Spring is chock full of birthdays for our family. My mom, dad and daughter were all born within a couple weeks of each other. That means extra efforts must be made to ensure that each family member feels special on his/her special day.

We decided to celebrate my parents on the weekend between their birthdays. Both of my parents are gardening fanatics, but my mom in particular gets so much joy from gardening. I know that if there was one thing she would want to pass on to my sister and me, it would be for us to carry on her tradition of growing and nurturing beautiful things in the garden. Oh, and to be kind to everyone because you never know what someone else is going through. But I digress….To honor my parents (and their love of gardening), my sister and I decided to host a garden party for them. It was so simple to put together that I thought it was worth writing about, in case it provides some inspiration for any upcoming celebrations with your family and friends. Because my family is pretty big into gardening, we already had plenty of extra pots to pick from. I opted for everyone to BYOP (bring your own pot). You may want to clarify that acronym if your friends and family are easily confused and think it’s some other kind of party. So all we needed to do was buy a few bags of potting soil, and a selection of flowers.  I’ve also included the menu, down below.

Basically, you’ll want to get a selection of flowers and plants that have variety in the following areas:1. Height. I like to plant something a little taller than everything else right in the middle of the pot. Sometimes this will be spikes, or grasses, or even a tall flower, like a gerber daisy.

2. Color. Goes without saying, I suppose. I try to keep things pretty consistent in the front of our house – lots of blue and white flowers. But in the backyard, it’s a free-for-all – the more colors the merrier. Petunias, daisies, lantana, and marigolds were all a part of the pots I made for the back.

3. Texture. Different kinds of leaves and greenery really make a difference. I also love to have a trailing plant or two in the front of the pot. I have been obsessed with sweet potato vine for years but, sadly, the deer are even more obsessed with it. So keep your sweet potato vine in an area that is not frequented by deer. They will gobble it up. Another very pretty option is lobelia, which is the really pretty blue flower pictured below. And good news … the deer rarely touch it.

If your guests may not be familiar with the different flower varieties, it’s a nice idea to label them and maybe even include details about their sun/shade preference.

Always loosen the roots a little before planting. While it’s tempting to create a super-full, overflowing flower pot, try to leave a little room to let the flowers grow.
Mix, match and – most importantly – have fun with it!
Crudités with Dill Dip (dill dip recipe coming soon)
Slider Bar (Blue Cheese, California, and Plain)