It’s spring! Finally! Everyone is itching to get outside but there’s the task of cleaning up after a long winter to handle before you’re ready for outdoor entertaining. Why not combine the two? Make spring’s outdoor projects fun with a garden makeover party! Friends show up with plants, flowers, and new garden accessories to ring in spring. It’s the perfect party for a birthday, garden club, Mother’s Day or just to celebrate the arrival of warm weather. Anyone would love the gift of a few extra hands to make fast work of outdoor spring cleaning chores.

Our party was to celebrate a friend’s birthday. After a minimal amount of gardening, it was time to get on with the party itself. We wanted to keep it simple since most of us were squeezing a morning of garden party girlfriend fun in between shuttling kids to t-ball practice and our own spring cleaning chores. This is the perfect party theme for a birthday, Mother's Day, housewarming, neighborhood party, or even a bridal shower for the happy couple.

From the food to the decorations, it was all easy, inexpensive and really fun. Check out the big flower cupcakes served in cheery green clay pots. They were a big hit and really cheap--- under $0.50 each. The delightful ceramic toadstool “favor” centerpiece added a touch of whimsy and a pop of bright color to the table—plus every guest got to take some home for their own garden. So grab your girlfriends, some gardening gloves, and take this party outside to the garden-no matter what the occasion may be!

Martie Duncan hosting a garden makeover


We wanted to make sure there was nothing for the birthday girl to do but enjoy the fun. Everything was made in advance so there was only minimal assembly required at our party location. I wrapped each plate in plastic wrap and put them into the refrigerator so we simply had to remove the plastic and add the dish to the waiting place setting when we were ready for lunch. Ice down the beverages in advance so there is something cold to drink when everyone arrives. We set up the bar on a garden wall so we didn’t have to bring additional tables outside. Always try to use what you have available to minimize your expense and your effort.


I built the party theme around adorable ceramic garden toadstools from JJ Potts. Everyone loved them! As much as I don’t like most craft projects—this centerpiece was fun to do. Cheap clay pots from the craft store were painted a bright shade of green to compliment the toadstool theme we were working with. Use acrylic paint (about $1.29) and a small foam brush. Clear spray paint will add shine and seal the finish. Don’t paint the inside of the pot. Once they dry, fit floral foam into the pots and insert a small dowel about 12” or so in length into the center of the larger pot. Fit the smaller pot onto the dowel so it will stay in place. You can always use only one pot if your table is small. Hide the foam with moss from the craft store and add the toadstools. The entire project took an hour. The “gardeners” each took several toadstools home as a thank you.

Two squares of burlap ($1.99 per yard) made a perfect tablecloth for the party’s theme. There’s no need to hem, just cut to the size you need and pull one thread on each cut edge to produce a slightly frayed look. The chargers for the place settings were simply green paper plates with a fluted edge that looked just like lily pads. We added green and white melamine plates and used plastic margarita glasses to serve the cantaloupe. A metal hanging basket filled with moss and bright gerbera daisies was hung from the center of the tent with ribbon to complete the decor.


The gardening was the entertainment at this party. We put on some music and had a great time catching up with each other as we dug in the dirt. In just a few minutes, all of the flowers were in place. Even if you only have a tiny terrace or a balcony, make a container garden, herb garden, or freshen up the flower boxes, this is such a fun get-together with friends. You can use this theme for a neighborhood or school party, too. Just change the flower theme for vegetables!

Summer is filled with holidays and lots of occasions to throw a party but you’ll find that once you spruce up your space, you won’t need a reason to have friends over and take the party outside. Thanks to Arden from Arden Photography for the fantastic party photos!