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.
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.
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!
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.
Those containers began to take shape as we all worked on our own.
The containers are full, Carmen believes in a very well stocked planter and I love that motto.
A showy plant, the cyclamen adds color, the ivy trailing beauty, and the fern a pretty texture.
My sister is getting her planter ready to go.
Soaking the moss in water first helps it to be pliable and workable.
Carmen brought all sorts of goodies too for us to munch on while working, as well as lunch later.
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.
Beautiful, don’t you think?
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.
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!
She had brought buckets for everyone too, full of cryptomeria, fir branches, and magnolia leaves.
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!
Snipping and clustering, working our way around the wreaths.
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.
We were all intent and working hard on our wreaths to get them full and pretty.
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!
I had never had a Bento box, but it was 3 layers of goodness, very tasty bites.
There were sweet treats too that were so delicious. What a fun girls day it was!
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!
We all gathered in the living room and dining room and on the stairs and ate our lunches.
Haley captured some beautiful shots of my house decorated for Christmas.
We had so much fun talking and enjoying the lunch.
I love having people over to my house and filling it up.
Carmen also brought everyone another treat. Individual blooming bulbs of paperwhites all ready to take home.
Aren’t they beautiful?
Carmen did a great job with this event and I know everyone had a great time. Thank you, Carmen!
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.
My pretty container.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
Susan, so well said, that is so true. That’s just what He’s been doing! Merry Christmas to you!
[email protected] Designs says
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!
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
Maria G. says
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.
What an incredible day of fellowship and fun. Merry Christmas to you and all you hold dear, Rhoda.♥
Kathy t says
Now that is a party! Carman sure knows just what women want. Lots of laughter and fellowship, but feeling creative and productive too.
Thank you so much for opening your home for this party! We had a blast and can’t wait to do this again!