Flower Resources: Books & Magazines

Over the next two weeks, I will be sharing some of my most-used flower growing resources. Today, I want to focus on books and magazine publications that have been helpful to me.


I understand that we all learn in different ways. For me, I learn the most from reading and putting what I learn into practice. I also tend to appreciate holding a book in my hands. Hence, the library has been a huge resource on this flower farming journey over the years. I highly encourage you to take advantage of your local library. You can check out books to make sure they are worth your investment or just keep going back to the same books. You can also check out books digitally, if that is a better fit for you.


I would also like to note that just because you learn of one way to do something in a book, magazine, blog post, or podcast, it does not mean that that is the perfect fit for your farm or garden. You always need to take into account your own context and adapt what you read to fit your own situation. Just like a sewing or knitting pattern that has to be tweaked before it will fit you perfectly, so is farming and gardening advice. Your context refers to your hardiness zone, soil, climate and micro climate, water source, and so many other tiny variables. Keep your own context in mind as you continue to learn.


I am linking to the author's website, when possible. Consider shopping directly from the author, if possible. There are no affiliate links or sponsored content in this post.


Growing Flowers


These books have been helpful as I have decided what to grow, how to start seeds, how to grow different flowers, and when to harvest. There are also books I have checked out from the library that I will include in the list.


Cool Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler, a book about what flowers you can plant in the fall to get beautiful early blooms in the spring and summer. This is a must-have book for flower farmers. Author | Amazon


Specialty Cut Flowers by Allan Armitage & Judy Laushman, an amazing index of flowers to grow for market. Author | Amazon


A Year in Flowers by Erin Benzakien, a book that shows beautiful arrangements but also helps you figure out what you may want to grow to have complete arrangements through the year. Author | Amazon


The Flower Farmer by Lynn Byczynski, one of the first books I invested in to figure out how to take a flower growing hobby and make it a business. Author | Amazon


Growing Wonder by Felicia Alvarez, a guide book about growing roses for flower farmers. Author | Amazon


Discovering Dahlias by Erin Benzakien, how to grow one of the most beautiful and time-consuming flowers. It is a helpful guide. Author | Amazon


Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein, a book about what flowers to grow for a complete cutting garden. Author | Amazon


Armitage's Garden Perennials by Allan Armitage, a great index of perennial flowers to grow in your garden or on your flower farm. Author | Amazon


The Lean Farm by Ben Hartman, a great book about whittling down extraneous everything, getting your farm to function like a well-oiled machine. I consider this a must read. Author | Amazon


Growing Flowers by Niki Irving, a beautiful book and guide about growing flowers and all the details in between. Author | Amazon


Dahlia Breeding for the Farmer-Florist and the Home Gardener by Kristine Albrecht, a must-have for any dahlia grower. It is full of practical and useful information. Author | Amazon


Organic Growing


These books have helped me figure out how to grow flowers organically and regeneratively. They are full of helpful resources and can point you to other growers, authors, and resources. Make sure to check your library first!


The Regenerative Grower's Guide to Garden Amendments by Nigel Palmer, Author | Amazon


The New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman, Author | Amazon


Jadam Organic Farming by Youngsang Cho, Amazon


The Living Soil Handbook by Jesse Frost, Author | Amazon


Postharvest Care of Flowers


If you are harvesting flowers as a business, you have to know how to handle those flowers once they have been harvested. Some of this is also addressed in Armitage's Specialty Cut Flowers, but this is a very helpful resource, a must-have.


Postharvest Handling of Cut Flowers and Greens by Dole, Stamps, Carlson, Ahmad, Greer, & Laushman, Ed. Author | Amazon (old ed.)


Dried Flowers


I am excited to share more information about drying flowers in the fall. These two books have been helpful, along with a few that I have checked out from the library. Finding more modern dried flower arrangements can be hard, but older books often have tips about drying flowers that are helpful.


Flowers: Growing, Drying, Preserving by Alan Cormak & David Carter, an index of flowers to dry and how to dry each flower. Amazon


Everlastings by Bex Partridge, a beautiful book of dried flower arrangements. It is as inspirational as it is helpful. Author | Amazon


Worms


My worms are alive and well thanks to these two books.


Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof & Joanne Olszewski is the more practical of the two books. It was very helpful in setting up my own worm bin. Author | Amazon


The Worm Farmer's Handbook by Rhonda Sherman offers a bigger picture of worm farms and how to create vermicompost on a larger scale, though there is good information throughout. Amazon


Weeds


These are two of the books I mentioned in the last blog posts about weeds, Part 1 and Part 2. There are many more books about weeds to explore, which I am excited to get to this winter.


Weeds and What They Tell Us by Ehrenfried Pheiffer, Amazon


Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants by Richard Mabey, Amazon


Vintage


Don't overlook the thrift store when hunting for books about flowers and gardens. You can find some great gems there. If you are farming and gardening organically, make sure to overlook any reference to pesticides and herbicides, which was much more common advice in older books.


Business Inspiration

Helpful books to figure out why you are farming as a business, remember your initial inspiration, and help you dial in your business.


Traction by Gino Wickman, Author | Amazon


Start with Why by Simon Sinek, Author | Amazon


Letters from the Mountain by Ben Palpant, Author | Amazon


Inspirational Arrangments


Along with A Year in Flowers by Erin Benzakein, this book has beautiful arrangements (and pottery) that provide inspiration year-round. There are so many books that could be added to this list. I am excited to check out more over the winter.


Life in the Studio by Frances Palmer, Author | Amazon


Magazines


I subscribe to Growing for Market magazine, which has been one of the most helpful resources I have access to.


In addition to that, I receive the Cut Flower Quarterly as a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, Inc (ASCFG). If you are growing cut flowers as a business, I recommend joining the ASCFG, as there are many resources at your disposal on their website and Facebook group, along with the magazine.


This is really the tip of the iceberg as far as resources to help you grow flowers. As a reminder, your local library is one of the best (FREE) resources at your disposal. What are your favorite books and magazines about growing flowers? I'm excited to add more resources to the list.