We all have those dreams of moving away from the city in pursuit of “the simple life,” where the smallest deeds become the most delightful pleasures. Erin Benzakein of Floret Flower Farm has shown us that these dreams can be possible. She and her family moved to the quiet countryside of Skagit Valley, Washington, with visions of eating fresh vegetables, caring for a flock of chickens and an orchard to call their own. Benzakein recalls the very first blooms of her early garden: a row of flowering sweet peas planted in honor of her great grandmother. She says, “Grammy had introduced me to gardening and flowers at a very young age. As a child, I was her ‘little flower girl' and she tasked me with making bouquets for her bedside table. While my creations were far from beautiful, she always cooed over them as if they were the most precious things on earth. 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 were there with me.”
It is this connection between people that inspires the Floret Flower Farm's philosophy. As one of the nation's leading “farmer-florist” operations, as well as a thriving family garden, Floret Flower depends on all family hands on deck to support the earth they tend to, other farmer-florists in the area, and their dedicated customers. On-farm workshops for farmers and floral designers are also offered across the world, which is just one of the many ways that Benzakein and her family are cultivating a global network of floral enthusiasts. “We believe in sharing. There's no sense in hoarding all this beauty and information, so we share what we've learned along the way with photographs, stories, articles and social media.”
Floret Flower Farms imparts their knowledge to over 300,000 Instagram followers, who look forward every day to the daily photographs zooming into dahlias radiant like sunsets, or showcasing an elegant bouquet of cream and butter-colored roses. Benzakein's photographs are spectacularly addicting and might just make you drop everything to go outside and start planting.
All images via Erin Benzakein.