Last year, when my blog was nominated by Better Homes and Gardens as one of the Top 10 Garden Blogs of 2016, I found myself in the company of many amazing bloggers. I love expanding my virtual gardening community, so after learning about the nomination I emailed the other nominees to congratulate them and introduce myself.
I quickly learned that Erin, the owner of Floret Flowers, was kind and generous when she asked for my address to mail me a little care package of flower seeds to try in my garden.
I’ve been following her business journey ever since and am continually inspired by the gorgeous photos on her website and Instagram. Her photos of the dahlia harvest at her farm last fall convinced me that I must order dahlias for my garden this season. And I did – from her seed company!
Floret recently released a new book, Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms. Last Friday I treated myself to an afternoon at my local coffee with the book and all of my flower seeds for the season. I happily read through the whole thing and planned out how I’m going to incorporate more flowers into my garden this year.
I’ve been mixing flowers with vegetables for many years, and feel passionately that it’s one of the ways to deepen the joy and beauty that your garden infuses into your life. But, while reading the book I realized that as a vegetable gardener I sometimes treat flowers as an afterthought in my garden.
Erin’s book encouraged me to be more serious about the flowers I grow and this year I’ve decided to set aside a small bed strictly for cut flowers. And of course I’ll be sharing my cut flower journey on the blog this summer!
As part of her book launch, I’m thrilled to host Erin and Floret Flower Farm on the blog today as part of her virtual book launch tour. She’s written a special post for our vegetable gardening community that features her five favorite flowers for supplying us with fresh cut blooms all season long.
5 FABULOUS FLOWERS FOR YOUR VEGETABLE GARDEN
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus): A cousin to the carnation, these fragrant blooms are anything but boring. The Dianthus ‘Amazon’ and the ‘Sweet’ series are both consistent performers with great stem length and nice sized blooms. Often called “pinks,” this plant pumps out mounds of flowers all summer long. Unlike biennial Dianthus, neither require cold temps to set flowers so they can be grown as annuals.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus): These beautiful blooms are highly productive, have long strong stems, a long vase life, plus a lovely citrus scent. Great in late spring bouquets and before the summer heat arrives, my favorites include ‘Rocket’, ‘Chantilly’ ‘Overture’, and ‘Madame Butterfly mix.’ This gorgeous group of ruffled butterfly-type blooms is one of our most requested and best loved crops of the summer!
Zinnias: To me, nothing screams summer more than a handful of cheery zinnias. Available in a brilliant rainbow of colors, these cut-and-come-again plants are an essential for any flower-loving gardener. As one of the easiest cut flowers to grow, they are a perfect first crop for beginning gardeners. They also do well in a wide range of climates and growing zones. Favorites include ‘Benary giant’, ‘Queen Red Lime’ and ‘Zindarella’
Chocolate Lace Flower (Daucus carota)-This large flowered chocolate colored Queen Anne’s Lace looks great en masse, pairs well with many other colors and blooms for most of the summer from just one planting. The lacy umbels come in a range of sizes and shades, adding a dramatic, airy quality to garden bouquets.
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) If you don’t already grow this old-fashioned cottage garden favorite, you’ll definitely want to make room for it in your garden this spring. This complex plant features lacy, star-shaped blooms framed by a delicate halo of fringed foliage and thin, almost thread-like leaves that resemble fennel (even though they are in different families).
While this plant looks quite fragile, it’s one of the hardiest early bloomers in the garden. Nigella can be hand-sown into prepared beds in your garden, as they don’t perform as well when transplanted. Considered a “cool” flower, Nigella is cold-tolerant and can be sown into your garden in the late summer/early fall (in warmer regions) which allows them time to get established and build a strong root system before the winter cold sets in. You can also direct seed them in your garden in early spring.
If you don’t currently mix flowers in with your vegetables, this is the year to try it! Plant some of Erin’s favorite cut flowers and get ready to have fun creating bouquets to brighten up every room in your house.
Enter to win a copy of the book, plus a Floret garden day planner, a Floret calendar and Floret seeds. Leave a comment below this post sharing your favorite flower to grow in your garden. US addresses only please. Must be 18 years and older to enter. Winner will be chosen at random on March 24th.
Head over to the other stops on the blog book tour to catch more glimpses inside this beautiful book and have more chances to win a copy!
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