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Our thriving research & education farm is dedicated to giving flower lovers the tools & information they need to grow the gardens of their dreams

Set in Washington’s beautiful Skagit Valley, our fields are bursting with flowers that reflect the season, from fragrant sweet peas in the spring to magnificent dinner plate dahlias in the fall and countless varieties in between. Research is at the heart of our operation, and we conduct extensive trials to find the very best cut flower varieties, coveted for their scent, stem length, and ethereal qualities.

We source seeds from a small network of specialty seed farmers and grow many of the varieties we offer right here on the farm. Our shop features my very favorite cut flower seeds, as well as tools, supplies, and signed Floret books.

Elora and Jasper Benzakein holding chickens
The Benzakein family in the Floret dahlias field
Erin and Chris Benzakein in the Floret dahlia field

Much of my childhood was spent at my great-grandparents’ country home, and from an early age, under their influence, I felt a deep sense of connection to nature. From then on I dreamed of living in the country, where we’d grow our own vegetables, raise chickens, and plant a small orchard. So in 2001, my family and I left the hustle of city life in Seattle and moved to a small farm in Washington’s Skagit Valley to pursue a slower, simpler, more intentional lifestyle that would help us connect with nature every day. Shortly after we arrived, a generous neighbor brought over his tractor to till a plot of ground so I could finally have the garden of my dreams.

Tucked among the many vegetables in that first garden was a double row of sweet peas, planted in memory of my great-grandmother, who had recently passed away. Grammy called me her “little flower girl” when I was a young child, and I was tasked with making bouquets for her bedside table during my annual summer visits. Though my creations were simple, she always cooed over them as if they were the most precious things on Earth. So when the first sweet peas bloomed in my garden, I felt as if Grammy were there with me, cheering me on in my new endeavor.

Our garden overflowed that first season, and I shared the bounty with family, friends, and new neighbors. Soon, word got out about our abundant plot, and people I didn’t yet know began asking if they could order our flowers. I had never intended to sell flowers, but I loved gifting them and sharing their beauty. When I delivered my first paid order—a simple jar of sweet peas—I nervously thrust the bouquet into the customer’s hands as soon as she opened her door. For a moment, time slowed as she buried her nose in the blooms. Tears filled her eyes, and she said that the fragrance transported her back in time to happy childhood summers in her grandmother’s garden. Seeing how a small bouquet of flowers had the power to stir such emotion and connect two perfect strangers, in a matter of seconds, was a turning point for me. I knew then and there that I had found my calling, and I wanted to devote my life to making other people’s lives more beautiful with flowers.

Buckets of flowers in the Floret studio
Erin and Chris Benzakein arranging flowers in the studio
Erin and Chris Benzakein arranging dahlias in the studio

The following year I replaced all of our vegetables with flowers, and the year after that I dug up the orchard to add even more blooms, later building greenhouses to further expand our growing possibilities. Eventually, the humble garden I planted for our family grew—with the help of my husband and kids—into a bustling 2-acre farm and design studio that supplied hundreds of thousands of flowers to markets, CSAs, and events. We later expanded into hosting intensive on-farm workshops focused on seasonal flower production and natural floral design.

All of this led to my first book, Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest & Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms, which gives step-by-step details on how to cultivate your own flowers in any size space.  The book features some of the most stunning varieties I’ve ever grown, which at the time weren’t available to home gardeners. But because I wanted readers to be able to grow the same flowers they saw in Cut Flower Garden, I decided to create our own line of Floret Seeds. In our online shop, we now offer seeds for many of my favorite varieties.

And for those who are in search of local, seasonal flowers, we’ve developed a worldwide network of growers, Floret’s Farmer-Florist Collective, where you can find locally grown blooms, no matter where you live.

Foxglove growing in the Floret field
Erin Benzakein and Jill Jorgensen signing books while being filmed
Chickens and buckets of flowers outside the Floret studio

For more than a decade we managed to grow an extraordinary amount of flowers on a tiny 2-acre plot of land. We long dreamed of expanding our acreage and tried to buy numerous properties over the years, but each attempt fell through. We nearly lost hope, but in 2017 the opportunity to expand our acreage finally became a reality. As luck would have it, this new farm bordered our own and allowed us to expand our business without having to move.

In 2017, after welcoming hundreds of students to our farm, we could see that we would never be able to meet the demand for our on-farm workshops, so we devoted the next year to writing, filming, and converting our farming workshop into a video-based course. The Floret Online Workshop is a 6-week intensive online learning program focused on growing flowers on a small scale. This course is offered once per year and covers everything we’ve learned about growing great flowers and building a successful flower business on just 2 tiny acres.

Once we settled into the new farm, we decided it was time to write a second book focused on seasonally based floral design, and A Year in Flowers: Designing Gorgeous Arrangements for Every Season was born. It’s full of beautiful photography and practical design techniques for seasonal bouquets. We were blown away by the outpouring of support for this project, which made The New York Times Best Seller List.

Thanks to the tremendous success of A Year in Flowers, we were given the opportunity to write a third book, Discovering Dahlias: A Guide to Growing and Arranging Magnificent Blooms. In addition to offering advice for growing, harvesting, and designing with these prolific flowers, it also features more than 350 of my favorite dahlia varieties organized by color. 

In 2021, season 1 of Growing Floret, a four-part documentary series about our farm, debuted on the Magnolia Network. After receiving two Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Cinematography” and “Outstanding Lifestyle Program” we began filming a second season, which premiered in the spring of 2023 on Max and discovery+.

Erin and Chris Benzakein sit in the back of the Floret truck with buckets of dahlias
Rows of colorful flowers at Floret Flower Farm
The Benzakein family

After years of behind-the-scenes work, including trialing, photographing, documenting, cataloging, and classifying thousands of different flower varieties, the Floret Library was finally born. This comprehensive, digital library is available to anyone, anywhere in the world to use for free. The library includes detailed profiles of more than 1,500 unique cut flower varieties that have all been grown and tested here on our farm. 

Nowadays, I am devoting much of my time to breeding new cut flower varieties that will help give local growers an advantage in the marketplace. This new project is very close to my heart because the needs of small-scale specialty growers and gardeners have been overlooked for far too long.

What started as a tiny backyard cutting garden years ago has blossomed into a thriving research and education farm, specializing in giving flower lovers the tools and information they need to grow the garden of their dreams. While much has changed, family is still at the heart of Floret, and we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to spend our days working with a terrific team that shares our vision of bringing more beauty into the world.

And every day, I’m reminded of what I realized when I delivered that first order: that giving someone a simple bouquet can create real connections and transform lives. My goal is to help you, too, cultivate more beauty in your everyday life and experience the magic of nature through flowers.

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