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I am not a gardener.

Which doesn’t mean that I am not a great admirer of gardens, be they blossom, veggie, fruit, perennial or otherwise identified. I appreciate the manicured and the blousy. But I take a hard pass on doing any of that dirty work myself.

This life choice was reinforced by Growing Floret, an 8-part series about a Washington State flower farm that initially aired on the Magnolia Channel (and is now on HBO Max and Amazon Prime).

More than 15 years ago, Erin and Chris Benzakein started Floret, a cut flower business. It grew and grew and grew—no pun intended—and the Benzakeins invested in some land in the Skagit River Valley to get a lot more space for both the plants and their growing family.

They had a loose plan, which the fates looked at, then laughed. The first four episodes are all about transforming their tired-out acreage into something lush and fertile while wrestling with floods and pestilence and a pandemic.

It’s not a spoiler to say that the Floret farmers figure it out, even if it’s by the barest of margins sometimes. The second four episodes look to the future. Erin is focused on building a legacy as she acquires heritage rose collections, develops her own cultivars, and moves on from the flowers that made her famous (for certain values of fame).

China Aster Matador Mix image from the Floret Photo Library.

There’s tension in this story, mind. The episodes are full of the hazards of building a business, especially one reliant on weather and pollinators and microbes. It has enough narrative momentum to keep you engaged.

But what Growing Floret is is absolutely gorgeous. Even at the worst of times, there is nary an ugly frame of footage. It’s a luminous stroll through a garden you never have to maintain, which is the best garden to have from my non-gardener’s perspective.

About The Author

Adrienne Martini, the author of Somebody’s Gotta Do It, would love to talk with you about the importance of running for elected office or about all of the drama of holding a seat on the Board of Representatives in Otsego County, New York. Adrienne blogs when the spirit moves her at Martini Made.


  • Thank you for pointing me in the direction of this series. As a gardener and graduate (many years ago) of an Ag school, this looks like something I would love!

    • Bummer. I just tried to watch the first episode but it appears that it is not included in regular prime video. You have to also subscribe to Max.

  • The link in the email message may be broken? Didn’t work for me anyway, but was able to get here from the web page.

  • I can’t wait to watch this!

  • I just enjoyed a few of their videos on their Youtube channel, thanks for this recommendation!

  • My DIL introduced me to Floret years ago. Wonderful! I grew most of my flowers from Floret seeds last year. Great company!

  • I’m so happy to hear about the series. Erin is a very talented grower and floral arranger. Her husband is a wonderful photographer. They have two gorgeous books published about the farm and a how-to about floral arranging.

  • Sounds like my kind of garden, too!

  • I just started Growing Floret and its really my kind of show! No violence, no blood – just people working hard at their passion. And it is beautiful! OMG there are so many absolutely beautiful shots of flowers – flowers in the field, flowers in vases, flowers in peoples’ hands. Thank you Adrienne for this suggestion. I would never have found it on my own.

    • You are more than welcome! Enjoy.

  • Great subject as I garden and knit as well as read.

  • Thank you, Adrienne! I enjoyed reading this and I admire you for running for office!! Keep up the good work.

    • You are welcome, Donna! And some days it is simply adequate work, rather than good work but it’s better than nothing. 🙂

  • I’d encourage you to also watch Gardening in A War Zone which you can access from Floret’s website.
    Alla Olkhovskais a brave and inspiring woman finds happiness and makes a living tending her gardens in Ukraine.

  • Definitely on my “to watch” list now, Adrienne! All of our plants are in pots since we shuttle between a balcony space in London and a small flagstone space in Lancashire. So, I love any chance to see stuff growing in big spaces.

  • I won’t be able to knit to this, I’m afraid, since it sounds like every frame is gorgeous!

  • I love Floret. I’m both inspired and intimidated

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