385: Chris McLaughlin on Heirloom Flowers in the Garden.

Appreciating the histories of flowers.


Chris is a Northern California writer and author who has had her hands in the soil for nearly 40 years. She’s the author of seven books including, Growing Heirloom Flowers from our friends at Cool Springs Press,  A Garden to Dye For and Vertical Vegetable Gardening.

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Chris’ work can also be found in several magazines including Urban Farm Magazine, and The Heirloom Gardener Magazine. Online, she’s written for a variety of gardening sites including Vegetable Gardener.com, Fine Gardening.com, and About.com. Chris and her family live on a flower and fiber farm in the Northern California foothills, where they grow flowers, fruit, vegetables and Angora goats.


In This Podcast:

 A delightful interview with a Chris McLaughlin as she helps us understand more about flowers and what they offer to us as gardeners and more.  She even shares some tips on some of her favorites to grow.

Listen in and learn about:

    • Her first gardening sales experience at 10 years old
    • Growing up with a underlying focus around gardening
    • Meeting a woman who introduced her to heirloom
    • “I’m an Old McDonald child in an IBM family” -Chris McLaughlin
    • Her new book on heirloom flowers and the struggle to get it started
    • What an heirloom flower is and how they stand out
    • Why the age of the flower line is important to heritage flowers
    • Ancient heirlooms
    • How a plant or flower becomes a landrace
    • What can be challenging to grow heirloom flowers
    • Edible flowers – and a caution about what parts to eat
    • Some great flowers that can be used in multiple ways
    • Some examples of great gifts
    • Specific flowers that she can recommend like corn flowers and globe amaranth

As well as:

Her failure – She either wins and succeeds or she learn

Her success – Passing on her love for plants and animals to her kids. And not tilling her soil!!

Her drive – to show people the different ways that plants contribute to our lives

Books written by Chris:

Growing Heirloom Flowers: Bring the Vintage Beauty of Heritage Blooms to Your Modern Garden

A Garden to Dye For: How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics & Fibers

Chris’s Book recommendations:   

Lasagna gardening by Patricia Landza

How to reach Chris:

Website:  www.flowersink.com

Facebook: Chris McLaughlin

UrbanFarm.org/flowersink


To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
visit IWantToGarden.com

And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
visit ImAnUrbanFarmer.com


Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and know that you are supporting a small business.


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