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Kicking off seed-buying season with Floret


Despite ample time over the holidays to figure out what seeds I want to order, I’ve not gotten my act together on an official seed order yet. I know my must haves, which include Chelsea Prize cucumbers, and ‘Gigante’ Italian parsley among many others, but I haven’t gotten around to checking if I need to buy more of those favorites or choosing other selections.

I order from a lot of different seed sellers, often because they carry one thing I can’t find elsewhere, but also because I like to support a variety of businesses. Some seed sellers are small businesses, where even my modest seed order makes a big difference. Others are bigger businesses know for their quality and selection. It would be impossible to choose just one to order from.


sweet pea bouquet
A sweet pea bouquet from a couple years ago, primarily feature one of my go-to bicolor varieties: Erehwon.

Even though I don’t know what I’m all ordering, I did have have to throw together some semblance of an order from Floret Flower because their seed sales open today at 9 a.m. PST and they often sell out of varieties quickly. 

From a completely transparent standpoint, if you haven’t ordered from Floret, you need to know that they are one of the more expensive seed companies to order from, particularly given the number of seeds you receive.

Also, Floret is a flower farm and their offerings are geared toward other flower farmers, not necessarily offering the easiest varieties to grow or offering detailed growing information on packets. 

But they offer many varieties you can’t find elsewhere. And more than that, Floret is an incredibly inspiring company that it feels great to support. I’d argue that thanks to their gorgeous photos of every plant they grow on their Washington state farm, they’ve done more to encourage new people to try gardening than almost any other company.

So it feels good to do business with them. In general I try to limit my order to varieties I can’t find at one of the other seed companies I know I’ll be ordering from, and I always order lots of new things from them.

Anyway, if you’re gonna order, you need to think fast, so let’s get on with this, shall we? Here’s what’s on my list (leave some for me if you get there first, OK?):


I love my sweet peas! Floret has one of the best selections of any company in the U.S., so I pick up what I can from them and try to avoid the high shipping fees when I order from overseas (Owl’s Acre is my favorite sweet pea seed purveyor if you’re open to ordering from the UK). 

Sweet peas to grow this year
Floret sweet peas on my list this year: Enchante, Our Harry, Mr. P, White Frills, Restormel, Erehwon
Floret catalog photos

On my list this year are:

  • Enchante – This looks to be the most delightful combination of colors, and I’m always partial to sweet peas in the blue family. 
  • Our Harry — I need a really deep blue or purple variety to compliment other sweet peas I’ll grow and this looks like a good one to try. 
  • Mr. P — I have mixed feelings about so-called flake sweet peas, but this one sounds interesting. (By the way, I’d be inclined to order Nimbus, but I’ve tried that one three years in a row and never had it flower so I’m taking that as a sign to move on.)
  • White Frills — I need a white sweet pea and this one looks nice. 
  • Restormel — I’ve never grown a red sweet pea. It’s time. 
  • Erehwon — It is simply my favorite bicolor sweet pea. I can’t imagine not growing it. I don’t need another sweet pea in the blue range, but I can’t miss this one.
Flowers to grow from seed
From top left: Shirley poppy Amazing Grey, Dulche de Leche phlox, Starry Night mix nigella, Transformer nigella, Apricot Lemonade cosmos, Ladybird Rose nasturtium, Valkyrie Chamois China aster, Dalmation Peach digitalis.
Floret catalog photos
  • Shirley Poppy Amazing Grey — To be very honest, I’ve had terrible luck with poppies from Floret, but I think that’s on me. And I can’t even decide if I like this flower or not, but it’s different enough that I’d like to try it. 
  • Dulche de Leche phlox — I’ve never grown annual phlox but this one sounds and looks too good to be true.
  • Starry Night Mix Nigella (Love in a mist) — I love the looks of this mix and I particularly like that this plant doesn’t get too tall.
  • Transformer Nigella (Love in a mist) — This one is more about structure and form than flowers and I just think this is the kind of thing that makes a bouquet or a garden stand out. 
  • Apricot Lemonade cosmos — I sort of fell in love with low-growing cosmos last year and this one looks beautiful. (It looks like this won’t be available today, but sign up for an email alert when it is available.) 
  • Ladybird Rose nasturtium — I will never be without nasturtiums and I’m always on the lookout for new varieties. I love the color range on this one and that it a little smaller. 
  • Valkyrie Chamois China aster — I’ve never grown China asters and don’t have any idea what they require in the way of care, but I just have to give this one a try.
  • Dalmation Peach digitalis (foxglove) — I love this foxglove, in part because it will flower the first year. I’ve had great success with it until last year when I used seed I harvested from my own plants and had almost no blooms. Did I do something wrong? Not sure, but I’m buying more.

Hmm, looking at my selections I’m seeing some color themes develop. The blue doesn’t surprise me in the least, as I’ve always been a sucker for blue flowers, but the peach-pastel tones is a bit out of my wheelhouse. Interesting, but the gardener’s heart wants what it wants.

Have you finished your seed lists for the year?

As soon as I get the rest of my seeds figured out, I’ll be sure to share it all! In the meantime, if you’re headed to Floret Flowers, happy shopping. 

15 Responses

  1. I’m dying to know how these seeds from last year performed – I have a few of them on my list to order soon. Any chance of an update? Especially curious about the poppies. And I remember seeing a brief video of you seeding poppies on snowy ground and would love to know a bit more about what poppies and when to seed. Thanks!

  2. Just curious as to what you found the germination to be like? I am not new to seed starting by any means and I had less than 50% germination with alot of the varieties. Aster, broom corn, carnation, and don’t even get me started on the scabiosa!! I had 2 seeds germinate out of 36 cells. Ooofff I recently started my celosia, stock, zinnias, statice and larkspur which seem to be coming up alright but still disappointed with alot of the seed I got. Wasted time and we have a very short season where I am located

    1. Ariel, me too! I’m in Australia and it is usually so easy to grow zinnias, but over 2 seasons now I’ve had poor germination with Floret seeds. I’ve done seed trays and direct sow, tried different soils… a cheap packet from our local nursery has done brilliantly. Only 4 seeds germinated from Floret, I sowed 80!

  3. Just submitted my 2nd order with Floret since yesterday. I was in a hurry to get it in and was missing more burgundy color. The website wishlist was misbehaving and Erin was appreciating everyone’s patience. I’m guessing they had a high traffic day. I love supporting them. Fantastic company and vision.

  4. Hi Erin!!!
    I just got my amazing greys. Thank you I from the bottom of my heart. Sincerely, Nicholette from Seattle.

  5. I’m trying a few seeds from Floret this year, too. The China Asters are so intriguing! I ordered 2 varieties – hope they grow well here in zone 9b. I think I’ll start them very early so they have a chance before our intense summer heat sets in.

  6. Yummy! I just don’t have the space or energy to do seeds but I am in awe of your choices. I have grown that Foxglove but for some reason all my foxgloves seem to have disappeared, not just that variety.. The China Aster is just spectacular looking in color and form so I will be watching to see how that goes. And I have to say again how impressed I am with all you got done last year. One thing that I’m sure you can see for yourself is how you’ve grown as a designer as well as a gardener.

  7. Erin, where did you order your Nicotiana seeds? I ordered a packet from a small seller last year and not a single seed germinated. I might have put them out way to late in my Zone 8 garden–I tried them out last year based on your recommendation!

    1. I am pretty sure I’ve ordered them from Baker Creek in the past (I haven’t ordered them for a few years because I had a bunch), but I don’t see them there anymore. I did find them at Select Seeds, which I’ve been happy with in the past as well. If I recall, they want darkness to germinate, so keep that in mind.

      1. Thank you, Erin! I’m checking them out now–so many varieties! I realized the packet I was sent from another seller was N. rustica, which wasn’t what I was going for anyway.

  8. An important correction: Floret is in Washington state, almost to the Canadian border.

    I often order from Territorial Seed, as they specialize in those varieties that grow well here in the Pacific NWest. I love Floret’s offerings, but as you note, things do sell out quickly.

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