A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the lovely farm of Erin Benzakein (pictured above), Floret Flower Farm, in Washington’s Skagit Valley. Many of you have probably heard of Floret, and may even follow along with her blog and Instagram. If you’re not, take a quick break from reading this and go change that, you won’t regret it! A few years back, Erin and her family decided to leave the bustling city of Seattle, and do a complete lifestyle 180. They originally had no intention of entering the flower farming business, but, like many people in the flower business claim, it just sort of happened. And thank goodness it did!
They are now operating a beautiful little farm, producing gorgeous flowers with a focus on old fashioned and traditional varieties, and holding educational workshops for fellow flower farmers, designers, or just plain old fanatics. Erin was recently named one of Martha Stewarts Top 62 Floral Designers to Book for your Wedding, and is in the process of writing her first book. In other words, things are good!
Anyways, back to the farm visit. We headed out on a dreary, Seattle morning, driving about an hour north of the city. After passing through the charming little town of Mount Vernon, we pulled up to a quaint farmhouse, and were welcomed by a small flock of wandering chickens. As I got out of the car, I quickly realized that my choice of suede oxfords was not the brightest idea for visiting a flower farm, in February, in Washington, on a rainy day. See what I’m getting at? Mud. Lots of mud. But as Erin and her husband Chris came around the corner, I quickly forgot about my shoe predicament and turned my focus towards them. They were warm and welcoming, and for reasons unknown to me, apologized for the weather and lack of blooms at the moment. We’re the ones who chose to come out in February, so this was exactly what we expected! They showed us around the farm, a series of small green houses and a long row of hoop houses, which housed a variety of flowers, including ranunculus, tulips, hellebores, poppies and more. There were also more wandering chickens, which I had fun chasing down to get the perfect Instagram shot, of course. Regardless of the weather, or the time of year, it was so cool to see a high end, small-scale farm, run by a humble family doing what they love and making this down-to-earth, simple lifestyle their reality. Growing up in Los Angeles, to now living in Seattle, I have always been intrigued by a slower lifestyle outside of the city. Less noise, less pollution, and more time to enjoy the little things life has to offer, and spend quality time with friends, family, and the land… It’s something I’ve always considered, and this short trip to Floret most definitely added a tally mark in the column for life outside the city.
Stay tuned for some potentially exciting news, having to do with me, Floret, and a pair of muddy rain boots. In the meantime, here are a couple more photos of some of the beautiful flowers coming out of this little Washington gem…