Posts Tagged “book”

Mornings with Mayesh: Florists to the Field

Mornings with Mayesh: Florists to the Field

Watch the replay of our LIVE show, Mornings with Mayesh, as we answering your flower questions with my flower friends, Dave Tagge, Ryan O’Neil from Curate – formerly Stemcounter, and Jodi Duncan from SocialJodi. We covered some of Dave’s favorite flowers that are available now, how to handle accounting for your floral business, easy wrist corsage techniques, paying for ads on social media, and reposting other people’s images on your social media pages.

Also, we interviewed our special guests, Greg Campbell and Erick New, co-owners of Garden District, about their brand new book, Florists To The Field.

 

Here is the podcast replay:

SHOW NOTES
PART I

 

FLOWER QUESTIONS

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE WORLD OF FLOWERS?:

  • Latest flower 411
  • Dave showing some of his favorite flowers that are available right now

 

FLOWER DESIGN

  • From Claire: I am new at Floral arranging. I started a little more than two years ago. The most difficult for me has been making wrist corsages. It’s agony for me. Yet it looks so easy when I watch others do it. Do you have a simple way to make a wrist corsage? The most difficult of it is attaching the flowers to the wristband.

FLOWER BUSINESS

  • From Tarrah: What do successful shops do for accounting?  Being an artist, primarily, accounting is not my strong suit; and I’m sure that problem is common among shop owners.  Especially for smaller shops where the owner may be designing some or most of the time.
    • Ryan O’Neil from Curate gave advice on how to think about and handle accounting for florists.

MARKETING NEWS

  • From Jen: I would love to hear what social media platforms florists are paying to be on. Facebook boosting, ads, etc, Instagram, and google. What kind of monthly budget makes sense. What’s recommended? Do florists do their own social media or use a company?
  • From Jaclyn: What is best practice for reposting someone else’s images from Instagram? I noticed y’all do so on the company IG; do y’all comment and ask permission, etc?

 

Part II

SPECIAL GUEST – GREG CAMPBELL & ERICK NEW

Garden District co-owners Greg Campbell and Erick New

Garden District co-owners Greg Campbell and Erick New have a partnership of boundless creativity with an anything-can-be-done attitude, and they have navigated the vibrant labyrinth of floriculture together for 25 years.

The florists operate in tandem as architect and engineer, exchanging roles as needed. Greg is the architect—a persistent, alert perfectionist—while Erick is the engineer—a methodical strategist always prepping for the next step.

Be it a skyscraping installation or an unobtrusive centerpiece, they weave flowers and greenery into textural structures that bring people together for every imaginable occasion.

Their most recent project was publishing their new book, Florists to the Field, and I’m very excited to have them on chat all about it.

Welcome, Greg and Erick!

Before we dive into the excitement of the book, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you both ended up in the flower industry?

  • We both fell into the industry as young men- I don’t think either of us would say “florist” as our profession if asked in High School. We were lucky enough to have been hired by a gentleman named John Hoover who revolutionized the floral market in our area

How did Garden District come to be? And how did you come up with that name? (I love it, by the way!)

  • Our original location was in an area of town called Central Gardens and we were close to another neighborhood named Chickasaw Gardens. Combine this with our affection for New Orleans and we came up with Garden District.

Last question before we get to the book because we can’t interview a florist without asking… favorite flowers?

  • Greg-muscari; Erick- lily of the valley

Okay so… why now? What inspired you two to take on creating and publishing Florists to the Fields?

  • it all started with us planning a photo shoot at a relatively new flower farmer we know in Mississippi. She was flush with flowers during the hot days of summer when the demand was low. We had a free weekend so we suggested a photo shoot to promote the farm’s bounty. While discussing how we would decorate the barn, our friend, the caterer Elizabeth Heiskell suggested having a dinner in the venue and turning this into an actual event. The ticket sales ended up benefiting the grower and we are proud to report that the farmer is in her third year of production. We were then approached by Southerly Media about the possibility of a book which would chronicle our visits to farms that provide products for our shop and create events at each facility using only their product. The farms determined how to use the party-one a fundraiser, another a surprise birthday party for the matriarch, another a “thank you” for clients. 18 months later, 12 farms in our area, across the country and afar, and we have the book!

Florists to the Field

Who is your intended audience, and what do you hope they gain from reading your book?

  • We are hoping the book appeals to a range of individuals. There is the person that gravitates to books with images of pretty flowers. There is also the customer that is interested in entertaining. Since each chapter tells the story of each farm- the history, their production, the owners- we feel the book would be of interest to others in our industry. Since these operations are a vital part of the 25-year history of Garden District, we hope the book could be helpful to other floral companies.

Tell us about the different people you collaborated with to write this book and your experience with them?

  • Our publisher, Southerly Media- we could not have done this without their guidance. Our writer, Christian Owen, whose words brought each chapter together.  We can’t say enough about our principal photographer, Sarah Bell. We did not have the luxury of shooting in a controlled environment like a studio. We were in fields, barns, sheds, in the rain, sun, cold and Sarah not only endured sometimes less than ideal situations but produced gorgeous images.

What was your favorite part of the whole process?

  • Connecting with the farms. In this day and age of emails, electronic billing, FedEx, et it is nice to interact with these people we have developed relationships with over the years.

Garden District co-owners Greg Campbell and Erick New - authors of Florists to the Field

I heard you have an exciting event that you are part of happening in September – do you want to tell us a little more about the event and what you guys have planned for it?

 

Where can everyone find out more about you and your book?

 You can grab your own copy of the book by following this link: http://bit.ly/FTTFOrder

 

 

If you think of new questions for our next show, you can post them in the comments here or use the contact form to send them to Yvonne.

Be sure to mark your calendar for June 12th at 10 am EST for the next Mornings with Mayesh – see you soon!

 

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

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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

 

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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: http://wildflowersphotos.pass.us/floret

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.

 

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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.   

 

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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!

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