Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden Book Giveaway

Benzakein with Julie Chai. Book Giveaway

Guess what!

I’m doing another book giveaway with the help of Chronicle Books and Erin Benzakein of Floret Farm I love Erin’s work. Don’t know Erin? Well, where have you been? She’s an extremely popular flower farmer, cut-flower style setter, mother, seed purveyor, and so much more. Erin’s Instagram account boasts 389,000 + followers. Can you say, “Wow!?

I was so happy to help out with her blog book tour. I mean, just looking at these photos is like taking a vacation to Skagit Valley, Washington, one of my favorite places on Earth.

“I have found tremendous joy in growing and sharing seasonal flowers and foliage. My hope is that my book will help others discover this joy and provide practical information to grow the garden of their dreams.” Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books and Erin Benzakein.
“I have found tremendous joy in growing and sharing seasonal flowers and foliage. My hope is that my book will help others discover this joy and provide practical information to grow the garden of their dreams.” Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books and Erin Benzakein.

Since my blog is very photo driven, I asked for a photo essay, and Chronicle Books sent me some beautiful photos of Floret Farm’s flowers and Erin, along with her quotes.

Sit back, grab a cup of something, tea, coffee, a cocktail and peruse the beauty. This is just some of what you can expect to see in the book which I have read.

Sit back, grab a cup of something, tea, coffee, a cocktail and peruse the beauty. This is just some of what you can expect to see in the book which I have read. Note: I was given a copy of the book for review from the publisher. 

“In the book, I share all my tried-and-true techniques for growing great cut flowers. Whether you want to grow flowers for pleasure, as food for bees and pollinators or as a potential side business, you’ll find step-by-step instructions alongside beautiful photos from my garden for inspiration.”
“In the book, I share all my tried-and-true techniques for growing great cut flowers. Whether you want to grow flowers for pleasure, as food for bees and pollinators or as a potential side business, you’ll find step-by-step instructions alongside beautiful photos from my garden for inspiration.”

The book does give detailed instructions for growing your own cut flower garden. The instructions are clear and concise, and I loved the photos. They are scrumptious as you can see.

A summer day full of zinnia harvesting at Floret Farm.
A summer day full of zinnia harvesting at Floret Farm.

I’ve bought zinnia seeds from Erin several times and other beautiful flowers for my own cut flower garden beds. I am especially fond of the ‘Oklahoma Salmon‘ variety. I love cutting gardens. They are such fun to create and grow. Just don’t forget to cut your flowers and bring them inside to enjoy.

About zinnias

Erin says, “No cut flower garden is complete without these versatile, easy-to-grow blooms. Just be sure to look for cultivars that are made for cutting gardens (versus bedding plants) such as the appropriately named ‘Benary Giant’ series, the massive magenta ‘Uproar Rose’ and the ‘Persian Carpet’ mix.”

About dahlias

Erin is also a big fan of dahlias as am I.

We grow more dahlias than any other flower here at Floret.  Dahlias come in a rainbow of colors and are nearly unmatched in terms of flower production. I’ve been bitten by the dahlia bug and have so many favorites that it would be impossible to narrow it down to 20, much less three.”

Dahlia 'Golden Scepter' Floret Farm
Erin holds an armful of Dahlia ‘Golden Scepter.’

Erin also suggests that you let plants do double duty in your garden.

About foliage

“A lot of beginning gardeners focus on growing flowers with big, showy blooms and forget to plant enough foliage to round out your summer bouquets. If you already grow herbs and vegetables in your garden, many of your plants can serve double duty.  Here are a few favorites that can be used for food or foliage in a summer bouquet:

“Mint: I was advised to never plant this vigorous spreader but am so glad I ignored them. Mint is available early in the season, has a great vase life and adds a lovely fragrance to bouquets. My favorite varieties are Apple, Peppermint, Pineapple (white variegated) and Spearmint.

Basil, especially one with red or purple foliage is great in bouquets too. Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books.
Basil, especially one with red or purple foliage like ‘Aramato,’ is great in bouquets too. Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books.

“Basil:  Easy to grow, fragrant and abundant, basil is great for both cooking and floral design.  With deep purple flowers, glossy foliage and a fantastic scent, ‘Oriental Breeze’ has been a favorite of mine for years. Other great varieties to grow include ‘Cinnamon’, ‘Lemon’, ‘Cardinal’ and ‘Aramato’.

Dill makes an excellent filler in flower arrangements.
Dill makes an excellent filler in flower arrangements. Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books.

“Dill: With big yellow umbel shaped blooms, dill flowers add an airy textural element to any summer bouquet.

“Shiso ‘britton’ (Perilla frutescens): Common in Asian cooking, this plant also is popular among floral designers who love its contrasting colors.  The serrated, bi-colored leaves of this culinary herb are green on top and a pretty burgundy-purple underneath.

Book giveaway details:

We’re giving away a copy of Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms along with a bunch of Floret goodies: a garden day planner, calendar, and seeds! For a chance to win, just leave a comment in the comment section below. The contest ends at Noon on March 20. I’ll pick a winner on March 24, 2017, with a random number generator. You have to leave your name and email address (unpublished) to enter. I can’t contact you if I can’t find you. Please note this giveaway is only open to continental U.S. residents.

Also, don’t forget my other garden tool giveaway is ongoing. Please feel free to enter it too. It’s an exciting spring!

If you follow along with the whole tour, you will have multiple chances to win!

Visit the other participating blogs below to learn more about the local flower movement and Floret Farms; plus, each blog post will offer a chance for you to win.

Participating blogs:

 

Buy the book here: www.floretflowers.com/book
Follow Floret:
Instagram
Pinterest
Facebook  

UPDATE: Denise Whitehead is our winner. I’ve contacted her so Floret can send her the goods. Thanks to everyone who played along.

 

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, July 2010, high summer

During summer, the shade garden is a nice respite from the bright sun and heat.

The rains have come and gone throughout most of the spring and now well into summer. The garden looks overblown and flousy like a middle-aged woman in a flowery housecoat. Going to St. Louis and Buffalo has left her with her roots showing, and it’s now up to me to get her a pedicure and maybe even a massage.

Part of the back garden.

Spent daylily scapes have turned brown in the sun and stand like skeletons waiting for me to put them in the compost pile. A lot of talk in St. Louis was about daylily rust, but I don’t have any in my garden this year. Luckily for most of Oklahoma, the fungus, Puccinia hemerocallidis, still dies during our winters. Therefore, I’m not worried about recycling spent scapes.

The vegetable garden is full of very tiny blooms on parsley, dill and fennel. I let these bloom so that the smallest of the pollinators have their own buffet. If I want more parsley, I just plant some seeds about two weeks apart. Honestly though, I don’t eat or cook with parsley that often. I do like dill, and to have enough for the swallowtail butterflies and my family, I plant seeds more than once. The basil is producing great guns which is good because today I am making Too Many Tomatoes Sauce which can be found in Too Many Tomatoes, Squash, Beans, and Other Good Things: A Cookbook for When Your Garden Explodes by Lois M. Landau. I love this particular Italian sauce recipe and will put up batches of it in the freezer throughout summer.

More honesty, although I know how to preserve via canning, it is not my favorite job. Summers are very hot here, and heating up the kitchen when it’s 98F outside is not my favorite thing.  I’d rather freeze. I do make jams and chutneys though. Have you ever read the blog,  Tigress in a Jam? No one writes more elegantly about preserves. I must thank Willi Galloway at DigginFood for turning me onto this gem.

Oh, wait, this post is supposed to be about flowers. I guess we’ll just consider this a “Dear Friends” post too. We definitely have flowers everywhere. It would be easier to catalog those not blooming right now. The daylilies are finishing up with the Reckamps and some of the other dormant varieties, and because of the rain, I have some rebloom. Most of the roses are taking a break from the heat. They spend their time saving up their energy for fall. However, ‘Carefree Beauty’ and a couple of others are still blooming.

Hibiscus 'Moy Grande' comes up from the ground every year to produce electric blooms from now through September.

Most afternoons I go out on the deck on the east side of the house (which is then in partial shade), and watch the butterflies flit from one Echinacea to another then turning somersaults in the air. These acrobatics fill my heart with joy, and I hope you get a chance to go outdoors today. A shout out to my friend, Dana, who works in a cavernous office, “Don’t forget to sit outside somewhere at lunch, and I’ll join you next week.”

Tomorrow, I’m off to photograph another garden which will be on the Oklahoma Horticulture Society’s Garden Tour for Connoisseurs to be held in the fall. It will be glorious weather then, and the gardens are so beautiful. I hope my local friends will come.

Black-eyed Susans, Rhapsody in Pink crapemyrtle, Rudbeckia grandiflora, and zinnias are now blooming in the meadow. Soon, willow leaf aster will join them.

The meadow garden bed is one of the prettiest during summer because of Echinacea purpurea and the black-eyed Susans who show so nicely. What would I do without my Susans to carry the garden into autumn?

Many thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for hosting Bloom Day and Happy summer everyone.