Archive For The “Education” Category

Mornings with Mayesh: October 2017

October Mornings with Mayesh

Each month, Yvonne gets together with some of her flower friends for our Mornings with Mayesh show to discuss the world of flowers. From general flower availability and flower care to marketing for your flower business and everything in between, you don’t want to miss this replay!

This month, Jenn Sanchez of Jenn Sanchez Design, joined us to share with you about finding your creative voice, color & texture, social media for your biz and so much more!

Keep scrolling for the show notes that contains all of the questions, answers, and resources for your reference!






  • Fall is in full bloom! So many beautiful colors and textures becoming available so I’ll just pick a few of my faves…
  • Ornamental Peppers on the stem: These fun flower fashionistas come in shades of green fading to red, orange & yellow… they can even turn to shades of aubergine to black. Although they look tempting, it is not advisable to eat ornamental peppers.
  • Pumpkin tree is here! Its genus is Solanum Aethiopicum and it is actually a type of ornamental eggplant and is a related to the potato & tomato family of nightshade.
  • Rose hips are coming in steadily. These are the fruit of the rose plant and are high in vitamin C for you outdoor survivalists.
  • Sedum has started its color transition from pink to a bronze color, perfect for your fall arrangements. It is in the crassula family and is a relative to kalanchoes and other succulent plants.
  • Check out our blog for the complete list and as always, talk to your sales rep about all the cool seasonal stuff available now!
  • Melinda: Is there a good source for a year-round availability table on seasonal product??
  • During last month’s show, Sylvia asked what are we importing from Chile?
    • Because of Chile’s diverse geography both tropical and mountainous, they are able to produce an array of fresh seasonal flowers. They are known for their mass production of Carnations, chrysanthemums & alstroemeria. But, they also produce high end and novelty flowers. For instance, peonies are available from October through February, ranunculus and anemones are available from August through October and these are just a few examples of the on-trend flowers produced there when they are not available domestically. They are also known for beautiful tropical foliages such as calathea, ti leaf & palm leaves as well as tropical flowers like anthurium, heliconia & ginger.
  • Lee: Begonia Leaves – how do I prep them to keep them fresh? I love their look but they wilt so easily! Thanks!
    • Heather Cook from our purchasing department just started procuring these from an Oregon grower for us. She says the key is that they are stabilized immediately when cut by the grower. They do best in plain water with no floral food. The sugar in floral food can actually clog the stems. There are literally thousands of varieties of begonias. But, the ones harvested for foliage are usually the rhizomatous or cane stemmed varieties and are very sensitive to water sitting on the leaf surface. They are usually covered in small hairs that hold water and can cause botrytis to form. Iron cross begonia pictured below is one of the truly unique begonia foliages that we carry. Begonia foliage comes in a stunning array of colors and patterns perfect for fall.begonia leaves


  • Courtney: When buying a floral refrigerator for the first time, what do you recommend? Looking for something not crazy expensive but something big enough for at least the personals for a wedding to be refrigerated. Is there anywhere else to look beside craigslist and eBay? do you recommend buying something new so you can get a warranty? It’s hard to know what to buy since they are all pricey. I guess just wondering if there are any other options before buying it.
    • First I’d check with your local Mayesh branch, we hear a lot of inside info from our clients and most locations have an information board for clients to leave help wanted and for sale flyers etcetera. You could also try Facebook marketplace  or any number of online shopping websites. Google search could be your next best friend!
    • Coolbot (



  • Question from Courtney: I was wondering what the best mechanics are when using bigger and heavier items like Pampas grass to go around an arch or Chuppah (all the way around.) Basically heavier things that you can’t really use oasis with. If there’s an easier way than attaching each stem individually that would be amazing. We’ve been seeing a lot of the pampas grass going all the way around arches and with  a lot of pampas grass (super wide taking up a lot of space.) Curious how to get that to stay on and how to have it fan out by using multiple stems to cover a lot of space.
    • Paddle wire, zip ties or even duct tape will work! You can tube stems of more fragile flowers if need be. Just remember to finish your work by covering your mechanics with flowers, foliage or moss.
    • Eco Fresh Bouquet wraps:
  • Question from Courtney: How to get signage decor like with garlands or just greenery and some flowers to stay on acrylic signs, wooden signs (i hear people staple them,) and other materials would be interesting to know how to get it to stay and look droopy (like they all do on Pinterest.)
    • Pinterest is an awesome tool for sharing but not always reliable for representing reality. You could try using dried, preserved or “everlasting” florals. The industry is starting to fabricate some real life like replicas and most vendors will ship nationwide. Check out The French Bee, a Phoenix favorite for life-like artificial florals.  If you are a purist at heart and only fresh materials will do, choose hardy foliages like lemon leaf or camelia for your base and refresh the florals as needed. Using a “cold glue” like Oasis floral adhesive is the best way to avoid color changes in live products that can occur with hot glue. You could also try Oasis U-glu dashes, a two-sided floral adhesive medium. Oasis products website:
  • Question from Courtney: A wrist corsage tutorial would be awesome. There are so many ways to make them so it would be great to find the most simple and efficient way.
  • From Carie: HELP!  I always use a bouquet holder for my bridal bouquets and cover the handle with stems for a faux hand tied.  Do you have any tips for using sunflowers in a bouquet holder???  



  • Instagram is making changes!
    • IG Stories is coming to your desktop – I don’t have it yet, but I cannot wait for this to happen.
    • Audio is on autoplay for Instagram videos – you can toggle it on or off during your Instagram session. So it turns it off when you leave the session and you will have to tap on and it will remain on during your session unless you tap off. This does not affect IG Stories. Pretty fun!
    • Did you hear that IG is testing a new layout of your grid? As we all know, currently the layout on your profile is 3 pictures across each row, but soon it is possible that we will have 4 images per row. For many creatives that carefully curate or post extra large images with the smaller pictures, this will shift things off a bit.
    • The last bit of IG news, is that users are seeing filters for your live videos. Do you have it? Have you used it?

Ok, so I’m very excited for our next guest. Jenn Sanchez is a super talented designer with a background in oil painting having been drawn to Dutch Masters still life vignettes as well as modern conceptual art. She has focused on the art of floral design and loves to recreate natural environments with flowers and foliage. Today, Jenn is going to talk a little bit about her journey, her design philosophy and about how she uses tools like Instagram to grow her business. Welcome, Jenn!


  • Welcome, Jenn! First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your floral design business?
  • Can you share your philosophy on how to find your creative voice and sticking to it?
    • No one knows exactly who they are at all times and what they want, and that’s ok. But you have to know who your brand is. Who your audience is.
    • The importance of being authentic, finding and staying true to your vision
    • The importance of embracing failure, you cannot succeed until you accept mistakes will happen but the risk is worth the reward. I was always (am still) afraid of failing but more afraid of not even trying.
    • The importance of being resilient, not allowing failure, comparison, or harsh critics bring you down.
  • How do you use color and texture?
    • My aesthetic, why I am so drawn to color. I think any artistic expression should make you feel something and color does that so well.
    • Transitioning color by grouping like tones, took me time to realize this (also a sidetone of using those designers that inspire you to educate yourself. If you like a photo on Instagram or a magazine, ask yourself “why”. This is how I learned about color blocking).
    • Using interesting texture, challenge yourself. Buy one bunch of something you are nervous to use and see how you like it. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • Jenn, you have quite the following on Instagram, has this helped your business grow?
  • Do you use other social media platforms?
  • Other tools:
  • Do you take your own pictures and do you have any pointers for our listeners on how to put their best foot forward with photographs?
  • Yvonne: Jenn, tell us where we can find out more about you and what you are up to:



If you think of new questions, you can post them in the comments below.

Be sure to mark your calendar for November 7th at 10 am EST.


Other resources that were mentioned during the show:

Floristas del Mundo is a flower group in Spanish and English:




MDS Carlsbad Workshop Photo Recap

MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad


Last week our Carlsbad workshop was published on The Bridal Theory with a full recap and beautiful images of the day. They can only include so many images, and since we have such an awesome photographer (shoutout to Nicole), there are many more favorites we’re excited to share with you!

And if you’re interested in attending one of our final two workshops in Portland or Detroit, find out more info here!



MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad MDS Flower Workshop Carlsbad

Photos by Nicole Clarey Photography



Workshop Tour Sponsors:

Accent Décor

Design Master 

Oasis Floral Products 

Cameron Hughes Wine

Eco Fresh Bouquet


Sande Flowers


Carlsbad Tour Sponsors:

Adore Folklore

Creative Candles

Eufloria Flowers



Designer- Christy Hulsey – Colonial House of Flowers

Photographer – Nicole Clarey Photography

Stylist – Tristan Needham Design

Venue – Brick + Laurel

Lunch – Del Mar Taco Co.

Ribbon + Runner – Tono + Co.

MDS Cleveland Workshop Photo Recap!

Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop


Now that our Cleveland workshop has officially been published by The Bridal Theory, we’re so excited to share our favorite images from our second workshop back in March! Once we received these gorgeous images from Nicole Clarey, we knew we had to make her an official part of our workshop team, so stay tuned for more beautiful photos this as we continue on our #MDSFlowerWorkshop tour. And for a more detailed recap of our Cleveland workshop, make sure to check out The Bridal Theory’s post!


Mayesh Design Star Cleveland WorkshopMayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop

Mayesh Design Star Cleveland Workshop

Photos by Nicole Clarey Photography




Accent Décor

Design Master 

Oasis Floral Products 

Borrow Vintage & Eclectic 




Designer- Christy Hulsey – Colonial House of Flowers

Venue – Lake Erie Building

Photographer – Nicole Clarey Photography

Stylist – Tristan Needham Design

Rentals –  Event Source Rental

Wine – Cameron Hughes Wine

Lunch – Spice Catering Co.



Our next stop on the tour is Houston (sold out!) but we still have a few seats left for Charlotte, Phoenix, Portland and Detroit! Make sure to reserve your seat now!

Interview: Park Floral Design + Siloh Floral Artistry

Sentient Floral Workshop-Carrie King Photographer


You may have noticed that our Instagram feed was on POINT over the past two days, and it’s all thanks to Ashley & Liz who filled it with stunning images from their recent Sentient workshop! They were sweet enough to answer a few questions for us about their working relationship, love of flowers, and the workshop itself! So let’s get to know Ashley (@parkfloraldesign) and Liz (@silohfloral) a bit better, shall we?



First of all, congratulations on what looked like a successful (and gorgeous) workshop! Can you first tell us a bit about each of yourselves, and how this all came to be? 

Thank you!

Liz: I have been designing flowers for the past 6 years, working under  and learning from two different designers and then I finally took the plunge and started my own company in November 2015. I have always known that I need to work and create with my hands. Flowers make me imagine and wonder, which is something I never want to lose. I spend my time (and money, let’s be honest) exploring the world and eating and cooking good meals. I’m a wine and whiskey lover and a sucker for a good old-fashioned.

Ashley: I have been working in the wedding industry for nearly 10 years but have spent the last 4 focusing on floral design and have found my calling there! I am a mom of two, wifey of one and a mama to four chickens and one pup. We recently moved to a new (old!) little bungalow in Denver and now I just dream of running an urban farm and garden.

We met a few years back when we were working together at another florist’s studio. After that we have each continued to build our own businesses, but honestly, we are floral soulmates and are constantly working together and bouncing ideas back and forth.


Sentient Floral Workshop-Carrie King Photographer



Have the two of you collaborated in the past, or was this your first experience doing something like this together?  

Oh yes! We joke that this is “the family biz” – we get to work together constantly. When we were first working together a few summers ago we bonded over our love of 90’s hip hop and R&B and it was instant fireworks! Working together is so seamless for us and we have a very similar aesthetic and approach to floral design. It is so natural and easy not only to design together, but also to teach side by side. This was our first group floral workshop that we have hosted and we’re already scheming up round two!


We’re a huge fan of floral workshops and the invaluable education that comes with hands-on learning in an intimate setting. I love that you designed this workshop around four art principles & concepts; can you explain what those are and why you chose them? 

Floral design is truly an art form to us. We work with a medium that is constantly changing and evolving, but that is exactly the reason that we love it. Florals are different than so many art forms, such as painting, photography, or sculpture, because we are working with things that are alive and also temporary. That is part of the magic though – it is this fleeting beauty that you get to create and behold just for a period of time.

Since we have such a similar approach to design, we found it was helpful to teach in a way that other creative minds could understand. Color, shape, movement and contrast were the four principles we focused on during Sentient. These principles dictate how we create conceptualize and design each floral arrangement. The palette is the foundation for our designs and where we love to spend the most time becuase it completely sets the tone for the entire creation. Shape is all about establishing a mood and giving an arrangement character and personality, while movement is about evoking a feeling in the design and letting the eye travel through the floral piece. We love to use some contrast as we work with flowers to help make things “pop” and add more visual interest.


Sentient Floral Workshop-Carrie King Photographer


What was your favorite part or moment of the weekend? 

The second night of the workshop, we hosted a private dinner catered by The Fond Life (@thefondlife) at Ashley’s home. It was such an intimate and special time to get to know each of the attendees and bond over incredible food!  We would also say watching the group come together for the installation design was so exciting and rewarding.


Sentient Floral Workshop-Carrie King Photographer

Sentient Floral Workshop-Carrie King Photographer


Let’s get to the good stuff – the flowers! It must be a dream to get to choose all the flowers for something like this, when you have no limits or restrictions from a client! Tell us a bit about your thought process behind your floral recipes for the different pieces you created.

THE FLOWERS – cue lots of squeals! We had such amazing product to work with for the workshop! Spring is one of our favorite seasons for flowers and we wanted to honor the season in each of our designs. We really believe that each design should be an artistic and dynamic expression, which means incorporating both light and dark tones, large focal blooms and soft, small spring blossoms, and lots of textural elements. We had a beautiful range of purple, mauve, sandy brown, peach, cream and white. We always want someone that is viewing an arrangement to be able to enjoy the visual journey so we are thoughtful about the way color moves across an arrangement.


Sentient Floral Workshop-Carrie King Photographer

Sentient Floral Workshop-Carrie King Photographer


Do you have any plans to host more workshops in the future? 

We do! We had such a blast hosting and teaching the Sentient workshop that we are planning to do another in the fall. Fall florals offer a completely different palette and mood and we can’t wait to have another opportunity to teach other designers. Stay tuned!


Sentient Floral Workshop-Carrie King Photographer


And lastly, what would you say to designers that are interested in taking a workshop but are trying to decide if it’s worth the investment?    

Workshops are a big investment and one to be taken seriously. We believe that becuase floral design is truly an art form, that as designers, we need to constantly be inspired, moved, and learning more about this medium of art.  The goal is that each attendee walks away not only with some beautiful images for their portfolio, but also with a renewed sense of energy, inspiration, and confidence in their work. And, of course, the sense of community and support that is built between all the designers cannot be beat!


Sentient Floral Workshop-Carrie King Photographer


For more workshop goodness, head on over to our Instagram to see the rest of the images!




@carriekingphotographer (all images above)





Live Chat with Kristin Banta

live chat with Kristin Banta

Guys, I’m super excited about our next live chat!! You don’t even know how excited and I will admit, a little nervous! Join me as I chat live with Kristin Banta, the founder and Creative Director of Kristin Banta Events on June 13 at 4 pm EST / 1 pm PST!

If you have ever had questions for those designers you may have seen on TV or those who are behind the luxe events you see in magazines, then this is a must attend and must participate event!

KBE’s work has received many awards and has been featured on the Hallmark Channel, Bravo, Style Network, TNT, SYFY, Food Network, Fox, NBC, and in countless publications including Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle Weddings, Los Angeles Times, Life & Style, LA Confidential, Frontiers Magazine, The Knot, Inside Weddings, Southern Living, Real Simple Weddings, Style Me Pretty, Brides, and Punk Rock Confidential. I posted a quick profile video for KBE below to get to know our speaker a little bit more.

So, what do you want to know? From branding to event design and everything in between, we want to hear what you want to watch (or if you are like me, listen to). Send us your questions for Kristin and we will try to address as many as possible in an hour!

You can use the comment box below, or send any questions you’d love to hear during our chat to

See you Tuesday June 13th @ 4 PM EST / 1 PM PST



Mornings with Mayesh Replay May 2017

Did you miss our first Mornings with Mayesh show?? If so, I have the replay for you here! I think our first show turned out amazing!! I want to thank everyone who submitted questions and who were able to join us live because, without you, Dave and I would have just been talking to ourselves.

Be sure to save your seat for our June 6th show at 10 am EST / 7 am PST! If you have questions or topics that you would like us to discuss, share them in the comments below.

Here are the topics and questions that were covered along with the links that were mentioned:

  • What is happening in the world of flowers?
  • What is the best way to keep stock from getting gummy?
  • What is the best way to order flowers at the right time so that they peak on event day?
  • Please describe the process to order and receive Mayesh product when I have events out of my local area so that they open perfectly the day of the event.
  • What is the best estimate/contract software for a small florist?
  • What is the best sources for supplies – buckets, vessels, containers, etc.
  • How do other florists mark up their flowers and goods? Also, when incorporating labor, what percentage do most use?
  • What the best method to make a garland? Any hints to ensure it stays together really well? Is is more cost effective to make yourself or order from a company that specializes in garlands?
  • What’s your favorite base to make a flower crown with?
  • For wedding florists, how do you handle clients that want to mix their DIY flowers (fresh or silk) with your designs?  We have an exclusivity “preference” but it can be hard to explain/enforce at times, especially with there being so many  DIY brides in our area of the midwest!  I would love to hear how other professionals handle this situation.
  • What are your favorite corsage and boutonniere flowers? I love using orchids and callas for their durability but they don’t seem to be very popular right now. And roses can fade quite quickly in the heat of summer wedding season.
  • How do you create “hoop” bouquets? I don’t quite know how to keep all of the flowers alive and still get a sturdy end product.
  • Marketing news: Facebook algorithm update, new features for Facebook group admins, Instagram Stories and MikMak, Pinterest’s “more like this” and Lens.

Mark your calendar and we’ll see you on June 6th for our next Mornings with Mayesh!


Introducing “Mornings with Mayesh”

Mornings with Mayesh


If you’re like me, you love to start your mornings off with a strong cup of coffee and a dose of The Today Show. Well, move over Kathy & Hoda, there’s a new morning show in town! Starting May 16th, we will be hosting a recurring Live Chat one Tuesday a month in which hosts Dave & Yvonne will be talking all things flowers! Mornings with Mayesh will loosely follow an AMA – “Ask Me Anything” – format, and we want to hear your flower questions to discuss on air! Dave is a wizard when it comes to flower “hacks” and tips & tricks pertaining to product, and both Yvonne & Dave are longtime veterans of the floral industry with plenty of knowledge to go around.

So send us your questions/comments/topic ideas, and without further ado, I’ll let the hosts introduce themselves!
Mornings with Mayesh



Hello, hello! I have had the privilege of being Mayesh’s Director of Marketing since 2012. I believe in teamwork, continuous improvement and taking risks. My team has been instrumental in developing Mayesh’s worldwide brand into what it is today – specializing in content and inbound marketing. It’s been an amazing journey, but with all stories, this is not my beginning. I won’t take you all of the way back, but I have a unique background. I graduated with a degree in operations management and business statistics, was a UX consultant for one of the largest insurance companies, along with owning my own wholesale florist with my hubby before we joined Mayesh. I like to say that I bring a great mix of nerd and sparkle to the table and I’m super excited to connect with you with our new live video series!



Mornings with Mayesh



I have had a passion for flowers and art since I was a little boy. My first dried flower arrangement was at the age of 6 foraging dried seed pods and such in the fields behind my childhood home in Indianapolis. All throughout my childhood, I was involved in various art classes including color theory, sculpting, charcoal sketching, watercolor, acrylic, oil painting. Fast forward to the 90’s and I studied floral design under Michael Prihoda at South Seattle Community College. After working briefly in a flower shop in Seattle I was introduced to the wholesale side of our industry where I have spent the last 20 plus years honing my skills. In 2001 I started my career with Mayesh Wholesale Florists. I worked at their Los Angeles flower market location for 5 years and then transferred to their national shipping department. I have made it a priority to learn every aspect of the industry and benefited greatly from those experiences. When asked to transfer to Phoenix for Mayesh I didn’t hesitate. Mayesh has been like a family and home away from home. I love my career and who I have become by being a part of such a wonderful company.


So here is one last reminder to ask us your flower questions in the comments below, and be sure to tune in…


Tuesday, May 16th at 10am EST / 7am PST



Live Chat Replay: Kelly Perry Talks Instagram


During yesterday’s Live Chat we talked all things Instagram with the lovely & talented Kelly Perry of Team Flower! Kelly is an amazing force within the industry and has created two completely separate businesses: her floral design company, Philosophy Flowers,  and Team Flower, a community of florists and flower friends who come together to learn from one another, lift each other up, and help propel the industry forward.

After struggling with social media and Instagram for some time, Kelly turned things around by changing her mindset and taking a new approach. Watch our replay to learn what that approach is, as well as tangible tips & tricks to improve your Instagram feed & presence! And if you don’t have time to jot down all of the resources we mention, they’re all listed beneath the video… we’ve got you!





Applications & Tools







*There are SO many editing apps, just do some research online and find what fits best for you & your style!




Blog Resources


TEAM FLOWER COURSES: Floral Photography & Instagram Branding

POSTING TIMES BEST PRACTICES: Hootsuite & CoSchedule blog posts

Team Flower’s Upcoming Industry Conference! 



And remember, we are always looking for content ideas & want to produce Live Chats that help YOU! So if you want to see more like this, or have another topic you’re dying to learn more about, let us know in the comments below!

Interview w/Erin Benzakein {Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden}



We couldn’t be more thrilled with all of the rich educational resources that are becoming such an important focus within the flower industry. From in-person workshops to online tutorials, there are so many different ways for florists to continue learning & growing, and Erin Benzakein’s new book, Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden, is a welcome addition to this growing collection of educational tools.

Lucky for us, Erin was able to take a little time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her book, and we wouldn’t be surprised if you hightailed it out the door to your nearest Barnes & Noble to pick one up after you finish reading! Enjoy!

Above photo by Michele M. Waite





So let’s go back to the very beginning. With everything already going on in the Floret world – growing & selling flowers, educational workshops, and selling seeds just to name a few – adding a book to the mix seems a little bit crazy! What made you want to write a book in the first place?

I have a habit of taking on multiple massive projects at the same time; and you are right, it can be a little crazy!  In this case, I have the book to thank, and to blame, for Floret Seeds.  For years, I had dreamed of writing a book and having my own line of seeds, but the latter was always something I envisioned for sometime much further down the road. Well, that timeline got bumped up when I realized that many of my favorite cut flowers, the very ones I was writing about in the book, are not widely available unless you’re willing to wade through obscure catalogs without photos organized by scientific names, or spend a lot of money buying seeds in bulk. Most gardeners, florists and small scale growers only need 50 to 100 seeds of a particular variety, not 1,000! My editors at Chronicle Books emphasized the importance of making the book accessible and approachable to home gardeners, so rather than substitute some of the flowers I featured, I decided to source the seeds myself. It was then that Floret Seeds was born!


You’ve mentioned that you wish this book existed when you first began growing flowers – what do you hope readers will gain from it? Is it geared more towards the everyday gardener, or those wishing to start their own flower farm?

It is definitely geared towards the home gardener and floral designers wanting to start their own cut flower garden to supplement their design work. I wanted to show flower lovers that they don’t need massive estates or expansive farm fields to grow great flowers.  Even in the smallest spaces, you can create cutting gardens that are both pretty and super productive.

Some of my most popular posts online are ones that feature big buckets overflowing with freshly-cut flowers. But harvesting these big, beautiful blooms is just one small part of the longer process of growing great cut flowers.  The book fills in all of those blanks by taking readers through the entire progression starting with planning your space and prepping the soil all the way through post-harvest care and providing design ideas for what you can do with your floral abundance.

Whether you plant flowers in honor or in memory of a loved one, to provide food for bees or other pollinators, for a business or exclusively for your own personal pleasure, flowers are a beautiful balm for the soul.  There are so many reasons to grow, share and enjoy seasonal flowers. My hope is that my book will help others discover this joy and grow the garden of their dreams.  


View More:

Photo by Joy Prouty


I’m sure throughout the writing process, there were so many little things you wanted to cover. What was the most challenging part about writing this book, and editing it down to the essentials?

It is so true.  There was much, much more I wanted to include in the book, but simply could not because of space constraints.  Even after successfully lobbying to have the number of pages increased, I still struggled.  For example, it was hard to pick just four peony varieties to feature in the book, when I really wanted to feature 14!  I also wanted to go into even more detail about how to grow certain types of flowers, but had to narrow the focus on some of the easier to grow varieties that appeal to a broader audience.


How about the most rewarding part?

The most rewarding part was finally holding the finished book in my hands.  I’m not going to lie, the book was a lot of work and challenged me in so many ways.  After working on it for so  long, finally seeing the finished book felt a little unreal!  Reading the heartfelt notes and sweet reviews from folks who have been inspired to grow more or new flowers because of the book makes it all totally worth it.




Being from the Pacific Northwest, our seasons are very different from other regions – hello, rain! Will the seasonal format of the book speak to gardeners in varying climates?

Absolutely. I worked with my phenomenal editor, Julie Chai, to make the book as universally applicable as possible. Instead of referencing specific months or days of the year, for example, I discuss planting and harvest dates in relation to the number of weeks until your first or last frost.  Plus, all the measurements include metric system references.  This took a little extra work, but it was important to make it accessible, regardless of the growing zone, continent or even what hemisphere your garden is located.


One benefit to growing flowers is that you have an abundance of gorgeous blooms at your fingertips to play with! You are a great example of someone who has taken advantage of that and become a sought-after floral designer on top of growing. Tell us a little bit about the floral arranging aspect of the book.

For each of the four seasons, I include a few floral design projects.  I loved being able to showcase the beauty of seasonal flowers by creating simple, elegant designs. Each project includes detailed instructions and photos illustrating each step in the design process.  Several of the projects incorporate nontraditional foliage you may have in your landscape that I love tucking into your into designs for added texture and interest.   



Photo by Joy Prouty


Lastly, if you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice when you were first starting out, what would that be?

In regards to writing, my advice would be: be patient. Just as it takes a lot of time, patience and a lot of love to take a tiny seed and nurture it into a fully grown flower in bloom, so too does it take time to take an idea for a book and nurture it into an actual book. In terms of gardening and flower farming, I’d remind myself about the phrase don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.



Thanks again for sitting down with us, Erin, and for sharing your invaluable knowledge with our community. For more gardening how-to’s and information, be sure to check out the Floret blog – it’s a treasure trove of growing tips & tricks!

Overwhelmed by Instagram? We’re Here to Help


Ahh, Instagram. It’s the fun app to share silly photos with friends turned Social Media Marketing powerhouse. Instagram has now become arguably the most important app for creatives to showcase their work and help drive business in today’s online driven world. For a bride, it’s not only a quick way to see a photographer or floral designer’s portfolio, but it may be your first and only chance to woo her with your perfectly curated Instagram feed, a glance into what her perfectly curated wedding day could look like.

Though Instagram and other social media apps come second nature to some, for others, it can be totally overwhelming and a huge cause of stress. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be.



Kelly Perry, founder of both Team Flower & Philosophy Flowers, has a unique perspective on Instagram and how to go about using it to your benefit. In a few short weeks we’ll be sitting down with her for a Live Chat, and before we do, we want to hear from you!


So tell us, what are your biggest struggles with Instagram? 


Kelly is also great at the visual aspect, so if you struggle with your feed, feel free to take a screen shot, send it to us, and you just might see your feed pop up during the chat, during which Kelly will openly discuss and give constructive criticism on ways to improve it.

You can use the comment box below, or send any screenshots, questions or concerns you’d love to hear during our chat to



Wednesday April 12th @ 4PM EST



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