Seed Only Shipping $3.95

Lisa’s New Book The Cut Flower Handbook. Learn More

Courage and Sweat Led to a Cutting Garden

by | Nov 7, 2020

Have we met? My name is Lisa Mason Ziegler, welcome! It is so great to connect with you here.  I’m an urban flower farmer, teacher, author, and online course publisher. My little business has gone through so much change and growth in the past 22 years that I can hardly take it all in when I stopped to reflect on writing this post. Here is a snapshot of me:

My home life: I am married to Stevie and we are the third generation to live on the Ziegler family urban farm. Our current golden retriever is Tuc and he was preceded by Beri and Babs. Steve is a partner in his family’s business Ziegler Plumbing Inc. started by his dad in 1969.

My husband Stevie.

My beginning: No experience in farming, hardly a gardener. Conveniently, my husband came with the land, an old walk-behind tiller, wheelbarrow, dump trucks (????) and shovels. I added flower seeds and a whole bunch of courage and sweat equity to embark on a quarter acre cutting garden to build a city flower farm in 1998.

Teaching: A few years into flower farming I started giving programs on growing flowers to groups. It became apparent that my strongest gift and passion is encouraging and empowering others.

Online garden shop: once I began speaking, folks began asking for the tools, seeds, and supplies I used. This led me to launch my catalog and online garden shop selling not just what I love—-but what I use.

Books: As a dyslexic individual that barely made it out of high school, I never dreamed I’d write —- much less become a published author. I self-published The Easy Cut-Flower Garden in 2011 (out of print, now an online course), Cool Flowers in 2014 (St. Lynn’s Press), and Vegetables Love Flowers in 2018 (Cool Springs Press). Writing books launched me into a deeper business journey.

Online courses: In 2016 in my mail order catalog I proclaimed a “coming soon”: online learning classes. It was 2018 before I brought them to market and they changed everything. After creating and producing Flower Farming School Online I knew I wanted to offer more courses on flower-based businesses. I approached my first instructor in 2019 and have since added 6 more cut-flower industry leaders to our lineup of flower-based online business courses. I could have never imagined The Gardener’s Workshop would be doing this today. Together with these teachers,  we are walking with thousands of new and seasoned business owners to realize, expand, and succeed in flower-based businesses.

Tuc watching me weed.

Today: My farm and work life is very different today then when I started in 1998. I still farm ¾ of an acre for our flower customers and to continue learning for us and  our students. Being the structured person I am, I wear different hats on specific days of the week. This would make some folks crazy—but it feeds me. I farm and garden and shoot photos 2 days a week, work on content 1 day a week, and I’m at our online garden store’s fulfillment center 2 days a week to take care of business. (All in the company of Tuc ????) I thrive changing up what I do daily.

The near future: Oh the ideas… we have a couple projects in the hopper and two on the verge of launching. As soon as we near completion, it seems another presents itself.

I am a serial entrepreneur with no hope of getting cured anytime soon ????.

Connect with me to ask your questions Wednesdays on Instagram Live, “Ask a Flower Farmer!”

Find me over on Facebook on Fridays for “Meet me on the Porch!”

What’s your story?


Lisa Z

Founder of The Gardener’s Workshop and Flower Farming School Online and the publisher of Farmer-Florist School Online and Florist School Online.  Award-winning Author of Vegetables Love Flowers and Cool Flowers. Watch Lisa’s Story and view her blog Field & Garden. Connect with Lisa on Facebook and Instagram!