Some of you may be reading this for the first time because of Floret’s recent Instagram post about our mums. If however, you love flowers and don’t know of Floret, you are in for a treat. Arguably the pinnacle of the the family flower farmers in the U.S. she (Erin Benzakein) has been a friend and a mentor since the beginning for us. Mandy met Erin at her very first workshop many moons ago and the two have stayed connected since.
Floret was the tip of the spear in the farmer/florist phenomenon that swept its way through Instagram this last decade and changed so many lives. We didn’t even own smart phones until she convinced us to get on Instagram and share our story. She saw something in Mandy and fanned the flame. From day one she has generously offered guidance and advice and shown a spotlight on our efforts and it has shaped our farm in ways I’m sure we don’t even understand.
Well beyond us though, her influence has literally changed the flower world. There must be thousands of small flower farms spread across the world that would not exist if it wasn’t for her early writings in Growing For Market, her very informative blog, her tremendous Instagram following, her thousands of workshop students, her multiple best-selling books on flowers, her Martha Stewart award, her incredibly honest television show “Growing Floret” on the Magnolia network, and her significant seed operation that is responsible for millions of rare, exciting and beautiful flowers in gardens and on farms everywhere.
What started as one woman’s desire to connect with nature and the nostalgia of her grandmother’s garden, grew to a family run operation with her amazingly talented husband Chris (if you love flower photos @copterchris is the best there is) and their two children, and eventually evolved into a multifaceted resource for countless other people to start their own flower gardens and farms.
Flower farming is so all consuming that it's easy to keep your head down and get stuck in repetitive patterns that seem compelling, but in fact are a form of tunnel vision and are not helping the person or the business to evolve in the most fruitful manner.
Erin is a born visionary though and seems so immune to tunnel vision that every time you think she’s broke the mold and created a new and perfect way to run a farm, it seems like it’s only another year or two before she does it again. We talk about re-calibrating a lot out here. Our evolutions are big for us, but they’re really a molehill to her mountain. She is incredibly impressive.
I keep saying “she”, but Floret has evolved into a team of talented people all coordinating in some magical fashion to make the improbable happen seemingly all the time. Erin and Chris are a power couple that have surrounded themselves with an amazing team.. It’s rare to get such a productive and successful group together to working towards the same positive goals of sharing knowledge and spreading beauty. They have done a great service to flower lovers everywhere. If you have a favorite flower grower at your market, wherever you are, odds are good that they took Floret’s online course.
Mandy and I just wanted to tip our hat and express our gratitude and to point y’all in their direction if you haven’t yet had the pleasure. Head on over to Floret's website to learn about all the amazing things they are contributing to the world of flowers and grab a book or some seeds for your garden! They breed new varieties and have rare beauties you can’t find elsewhere.