Beauty in Bloom - Floret Flower Farms
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Floret, Flower, Flower Farm, Inspiring, Carla Coulson, Sweet Peas, interview, Erin Benzakein, Farmer, Florist, Garden, Coulson Coulson Photography

Beauty in Bloom – Floret Flower Farms

Hi Flower Lovers, 

You are in for a treat today, for the flower lovers amongst us, we are going straight to the heart of flower country and to the fabulous people that grow them.

Anyone that has been following along for a while knows I am crrraazzzzy for flowers, they fill my home, heart and inspired me to create the series Young Girl In Bloom (Jeune Fille En Fleur). 

I have stalked the folks at Floret Flower Farms for some time and their daily images give me so much joy and inspiration. They have made flowers their life work and are now leaders in their industry and their photography is gorgeous to boot! Today I am so thrilled to share with you their thoughts, inspiration and it encourages you to get outside, go to your local florist and put a few beautiful stems on your kitchen table.

Carla xx

Beauty in Bloom,Floret, Flower, Flower Farm, Inspiring, Carla Coulson, Sweet Peas, interview, Erin Benzakein, Farmer, Florist, Garden, Coulson Coulson Photography

Say hello and tell us who you are

Hi I’m Erin!  I’m the founder of Floret, and author of Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms.

Tell us about your love of flowers– when did it start? How has it grown? How did you get your start in the floral industry?

 My husband, Chris, and I wanted to be able to raise our family surrounded by nature, so we moved from Seattle to the Skagit Valley. We tilled up our tiny two-acre plot to first create a huge vegetable garden. Tucked in with all the vegetables was a double row of flowering sweet peas planted in memory of my great-grandmother. Grammy had introduced me to gardening and flowers at a very young age.  As a child, I was her “little flower girl” and she tasked me with making bouquets for her bedside table.  Flowers were a source of great joy and connection between us.  So, when the first flush of sweet peas bloomed in our new garden, it felt as if she were there with me.  I shared much of the garden’s bounty with friends, family, and anyone who crossed my path.   When I delivered my first bouquet, the recipient teared up as she buried her face in the flowers. Seeing the impact that flowers had on her and so many others who received our flowers was tremendous.  After seeing the all the tears, smiles, joy and memories evoked by my flowers, I knew I had found my calling.

Since our humble beginnings, our little flower company has blossomed and grown into a thriving farm, design studio, and training center for flower farmers and designers.  For many years we focused on growing lots of beautiful seasonal flowers for specialty grocery stores and floral designers.  We then branched out into selling specialty seeds, bulbs, and supplies for gardeners and small flower farmers. We also focus on teaching small scale, high-intensity flower production techniques to aspiring flower farmers from around the world.  After hosting a series of popular on-farm workshops, we are now in the process of developing an online version of the workshop to be able to meet the demand for our training.  My blog, book, and workshops are all an extension of my commitment to support and cultivate a global network of farmer-florists to supply the growing demand for local, sustainable and seasonal flowers.

Floret, Flower, Flower Farm, Inspiring, Carla Coulson, Sweet Peas, interview, Erin Benzakein, Farmer, Florist, Garden, Coulson Coulson Photography

What drives you and your creativity? Where does your inspiration come from?

 I draw inspiration from the seasons and my environment. I love the different colors, tastes, textures and temperatures that define that day and capture that moment in time.  My floral designs draw directly from the natural world and the abundance of whatever is blooming. The flowers in my fields and on my table reflect that particular moment in time—whether it is lilacs and narcissus in the spring or dahlias and heirloom mums in the fall, I love the ephemeral nature of what is in bloom at that moment.

Beauty in Bloom, Floret, Flower, Flower Farm, Inspiring, Carla Coulson, Sweet Peas, interview, Erin Benzakein, Farmer, Florist, Garden, Coulson Coulson Photography

What is your favourite kind of flower or greenery? I know, it must be hard to pick just one! You can also pick a top three, we are all about inclusivity.

Ahhh!  Even picking just three is hard!  Honestly, my answers vary by the season and depend on what is in bloom at that particular moment. For example, sweet peas will always hold a special place in my heart, as they are the flower that really launched my little flower business. I’ve long had a love affair with dahlias, especially  ‘Ginger Willo,’  ‘Peaches and Cream’ and lately ‘Punkin Spice’ and soooo many others.  This last season, the unique peachy coloring of  ‘Labyrinth’ captivated my heart. I’m also pretty smitten with some of the heirloom mums I’ve been trialing the last few seasons.  And don’t get me started on my list of favorite vines and foliage plants. The list is long!

Floret, Flower, Flower Farm, Inspiring, Carla Coulson, Sweet Peas, interview, Erin Benzakein, Farmer, Florist, Garden, Coulson Coulson Photography

What are your dreams for the future– personally and professionally?

Oh gosh, I have so many!  For example, I’m dreaming of the day I can step away from the farm for a bit so I can travel and meet some of the great plant breeders of the world. I’d love to see their gardens, ask them a million nerdy plant questions and find sources for rare seeds, particularly sweet peas.   I’m a bit of a seed hoarder and I’m always looking to get my hands on seeds for heirloom and hard-to-find cultivars!   

Another longtime dream of mine has been to create an online version of our on-farm workshops and I’m proud to say it is finally coming to fruition.   We’ve poured a lot of love into creating it and can’t wait to share it with flower lovers everywhere. We’ll be announcing our new online workshops this fall!

Floret, Flower, Flower Farm, Inspiring, Carla Coulson, Sweet Peas, interview, Erin Benzakein, Farmer, Florist, Garden, Coulson Coulson Photography

Floret, Flower, Flower Farm, Inspiring, Carla Coulson, Sweet Peas, interview, Erin Benzakein, Farmer, Florist, Garden, Coulson Coulson Photography

What’s one thing that has happened to you on this journey that you would never have imagined?

I’m still blown away by the popularity of my first book, Cut Flower Garden, which came out earlier this year and set records for pre-sales, according to my publisher, Chronicle Books.  After working on it for so  long, finally seeing the finished book felt a little unreal!  Reading the heartfelt notes and sweet reviews from folks here (and around the world!) who have been inspired to grow flowers because of the book is really amazing.

Floret, Flower, Flower Farm, Inspiring, Carla Coulson, Sweet Peas, interview, Erin Benzakein, Farmer, Florist, Garden, Coulson Coulson Photography

Erin’s story of passion and inspiration, following where your heart leads to see what comes is a lesson to us all about how it’s the little moments that can have the most impact in our lives and the direction we choose to take ourselves. I hope you enjoyed this Interview with Erin from Floret Farms, you can check them out HERE and stalk daily or get online and order their beautiful flowers and seeds. 

Carla xx

dahlia, carla coulson, dahlia bouquet, paris flowers, florist, jeune fille en fleur,

If you’re a flower lover like me, I couldn’t resist Dahlia season to create Joyful and Unstoppable for my Young Girl in Bloom Series..  Check out the entire collection at HERE

1 Comment
  • Janette Montague I

    Beautiful.

    April 11, 2018 at 10:07 am