Experiential parties and social gatherings are all the rage.
From office holiday parties at Board and a Brush to double dates at a Cookbook Series Workshop, today’s lifestyle purchases and events are all about the experience rather than just a product purchase.
Based on this trend, plants are an obvious choice as a medium for an experiential event. Because of the rise in popularity with millennials, plant parenthood has been revitalized. Whether it's for a birthday, a bachelorette or bridal shower, or just a reason to have a get-together, this type of event will have your guests bragging and boasting on social media about their experience for months.
Learn more about how to host your own Terrarium Bar Party...
In order to host a successful terrarium bar party, it's important to have all of the right supplies. There are a few different types of terrarium systems that can be created.
Arid or open terrariums are systems that don’t have a lid and are not fully enclosed. This is the most versatile terrarium system as it can host almost every type of plant. It does, however, take regular care.
Humid, or closed terrariums, are systems that have a lid or are totally enclosed. These systems create an atmosphere of humidity that reuses moisture, much like our own planet’s atmosphere. It’s because of this humidity that tropical plants and ferns are best suited for these types of terrariums. Although the plant offering is a bit more limited, the care schedule is much less frequent, making this an easier system for most people.
Floating or hanging terrariums are often designed in vessels with a round bottom that are meant to be suspended. These systems are typically arid terrariums but are designed to be lightweight, so they do not pose a risk for objects, or people, below. The best types of plants for these systems are Tillandsia, or Air Plants, that only take a light misting with water every once in a while.
Choosing a Terrarium Type for Your Party
For your first terrarium bar party, it may be best to stick with one type of system for all participants. Succulents are popular right now, so an open system would be a wise choice for your guests. Also, as many vase types can be used as open terrarium systems, it is easier to find vessels to have ready for guests at the bar. Here are a few of our favorite terrarium containers:
If integrating closed and/or hanging terrarium types is appealing, consider these stylish options:
- Milk Jug Terrarium
- Footed Terrarium
- Cloche Terrariums
- Round Hanging Terrarium
- Teardrop Geometric Hanging Terrarium
- Diamond Hanging Terrarium
The easiest way to provide attendees with all of the basics that they will need to build a terrarium is to provide each guest with a terrarium kit. Kits come with a container, drainage stone, soil mix and even some dried moss for decorating.
Based on the types of terrariums guests can choose from, select plant material to compliment. Small succulents, cacti, tropical plants, and ferns can often be found at big box hardware stores, specialty plant stores, florists, or even from some online resources. Remember to choose a variety of plant shapes and sizes for guests to choose from, even if they are all the same type of plant. This offers the attendees many different looks, while still being compatible.
Media and Decoration
When offering the event attendees a variety of containers to choose from, such as different vases or closed terrarium types, remember to provide them with drainage and soil media as well. These media types will already be included if you have chosen to provide guests with a Terrarium Kit. Aside from the basics, make sure that guests have terrarium tool kit to work with as well. These can be given as additional gifts or offered for use during the workshop. But fair warning, they are so cute, everyone will want to keep them!
There are many different types of decorations that are available for customizing a terrarium, such as colored reindeer moss, orchid bard, drainage stone, and other types of natural or forest mosses. Check out the Bella Moss collection for inspiration. To make the terrariums more quirky, add in some dinosaurs, army men, and race cars from the dollar store!
The appeal to any bar-type of offering (think salad bar, donut bar, etc.) is how the offerings are displayed. It can be overwhelming to think about how to display all of the terrarium materials together. Pro-tip: think “like with like."
Display all of the glass and kits together in one area, or if all attendees are getting the same vessel or kit, create a place setting for them. Just like in a restaurant, make sure that each place setting is neat, tidy, and looks the same.
Include a work towel and terrarium tools just like silverware and a napkin! Display the plants all together in one area and display the decorations all grouped together as well. This will make the selection process easy and organized for the guests. To keep things simple, display the items in order that they will be used to create their piece.
Putting it All Together
Education is key when it comes to making a terrarium. With a sharpened skill set, it is easy and fun to guide guests through building a successful terrarium system. If you would like to read a more in-depth article about how to build terrariums for success, follow this link, or browse our Terrarium Infographic for a more visual look at how to build terrariums. For the quick and dirty version, read on.
Terrariums are constructed in four simple steps:
- Drainage Layer: Most glass containers do not have a drainage hole, therefore it is important to provide a drainage layer with a coarse material such as a pumice or drainage stone. About an inch or so of a drainage layer provides enough space for water to shed away when it is added to the soil. As the soil becomes dry, it will wick-up the excess water from the drainage layer for the plants' use.
- Soil: Most plant types need a soil medium. A couple inches of soil mix added to the system is all that is needed. Remember not to add too much… it's always easier to add more soil than it is to take it out.
- Plant Material: Two to three plants are ideal in most small terrariums. Dig small holes in the soil mix just like when planting plugs into the garden. Start with the smallest plants first as the taller or larger plants will be harder to work around. Save tall plantings for last. Tamp the soil down all around in the system after all the plants are in. This removes air pockets and sets the plants firmly.
- Decoration: Now that the plants are in place, it's time to clean the glass with the terrarium brush and decorate the surface of the soil. This part is totally up to the designer but remember not to over-crowd the system. One or two decorations are plenty!
Post Party Care
Now that your guests have had a killer time making terrariums at the party, make sure that they know how to care for their systems when they leave. This could be a cute “Thank you for attending,” care card, or simply explaining this process:
- Water your terrarium when the soil dries down and there isn’t much water in the system.
- Be careful not to add too much water, you can always add in more, but you can't take it out.
And that’s it!
With the above tips, tricks and amazing products provided by 46 & Spruce, you’re ready to host your own terrarium bar party. Be warned, however - these experiences are addicting! Your guests are sure to want to come back for more!