In 2002, Erin Weston relocated from NYC to her home state of North Carolina to become a farmer. This was a bold move as her degree was in Fine Arts and professional experience in publishing offices.“My vision was to grow a unique, enduring luxury product. For a long time I didn’t know exactly what that luxury product was until the magnolia chose me. I started this adventure saying yes to every opportunity that presented itself.” She goes on to say, “I sold my first creations at a local farmer’s market and the business from there,” The farm started with her grandmother’s one tree and each year as the product line has expanded more than 10,000 trees have been planted at Weston Farms. The signature wreaths, garlands, and fresh Magnolia arrangements are now shipped nationwide throughout the year. The quality, abundance of materials, unique ingredients, and design has dazzled local and national markets, designers, and editors alike.
Early on founder Erin Weston enlisted her father, Noel Weston, former horticulturalist for the City of Raleigh, to find the best trees from all corners of the globe and he led the horticultural initiatives at Weston Farms. His stewardship created a system which nourished the land and the farm is a green spot of biodiversity in an otherwise suburban area.
In July 2017 Noel suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed and he was no longer able to be on the farm. “During the time he was bedridden I would visit him with stories, questions and my laptop to learn just as much as I possibly could about my new role. Although difficult, we shared so many special memories during this time and he emboldened me to go forward.” On July 4, 2019 Noel passed away. “My father left a beautiful legacy of knowledge, action & life. Everyday at the farm he communicates with me,” says Erin. “It was certainly challenging to take on the responsibility, but, I am overwhelming grateful to have the opportunity to do this.”
Weston Farms Magnolia
In nature, the dark brown backs of magnolia leaves are found only at the tip top of the tree – sometimes 40 feet above the ground. Through magic mulching and loving pruning, we encourage our magnolia to produce dark chocolate, velvet-coated new leaves, each with a contrasting lustrous dark green finish. The Weston Farms Magnolia leaves themselves are prized objects—do not wilt as wild collected magnolia might, and if cared for properly, hold their artistic integrity for years.
Weston Farms works with magnolia hybridizers to trial new cultivars elsewhere unavailable. Working with local and national arboreta we find the most unusual and interesting plant expressions and cultivate them for our decorative wreaths, garlands, and natural accessories.