Earth Day is a time to enjoy and preserve the great outdoors. What better way to build appreciation for nature than to enhance its presence in your own backyard? This Earth Day, consider hosting a planting party to show your friends how enjoyable and easy it can be to add beautiful, eco-friendly flora to any home. Planting just one new tree or plant makes a difference for the earth. More plants means more fresh oxygen and less planet-warming carbon dioxide, since plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen naturally. An Earth Day planting party is a fun, social way to do your part for the planet.
As aficionados of cedar deck design and construction, we’d like to suggest holding your Earth Day planting party right on your own cedar deck. After all, a cedar deck is a flat, durable surface that can be easily cleaned up after your party. Read on to discover our tips for throwing a fabulous planting party on your cedar deck this Earth Day.
Before the Party: Checking the Condition of your Cedar Deck
The number of unstable cedar decks in this country is astounding. Don’t put your guests at risk; make sure your cedar deck is structurally sound by examining it for rot. Check all parts of your decking, especially the supports and the ledger, where the deck meets your home’s exterior. To double check for instability, hula-hoop in the middle of your cedar deck. If you feel any wobbliness, it’s best to contact a cedar deck design and construction expert before hosting a garden party.
Announcing the Party
Once you’re sure your cedar deck is safe, it’s time to announce your party! If you prefer the old-school route of sending physical invitations, consider using seed envelopes as the invitation. You can easily find blank miniature envelopes at an office store. Simply create an invitation template on your computer, print it onto stickers, and slap a sticker on the front of each envelope. Be sure to stipulate that guests should bring their invitations in order to carry extra seeds home after the party.
Getting Ready: Preparing the Planting Area
Clear any debris or dirt from your cedar deck. Design a flow for your party by figuring out where the planting table should be set up, where guests will be able to socialize, where food and beverages will be arranged, and so forth. While you’re preparing, consider sprucing up the plants around your cedar deck. Finally, be sure to protect your cedar deck by laying down a tarp or a couple of waterproof tablecloths. This will protect the wood from dirt and scratches.
Gathering Planting Accessories
You will need potting soil, amendment such as compost, seeds and a watering can. To create the soil for your planting party, mix together potting soil and amendment, and place this mixture in a large bowl. Lay out each type of seed in a separate bowl or other container. Label each container with the name of the plant, as well as planting directions. Alternatively, you can lay out seedlings. As party time approaches, fill up the watering can so it’s ready to give newly planted seeds or seedlings a drink. Note: if you’re feeling generous, you can provide planting containers yourself. Guests may also be directed to bring their own containers. Finally, you can show your friends how to create an origami pot out of newspaper using these instructions from HomeMadeSimple.com [PDF].
As each guest arrives, direct him or her to your planting arrangement. It’s best to organize planting materials on a long table at one end of your cedar deck. Design the buffet so that all materials are organized and easy to reach.
Organizing Earth Day Activities for Kids
Don’t forget the little ones at your party! They’ll be bored by all the adult conversations going on, so give them something to do. The following activities will bring children laughter and joy on Earth Day.
- Earth Day Collage: Collect your old garden catalogues and give them new life as fodder for artwork.
- Dirt Relay: The goal is to fill up a potting container of dirt; each team member rushes to transfer one shovelful of dirt from a pile to a potting container. If your cedar deck is slippery, be sure to stipulate that participants must walk, or else be disqualified from the game.
- Garden Treasure Hunt: Hide fresh vegetables, silk flowers, or plastic insects around the yard. The kid who finds the most hidden items could receive a prize, such as a free kitchen windowsill herb kit.
By following the instructions gathered above, you can throw an inspirational, fun planting party this Earth Day.