Catching Our Breath & Important Updates

Wowie! We’re still trying to catch our breath around here after the incredible launch of Floret Seeds.

The response has been absolutely amazing and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all the positive feedback we’ve received to our initial offering of seeds, dahlias, anemones, and ranunculus. I’ve received so many sweet notes, comments, virtual high-fives, texts and messages over the past week from friends and flower fans congratulating us on the launch–thank you all for your kind words. Keep em coming!

Among the many accolades, we’ve also fielded a million questions and special requests. Floret’s office manager, Jill, has been a ROCKSTAR at working her way through a massive amount of emails. She’s gone to great lengths to respond to every email and question posed, but the volume is bigger than we ever could have imagined. If you have a question about one of our seed products, I urge you to first check our Frequently Asked Questions AND read through our Floret Seed update below, because chances are the answer to your question can be found in one of these two places.  Here are updates on the hot topics related to Floret Seeds that are filling up our inbox:

8358212617_bb0023de2a_h

 

Limited quantities of dahlias, still available.  At the time I’m typing this, we have the following dahlias still in stock: CornelIntrigue and Snoho Doris.  These are all some of our tried-and-true garden workhorse favorites.  We will not be re-stocking the other varieties that have already sold out.

Anemones & ranunculus are sold out: We sold out of the last anemones and ranunculus in a matter of minutes. We will not be re-stocking.

Seeds are restocked. All of our seeds are now restocked. Please note: a few of our sweet peas varieties are nearly gone for the year. Blue Vein, Almost Black, Spring Sunshine Champagne and Chocolate Flake.

Floret Seeds now CAN be shipped to Canada. Canadian orders can now be placed directly through our site. *Please note: anemones, ranunculus and dahlias are off limits to order due to import rules, so please don’t add them to your cart otherwise it won’t let you checkout. Seeds, tools and supplies are all up for grabs though.

Unfortunately, shipping Floret Seeds to other countries just isn’t an option at this time (but many of our other gift items are available for international shipping!) If you’re in the UK (or some parts of the EU) I encourage you to check out Sarah Raven if you haven’t done so already, as she offers some of the same great varieties.

Sorry, we can’t add or subtract items once your order is submitted.  We process orders very quickly, so once you place your order, we are unable to make changes to it, as our system is not set up to do that.  If you want an additional item not included in your original order, you’ll need to place another new order.

We ship our seeds in high quality recyclable envelopes. It would have been easier and certainly cheaper to go with the plastic bubble wrap-type envelopes for our seeds and other Floret Shop goods, but the last thing I want to do is create a mountain of waste from this special new venture. I selected recyclable padded envelopes that reflect our values and our brand. They are more expensive to buy and more expensive to ship (they weight more) but they are much kinder to our planet. Each one is hand-packed with a lot of love by our team here at Floret. Every seed order includes a pretty little card with detailed sowing instructions to get your seeds started right.  Oh, and here’s a hint: shipping costs for seeds are the same, whether you buy two packets or 20—so it actually saves to stock up.

Discount code update. I’m thrilled that so many folks appreciated and took advantage of our special promo code included in our recent newsletter. We’ve received a number of emails asking to apply them to past orders. Unfortunately, these codes cannot be retroactively applied to prior orders, or to orders where the code was accidentally forgotten at checkout. NOTE: the code sent out in the recent promotional email is good for one time use; the discount expires 1/31/16.

Direct your growing-related questions to the blog. Rather than send an email, please pose your question within a comment on the blog and I’ll do my very best to provide a quick answer in that space.

2016 workshops are completely sold out.  We will be announcing the details for our 2017 class line-up in early October.  Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to get all the details.

Kindness matters. Finally, please keep in mind that we are a small, family-run business. Our inbox is overloaded and Jill is doing her best to answer your questions as promptly as possible while juggling her two small children at home. Please remember when you write that there is a real person reading your email on the other end, so your kindness is appreciated.

Thank you again–from the bottom of my heart–for your enthusiastic support of Floret Seeds. If you’re active on Instagram, please include the #FloretSeeds hashtag on any photos you post so we can see the beauty you are cultivating across the country.

Readmore: New Press & Resources for growing great flowers and great businesses

 
 

 

How does your garden grow?

This last weekend, we hosted our third and vancouver flower delivery here on the farm.  We welcomed flower lovers from across the country (and even abroad) for a dreamy three-day floral design focused workshop.  One of the highlights of each workshop we host is setting the participants loose in our field to harvest to their hearts desire.  Watching them explore our flower fields, discovering new varieties and burying their heads in the blooms is always such a treat (check out all the behind the scenes beauty over on Instagram).

IMG_2631

Seeing them in our garden reminded me that I need to check in to see how YOUR gardens are growing this summer. How’s it going? What’s been your biggest surprise?  What’s your new favorite flower this season?

A big thanks to everyone who has tagged their flowers, gardens, fields and designs with #growfloret and #floretseed.  It is such a thrill to see the beauty you are cultivating across the continent.

Here are a just a few of the many, many pretty pictures that have been posted lately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you growing Floret Seeds?  If so, please share photos of your flowers in bloom and tag it with #FloretSeeds and/or #GrowFloret.  I’ll periodically feature a few submissions here on the blog and send out some Floret Seeds goody bags to those we have featured.  

And congratulations to Sonia and Ashley for winning copies of the Flora Forager book via our weekend giveaway.  We’ll be in touch to get this super cute journal to you.

Happy gardening! Readmore: Tips on taking better photos

Celebrating the 4th of July with local flowers

Picnics, parades and barbecues are a staple of Independence Day celebrations here in the U.S.  For my family, the 4th of July is usually a laid back day, followed by a potluck and fireworks with friends down the road. Our spread typically includes strawberry shortcake loaded with local berries, grass-fed burgers and of course, a big ole bouquet of fresh flowers from the garden.

This is the time of year when gardens and flower fields across the country come alive with color.  And thanks to the growing interest in local flowers, and a new marketing and awareness campaign, more and more of these domestically grown flowers are making their way into vancouver flower delivery

Debra Prinzing, author of the book and website “Slow Flowers” is the driving force behind American Flowers Week. In its third year, the campaign is helping to shine an even brighter spotlight on our flower friends who grow and design with domestic flowers.

It is an exciting time to be part of the seasonal flower movement both here in the U.S. and around the world.  Just last week, our flower friends in the U.K. concluded their own British Flowers Week. I loved seeing all of the pictures and stories they shared.

Join me and countless others in growing, buying, sharing and promoting the local flower love.  And join in the celebration on social media by photographing what’s in bloom in your corner of the country and adding the  #americanflowersweek hashtag to your posts.

Wishing you a happy, flower filled 4th of July.

Readmore: Find Local Flowers: The Floret Farmer-Florist Collective

Find Local Flowers: The Floret Farmer-Florist Collective

Over the years, I’ve contemplated many different ways to potentially grow our little flower business. For a long time, I thought the answer would be to buy more land and expand our production in a big, big way. We were selling every stem we could produce on our tiny two-acre farm and still had a waiting list a mile long of customers eager to buy our vancouver flower shop. I was constantly getting messages from designers literally begging me to ship our blooms to them. What should have been a “good” problem to have, sure didn’t feel like it at the time. I was constantly having to say no and then dealing with very disappointed customers whose only other option, at that time, was to buy imported blooms.

Expanding our acreage seemed like it would be a solution. When our plan to purchase more land fell through a few years ago, there was a part of me that was secretly relieved.  In hindsight, the timing wasn’t right. Plus, the prospect of shipping our flowers to far flung places seemed like a contradiction of what I’d been saying for years:  that using local flowers when they’re in season and at their most abundant will give you the most luscious, beautiful bouquets.  So, rather than expanding Floret’s fields, I expanded Floret’s focus.

Photo by Heather Payne

Over the past three years, Floret has deepened our dedication to teaching the fine art of small-scale high-intensity flower production and sourcing high quality seeds and supplies so that farmers, gardeners and designers can better supply the demand for seasonal flowers in their respective region. Since then, we’ve welcomed hundreds of flower farmers and designers to our farm to learn our growing techniques and we’ve shipped specialty seeds and supplies to gardens across the country and around the globe.  It has been amazing to witness the interest in local, seasonal flowers grow, and grow and grow.

photo by Heather Payne

Even though we continue to receive requests for our cut flowers, I no longer feel bad about saying no.  Thanks to the explosion of new flower farms (quite a few of whom received training from Floret!) it is now so much easier to refer flower lovers to other local farms or growers in their region.  To help make these connections, I created the Farmer-Florist Collective, a map of flower farmers and floral designers who specialize in seasonal flowers.

When the Floret Team and I first created the Farmer-Florist Collective, we wanted to highlight Floret Workshop alumni and also help them connect with one another. We later upgraded the map and expanded the Collective to encourage any flower farms, farmer-florists and floral designers committed to local, seasonal flowers to create a profile.

Our intention when creating this Collective was to make a directory that is free, inclusive and accessible on a global level. It is a simple little tool to help flower lovers find local flowers.

My hope is that even more consumers will seek out seasonal flower providers in their region and that flower farmers and designers will make new connections and continue to build a vibrant seasonal flower community.

photo by Heather Payne

Since launching the site, we’ve received some super sweet notes from appreciative users who found local flowers and new connections via the Collective.  I’ve heard from farmer-florists who have booked wedding clients, floral designers who have developed relationships with local farms willing to custom-grow particular flowers for them, and consumers delighted to discover a flower farm in their area.  I’ve even heard that the Collective map has been used to plan flower-focused vacations or to map stops at farms en route to other destinations.

Here are just a few examples of recent stories and connections made via the Collective:

  • Last week Samantha Leenman of Willow Flowers By Design from Sydney, Australia emailed that she would be coming to California this fall to arrange her sister’s wedding flowers and hoped to connect with florists.  She headed over to the Collective to find Northern California flower farmers listed on the Collective, and she joined as well.
  • Julia Lamberth of Hortulanus Budde in Kwazulu Natal Midlands, South Africa named her 1.5 acre heirloom cut rose farm after a long forgotten rose she discovered in her grandfather’s 1947 gardening book.  Her photo on the Collective is a favorite; it was taken by George, a 14 year old aspiring photographer.
  • In Colorado, On the Vine at Richmond Farm scrolled through the area on the Collective map, and in a “small world” moment, discovered the flower farm belonging to the daughter of their farming buddies.
  • Marieke Nolsen of In de Boomgaard in Holland exchanged warm emails, and has the most stunning armload of flowers I’ve ever seen in her Collective photo.  IG: @mariekenolsen

Meanwhile, one of my Floret Team members, Ellen Clint, just met up with Mara, Teresa, and Laura Cugusi of Puscina Flowers in Tuscany, Italy (IG:  @puscinaflowers).  They welcomed Ellen and her daughter to their farm and home, where they shared an amazing lunch featuring food grown on the farm.  “It was the highlight of our trip,” Ellen shared with me.  “Four generations of their family live at the family home.  At the end of our visit, we left with a care package of food, seeds, directions for a scenic drive, and memories for a lifetime.”  And, yes, you’ll find Puscina on the Collective map! 

Have you discovered a new flower resource through the Collective, or perhaps forged a new flower friendship?  I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below or by sending a note to: support (at) www.floretflowers.com.  Tell us about it!

If you or someone you know has a flower-based business committed to local, seasonal sourcing we would love to invite you to join the Collective if you haven’t done so already.  We invite submissions from:

Flower Farms  that supply flowers for the local, regional or domestic market.

Florists/Designers that are committed to utilizing local or regionally-grown flowers and foliage whenever possible.

Farmer-Florists who grow flowers and offer floral design services.

Note to applicants: the Farmer-Florist Collective is intended to be used as a tool to make personal connections between growers, designers, and flower lovers. Putting a face to each business is an important part of that process, so photos (that include you) are required as part of the application.

If you’re a consumer who loves to enjoy fresh, seasonal flowers, be sure to explore the Collective to find sources for fresh, local seasonal flowers near you.  Other sites to search for flowers in the U.S. and Canada include: ASCFG and Slow Flowers.  

In the UK, go to  Flowers from the Farm 

In Australia, try Consortium Botanicus.  

NEW: In France, check out the France Flower Collective, Collectif de la Fleur Française.

“We embrace trustworthiness, integrity, collaboration, community spirit, generosity, kindness and friendship,” the Australian consortium states.  “We do not welcome jealousy, greed, envy, imitation, undermining, back-stabbing or monopolisation. Life’s too short and we’ve got farms and florals to tend to.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  

Please connect with and support these incredible farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs!  And thanks for spreading the local flower love! 

Readmore: Product Availability: Important Upcoming Dates