Gardening has always been a big part of my life. My parents grew a garden every year in the front of our house and insisted that all nine of us kids help with the planting and maintenance on weekends throughout the spring and summer months. Then, for many years, I lived in San Francisco and was not even near a garden. I didn’t think I missed it until I returned to the county. For years now, we have been cultivating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits in our garden and we produce our Moroccan Tomato Jam and Plum Elderflower Jam from the produce that we grow—our customers love it! This year we are trying something new and with the help of Erin Benzakeim of Floret Flowers and Molly Pucchi of Puck’s Garden, the garden will be spilling over with fresh flowers this year!
Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers is a true force in the world of growing flowers locally and has started a movement around the globe. She does this by educating people through her workshops on how to do what she does at home and empowers people to grow locally, creating benefits for the world at large. Last year I signed up for her workshop and failed miserably at getting through the course because of my focus on raising my son and operating a store….but one day when I was in the shop, a woman named Molly Pucchi showed up and warmly introduced herself as a fellow workshop student of Floret Flowers. We hit it off instantly, and she encouraged me not to get discouraged and to come to her place to see what she was up to.
On my day off, I headed over to Petaluma to see what Molly was working on. Molly is a former real estate agent and despite her success, she decided to spend more time at her Petaluma home to grow flowers. She diligently dove into the Floret Flower workshop and started growing a variety of unique flowers from the Floret seed bank. She has been at it for a few years now and it was incredible to witness what she has been able to accomplish in such a short time. She grows so many incredibly and different varietals—chocolate lace flower Dara, Icelandic poppies, calendula, dahlias and the most stunning sweet peas I have ever seen. During the summer months she even made bouquets especially for Chateau Sonoma and we hope to have her back during this growing season!
What are you hoping to grow in your garden this year? We would love to know in the comments below!