Food & Entertaining - Entertaining

Throw a garden warming for new homeowners

Kathleen Dore
Photography by
Mark Burstyn

Follow these tips to organize a planting party for a blank-slate yard

The invitation
Aside from the time, date, place and RSVP info, the invitation should also brief guests on the concept. You might want to begin with something like, “Come help Sarah and Jeff put down roots at 68 Main Street. For fun,
we’ll all help plant a section of their new garden.” If you’re registering their wish list, give store information; if you’re coordinating gifts yourself, tell invitees how to contact you.

Get organized
Check if your local nursery offers a gift registry service. Ontario’s Sheridan Nurseries, for instance, will coordinate which gifts have been purchased from a list, just like a bridal registry. If not, you could be the registrar on behalf of your friend. Include the wish list with the invitations, asking guests to let you know what they are planning to buy so you can keep track, or post the list online and update it frequently. (Some online catalogues, such as Lee Valley’s, also offer a gift registry, gift certificate or wish-list service—useful if family or friends live too far away to participate.)

On the wish list
Include a few plant-buying tips with your invitation:
  • Look for strong, compact plants that have healthy foliage. Make sure they’re not potbound.
  • Buy from a reputable garden centre or nursery (suggest a few) that guarantees its plants and offers a good return policy—some guarantee herbaceous perennials and woody plants for two full years.

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