember as a little girl. Her garden always looks so beautifully cultivated! She grows for a local sushi bowl restaurant and donates to freeway ministries, which is a local outreach for the homeless and unfortunate. She inspires me to be more dedicated and generous with my garden!

  76. Sabrina on

    My grandma loved flowers and passed her love of them on to me. I was this weird kid who knew what different flowers were named and I’m now that weird adult. Whenever I go into my garden I think of her and the love she shared with me.

  77. Victoria S on

    When I first joined the community garden in my neighborhood I had NO idea what I was doing. The woman who had organized the new members tour was very no nonsense, and took me under her wing. She did everything from help me avoid the “allotment politics” drama to suggesting I walk around and see what my neighbors were growing that I liked rather than starting with garden magazines. And she was always around to celebrate the smallest of successes – my first peas from seed were very much on that list! Ellen has since passed on, but a few of her plants live in my garden and I think of her whenever I’m there.

  78. Kelly Wright on

    My husband. He’s a newly retired veteran and through active service, he would always make sure I had as many garden beds built as needed to boost my happiness. Soon, he got into gardening and flower growing… now retired, he may be just as excited about this coming Spring as I am!

  79. Anne on

    My mother and grandmother. My grandmother loved flowers particularly and anything she touched seemed to flourish including her grandchildren.

  80. Frances E Triplett on

    My Nunna who came from Calabria Italy was a Hugh influence on my gardening skills.
    She did everything with a hoe (by hand).I can remember her carrots to this day,they tasted like candy. Bare feet n all that is what I call gardening ❤️

  81. Sarah Conway on

    My grandmother and also my dear friend Joanna have both been incredibly influential and inspiring gardeners in my life.

  82. Kristi Schark on

    My mother and my great-grandmother have influenced me, and also the two women who started Enchanted Blooms in Oscoda, MI over 25 years ago. They were the first of their kind!

  83. Christina Verrette on

    Can I do it the other way round?
    In 2008 my partner & I moved into a new house with a small fishbowl yard that was a complete blank slate.
    Over the next couple years we transformed it with herbs, flowers/vegetables/fruit trees & berries anything we wanted to eat.
    But the part I’m proud of is that our neighbor (whose yard backed up to ours and was also kinda empty) was inspired to start gardening too. He planted an orchard, flowering trees & perennials, interesting vines…more even than we did!
    It was really special talking about our gardens and sharing plants & crops over the fence!

  84. Brooke Addison on

    The mother of my husband’s childhood best friend has been a huge influence on my gardening journey. She let us stay with them while we were house hunting and she introduced me to her dahlia patch. Our guest room was constantly filled with flowers. She is so generous and lent me all of Erin’s books and gave me dahlia tubers to start my own garden. Now I’ve bought those books and split my tubers to share with others. Thanks, Anita! ❤️

  85. Peggy on

    My gardening has been most influenced by my grandma and parents who planted the seed initially and by my farmer market grower friends.

  86. Amri on

    A friend, Kyle, once showed me how simple gardening can be by using a pick axe and digging three or four trenches in my awful, neglected soil, throwing in some bulbs he brought from Iowa, and told me to water daily and see what happens. I was blown away by my little garlic patch and have had the gardening bug ever since!

  87. Kristen on

    I wouldn’t be a gardener if not for my landlord, Stan. Stan was in his 80’s when we move into the San Diego rental home next door to his house. Every inch of his yard was used for growing or tinkering around. One day I asked Stan if I could create a veggie bed in our backyard. Five minutes later I heard and noise and saw Stan tilling a section of the yard. That was the day I became a gardener. Lol. Stan lived into his 90’s and we ended up buying a house directly across the street where we put in an even larger garden. Two years ago we moved to the country and started a certified nursery/market garden. Thanks, Stan.

  88. Jan Inscho on

    My great Aunt Elmina whose mother started the first florist company in Miami in 1906 was a major influence in my love of flowers. I did not know her mother, my great grandmother, Susan Warner but her passion for growing and arranging flowers was passed on to her daughter who carried on the legacy of the business until it closed in 1972. Elmina traveled the world seeking exotic plants, including several trips with Robert Fairchild, bringing many back to Miami to thrive in her tropical garden. She never tired of my questions and always allowed me to hang out underfoot while she worked, offering occasional respites from the heat by us retreating into the cooler where she would teach me the names of plants and talk about the varieties and combinations we loved best.

  89. Lori on

    That would definitely be my Dad. He built me a little 3’
    Square veggie garden of my own when I was about 3 or 4 yrs old. I would pull up the tiny 1” carrots, wipe them on the grass & eat them all

  90. Abigail Page on

    My mom is my gardening influence because she did it purely for enjoyment – not very technical or fancy, but she loved the experience so fully.

  91. Robin on

    As a child I watched and helped my father in his garden . He was organic before it was cool. He grew such interesting and tasty veggies . As an adult I watched him during his last days in the hospital trying to start tomato seedlings in his windowsill of his hospital room . I never realized the impact of this until as a mature adult myself with health issues I can’t wait to start my seeds every mid winter .

  92. Alyssa on

    Growing up, I would help my grandmother plant her garden and loved learning the name of things. As I’ve gotten older, I treasure not just the time my siblings and spent in the garden, but the walks where we could gather lupines, the berry picking in the yard (and days of making jams and jellies.) I have found that joy again in my garden, and thoroughly enjoy these interviews where I learn so much! Thank you!

  93. Angela Fravel on

    I remember as a kid growing up, visiting my grandparents in Eugene, Oregon and playing and running around in their beautiful yard with all of the flower beds, trees and rose gardens. My grandfather loved his roses. He tended them with so much love and had so much awe for their beauty that I couldn’t help but be influenced by it. It was his quiet place to go and just “be”. My dad has roses in his garden just like his dad did, and my mother was inspired to paint some beautiful watercolor paintings from photos of grandpa’s roses. Now here I am growing lots of different flowers, roses included for grandpa, on our flower farm. Pretty cool how his love of the beauty of flowers passed down through the family.

  94. Deanna Smith on

    My grandfather worked for UW extension and we spent many hours as kids following him around gardens, parks, natural restorations…my favorite was his vegetable garden—he owned a lot that he split up so that neighboring homes could use some of the land and grow what they wanted. After years of container gardening, we bought our first house and have had many adventures digging into the landscape and I’ve fallen in love with straw bale gardening—anything untamed with vines and plantings of dahlias between the bales. I appreciate the sense of community that’s shared here, the stories, advice, information, and inspiration.

  95. Juliet Turner on

    My mother was the one who passed on her love of gardening to me. I remember she used to have two giant beds of dahlias growing in front of our childhood home in Jamaica in the early 1970s , and they were so tall that myself and my two sibling would play in the beds underneath the plants.

  96. Jackie L on

    I love Peace Seedlings and am so happy you wrote an article about them! I love their Rainbow Eyes zinnias and onions – Rosy Opal and Newberg.
    As to my garden inspiration – seed catalogs. I love trying new seeds. For the past three years I’ve been growing heirloom corn and making my own polenta and hominy. Southern Exposure Seeds, North Circle Seeds, Abundant Seeds, Baker Creek Seeds and Snake River Seeds sell some exceptional heirloom corn seeds!

  97. Holly on

    My good friend Justin in college was so zealous about the student garden on campus and thats how I got my start learning to grow things! I volunteered with him at the student garden and was just floored at the bounty. I couldn’t get enough and eventually got hired to coordinate the studen-run CSA program that was grown at the student garden and sold affordably to students in graduate housing. It was a lot of work, but so rewarding. It’s now a decade later and I’m getting into flowers for the first time, to which I’m grateful to Erin for all the information she shares!

  98. Sue Schrand on

    This is such a great story – and zinnia are one of my favorites! I’m excited to explore your blog — it makes me want to relocate to the Oregon! Happy New Year and good luck. Sue

  99. Charlene Lee on

    I must say Erin has been very influential!
    I love visuals and she makes everything look easy😄
    So informative🩷
    Thank you
    I love my books!

  100. Jill Fairchilf on

    My friends Husband Don McInnes has been planting a beautiful flower color by their home in Port Angeles, WA. he also spends time and planted a veggie garden at his family’s homestead in Sequim WA where it is where his Mother had her garden some 70years ago. He has inspired me but also his daughter and now his 12year old grandson & 7year old grand daughter. He even gave me saved Dahlia bulbs last year. Thank you for inspiring us also we all love floret Farms.

  101. Diane on

    Our neighbors. I would watch how hard they worked in their yard and garden, yet see after all the hard work was done, they enjoyed their life. My lesson learned, was even though they worked hard to create the beauty, I saw them relax and bask in the beauty!

  102. Katie on

    My grandmother is the one who inspired me as a gardener. She always had something growing in her back yard even as she aged. Our summers were spent picking from the garden and then cooking and canning in the kitchen.

  103. Laine on

    My grandparents – my grandfather started a blueberry patch that we still maintain, and my grandmother, who grew flowers and always knew all the botanical names. They displayed how yummy growing your own food could be, as well as how to create and share joy through your garden.

  104. Ryan on

    My mom gave me a book of Tasha Tudor’s gardens and it has been an inspiration ever since.

  105. Naomi on

    Wow, it was wonderful hearing all about Peace Seedlings (and Peace Seeds)!
    My mother has been most influential to me as a gardener. She’s always had a vegetable garden, even when we lived in the desert! Seeing what she grew, how she grew really inspired me.
    Currently the parsley runs rampant, it is welcome wherever it goes; we planted asparagus, and now it’s little babies are always allowed to grow wherever they fall, or carefully transplanted. We grow what is easiest, and that allows for us to sometimes experiment with harder varieties. (And that’s inspired how I grow my flower garden.)
    One year, when I was in highschool, my mother almost didn’t plant a garden, and I knew she would be so sad come harvest…so I spearheaded the planting that season and the 2 years after that, and we’ve been planning the garden together ever since.

  106. Mackenzie Kortz on

    I was able to work at a garden center during COVID and it was the best job — I got to meet people who were passionate about their plants and who had been gardening for years and years! I love that everyone has their niche — some people love their hostas, some love native gardens, and some just love annual flowers but we can all come together to learn from one another. So, I guess I’m not necessarily inspired to garden by just one person but by the community of folks in and around Kansas City, Kansas. :)

  107. Joanne on

    My grandmother loved roses and she would always talk about some day being able to have a place to grow them. Unfortunately that never came to pass for her but we enjoyed walking in other rose gardens and dreaming together. I have become a life long gardener and share that love with my children and friends. I love that the next generation of Peace Seeds is sharing and protecting different heritage varieties with the rest of us, amazing work!
    Thanks Joanne

  108. Donna on

    My Mom always had a garden. When it came time to shelling peas, she allowed my brother and I to shell the peas in the living room so we could watch TV at the same time to make the job less painful. The red pails were the 5 gallon size. She had a peony garden surrounded by a caragana hedge that she kept trimmed immaculately. It was outside the front door and you could drive around it with your car.

  109. Janet Green on

    I also learned to garden from my grandmother and my parents.

  110. Rita Smith Kingen on

    I was lucky enough to grow up with my grandmother living in our bustling household of 11. When I was just a kid, she taught me how potatoes sprout, and helped me plant those sprouting potatoes to experience the wonder of growing your own food! I was hooked, and have continued gardening and am now in my 70’s!

  111. Janet on

    My parents, especially my Dad, always planted a garden every year. My 4 siblings and I helped plant, harvest and can all of those delicious vegetables. But it was my two Grandmothers who inspired me with their wonderful flower gardens. I hope that I can pass my love for gardening to my two sons.

  112. Connie on

    My grandmother and mother were my gardening inspirations. My grandmother knew more names of plants than I ever will and loved passing on that knowledge. My mother feed our family of six year-round from her garden and teaching us how to preserve food. She may have been practical about raising food, but she also taught me to appreciate flowers and beauty too. I know she would have appreciated red, blush and purple peas!

  113. Jennifer Barr on

    When I married my husband, I found my gardening soul mate in his grandmother. We can spend hours together in her garden or mine talking a mile a minute about the plants before us and those we’ve had it would like to have. Grandma Paddy is inspiration personified!

  114. Lindsay on

    This was so lovely to read. It seems Peace Seedlings were inspirational to me, even though I didn’t know at the time… perhaps some of the Zinnias at my wedding came via one of their varietals. Beautiful family and beautiful work <3

  115. Keith on

    Both of my grandfathers were farmers. I would help my grandfather who lived locally each summer. He specialized in growing strawberries & tomatoes. My fingers would be stained red from picking strawberries for weeks after the harvest ended, picking from sun u to sun down! I learned a lot about perseverance!

  116. Tonia S Levens on

    Growing up my parents planted bearded irises around a playhouse my dad built us, next to our vegetable garden. It was my secret garden i would escape to as a child. Those memories gave me a love for gardening. Thank you for the opportunity to win seeds from your garden.

  117. Stephanie Galarza on

    My grandmother and mom have definitely passed down their love of gardening to me. I feel blessed to still be connected to my grandmother who has passed by caring for some her roses and pepper plants today. Every time her roses bloom or I grow a really beautiful flower I think of her.

  118. Ariel Knepper on

    When I was younger, my Grandpa used to have me help him shell hundreds of dried green beans from his garden. He had a wild garden which took over the entire backyard of my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. He was famous in the family for his oranges and tomatoes especially. Now as a 30 year old woman with a blooming love of gardening I finally appreciate what he, and therefore the rest of the family, had. I wish I could go back in time and talk to him about all the amazing things he grew. What I wouldn’t give to pick his brain for all the tips and tricks he knew and maybe scrounge a few family seeds off of him. But at least thinking back now, I have sweet memories of us just hanging out together on the back patio, enjoying the sunshine and working to shell beans together. It was simple, grounded and under-appreciated (at that time) work in the garden.

  119. Deena Guptil on

    My Sicilian grandfather had a huge impact on my gardening today. Although I never had a chance to spend time with him in the garden, I always was in awe of how he was able to grow anything. His gardens were always so abundant. He was very old-school, so it wasn’t like they were pristine, designed gardens, but he was able to get the most out of anything he planted. And, although I’m sure I was a farmer in my former life, my grandfather’s gardens were a huge influence of why I garden today.

  120. Traci on

    Looking back, I think my first influence to garden must have been my Dad who grew an extremely large vegetable garden in our back yard complete with sunflowers, corn, beans, radishes, onions and more. I remember learning to weed and cut beans very young. My mom said when she would tell me to go pick bean when I was a toddler, that I would come back empty handed. She would ask if I had picked beans, I would smile and say, yes! She would ask, where are they? And I would rub my tummy. They were just too delicious to carry back to the house!

  121. Heidi Bell on

    My dad grew huge gardens and raised animals my whole life. I loved the joy he got from the whole process, from buying and starting seeds to sharing the fruit of his labors. He helped me put in my first herb garden when I was 12 and 40 years later I’m still gardening.

  122. Mercedes Castillo on

    I bought my house from a Master Gardener, Krista Ratliff. She graciously has come back to her former house to teach me! I’m so lucky to live with her gardens and benefit from her knowledge!

  123. AW on

    I first found out about Peace Seedlings after reading Carol Deppe’s books and hearing about the amazing varieties bred by Mushroom and Linda. I have yet to start any breeding projects but I’ve been very inspired by the works of these seed breeders and it has changed the way I approach gardening.

    Thanks for doing this interview, I’d been planning to order some oca tubers from then and this was a great reminder!

  124. Carmen Peachey on

    My mom was eager to get seeds into the dirt early every spring. I couldn’t help but learn to love flowers and gardening, growing up helping her garden and tend flower beds.

  125. Pamela Balch on

    My mother will always be my first and favorite inspiration! I started in the dirt, watched her become a Master Gardener, and now together we have a little non profit nursery to help spread more love into the world, one seedling, one veg, one flower at a time.

  126. Bridget G on

    Thanks for sharing information on these amazing companies. My grandmother had 2 amazing gardens while I was growing up and I learned at a young age how to plant seeds and tend to the garden. It inspired me to clear my entire yard for veggie / flower gardens, chickens, dogs and an ecosystem to protect our pollinators.

  127. Linda korsiak on

    My uncle was an avid gardener. His 1 acre had wonderful flowers of all types as well as fruit and food crops. I learned about soil and pest defense from him and enjoyed many a treat from the land

  128. Marilyn on

    Thank you for the reminder about Peace Seedlings! I came across their catalog last year and found the catalog and old-fashioned method of ordering refreshing too. Look forward to ordering from them this year!

  129. Darlene Smith-Gianelli on

    My mother and maternal grandparents all influenced me with growing flowers, vegetables and trees. I’ve planted trees (fruit and shade) every place I’ve lived, about 45 total. At 77 I’ve slowed down a bit, but still at it. The hope of spring gets me through the winter. Thanks for the great interviews.

  130. Helen R on

    Of all the gardeners in my life, it has to be my mother. She taught me such simple, yet powerful, concepts about the natural world, and instilled in me a thirst for botanical knowledge. I miss her every day.

  131. Jillian on

    What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing new varieties of zinnias with the world. It is so nice to see all the variation in color , each one looks like a little piece of art!

  132. Lisa on

    Loved reading this, and appreciate the dedication to a (real) life off the screen! Both my mom and my grandmother grew beautiful flower gardens and inspired a love of flowers in me. Thanks for sharing this interview!!

  133. Lynett Hermanson on

    My biggest influence with gardening was my Dad. He grew up in Montana on a farm growing wheat. After his time in the Marines he moved to California and married my Mom. One day I remember him out in our backyard digging up the lawn because he wanted to plant a vegetable garden. That is when it all started for me.

  134. Stephanie on

    My Mom Mom and aunt were both huge influences on my love of plants and gardening.

  135. Christy on

    Both my grandmothers have been the biggest influence. My paternal grandmother and grandfather had a small hothouse and a huge hoop house they used for planting seeds. I remember helping as a little girl and poking my little fingers into the potting soil to make way to transplant the tomato plants and other vegetables as well. She also grew roses and both she and my grandfather always would plant marigolds in the flower bed that went down the driveway. They both have passed away but I will always have those memories! My maternal grandmother also loved a vegetable garden. She’s 96 now and doesn’t get in the garden much anymore but loves it when I bring her some of the flowers and vegetables I grow in my own small garden!

  136. Nancy Shiffman on

    I really enjoyed your interview and will sign up for your blog. I live in Portland so we are almost neighbors. My grandma Jennie was my gardening inspiration and still grow zinnias and sweet peas in her honor.

  137. Susan Cox on

    What an inspiration! Especially on a snowy winter day in Souheast Alaska. Thanks!

  138. Nan R on

    I’ve found the Kapulers to be inspiring since I first heard of their Three Root Grex Beet variety back in the early 2000’s. This variety of beet and the Kapuler’s story motivated me to place my first Peace Seeds order and start gardening with more heirloom varieties — opening my eyes to the importance of plant diversity! Thank-you Mushroom (Alan) and Linda, and Dylana and Mario for your continuing work to inspire and promote diversity in our gardens — and Erin for spreading the word. I feel my secret is out — at last.

  139. Colleen Allison on

    I am a 76 year old “Try and Try Again” small gardener in Austin Texas , not exactly a gardening capital of the world. It’s funny that I grew beautiful veggies and plants in Casper, Wyoming!! Go figure??
    I would love to try these offerings, and tell you how I did.
    Blessings for a 2024 extravaganza of color.

  140. Sadhvi on

    Maria Thun’s Planting Calendar has been the most important thing in my gardening journey.
    While living in Switzerland I started to garden and noticed that just about all my fellow gardeners, including my 85 year old neighbor, used this planting guide.
    I was intrigued, but wanted to conduct my own experiment to see if it really mattered.
    I got two trays with the same soil and seed (Rubin’s Red Romaine), and planted one tray earlier, like 10 days earlier, and not on the “leaf” day, and then the other tray 10 days later.
    There wasn’t much germination in the tray planted earlier, and the seedlings that did emerge were kind of twisted.
    The tray with the seeds planted later, on the right day, they all germinated and the seedlings were like little straight arrows.
    That was over 30 years ago, and I have never NOT planted by Maria Thun’s biodynamic calendar.

  141. Susan O'Halloran on

    My grandparents and my mother instilled a love of growing things in me. My grandparents tended a backyard veggie garden which was surrounded by citrus trees, an avocado, guava, and a hard cooking pear. Their crops were part of our Sunday dinner each week. They also had flower beds around their wood frame house and taught me the names of all the flowers. My mother had flower beds filled with daylilies, roses, rose of Sharon, crotons, coleus, and azaleas. I loved helping in her garden. She even gave me my own little garden where I could grow whatever I wanted. I grew up loving to grow things — flowers, veggies, fruit — and continued to do so for all of my 72 years. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, though I am an old woman, I am still a young gardener. I am filled with the wonder and magic of gardening each season!

  142. Yomaira Lampi on

    To find a seed source in my own back yard is a treasure. The colors and varieties of the peas and Zinnias just dazzle as gold does. Thank you for bring Peace Seedlings to the open. I am excited to see those colors in my garden. We need people to keep the “older” varieties also in our lives. And I love the way they have set up their business around their family first and small to accommodate them, not others. Gosh, reading the interview has left me with colors of flowers dancing in my head on the gray, dreary, drizzling day here in Portland, Oregon.

  143. ali on

    My mom is my biggest influence!!

  144. Heidi Klammer on

    Oh how exciting! I am sharing this immediately with my sister in law who works a Giving Garden at their church to help supply the local food bank in Corvallis. Maybe she already knows about Peace Seedlings or maybe not. But I will also explore their offerings for my own cutting garden in NE Oregon as well. Thank you for sharing your interview!

  145. Mel on

    When we were kids, my mom used to have a spot in the community garden by our town’s library. My sisters and I would go to “help” her which mostly meant eating her beans and strawberries, and we might’ve snuck a few treats from some of the other adjoining plots … until we were caught. Also, my favorite time of the year was when our wisteria would bloom on our trellice. The smell and sounds of the busy bees created amazing memories for me and made it feel like spring had officially arrived.

  146. Christine Sweeney on

    My first inspirations came from burying my face in the soft and scented blooms of my paternal grandmother’s peonies, and just accepting that black ants were part of the experience, and my maternal grandmother’s repeated demonstration of gently pinching off individual parsley and basil stems instead of impatiently grabbing a fistful and yanking up roots and all! Gardener’s acceptance and patience, still working on this.

  147. Jackie on

    My grandmother Zoe was my gardening inspiration. She and Grandpa Jack had a cabin built (really a 3 bedroom house but without insulation) along a beautiful creek at Whipkey Dam, Pa where I spent every summer as a child. I would help grandma grow her marigolds and snow on the mountain along the walk and tend the shrubs and Rhododendrons along the creek. We had volunteer columbines everywhere, an outhouse and water pump and grandpa made a large square box with dirt for us to “dig in” our dinner scraps each day. Our compost pile.
    Then I must say living in Germany and traveling around Europe for 2 years was my second mentor. Everywhere there were gardens; graveyards were beautiful parks, river paths, window boxes billowing with flowers, small garden plots squeezed beside the RR tracks, parks everywhere. I reveled in the weekly flower markets and cultivated my own window boxes. Back home in the US, I grew things everywhere I lived. As Mom got older and downsized, I tended her gardens then filled my friends gardens with starts from my own. So now in retirement I get to play on my 15 acres and order more seeds than I can plant or tend. I don’t read books much anymore but mostly garden catalogues and your books or cookbooks. I am an avid Floret follower and want to Thank You for so generously sharing your knowledge and resources. I have pots of starts lying around everywhere because I cannot seem to let anything die. Have saved some seeds and shared but not my thing I guess. Have been picking, sharing and freezing our wild black raspberries for 30 years but now am wild foraging with my friends, The Foraging Queens, a new chapter begins. And so it goes. I would love some seeds from Peace Seedlings Farm, a truly great family.

  148. Fawn Freeborn on

    It’s so interesting to hear how the cross pollinated varieties produced such wonderful new varieties!
    I am inspired by someone from afar. Jill Ragan is doing wonders growing with limited space and I am working with little space too, so I connected with that. I love learning and trying new varieties. Every year it’s so exciting to try something new!

  149. Kathy on

    My Mom inspired me in so many ways. Even though she worked a lot she always had the most beautiful garden. She fed us amazing food from it and canned so we had fresh food in the winter. Her tomatoes were unreal and a meal in themselves. She also grew beautiful flowers. I remember carrying bouquets of the most beautiful huge peonies to my teachers. Her lilacs were amazing too. Even though I was little she allowed me to have a little patch in the garden where I grew pansies. I love pansies. I sure miss my Mom💜

  150. Cassidee Shinn on

    I’ve been inspired by many local farmers in my area, esp. small urban farmers, and herbalists that i’ve trained with, including Kathi Kelville.

  151. Mary on

    My father who loved to work with his hands whether building things made out of wood or digging in the garden. I’m fortunate enough to preserve some seeds from his backyard garden and grew some of them in my own garden over the years. Now he’s been gone but his memories linger on through his love of seeds = plants. Thank you Dad.

  152. Pam Farmer on

    Amazing – I have been in the vegetable garden with my Mom since the 1970’s. We only planted, haversted & preserved food. No time for flowers – only to grow what we could eat. AS of today – my vegetable garden & flower beds are equally important – need the visual beauty as well as the food to eat!
    Thank you for your seeds!

  153. Karen Bowden on

    Growing and sharing is the gift of Laura Allen, an inspirational gardener in the neighborhood. Each spring she sets up a table with vegetable seedlings and packets of seeds and offers them free to other gardeners. Laura also teaches us by having descriptions of each plant available and seed packets tagged with instructions. She has inspired me to want to do the same. The world is a better place with Laura Allen.

  154. Victoria on

    My blessed mother was the one who introduced me to the wonders of the garden …. life, health, mystery and beauty above the ground to the clouds and down to the roots… She is 91 now and will soon leave this world for her next gardening adventure but the legacy of Earth and growth she left for my sister and I, and now her grand- daughters, will always be.

  155. Laurel Lammers on

    A close friend of mine, Diana got me started in the garden. I helped her with her flowers and she taught me how to grow roses. She’s 20 years older than me and has shown me many traditions. We both have expanded towards edible gardens as well as flowers. This knowledge enabled me to become the garden teacher along with my job as art teacher at an elementary school. We have been able to make all kinds of recipes from our school garden which is wonderful because we are a multi cultural school with students from over 65 countries.

  156. Melissa Melancon on

    I have always enjoyed gardening but my mom inspired me through all the flowers that she always grew. From Cleome, Four O’clocks, Rooster Combs, sweet peas to Zinnias. Her yard was always filled with beautiful colors which I naturally would cut and bring inside for us to enjoy them there. She always said her gardening was her therapist. I never understood that when I was younger but as I started raising my own children I found out what she was talking about. There is a peace in the garden that you just can’t get from anywhere else. I am always looking for new or different things to grow and experiment with and pour through seed catologs looking for the things that catch my eye. I have fell in love with Floret and will be a customer for the rest of time here.I am itching to get out there and plant all the seeds I have purchased for this next garden year.
    I wish every a Happy Gardening Year!

  157. Kathy Houda on

    While I have been blessed with growing up with neighbors’ Victory Gardens, I was especially influenced by J.I. and then Maria Rodale and Organic Gardening Magazine. Set me on a lifetime path in gardening and environmental activism. Thank You!!

  158. Linda Hovgaard on

    My parents were definitely the biggest inspiration for me in the gardening world. My Dad would not use herbicides and understood the process and time it took to develop and inch of top soil which he considered black gold. He was an organic gardener and raised an abundance of fruits and vegetables including many fruit trees and berries and therefore made many varieties of wine and ciders. He also raised bees. My Mom dappled more in the flower growing end of things and the canning and preserving of all the garden riches but they both worked together in the whole garden and preserving process. I realized more than ever today how lucky I was to be raised in this environment with all the wonderful food and experiences that all of this offered. I remember one day my Dad saying to me “Come outside. I want to show you something.” It was early Spring and he took me out to the vegetable garden. Ribbons of large beautiful drifts of violas were growing throughout the area showcasing their tiny little colorful faces into this magical moment. To this day I have violas volunteering throughout my garden and I just adore them. I also remember when he tilled me up my own small garden plot which was the beginning of my world of gardening and I have raised hundreds of vegetables and flowers since. My husband and I just watched a documentary called You Are What You Eat: An Experiment With Twins. It is a real eye opener about how what we eat affects our bodies and our global environment. I am so grateful that my parents were gardeners which had such a positive influence for me and my siblings. Thank you Floret for sharing your flower growing world and expertise and sharing the information you have found from growers and seed sources all over the world. I am forever grateful.

  159. Mandi on

    My paternal grandfather was my original inspiration. He only grew tomatoes, several different varieties, and they still remain some of the best I’ve ever had. My dad continued my interest with home gardening and encouraged me to participate at an early age. We are going to plant a vegetable and flower garden together this spring.

  160. Diane Ames on

    I’ve not been a “good gardener” for most of my adult life. While I always had good intentions, my follow through was lacking. People would say about my attempts at home, “this is where plants come to die.” Sad, really.
    In 2017 I lost my older (and only) sister to pancreatic cancer. She was a gardener, like our mom. She loved growing flowers especially, but also was pretty good at growing vegetables.
    I decided to honor her love of flowers by dedicating a small area of my yard to flowers. From there, I eventually found that I could keep flowers and plants alive, and that they in fact could thrive under my care. My love for her and her love for gardening is what continues to push me further into the gardening world.
    We have expanded our flower gardens quite a lot, and have even added 4 new raised vegetable beds over the last 3 1/2 years, with plans to add more.
    Plants no longer come to my house to die!
    This past May 2023 I lost my Dad.
    I had been his caregiver for about 3 1/2 yrs as well.
    Gardening was (and still is) my therapy, my peace.
    I have a small area set up for him as a memorial garden. A small fountain surrounded by beautiful perennials and things that remind me of him.
    Now whenever I am outside working in the garden, or just strolling through, I am reminded of these 2 dear people, and that brings me great joy.
    Thank you for reading my story ♥️

  161. Jacquie on

    Jeanne rose inspired me in the early 80s reading her books, i started growing herbs and learning about aromatherapy and herbal cosmetics. Since then ive evolved to permaculture and growing food. Im excited to learn about peace seedlings because they are in my area!

  162. Penny Dominici on

    I have to credit the Master Gardeners of Amador County for their education classes. Know–how and show-how classes taught me so much about what thrives in our area.

  163. Rebecca Byrne on

    My mom (92 this year!) inspired me as a young girl to be in the garden. Countless dawns were spent hoeing, weeding, picking, discovering what was ready, what would wait another day or two. I’m the middle child of five, and I think those mornings together were a time of serious and pleasant growth for me, enjoying my mom’s undivided attention. Bringing in our bags and containers of beans, tomatoes, chard, corn, squash was such a proud feeling. In my tiny garden now, the experience of noticing change and beauty every day is so life-giving.

  164. Tracy on

    Both of my grandfathers were excellent gardeners-I wish I had paid more attention when they were living. My paternal grandpa grew beautiful dahlias as well as vegetables. My maternal grandpa grew huge delicious raspberries and had fruit trees-but the raspberries were the BEST!

  165. Kelly on

    Great article! I loved hearing about a small family farm in my beloved Willamette Valley. I’m really just starting my gardening journey in earnest so Floret Flowers and all the books have been a huge inspiration.

  166. Meg on

    Both of my grandmothers inspired my love of gardening, seed saving and plant sharing. I have irises in my garden that I dug from my maternal grandmother’s yard more than 30 years ago, and hollyhocks from seed from my paternal grandma, who is still with us at 93. I also have cuttings from fig, Persian mulberry and loquat from her yard because she brought them with her when she moved here in 1950.

  167. Peggy on

    My good friend Karen who now lives overseas but we visited gardens together in Europe last Spring.

  168. Sandy Irber on

    It’s wonderful to see the heritage of seed growers and their heirloom seeds!

  169. Judy Schuitema on

    My parents grew most of our food when I was a child. At the time, I disliked the chores involved. Now that I’m retired, I enjoy the time spent digging in the dirt, planting seeds, and waiting and watching for the blossoms and fruits to appear. We even moved south to have a better climate for growing.

  170. Rae on

    My mother was a gardener while I was growing up. She learned from her mother. Green thumbs all around. Today I am heavily inspired by a hand-selected group of gardeners that I’ve found on Instagram… of course, leading the pack, Floret!!! : )

  171. Rae on

    My mother was a gardener while I was growing up. She learned from her mother. Green thumbs all around. Today I am heavily inspired by a hand-selected group of gardeners that I’ve found on Instagram… of course, leading the pack, Floret!!! : )

  172. Krista on

    Loved this, such a refreshing view into seeds (seedlings!).

  173. Margaret Manry on

    My mom grows peas during her cold Springs in Minnesota. Standing in the garden snacking on the pods is a sweet memory for me.

  174. Helen on

    My long time bosses and good friends Ken and Kathryn at Horse Drawn Farm are my inspiration. They grow a little of everything and they do it well. They taught me practically everything I know about farming, including that you don’t have to specialize to grow high quality produce and flowers. And also that you don’t have to have formal training to have a knack for bouquets. Because of Kathryn I discovered a whole new love of flowers and making bouquets that I would never have explored. I now do wedding work for friends just for fun!

  175. Terrill Esposito on

    I always loved plants and flowers just never good at keeping houseplants alive! Growing up in Holland we always had beautiful flowers in our home and my mom grew the best houseplants. As I got older and wanted to garden outside I was mildly successful but being a part of the National Ladies Homestead Gathering group (in GA) and seeing so many who could do small to large gardens and always willing to help with advice and encouragement was all the push I needed to keep going.

  176. Debbie on

    Really enjoyed this interview. :) Honestly Erin, your passion for gardening has been influential to me and my little garden! Also, my friend Vicki…she loved filling her backyard with all kinds of flowers, grasses, and shrubs, and creating beautiful paths with them. When she moved away she gifted me her clematis which I now get to see blooming in my garden every year.

  177. Logan Stoltman on

    My grandmother always maintained beautiful flower beds and a massive vegetable garden on the family farm. Every time we would visit that is the first place I would go. She taught me how to make a hollyhock doll from the hollyhocks growing by the milkhouse. I was able to divide some perennials last fall and bring them home with my to have a piece of her garden to enjoy.

  178. Robin Banks on

    My Father and his mom were my inspiration’s for getting into gardening again as I have gotten older. As I child I really never understood was so great about a garden and growing vegetables just seemed like work to me. Now it is my way to relax after a long at work. I come in and either piddle with getting it ready, water or pick harvest. I added Zinnia’s to the front to the garden to bring in pollinators their beauty is just a bonus. For the past couple of years, I have planted the Salmon color Zinna from you and some multi color seeds and they always amaze me with the different shapes and what just looking at them can do to make your day great. So, I would love to try these new ones.

  179. Becky on

    My mom gave me my first piece of land to plant whatever I wanted! The rest is history

  180. Mary Combs on

    My friend, Kathy, got me into growing flowers just to cut. We started making bouquets together, and she would always come with a bucket of cuttings that she had taken from the roadside on her way to my house. Because of her, I started my own “cutting garden “ where everything is for a bouquet. I included Button Bush, Michigan Holly, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Golden Rod as just a few of the roadside treasures she included in her buckets for our bouquet making. These I added to my rows of traditional perennial and annual flowers and grasses.
    Because of her, I don’t look at any flower/plant without determining if it would work in a vase!

  181. Tracie Meyers on

    One of my first gardening influences was my great grandfather. Not many people get to spend time in the garden with their great-grandfather, but I sure did. One of his passions was gladiolas. He had rows and rows of colorful glads. I plant them every year. Dig them up in the fall. Plant them again in the spring as they do not winter over in the ground where I live in NY.

  182. Kim Erickson on

    My grandfather was influential in my desire to garden. He would always take me to his garden and show me the things he was growing. When he did, he had such a sweet smile on his face as he was just delighted at what he was growing.

  183. Shannon on

    My father was my garden inspiration. We lived on a hill but that didn’t stop him from planting a garden. He taught me that through any obstacle, there is always a way.

  184. Princy on

    Awesome 👏🏻
    I am astonished that you are growing so many warm weather plants like marigold in Oregon!

    -A zinnia lover from Texas

  185. Erica Gebbia on

    As a child, going to my grandparents farm I always looked forward to seeing the orange poppies that greeted you at the sidewalk. As an adult I have been inspired by my friends’ gardens. And I enjoy learning from their experiences.

  186. Kerry Onree on

    It wasn’t so much an inspiration to garden but a jesture by someone -of all people, a very masculine junior high “shop teacher” that essentially “opened the gardening world flood gates for me” by the mere simple act of allowing me at the tender age of 13 permission to take home the Then family owned park seed catalogue he had unassumingly laying about on his classroom as a shop teachers desk. A moment that REALLY altered my complete plant interested “green” minded mind. How funny that simple act, had he been as gruff as he always appeared and slighted me away, maybe I wouldn’t to this day even be even reading your very blog!

  187. Melanie Moore on

    My Grandmother was the first person to inspire me to have plant, she loved Roses peonies and irises and she loved taking her flowers to people in the hospital . Now Lisa Ziegler Mason has rekindled my desire to grow cut flowers. It has been so cathartic to my wellbeing!

  188. Vicki Waters on

    Being 73 years old, I love the old school way of doing things! Thank you, Dylana and family! Even though my father only grew roses and tomatoes in our front yard, I’ve always loved growing and being outside. My husband also wanted to “farm” so we bought 16 acres in 2006 and began growing our own vegetables. As we’ve aged, this has gotten to be a smaller and smaller garden, but we’re still at it and love being 73 and still active! I have a cutting garden and a wildflower garden, too. Thank you, Floret for sharing your vast experience and getting me interested in growing flowers!

  189. Claire Hauge on

    My mother was my inspiration due to her tendency to plant red geraniums, blue lobelia and white alyssum together. I yearned for something different and in my garden I do just that but fight the tendency to plant my go to combinations! I adore zinnias and would love to try their day glow seeds.

  190. Tater Kieser on

    My mother has been most instrumental to me as a gardener. She actually gave me my nickname “Taterbug” because when I crawled as a toddler she thought I looked like a potato bug. I go by “Tater” to this day!

  191. Kimberly Meyer on

    I loved this interview and the work of Peace Seedlings!

    I had no gardeners in my life but always felt drawn to growing—first food, then flowers. I have had to teach myself, through reading and trying. But my grandparents did have a large tree-filled backyard that they left largely wild, and when I would visit, we would sit at the kitchen table and look out through the long windows at the birds and squirrels in those trees. I think this gave me an early sense of the necessity of nurturing a whole ecosystem, which is something I try to practice in my farming now.

  192. Heidi on

    Living in Oregon, I’m intrigued by and love Oregon grown treasures. I started saving Zinnia seeds around 10 years ago because I loved the Zinnias in my Grandma’s yard. Her yard was beautiful. She showed me how simple it is to save a Zinnia’s seed. Ever since, I save Grandma’s Zinnias seeds each year. This year, inspired by Erin, I saved seeds from a particular color or particular marking that I like. I’m excited to see how the experiment turns out.

  193. Kari on

    My mother who gardens more now than she did while I was young, but gardening is her therapy she says :)

  194. Tammy Deller on

    My mother was my inspiration when I started my gardening adventure. It’s been 40 years of living in different towns, cities etc. but my love of gardening has followed me where ever I go. Potted plants in apartments, small garden beds in postage sized lots and just in the last 10 years, a small but wonderful dedicated cutting garden ( white picket fence and all!). I loved reading this article and find myself drawn to their amazing flower varieties. BTW, I really commend Floret for bringing these wonderful, unknown farms to my attention, AMAZING!

  195. Rachel Braun on

    Great interviews to get to know new growers and producers. I’m inspired by the nature of my farm. The extent of my growing up gardening was buying everything from a garden shop. Marrying into a generation farm has fulfilled my love of growing, experimenting with new crops/flowers and love of nature. My daughter now 11 years old has a passion for growing flowers and has been the catalysts for learning all that I can to better help her.

  196. Kate Karwan Burgess on

    I enjoyed this interview. I grew up in Oakland, OR and almost moved to Corvallis at one point. My mother is English and always loved gardening. Her mother was a green thumb and apparently would pinch cuttings and seeds from all kinds of gardens, so being Royal, and could grow almost anything in her little garden. My mother also learned a lot from a Master Gardener she met casually one day passing an estate. She chatted with him often. Years later she discovered he was a Duke that owned the estate.

    One of my mother’s favorite flowers is zinnias. She has been living with my family for almost three years now. She has dementia. It’s getting worse. She likes to work in the garden with me. I currently live in Iowa, but I think I will plant zinnias this spring for her.

  197. Julie on

    Growing up my mom had me helping in the garden. She loved to save seeds and would often take them from plants she like when we were on trips or at friend’s homes. I didn’t appreciate her interest in gardening until later, and now we love to send each other seeds. It’s fun to compare gardening notes, as we live in different climates.

  198. Linnea on

    My mother in law has inspired me as a gardener! She loves iris. For years she grew her thousands of iris on their 14 acre farm in Southern California, but recently dug up the whole precious lot and transplanted them all to her new local in Oregon. Her diligence and hard work and love of science, beauty, and high standards are all inspiring.

  199. Carolyn on

    My father was my inspiration for gardening. He would patiently prepare the soil, making certain that it was warm and ready before planting any seeds, knowing that the beauty of the product stemmed from that unnoticed foundation.

  200. Janice Svela on

    I loved the interview, Erin!
    And how refreshing that there is still people out there that work the “ old fashioned way “with pen/ mail/ check.
    I visited their blog… very extensive. I will order from them.
    Thank you for sharing.

  201. Marleigh on

    I am inspired by independent plant breeders. They do such interesting, often anonymous work! You can find or be given or even buy seeds, and there is no name attached—no idea of the human(s) who spent hours and months and years patiently watching, tasting, selecting, and saving to produce a color or a texture or a flavor.

  202. Elizabeth Gullam on

    What a great interview! The Peace Seed(lings) extended family remind me so much of my grandmother-in-law Lavena who was my garden mentor. She grew a zillion varieties of snap peas, always making sure she had enough to share with the community.

  203. Jess on

    Oh my goodness! I was friends with Dylana’s sister in college. Sadly, their father recently passed away. An amazing family ❤️

  204. Beccy on

    My mama got me started with marigolds as a small child, and the garden peas never made it to the house as we ate them all while out playing. I HATED weeding as a child, and now I find it fulfilling to clean up a garden bed. There is sooo much to learn all the time gardening. Thank you for sharing the journeys of so many other gardeners and what you are learning, too!

  205. Lucy LaFayette on

    Thanks for bringing us such an interesting interview and opportunity. My biggest influence in gardeneing was my mother. Every year we had a large backyard garden full of vegetables, and an abundance of beautiful flowers growing all around our yard. It inspired me to start growing at a young age and I am still growing many years later.

  206. Carol Ann Beaulac on

    My love for gardening started as a little girl who was taught by her Opa to transplant cucumbers. I learned about seed saving from a relative who brought tomato seeds back from Italy. My curiosity about raising plants from seedlings brings me to sites like yours, preserving and experimenting, while being in absolute delight wanting to share our discoveries with the world! Zinnias have moved forward to the top of my summer ‘likes’ flower. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure in breeding diversity!

  207. Jessica on

    My parents! They’re incredibly persistent in maintaining their garden even in our always too hot climate.

  208. Deni on

    My grandparents, maternal and paternal have inspired the whole family to grow as much of our food as possible. Putting a slab of tomato and another of sweet onion between two pieces of bread and eating it in the garden makes me feel like I’m having lunch with my grandma.

  209. Holly on

    In 2003 my elderly neighbor gave me the opportunity to share space in her community garden plot through Denver Urban Gardens. I started out with a couple of small rows to plant snap peas and purple bush beans, and the following year I was given my own plot. Learning from my neighbors and go-community gardeners has deepened my understanding and love for growing things from seed. Learning something new through every growing season and applying that knowledge has helped me hone in on what I love to grow most- flowers! My garden plot has morphed over the years and for the past decade has been a pollinators’ paradise in the middle of our garden community. I grow a full cutting garden and share my flowers with many people in our neighborhood. My husband has since created additional garden space in our front yard so we would have more color and added joy on our own small city lot. I grow zinnias, celosia, mexican sunflowers, amaranth, marigolds, cosmos, scabiosa, dahlia, sunflowers, cosmos, nasturtium, the list goes on. I’m obsessed with bright colors, and blushy pinks and salmons. Late March – October I can be found in my yard or community garden plot, tending to and sharing my love of growing flowers with my neighbors and friends.

  210. Mandy on

    Both of my grandpas I would have to say influenced me. When I was around 10 years old I had my own little garden to tend to myself, with one of my grandpas helping me if I needed help. The other one encouraged me to start plants from seed.

  211. Jill Gerlach on

    I love reading interview as it is in my hometown. My parents who passed away many years ago were the ones that influenced me and my love of the garden. I only truly got the passion back for Gardening once I moved to Corvallis in the Willamette Valley after living in Miami for 20 years.

  212. Lisa on

    Thank you for this beautiful interview. So much love in the words and in between the words. I grew up in the sand and in the ocean on the east coast. Not a bit of ‘soil ‘ around my house. So I would wander. I wasn’t allowed to cross the street so this was tricky. I would wander in between others homes and sneak into people’s spaces around their houses. One spring day I wandered behind a house and there was a patch of green leaves. As I got closer, a scent caused me to crawl on my knees to look inside of the leaves. I noticed tiny white bells hanging from tiny stems inside the leaves. I was already a believer in fairies so I thought this must be a place they lived. Magical. I picked a few flowers with two leaves and brought them home to my mom. She told me they were Lily of the valley and that they were indeed a home for fairies. My mother put those flowers by my bedside and that night I had that scent around me. My mother never asked where I had gotten those fairy flowers. She believed as I do that it was and is magic. My mother helped me capture my passion for all that grows.

  213. Katherine on

    My Grandfather grew a “Victory Garden” at his house in Texarkana Texas. He was a surgeon, and I think he liked to garden on the weekends because soil and dirt are more grounding than blood and pain, even soothing pain and healing bodies. I also think gardening and bread making kept his hands supple for surgery. He gloried in tomatoes his tomatoes, though I don’t know what kinds he was growing. The sight of tomatoes ripening on the window sill, and the scent of tomato leaves, especially on my hands after re-trellising invoke him strongly in my mind. My grandfather is the scent of tomato leaves and pipe tobacco, he is laughter and wordplay.

  214. Elan Irving on

    I love growing things – indoors and out – and being in the garden. Where this came from is hard to pinpoint because there wasn’t anyone in my family who did any gardening or even indoor house plants! However, thinking back, I remember when I was young and living in Florida at the time (we moved around a lot when I was a kid) there was an old woman who lived a few doors down across the street from me and I would go visit her when she was out in the front of her house tending her flowers. They were so pretty and colorful and so different from everything that grew naturally around my neighborhood. She would talk to me and show me how to care for the plants and invite me to have a go at her puzzle that was on the front sun patio. I remember her showing me how to remove the dead flower heads and then showing me where the seeds came from. I’m still reminded of her any time I’m out and come across some lantana flowers. She grew them next to marigolds along her walkway. It was the first time I’d seen them and I loved the tiny colorful little blooms so much that the memory sticks with me to this day!

  215. Joanna Conyngham on

    My grandmother, Geneva Bible, inspired me with her tenacity as a gardener. No matter where she lived or what the conditions were, she was determined to have a garden. When she got too frail to use an old tiller, she bought a Troy-Built tiller , being seduced by the ads showing it could be operated with one finger. To her great disappointment, that claim proved false, but my brother and I stepped in to be sure she had plenty of rows to plant. As I read the article above I kept thinking how much she would have loved all the colorful peas. Her fresh peas and carrots ushered in Spring for my family and they were delicious!

  216. Kristen Hausmann on

    The most influential gardener in my life has been my grandmother! Her inspiration has been the fire in me to make sure my son grows up digging in the dirt and bringing beauty and food to our tables and lives. It’s so important to carry that on, not to mention generational! Erin, I couldn’t love what you’re doing possibly any more than I do! You’re a world changer! Thanks for the opportunity!

  217. Pamela Lucero on

    Growing up in Colorado, our mother loved flowers & would have them growing around the fence line & cistern. She would have my sister & I work in the flower beds – water, weed – and we HATED it. Now that we are grown & have our own homes, we have many flowers growing in our gardens & around our houses. I have used my time in the garden with nature & beauty as a stress relief from the corporate world & its demands. I wish Mom could see us now!! ❤️

  218. Karla Santoro on

    Such an interesting interview. I enjoyed the pictures. My father got bit by the gardening bug from his parents, and I got it from him. He became intrigued with hybridizing iris, so started an iris farm. He added peonies. It was an amazing journey. He sold the farm to two Mennonite sisters, one who worked with him for seven years. It’s in very good hands, which is such a blessing. This summer I’m eager to see some Siberian iris seedlings he has–they were gorgeous last year. This year I get to bring some to my place. And he and I are loving cone flowers now, so we’re eager to see all the bloom this year. I’m proud to say I got him hooked on zinnias, and saving seeds! “This is addicting,” he said. Oh yes, Dad, oh yes.

  219. Blaine on

    My grandparents and their neighbors have been extremely influential as a gardener. Many of my first experiences with flowers were at their house, and their gardens continue to inspire me to pursue floristry.

  220. Emily on

    My mother. She has grown a vegetable garden for as long as I can remember and always cans in the fall and share her bounty with all

  221. Tiffany Wolff on

    My sibs & I use to live at my grandparents in northern California for the summers after my parents died. Up in the mountains, my grandparents had a beautiful garden that I’m circling back to as an adult; they have planted SEEDS in ME all along. Their garden with wild hollyhocks and native blackberry bushes are some of the best childhood memories. How healing those summers were/ARE! It feels amazing to be able to contribute the love of gardening back to them as my grandpa putters around and grandma is bedridden. I brought all of Floret’s flower books to her and picked small wildflower poseys to place at the end of her bed this last summer. She was ecstatic, and so the Connection was Woven.

  222. Courtney on

    My mom was an is a gardener. I remember spending summers going to various nursery’s so she could look through everything and always going home with a car full of beautiful flowers.

  223. Jessica Miller on

    I was inspired by P&D Flower Farm in Indianapolis IN.
    My work had an outing at this flower farm where we could pick our own bouquets and have a picnic lunch. It was the first time I had ever seen a Dahlia. After leaving this farm, I knew I had to grow flowers and share their beauty with others.

  224. Elise on

    My dad was a fantastic gardener, both flowers and food. With 14 children to feed he provided much of the summer produce, and he inspired a legacy of children who grow spectacular flower gardens in their own yards around the country.

  225. Hayley on

    My parents. We had a big garden and a little herb garden growing up in Florida and they’re still gardening at their current home in Canada.

  226. Cindi on

    My Daddy’s garden was am inspiration to me. He would always plant more than our family needed and would give vegetables to our neighbors and a few other people he knew. I think that was pleasing to God and that he was showing me how to serve people. My husband and I do grow vegetables and we do share when we have plenty. But my main passion is growing flowers for hummingbirds.

  227. Jann Carrier on

    My mother, who is now 91 lives on her own and still wants to garden. Although I help her now on my visits she still wants to get in the dirt. I hope to be like her and be as sharp as she is at her age.

  228. Nancy wynne on

    I grew up pulling weeds from my parents spectacular English style garden beds. At the time I did not appreciate the beauty or the magnitude of our labors. As a late blooming gardener, I am in awe of what they were able to accomplish, with a little help for me. I wish they were still around so I could thank them for instilling in me the joy and wonder of growing.

  229. Johanna Humbert on

    My father was a dedicated gardener, often against unmoveable challenges. He so very much wanted to grow tomatoes at our suburban home, but the backyard was full of mature trees. Year after year he chased pools of sunshine with potted tomatoes. And year after year the harvest was so disappointing.

    Then one year he decided to give in to the shade. At the time of his death at the age of 89 the backyard had been transformed into a gorgeous deep-woods garden, with a pond, ferns and hostas, and the kind of incredible peace that comes with a green palette.

    Gardening is about compromise.

  230. Catherine on

    Not coming from a gardening family or background, my main “mentor” has been my mistakes! And to help me before I make mistakes, I rely on Growing for Market, and for flowers: Lori at Three acre Farm, Lynsey at Muddy Acres, and of course Erin at Floret!

  231. Lisa Sperry on

    My Grandmother was a big gardener. She always gave me tours of what she was growing and all of her gardening experiments. She was encouraging and I learned so much from her. I have 2 varieties of her iris in my garden and they mean so much to me. When I grow sweet peas, collect seeds or plant crocus bulbs she is on my mind! Thanks Gram!

  232. Emilie on

    I grew up in Siberia and growing your own food was just what you did – then storing and preserving it of course. Flowers were added for pollinators. What came out of necessity is now my biggest love and inspiration. While my mom teaches me about veggies I get to share with her all I know about flowers.

  233. Emily on

    My parents have been hugely influential to me as a gardener growing up and now as a home owner. We continue to compare food crop and flower gardening notes as the seasons change. We are always finding new ideas and learning more and testing it out.

  234. Jane Martone on

    When I was young growing up on Long Island, my family and neighbors contributed to my need and desire to garden. First of all, most of the block all maintained; cut, weeded, planted their own yard. I do not remember many landscapers back then. Growing basil, parsley, eggplant, and tomato was a staple every year.

  235. Molly on

    My Mom was my influencer. She truly had a green thumb!
    Love reading about a Company doing things “Old School.”

  236. Kimberly Aakjar on

    My garden guru was Camilla Williams, who I worked with for 3 years before she passed away in 2020. She had such a creative eye with annuals and she would pick a flower petal from each plant and hold them in her hand like a paint palette. She also truly understood how to work hard, and have fun doing it! A lightness in her step and always greeted me with a warm hug.
    I learned so much from her, and continue to work in the same gardens she worked in for years, tending to plants she planted, and I feel very connected.

  237. Amber Harrison on

    My grandparents both inspired me to garden and grow flowers. They ran one of the few dairy farms in Alaska. I loved going to visit them and see all the flowers and blooming trees in their yard.
    An early love of blooming crabapples, lilacs, cosmos, roses, marigolds, peonies and houseplants was born. Grandma always took me to walk by her flower beds as soon as I stepped out of the car to visit the farm. She showed me what was in bloom and all the lovely colors each season. She always had houseplants growing inside through the long Alaskan winter. I miss her giant, pink impatien that was always blooming on a milk can in the corner hall.
    Grandpa teased me into trying an “apple”. When I told him I hated it because it was so sour, he laughed kindly and said, “That is why these are called crabapples, they make you crabby when you eat them!
    I’m am in tears as I write this because they have both passed on now. I’ll remember them always with every flower, every season and every bloom on our crabapple trees. I hope to spread their love of God’s beauty, plants and color to my own children, friends and future generations.

  238. Michelle Swanson on

    My father-in-law has been influential in my gardening journey. His vast collection of vintage Rodale magazines lit the fire to find unusual seeds and experiment a bit beyond the standard garden catalog offerings.

  239. Janet on

    My amazing, gardener dad was such an inspiration for me. As a teen, he and his (many) siblings cultivated the land his parents rented, supplying the local florist trade with peonies and tuberoses among others. I am so grateful for his influence in my own home garden, where I enjoy many plants he shared with me over the years.

  240. Rachel on

    My mom has been influential to me a gardener. She loved working in the garden/flower beds. While I wasn’t as excited about helping and learning what she knew as a kid, I’ve loved asking her questions and being able to get her input now that I have my own garden.

  241. Laura Starrett on

    When I was young my mom did not have skills in gardening, homesteading and the like so she signed me up for 4H ( I live in the Midwest where this is popular. ) I had a leader who taught me to sew, preserve and grow my own food and refinish furniture. Her name was Bell Cleveland. My love of gardening was sparked! My first garden was a 4×4 patch in my dad’s back yard at the age of 17. I’m now 66 and garden on 3 acres and have never been happier or full filled.

    I would love to add some new cultivar to my mix.

  242. Erin on

    May seem silly but Monty Don and his show Gardeners’ World have been very inspirational and instructive to me since I don’t really know anyone that gardens. Loves reading your story!

  243. Kim Clerkin on

    My Aunt Joan has been an inspirational gardener to me. She collects seeds during her travels, propagates plants, and sends samples for me to try. We visit each other’s homes every year, highlighting the changes, challenges, and triumphs of the season. Her style is more formal while mine is cottage garden, yet we swap flora. I look forward to cards with a few seed packets and packages with tubers from her favorites. She is truly caring, generously sharing, and delights in growing!

  244. Kristen on

    I love that they are carrying on her parents’ legacy! My gardening genes come from my mom. She had us out in the garden picking and weeding from the time we were 2! Gotta honor those lineages :)

  245. Malaine on

    My lifelong love of gardening started with my grandmother, over 50 years ago. She dug the furrow and I dropped the bean seeds into the row.

  246. Jenette on

    Thank you for introducing us to peace seedling. It’s amazing to read about such commitment to preserving seeds

  247. Stacey Diehl on

    My husband has been influential to me as a gardener. His support has made me believe I can truly do anything. And when he says, more flowers!, my heart swells with gratitude for his enthusiasm.

  248. Linda Cudney on

    My cousin’s husband came to our farm every summer adding flowering bushes and perennials to the landscape. I was about eleven and helped weed and take care of these plantings, that started me off with the gardening bug. Fifty years later I am still on the farm taking care of the things he planted. I hope my grandchildren will continue this legacy and love of the garden on our farm.

  249. Laura on

    Hi! My mom is a Master Gardener, so I am constantly asking her for advice. :)

  250. Delia on

    I can’t wait to check out their seed offerings. Thanks for sharing the interview!

  251. Rachel on

    The most influential person to me as a gardener would be my granddad. He taught me everything I know about gardening!

  252. Tami Volz on

    My maternal Aunt and Uncle were the most influential people in my life when it comes to gardening. They owned a large farm with all kinds of fruits and veggies..I LOVED visiting their farm and eating all the fresh carrots and berries. I loved working too…


Leave a Comment

Floret Farm's Small Plot: Big Impact

Small Plot: Big Impact

Inspiring stories, profiles & advice from 45 flower growers from around the world

Stay in the loop with our updates


Join Us

Join the Floret newsletter and stay in the loop on all the exciting happenings here on the farm