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Thursday, September 11, 2014 Cacti and SucculentsContainer GardeningHibiscusOrchids

Plant a Party

Fall is the season for parties: birthdays, weddings, showers and dances. With so many things to check off your party to-do list, why not let plants handle the décor details?

“Plants are so easy to decorate with because they are naturally green, lush, and gorgeous,” says garden designer and plant-scaper Laura Calvert of Orlando, Florida. “I always incorporate plants in my table settings.”

Create gorgeous tablescapes with orchids, cacti, succulents, and lucky bamboo. Dish them up for a gorgeous centerpiece. Then, like a smorgasbord of bloom, let your guests self-serve individual plants into gift bags and boxes and take them home.

Here are tips from Calvert for creating a beautiful (and easy!) table setting using plants:

Go for the bold. “Big splashy flowers make a big statement on the table,” says Calvert, who uses potted flowering plants such as Tropic Escape Hibiscus in centerpieces—just as one might use cut flowers. “They’re so easy and practical,” she says. Another fast party tip: set around bowls of citrus fruit; they’re colorful—and edible—table decorations.

Offer party favors. Size up the plants and get gift containers that encourage guests to take a piece of the centerpiece home (and a growing memory of the party!). Use colorful boxes with wire handles, clear plastic bags, or see-through “buckets” from party- or craft-supply stores. Add a flounce of tissue paper to add to the festive look.

Think small. Use plants, such as adorable mini lucky bamboos, as place settings. Insert a lucky bamboo into a footed glass filled with green gel beads and top with a paper umbrella. Party guests love leaving with a growing piece of the party.

Follow a color theme. “I love using succulents because of their versatile colors—grays, blues and greens,” says Calvert. “They’re perfect for a tropical party because they mimic a coral reef,” she says.

Meet the Minis!
Mini plants make easy centerpieces. Group them together in a basket, then encourage guests to take them home as party favors.  

Lucky Bamboo: Insert lucky bamboo plants into colorful gel beads in a small cup or glass and use as a place setting decoration.  
Cool Cacti: Textural and symmetrical cacti look lovely in a line-up down the center of a table.
Miniature Orchids: Pint-size orchids make elegant centerpieces when grouped together on a cake stand. Or add a single mini orchid to each place setting.
Super Succulents: Succulents offer organic textures and earthy hues. Individual plants (or a clustered group) add natural, simple beauty.

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