Need a great party plan for SPRING? When the weather starts to get warm, most of us are ready to freshen up outdoor spaces or get the garden started after a long winter. My Planting Party is one of my very favorite party ideas. It is not only fun- my number one criteria for a party- but it's also a great way to get kids and adults together to grow vegetables which will result in greater interest in healthier eating and the benefits will  continue to grow and grow! Any occasion is right for a planting party: a birthday, wedding, bridal shower or wedding party at your house, neighborhood party, family reunion, or community garden day. You really don't need a reason to host a planting party. It's one of those do-good, feel good types of parties that I love!

Other dates to consider are Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (the last week of April in most states) coming up and Mother's Day.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to makeover your mom's patio or yard with some colorful new flowering or vegetable plants? Get my ideas for a spring yard makeover get-together...


Many schools, youth organizations, and neighborhoods are growing community gardens. But if you don't have that movement happening in your area, start one! You don't need a lot of people. You can start small. Ask a couple of neighbors to participate and split the cost and the responsibilities of maintenance.

There are plenty of sites with information on community gardens including tips on everything from getting started to funding. First you'll need a site. Once you have that, the rest is easy.





Think old-timey barn raising-- remember when neighbors would help a family build a barn? Friends would show up with tools and the barn would go up. The family would feed the guests or everyone would bring pot-luck. This is the same premise. Invite friends to come build a garden or plant an existing space.


If it is a community garden, invite the neighbors who will want to share in the chores and in the results. Start small; with one or two families. Once the garden is established, you can add to it each year and the planting party becomes an annual event.

If it is your own backyard garden, promise friends some of the harvest in return for lunch and a fun day outside. If the party is for a birthday or Mother's Day, guests can bring plants as gifts or contribute to a fund to supply them.


Provide all the tools you will need to plant and ask guests to bring what they have, too. You will want to have the ground tilled and prepared before guests arrive. Tillers can be rented in many home improvement or equipment rental stores. You will want to have a "survival kit" for guests including sunscreen, bug spray, wipes, bandanas, and inexpensive gardening gloves. You can find all of these supplies at the dollar store.


The host provides lunch and plenty of cold beverages. Keep it simple. Offer a picnic menu of sandwiches, a chilled salad, some fruit, and some homemade treats. My salad in a jar is perfect for a quick lunch on work day. You can prep in advance and store in the fridge or a cooler until it's time to eat. Put the dressing in the bottom of the jar. Guests simply shake it up and grab a fork. Get the how-to for my salad in a jar...

Have some Popsicles on hand for a mid-afternoon treat and for the adults, my Sangria Pops are refreshing and fun. Get the recipe for my Sangria Popsicles...

A big dispenser with chilled water, lemonade, and/or Sweet Tea (I'm from the South where Sweet Tea is essential) will keep everyone hydrated and happy. Plus, the serve-yourself option always makes hostess duties easier. Or, if you don't have a large dispenser, fill up a tub, wheelbarrow, or large planter with ice and chill your favorite beverages. I personally like the wheelbarrow because you can move it around easier. As the sun shifts, you can move the drinks into the shade so the ice won't melt.


While not mandatory, decorations certainly make the event more festive. Look at the pretty decorations from our own Garden Makeover party. Garden supplies that guests can take home after the party are a great idea. I love these colorful ceramic toadstools from JJ Potts. You don't have to set the table if you have a big crowd- just let everyone serve themselves. The place settings look fancy but they are paper or melamine- very easy for clean up afterwards.

Neutral colored painter's dropcloths found at the hardware store make an easy tablecloth (even the edges are hemmed) and your flowers for the garden can be used as a centerpiece.


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!