A Christmas Garden Party: Gather and Grow

Since meeting Carmen, the Southern Living lifestyle and garden expert, we have been in touch even more since she came to my house and planted containers.  That was so much fun that she asked me if I would pull together a group of bloggers for a Christmas garden party, Gather and Grow if you will. Of course, I said yes!  I know a lot of bloggers here in the Atlanta area and it wasn’t hard to get a group together.  I decided to just host it in my garage (even though it’s pretty rough) and borrowed tables and chairs from my sister and parents and we had a Christmas garden party a couple of weeks ago.  Carmen is so good at what she does and we all had a great time making potted centerpieces and also wreaths with fresh greens.  I think everyone learned a lot and will be taking some of these tips home to use later.

I am so grateful to have met Carmen, she is going to help me whip my yard into shape and for that I’m excited beyond words!  Carmen has her own plant business called Nectar and Company and she’s just down the road from me in Columbus, GA.  She shares her gardening enthusiasm by planning beautiful events, as well as commercial and residential landscapes.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

We all gathered in my garage around our tables, ready to plant something pretty.  Carmen and her cute elves that she brought along arrived with all the plant materials and planters for our Christmas soiree.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

We all had pretty cyclamen, fern, ivy and other things for our golden containers that Carmen and company spray painted for the Holiday season.  A little gold glitz is a good thing!

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

She instructed us on how to plant everything in our containers, starting with a layer of mulch first, then potting soil.  We added each plant in the containers and then used moss to cover all the dirt. That keep it looking pretty and keeps the moisture in the soil.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Those containers began to take shape as we all worked on our own.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

The containers are full, Carmen believes in a very well stocked planter and I love that motto.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

A showy plant, the cyclamen adds color, the ivy trailing beauty, and the fern a pretty texture.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

My sister is getting her planter ready to go.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Soaking the moss in water first helps it to be pliable and workable.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Carmen brought all sorts of goodies too for us to munch on while working, as well as lunch later.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

And here is one of the finished planters, looking all pretty for Christmas.  This would be beautiful in the center of a Christmas table or sitting on a foyer table to greet guests.  We added a little bit of fir branches and she had gold spray painted magnolia leaves to tuck in there also.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Beautiful, don’t you think?

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Next, we moved on to wreaths and Carmen brought everyone a fake wreath, those cheap inexpensive wreaths that you can find at any craft store.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

We fluffed our wreaths and got them ready to work with, because we were going to layer our wreaths with REAL greens.  How fun and easy to make a real greens wreath this way!

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

She had brought buckets for everyone too, full of cryptomeria, fir branches, and magnolia leaves.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

We began cutting clusters to then wrap on the fake wreaths, using the wired little branches of the wreaths to hold it all in place. Worked like a charm!

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Snipping and clustering, working our way around the wreaths.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

You just start on one side and move around to the other, layering it all on there, twisting the wires to hold them in place until the whole wreath is covered.  You can add more as you need it to cover bare areas.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

We were all intent and working hard on our wreaths to get them full and pretty.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

After all that work, Carmen brought in lunch too, beautiful Bento boxes from a local place in her area, called Epic.  She didn’t miss a thing, it was such a fun day!

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

I had never had a Bento box, but it was 3 layers of goodness, very tasty bites.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

There were sweet treats too that were so delicious.  What a fun girls day it was!

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Carmen also brought a photographer along who captured the whole thing in beautiful photos.  Haley Sheffield is a talented photographer and took some great shots of the event and my house.  What fun these were to see!  I would love to be as good as she is!

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

We all gathered in the living room and dining room and on the stairs and ate our lunches.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Haley captured some beautiful shots of my house decorated for Christmas.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

We had so much fun talking and enjoying the lunch.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

I love having people over to my house and filling it up.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Carmen also brought everyone another treat.  Individual blooming bulbs of paperwhites all ready to take home.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Aren’t they beautiful?

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Carmen did a great job with this event and I know everyone had a great time. Thank you, Carmen!

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

We all went out side to take some pics of our handwork and it was a brisk cool day.  This is Carmen with my longtime friend, Vicki.  Vicki and I went to high school together.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

My pretty container.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

The whole group.
Left to right:  Emily, Sharon, Traci (my sister’s friend), Jill, Kim, Jann-Yvette, Julie, Carmen, Me, Amy, Heidi, Vicki, Sheila, Heather, my sister, Renee.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Carmen brought along some wonderful helpers, photographer, and a videographer to capture it all.  It was such a fun day!

A huge thanks to:
Haley Sheffield Photography, Dynes Media, and EPIC

Here’s the video, so enjoy, you can tell more about how the wreaths are put together watching this!

Gather & Grow Blogger Party from Dynes Media on Vimeo.


- Rhoda


Comments

  1. That looks like so much fun!! How lucky for all of you.

    Love the candid pics of you Rhoda. :)

  2. Wow that looks like so much fun. Wish I could get invited to such a fun soiree!

  3. Oh, those containers are just so beautiful and the wreaths–so lovely!! What a fun and and creative day to spend together, and what great memory for the Holidays. And Carmen went all out for you. Wish there were a Carmen in my area. Of course your home looks just beautiful in the photos–as always!! Have a Very Merry Christmas with your family!

  4. I enjoy your blog so much

  5. It was great fun, Rhoda. Thanks so much for opening your beautiful home to us. Merry Christmas! ♥

  6. Rhoda,
    Thank you and Carmen for making our garden lunch so much fun. Carmen is a hoot and she was so sweet to share instructions and tips. Your home is warm and beautiful! The lunch was soooo good but the company was my favorite part of the day.

  7. Judy Clark says:

    Looks like so much fun. Wish that I could have been with you.

  8. What a unique party – and all the wonderful details. Lucky you and your friends! Merry Christmas!

  9. Great post! I am an Interior Designer in Columbus and didn’t know about Carmen and Nectar & Company! Love, love Epic! Chef Jamie Keating catered my wedding luncheon! Great idea using a fake wreath as the base for forming a real greenery wreath. Fun, fun party idea! Best Wishes for a Beautiful Christmas!

  10. Barbara Hunnicutt Moore says:

    How fun!! So glad God blessed you with such a great new friend. I’ll definitely take a peek at Carmen’s site. That would be a such a fun holiday party to host anytime of year. What a great way to welcome spring! Thanks for sharing. And you and Vicki look GREAT!
    Merry Christmas!
    Barb

  11. Your blog is so terrific.

  12. Oh! What a wonderful party!! Put me on the list for next year, please! ;) Merry Christmas, Rhoda! Oh, you home is GORGEOUS!!

  13. I would love to participate in a party like that, garden, crafting, great food and friends all in one..doesn’t get better than that.

    Love the idea of using the fake wreath as a base. And I love the way the paper whites are packaged, Carmen certainly thought of everything.

    The photographer did a great job, great candid shots of you, your very photogenic and I really like your hairdo in these photos…I notice everything!

  14. WOWZA! These shots are so beautiful! Happy Holidays!

  15. This looks like so much fun! Have a wonderful Christmas Rhoda.

  16. wow sounds like a wonderful day!!! Looks like everyone had a great time!

  17. Rhoda, you look gorgeous and so does your home. Your party looks like so much fun. Carmen is one talented lady. The planters and wreaths are beautiful. What a fun day it must have been.

  18. They all look very beautiful.. Have a wonderfully blessed CHRISTmas

  19. I’ve followed your blog for years, just wanted to say your Christmas decor is georgous! I also love your new hair style.

  20. What a fun day! All of the planters turned out beautifully. My daughter’s favorite photographer is Haley Sheffield. She came across an image or two on Pinterest and is now an avid admirer of Haley’s.

  21. Oh, you all (I’m from the north and y’all just doesn’t slide prettily out of my mouth) look like you had such a good time. Your wreaths and planters are lovely. Can you keep them outside there or do they remain indoors? I think I will move to the Atlanta area and you will be my new best friend. You seem to have so much fun. Have a very Merry Christmas. Iris

    • Hey, Iris, you are so cute! The gold planters will have to stay inside, they would freeze outside with below 32 temps that we sometimes get. I’ll try to keep it going inside and hopefully it will last a few months. The wreath will only stay through Christmas, those branches will dry out fast.

  22. I am so happy to see the good people and happy experiences (like this one!) that God is bringing your way in this new season of your life. Watching you renovate your house was amazing, but watching God heal and renovate your heart is even more breathtaking. Wishing you all God’s best this Christmas, and joy for the days ahead in this new year. Merry Christmas!!

  23. Oh what a fantastic garden party with so many wonderful friends!..I so love cyclamen especially around the holidays…and I never thought to add real greenery to a faux wreath…So happy you all had a great time making beautiful memories!..Carmen is so very talented! Merry Christmas Rhoda to you and your family!

  24. Paula Lusk says:

    Oh, what a fun day. Your planters are all so pretty, and using a cheap fake wreath for the base to hold all the fresh greenery. The planters, the gift flowers and such a lovely lunch, and a bunch of your friends. Have a very Merry Christmas with your family. Blessings Paula

  25. This is the garden party I always wanted to attend. It reminds me of Alice in the Wonderland garden. It is full of vivid colors and cheerful atmosphere. I guess you had a lot of fun there.

  26. What an incredible day of fellowship and fun. Merry Christmas to you and all you hold dear, Rhoda.♥

  27. Now that is a party! Carman sure knows just what women want. Lots of laughter and fellowship, but feeling creative and productive too.

  28. Rhoda,
    Thank you so much for opening your home for this party! We had a blast and can’t wait to do this again!

Speak Your Mind

*

+Rhoda Southern Hospitality