Sitting here, pinching myself over the fact that I get to welcome Erin, from Floret to NW Healthy Mama today. I wish we were all in a room together, me with a mic in front, and you guys sitting on the edge of your seats, around big, round tables, with the lights dim, ready to glean everything this lovely lady has to offer. I’d tell you all about why I adore following her and as I handed her the mic, you’d all stand up and cheer loudly. Then the room would silence and as she talked about flowers, we would all start to believe in ourselves and that yes….we can grow them too.
This gal. Where do I even begin? I’ve been reading her new book before bed, with coffee in the morning and honestly I pick it up, every chance I get. Not only is Erin local (LaConner!) but she’s also the kind of person who freely shares what she knows, inspiring folks all over the world to grow what makes them happy. Honestly, I just want to be real life friends! Please join me in warmly welcoming Erin! What fun it is to be part of the Virtual Book Tour and be able to share this Q&A with her!
My husband, Chris, and I wanted to be able to raise our little family surrounded by nature, so we moved from Seattle to the Skagit Valley. We planted trees for an orchard and tilled up a big section of our yard for a huge garden. Tucked in alongside the tomatoes, squash and peppers was a double row of sweet peas planted in memory of my great grandmother. Grammy was famous within our family for her garden and she introduced me to flowers at a very young age. As a child, I was her “little flower girl” and after she became less mobile 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 was right there with me, smiling and nodding in approval. I shared much of the garden’s bounty with friends, family and anyone who crossed my path. Word started to spread, and I started getting orders from friends of friends. When I delivered my very first bouquet, the lady immediately buried her face in the flowers and got teary-eyed, because it reminded her of her childhood and loved ones lost. Seeing the impact that little bouquet had on her and so many others who received our flowers was life changing. After seeing all the tears, smiles, joy and memories evoked by my flowers, I knew I had found my calling. I went home and tilled up more yard for my garden and planted more flowers. Every season I expanded my garden, and my flower fields now take up every square inch of our tiny two acre plot.
It really goes back to Grammy and wanting to honor her memory. I wrote the book I wish had existed when I first started out—a book that provides lots of practical instructions, plus lots of pretty photos that show seasonal blooms at their very best. I love sharing the beauty and abundance of my garden and wanted to create a resource that combines both information and inspiration. Plus, I wanted to show other flower lovers they don’t need massive estates or expansive farm fields. Even in the smallest spaces, you can create cutting gardens that are both pretty and super productive.
In our everyday lives, especially during tumultuous times, we must find activities and creative outlets that bring us peace. For me, and so many people I know, that means getting off the computer and connecting with nature, digging in the dirt and cultivating beauty in the garden.
Flowers have this incredible ability to tap into our deepest emotions. Flowers have an amazing ability to make us smile and bring us joy. They provide comfort and help heal broken hearts. They spark memories and stir nostalgia. The joy in growing, sharing or receiving flowers is pretty awesome, really. My hope is that my book will help others discover this joy and grow the garden of their dreams.
I love being able to do what I love alongside my family. There is nothing better, really. I also love sharing the beauty of what we are growing and creating through photographs and stories. I decided a long time ago it didn’t make any sense to hoard information and images of pretty flowers for ourselves, so every day we share snippets of our flower-filled life on the Floret website and through social media. Over the years I’ve opened up about my experience and my family’s story on the Floret blog, which I think really resonates with people. I find that for far too many people, conventional career paths have left them feeling emotionally and creatively empty, so they are drawn to opportunities to connect them to what really matters. For many, that is having a closer connection to earth and their families.
I hope your readers will consider tucking a few more flowers into their gardens this season. Whether you plant flowers in honor or in memory of a loved one, to provide food for bees or other pollinators or exclusively for your own personal pleasure, flowers are a beautiful balm for the soul.
Chronicle Books and I are giving away a copy of the book along with a bunch of Floret goodies: a garden day planner, calendar and seeds! I will be picking one lucky winner on March 20th. For a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment in the comment section below. Plus, 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. Participation is limited to US residents only.
– Friday, March 10: The House that Lars Built: http://thehousethatlarsbuilt.com/
– Monday, March 13: Red Dirt Ramblings: http://reddirtramblings.com/
– Tuesday, March 14: NW Healthy Mama: http://nwhealthymama.com/
– Wednesday, March 15: 100 Layer Cake: http://www.100layercakelet.com/
– Thursday, March 16: Fresh Eggs Daily: http://fresheggsdaily.com/
– Friday, March 17: Creative Vegetable Gardener: http://www.creativevegetablegardener.com/
For a chance to win her beautiful book, a garden day planner, calendar and seeds, all you have to do is leave a comment in the comment section below. I will be picking one lucky winner on March 20th!
UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. Thank you for all the wonderful comments and entries!