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Engaged in Potting

A couple of weekends ago at Flora Grubb Gardens, we had a group arrange to come in for a unique event – an engagement party potting workshop. How fun is that?! Patrick Lannan (who’s designed many gardens I’ve planted) and I worked together to guide them through the process.

The party working in various spots around the store's back patio. A perfect private space for a smallish group.

The party working in various spots around the store’s back patio. A perfect private space for a smallish group.

A good friend of the bride and groom came up with the idea, and contacted the store to make arrangements. The happy couple are fans of the store, and like potted compositions of succulents. The friend’s great idea was to have the engagement party at the store, and have the participants pair up and make small arrangements. These will be used as the centerpieces during the wedding itself next summer! I think that’s a really nifty idea, I’ve gotta say.

Finishing up the final touches.

Finishing up the final touches.

The group were enthusiastic. Patrick and I gave a quick overview of how you can be brutal with succulents to make them conform to your needs, showed how to plant them, discussed their cultural needs, and informed about the tricks of watering them in containers that don’t drain. Then, we turned them loose. A coworker, our events coordinator Jim Kumiega, had gathered a selection of pottery and succulents appropriate for indoor life and centerpieces ahead of the event, with a mind for an average cost per finished piece that had been agreed upon previously. They all paired off and grabbed what appealed to them, and Patrick and I checked back with them regularly to offer additional guidance.

The party gathered around their finished work.

The party gathered around their finished work.

At the end, they’d all had a fantastic time! They had a dozen or so centerpieces, they were pleased with them, the bride and groom were pleased with them, and all were happy. They plan to have a follow-up party a couple of weeks before the wedding, since they all enjoyed it so much. They’ll come back with their pieces to freshen them up as needed, and do any necessary pruning and cleaning.

Jim had set aside a cart of low containers and indoor-tolerant succulents.

Jim had set aside a cart of low containers and indoor-tolerant succulents.

Don’t you think that’s a great interactive engagement party? Have you done anything similar?

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