Before we dive in and introduce this gorgeous book, please join us over on Instagram to win a copy of Growing Flowers and a Grande Bouquet from us! We will pick two winners on Friday, June 18th!
We're thrilled for our flower friend, Niki Irving, of Flourish Flower Farm who just released her first book, Growing Flowers: Everything You Need to Know About Planting, Tending, Harvesting and Arranging Beautiful Bloom. Niki is a longtime client of our farm who sources our garden roses for her events. We’ve loved returning the support by sending our roses for her workshops. It’s been such a blessing to work with a fellow flower farmer to create beauty together! A big thing we have in common is that we’ve both moved our farms a lot - three times each! Thankfully we’re both at our forever farms and we are just so happy to see Niki settled into her own slice of flower heaven!
In the mountains of Asheville, NC, Niki's boutique flower farm grows specially cut, mountain-fresh flowers with sustainable, natural practices. I'll be the first to admit that besides growing roses, I don't know the first thing about growing other types of flowers! So I found this book extremely helpful, not to mention extremely gorgeous. Through beautiful photos, and simple, easy-to-follow instructions, Niki details the process of growing, harvesting, and arranging lush, seasonally inspired flowers. Niki outlines the exact methods and systems that she uses for growing flowers on her farm, but in a format that is scalable for backyard garden and flower farmers alike, using principles that can be applied to bring success to gardeners in almost any climate.
Unlike old-school gardening books, Irving’s beautifully photographed book features simple, and engaging know-how enabling you to grow, harvest, and arrange a cutting garden of flowers. An instructional guide to gardening for beginners or those looking to hone their floral skills, Growing Flowers teaches everything from caring for a cut flower garden to making simple-yet-gorgeous flower arrangements and botanical bouquets.
I wanted to share an excerpt that I echo when it comes to growing roses. KNOW YOUR CLIMATE!! This can make all the difference between a successful rose garden and a struggling one. I want to shout it from the rooftops, but I'll let Niki give you a brief outline instead!
From Chapter 1: Know Your Climate
When the dream of operating my own flower farm started to become a reality, I was overwhelmed by how many different types of flowers I wanted to grow. My wish list was a mile long! Growing up in a family of horticulturalists, I already knew that some wouldn’t grow well (and some wouldn’t grow at all) in my particular climate. For example, many of the tropical plants I watched my dad grow as a landscaper in coastal South Carolina would not survive a winter outdoors in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Trust me, I’ve killed my fair share of plants by planting them at the wrong time of year. I’ve coveted the long-stemmed sweet peas that thrive in the long, cool spring weather of the Pacific Northwest and felt like a failure when I could not achieve those results here in North Carolina, where we often speed past spring and go straight into summer temperatures. In actuality, my “failure” to grow long-stemmed sweet peas has nothing to do with my skills as a grower—it has everything to do with my climate.
Deciphering plant jargon and nomenclature is one of the most confusing aspects of learning to garden. What is a hardiness zone? How do I even know what zone I am in? Does my zone even matter? Like many aspects of gardening, you can dive deep into the science and endlessly research the perfectly precise way of doing things. You can also learn some basic tenets to know enough to get your hands dirty and grow a very successful flower garden.