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Potted Plants: The Ultimate Living Centerpieces

Whether they're used to spruce up a party, your home, or given as a gift, the versatility of potted plants make them the ultimate living centerpiece!


Summer seems to bring out people's need to have a party. Whether it is a casual backyard barbeque or a fancy garden party there is nothing better than enjoying friends at an outdoor event. Once you've decided to have a party your thoughts immediately turn to guest lists, menus, and decorations. I'll leave the guest lists and menus up to you, but I have a few ideas that you might want to use to decorate your tables.

If you are preparing to showcase your garden with a party and if you are having a summer party your garden will be showcased whether you mean it to or not, now is the time to take a quick look to make sure all of your planters and beds are in top condition. You might even want to add a planter or two to your patio to make sure you are optimizing your garden WOW factor.

Adding planters and making sure your garden beds are in top shape are pretty standard actions for most gardeners just as adding centerpieces to the tables is standard at parties. You might pick flowers from your own garden to make your flower arrangements or buy flowers at your local florist to make beautiful arrangements. However, have you ever considered making living centerpieces?

It would be easy to buy small decorative pots, 4 to 6 inch sizes would work best for small tables, for larger or round tables you might be able to use 8 or 10 inch pots. You could then use small pots of flowering annuals to make beautiful living centerpieces. If you wanted to easily re-use your decorative pots you can usually just slip a round 4 inch nursery pot into a small decorative pot. After your party you could plant  them in your landscape as centerpieces in your garden. Another alternative would be to use your centerpieces as small gifts to give to your friends as a remembrance of your party.

If you are using slightly larger pots, the 8 to 10 inch sizes, you could easily put together a small combination planter using 2 or 3 different plants. It would be best to plant the combination planters 1-2 weeks prior to the party to allow the plants time to grow and mingle together. You can plant the combination planters the day of the party if you don't have time to do so beforehand, however, the combinations are likely to have a slightly chunky feel rather than the mingled look you get after the plants have had time to mesh together. While you will need to water fairly often when it is warm, you can easily grow an 8 or 10 inch planter through the summer.

If you are the one invited to the party instead of the one giving the party, consider bringing a small pot with a flowering annual as a hostess gift rather than the traditional cut flowers or bottle of wine. An annual would bring your host enjoyment all season rather than for a few hours or days.

If you really want to get creative you could easily buy small, plain terra cotta pots and decorate them using paints, glitter, glued on fabric or a host of other items. Why not let your children or grandchildren help you decorate your pots? It would keep the kids occupied for a summer afternoon and give them something to show off at the party.

I can almost taste the barbeque and lemonade already. Hmmm, I think I just might need to come up with an excuse to have a party. You know now that I think about it, summer is excuse enough already. Let's have a party!


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