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Home Blog This Week on the Farm: Week 7
February 9th 2015

This Week on the Farm: Week 7

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edited week 7-3 edited week 7-5This week was a wild one. We packed and shipped out over a hundred and fifty boxes of sweet pea collections to eager gardeners all over the country. Figuring out how to run an online shop certainly has had its unexpected challenges, but we’re finally getting the hang of it. A huge thank you to all of our patient new customers who’ve been so gracious during this learning process!

edited week 7-6Jill, Cora and baby “Paper” (he’s in mama’s tummy, temporarily named by Cora) visited the farm this week. Jill is Floret’s office manager and handles all of the workshop coordination, shop customer service, emails and anything else relating to communication and organization on the front end. She was actually the first floral designer I ever sold flowers to so many years ago!

When Jill came on board in the summer of 2013, my life was transformed. It was the first time I got to experience what it felt like to really be supported.  She has taught me so much about setting boundaries, saying no to things that aren’t a good fit and the basics of self care. Every time she brings Cora down for a visit, I’m reminded of what really matters. Now that our kids are older and much more self sufficient, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the busyness and forget to slow down and make time to be really present. Watching Cora run around, feeding Jasper carrots and pretending they were both characters from the movie Frozen was just what I needed to remember.  In a few short weeks we’ll all finally get to meet baby Paper and the Floret family will grown once again : )

edited week 7-8 edited week 7-7The last few crates of bulbs that were forgotten in a dark corner of the messy garage finally went into the ground. Chris is so good. I would have likely abandoned them at this point but he patiently planted every last one. With the flower book in the works I’ve given myself permission to go totally overboard and order ridiculous amounts of novelty varieties. Even though the writing process has been tough so far, once all of the flowers start to bloom, that part will be a distant memory.

Here’s a little teaser of what we’ve got in the ground currently: 35 varieties of allium, 9 varieties of fritillarias, 20 varieties of fragrant and double flowered narcissus, a dozen miscellanius spring bulbs including muscari and hyacinths, 30 different parrot and double flower tulips plus another 15 types with unique coloring, 43 varieties of ranunculus, every color of anemone in the rainbow, over 40 varieties of sweet peas, 250 English rose bushes, loads of biennials and boxes and boxes of things to start from seed. It’s going to be insane! I can’t wait to share all of this beauty with you as the season progresses.

edited week 7 edited week 7-2The hellebores are starting the wake up in the shady patches they call home behind the greenhouses. For 10 months out of the year I completely forget about them but come February, when the garden is bare, I remember and go hunting for their incredible blooms. Each winter I vow to plant more but never seem to be able to justify the investment. This year I finally have the perfect excuse ; )

edited jasper week 6Our not so little guy Jasper turned 12. When the kids were small everyone warned me that it would go by in a flash. They were right. It really does. Every year when we gather around the dining room table to celebrate his birth I love to remind him that he was born in this very room, on a dark winter night, in a warm tub of water with only candles for light. It’s so special to have such history in these walls.

How about you? What’s happening in your neck of the woods?


  1. Deanna on

    Jasper is 12?! In my mind he’s still more like the 8 that he was when I first met him! It really, truly does go by so quickly. (PS-tell him the boys ride the bike he gave them all the time!) It’s so incredible to see how you’ve balanced being present as a mama and growing a incredible business-thank you for that inspiration!

  2. Mara@TheFarmAtOxford on

    Congrats on 12 years…we’re only on year5, but it’s so incredible seeing the world through a child’s eyes totally keeps me young(er), lol.

    I am with Kathy, would love to hear more on or see a post about your roses, your successes, best for cuts etc. I’ve grown them for 20 years..but only on year 3 with them in PA, so far I like them better here than in CA except for the beetles! Plan to keep adding more, but there is not that much info on English or OGR’s as cuts, so anything you can share (even though our regions are very different) is so appreciated.

  3. VillageKid on

    Oh the warm, 40+ weather is killing me:-) Of course a week ago it was -7 here in our corner of Alaska!! No real amount of snow in the mountains just 20 miles away, making us nervous about spring water levels.

    Seed trays are being planted, with things like snaps and such, along with some great veggies too! We got a great order in for rose bushes a few weeks ago. A decent peony root order is going in soon for 2016. Looking at stocks for more woody items.

    A HT is getting the last details put together. Another one is being planned for.

    Totally excited to see what is happening on your farm, and what will come in the future!

  4. Kathy on

    You mention that you’re growing 250 English rose bushes. Wow! If you have time to answer… I’m just curious, in your experience, which ones you find to have the longest vase life? I grow a few at our house (similar climate to your farm) and would like to plant some more varieties that don’t shatter quite so quickly. They are so glorious that I don’t mind too much (just means I have to go make another bouquet!) but I’m curious what your experience has been with the vase life of the varieties you grow. Thanks much!

  5. Janet Czarnecki on

    Just received my pea seeds – thank you! I was also wondering if the growing guides are virtual or hard-copy? I ordered all of them and can hardly wait to soak up all the expert info!

  6. Hedgerow Rose on

    Squealing with excitement over all the fantastic flowers you have in the works for this year. (I can’t wait for your book!!)
    It’s true what they say about the childhood years zooming past. My daughter recently turned 18 and just left the nest and it seems all surreal, like it was only yesterday she was toddling behind me in the garden. Happy Birthday to Jasper! :)

  7. Lara L. on

    So excited to see the flowers bloom! Do you have a good source for English Roses for planting?

  8. Laura T. on

    Hi Erin,
    I just came across your blog a couple of days ago and now I can’t quit reading! I know I’ve seen you in my Martha and Country Gardens magazines. We are stuck in the doldrums of winter here in Naperville, IL, but all of your photos and writings have given this gardener a glimmer of hope! Oh, the things to try – sweet peas, dahlias, zinnias; I’ve had them in the past but can’t wait to try some of your recommended varieties this time. Apple Blossom and Cafe Au Lait dahlias? I’m in! Now if only I could start a flower farm….

  9. Killoran Moore on

    Happy Birthday to Jasper! Aren’t home-births something? Or apartment is kind of cheesy (semi basement suite, wonderful landlords! ) but I’ll be sad when we move because I had my son just 30 feet from where I’m sitting now.

    I’ve found a hellebore in the neighbourhood! I’m eagerly waiting for it to go to seed.

  10. Laurie Parkison on

    I was one of the lucky recipients of those sweet pea seed packets! I was so giddy when I saw the little carton in my mail box! I can’t wait to get started them started. Thank you for making them available to us! My neck of the woods can be summed up in one word, “wet.” Happy Birthday to Jasper! : )

  11. babysparklz on

    Do you know if you will be selling Peony bulbs?
    thank you

    • Floret on

      Not this season but possibly in the future.

  12. Corinne Hansch on

    Congratulations on 12 years of mothering your boy, and a beautiful home birth memory! I am patiently awaiting my first crop of ranunculus and anemones….


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