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Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein w Julie Chai

I got a book.
This surprises no one, I’m sure.

Along with Discovery+, came Magnolia Network. And on Magnolia Network came Growing Floret, a flower farm out in Washington State. So I did what any one does, and I got on her website. And then I bought her book for a sweet friend of mine. We’ve often dreamed of cut flower gardens and I knew she needed it. Well then she was Marco Poloing me as she flipped through the book and convinced me I needed it too.

So I ordered it.

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest & Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms.

And there are a LOT of things I love about this book.

It’s organized by season! It is not an exhaustive list by any means, but has flowers/plants for each season.

At the end of each seasonal section, she has a few “projects.” These range from bouquets to swags to flower crowns and wreaths. If you read my blog about our 2020 Gardens you may have seen my attempt at some bouquets. I’m excited that this book has a bit more clear direction! I’d love to hone in on that skill this year.

Along with each flower she talks about, she gives a little tip on how to help them last longer in a vase. I have learned SO much already. Did you know Daffodils release a sap that poisons other flowers!? Well I sure didn’t. But now I also know to soak my fresh cut daffodils for 2-3hrs in cold water before adding them to a bouquet with other flowers. This seals the end and stops the flow of sap. I’m extra thankful I learned this now as I planted daffodils in my front bed!

This book is genuinely educational. She goes through and explains the differences between biannual, perennial, and annual flowers. She lists of tools and products you’ll need to be successful, and they aren’t obnoxious. As a home gardener, I feel empowered. She is realistic and minimalist; even suggesting a butter knife as a tool. I think I can manage that! It is broken down in such a way that it is attainable.

The photography in this book is stunning. My friend said she wanted to cut them out and put them on her wall. Truly gorgeous and swoon-worthy. It’s easy just to day dream about having beautiful rows of flowers in your own back yard. The photographer, Michele M. Waite captured the most stunning blooms.

Mind you, I am not growing a cut flower garden specifically, but by default while doing a pollinator garden, they often end up being one in the same. I am planning on more or less leaving most of what grows in the garden for the bees, butterflies, caterpillars, and hummingbirds. But just like last year, I will absolutely be snipping a few here and there for bouquets.

This book would make a beautiful contribution to your coffee table or book shelf. Without reading a word it is just aesthetically pleasing. It’s a sweet gift for any one who dreams of growing flowers so they have fresh flowers in their home, or just like to garden. It would be perfect with my fav gardening gloves, and either a few little gardening tools, or a few packs of seeds!

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