How to Throw a Garden and Seed Exchange Party

Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas There is just something about gathering with friends in the spring sunshine that is so appealing, isn’t there? I was chatting with a couple girlfriends recently about getting our summer gardens started and one of them proposed that we share seeds. Our conversation was interrupted by the kiddos (doesn’t that always happen?) and I drove home reflecting on the unfinished conversation. A seed had been planted in my party-loving heart and over the following weeks, the idea for a garden and seed exchange party developed. The concept is this: everyone comes together for a little outdoor socializing, bringing with them some spring seeds and/or seedlings. A light brunch is served while guests plant seeds and divide up packs of starter plants, and then everyone heads home with a good variety of vegetables and flowers that they can transplant into their gardens when the ground is ready. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas
I put together a garden and seed exchange party and I am SO excited to be able to share it with you today. I wanted to keep the theme of both food and decor light and fresh and garden-centric. Foods were easy to prepare in advance, and tableware was simple enough to use outside.  With some basic gardening supplies, potted plants, and the stylish Chinet® Cut Crystal® line of products, I think I was able to achieve a classy, but casual feel for the party – perfectly in line with an adult brunch mixed with hands-on gardening. Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas
Let’s start with the menu. Appetizers included shrimp ceviche, bruschetta, and chips with guacamole. The main course was a chicken chopped salad with cilantro-lime dressing. For dessert, we had chocolate mousse cookie crumb parfaits. Drinks included fruit infused water, and both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic spritzer. This menu worked really well with my effort to simplify and streamline the preparations.  Ingredients such as tomatoes, lime, avocado, cilantro, and red onions were shared between the dishes which made grocery shopping a quick and painless process.  By using Chinet® Cut Crystal® plates, short and tall cups, and cutlery, I had perfectly coordinated premium tableware, but also the added convenience of using disposable products right alongside our gardening projects!  Perfect!  I complemented the tableware with some galvanized tubs and trays and a modern black/white printed fabric – I think the whole look blends beautifully.  The only dishes I had to clean at the end of the party were my salad plates and my pitchers!  I love that! Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas
For table centerpieces, I grouped small plants and herbs – this takes all of 30 seconds to set up and you’ve got plants ready to go into the garden beds when the party is over!  Look for plants that are sold in the biodegradable pots – the earthy rustic pots will blend with your decor as opposed to the less attractive orange and black plastic containers that some plants are sold in.  (You can alternately pot up some plants into the biodegradable pots -they are very affordable, but it will take a bit longer to set up). Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas
On to the seed exchange portion of the party!  This was so much fun to set up, I was actually rather disappointed no one was home to squeal with me when I stepped back to look at the finished potting station.  I set up two main areas to highlight the gardening project – a plant collection area and a potting/planting area. Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas
The plants were collected in and around this fun rustic box I found at Home Depot.  I bought it because I couldn’t resist the easy button, but how simple would it be to build your own?  Some chalkboard paint on the side of a plywood box – amazing!  I think it’s fun to have a pretty arrangement from which to select your plants and I typically use both seeds and seedlings when I plant my garden, so this set-up was useful and also adds to the decor. Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas
The potting station makes me smile.  We have a tray for all the seed packets, and a jar filled with fertilizer.  A large terra cotta pot holds soil and a large tray holds potting containers, labels, and pencils. So fun, right?  I provided a variety of potting containers because I like to use different things for different purposes.  Even though the Chinet® Cut Crystal® cups don’t have holes in the bottom for drainage, they work really well for keeping seeds in moist soil and it’s fun for my girls to be able to see the roots growing in the soil through the clear cups.  Biodegradable pots work great for fragile seedlings like cucumbers that don’t typically transfer well for me and, therefore, can be plunked into the ground as is.  I always like a lot of coordinated variety, so I really wanted to provide a little bit of everything so that my guests had their preferred planting and labeling methods available. Garden and Seed Exchange Party - menu and ideas
I couldn’t have been more pleased with how everything turned out – a huge thanks to the Chinet® Cut Crystal® brand for providing the perfectly coordinated tableware for this party.  You can check out my “Outdoor Dream Party” Pinterest board here to see many of the ideas and recipes that inspired this party and also be sure to visit the Chinet® Pinterest Page here.  For a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card and a Chinet® Cut Crystal® party pack, leave a comment telling me how you make your celebrations perfectly coordinated.Sweepstakes Rules:
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  1. Lisa Brown says

    I actually do not strive for coordination when entertaining, when it comes to setting the table; I like mismatched napkins, bowls, plates, goblets, etc., if find it more interesting to look at. I do like coordination when trying to get the food on the table at the same time so everyone can eat at the same time at the table.

  2. says

    I figure out a color palette and go from there. Sometimes food is the centerpiece and sometimes it’s a theme. The seed exchange turned out beautiful. Love the casual elegance.

  3. D Schmidt says

    I try to make them perfectly coordinated with a lot of planning, referring to Pinterest, friends suggestions and a lot of shopping! Its often challenging but I like to think I pull it off. Disposable tableware makes things much easier because I can always co ordinate to achieve the look I want!

  4. says

    Love this! So eager for spring! I think white matches everything so most of my dishes are white, as are the only cloth napkins I own. :)

  5. heather says

    I love to coordinate my celebrations perfectly by using the same colors in the flowers, balloons, napkins, plates and table cloths and wrapping paper too.

  6. says

    So glad I read this! You have truly given me some great ideas and what inspiration.
    And I as well like to go with a theme….then I am usually home bound! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  7. says

    That is a lovely party! I really love the idea of a seed exchange… I don’t currently have a garden but we are hoping to start one this year.
    Since I’ve only ever thrown one party, I can only say how I coordinated things for that…I just started with a theme of pink and lace and went from there. =)

  8. courtney b says

    i always choose a beautiful centerpiece with fresh flowers, nice napkin holders, and lots of pastel colors. because it’s spring!

  9. amy pugmire says

    Neutral dishes and napkins are key for me. Then i can brighten up the room with other decorations like a bright floral center piece.

  10. Susan Smith says

    I don’t strive for perfect coordination when entertaining, when it comes to setting the table; I like my napkins, bowls, plates, placemats to have the same color palette.

  11. says

    I buy solid colored napkins and other party supplies so I can use them for any occasion. Birthdays, showers, easter parties. The trick is not to be too focused on a particular event. Then the leftover items can be used for another time.

  12. Wanda McHenry says

    Through the years I have accumulated the perfect decorations and accessories for the various holidays and seasons. I break them out every year and it’s enjoyed every year!

  13. Jessie C. says

    I make my celebrations perfectly coordinated by deciding the theme and focus first and goes from there. Colorful decor of dishes, flowers and natural elements are always helpful.

  14. wild orchid says

    I try to go with a certain theme and color scheme to keep things cute and coordinated!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  15. Kristen says

    I love the garden theme…so pretty and perfect for the Spring!

    I use white plates so I can accessorize with any color…often working off whatever flowers are in bloom locally.

  16. Betty C says

    I don’t strive for coordination. The food is the theme and just having friends and family together is enough.

  17. Kerry says

    I usually buy everything at one time and make sure they coordinate in the store. I love the Chinet though – looks so classy and would go with everything!

  18. Natalie J Vandenberghe says

    I’m afraid my celebrations haven’t been perfectly coordinated…I’m so impressed with your display! The menu (including the drinks) sounds delicious! and I’m certain my husband would enjoy a garden and seed exchange. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  19. says

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing! I’m not much good at coordinating special occasions, but I try to keep things deliberately mismatched, so it looks like I planned it that way! :)

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  20. sharonjo says

    This is a very fun and clever idea! Those little dirt cup desserts are so perfect and adorable.

    I think having a theme makes coordinating things much easier. Also I use all white plates and serving pieces and add colorful linens and glassware to suit the occasion/season. Thank you!

  21. carmen says

    I love the colors aqua and green, so those are already used throughout my house so when planning events, I usually gravitate toward those colors as well, so I can make use of things I already have. I love that the Chinet options don’t clash!

  22. Natalie says

    I try to stick with neutral colors so that I can mix and match for different occasions. I coordinate the plates to match the napkins and the flowers. I keep a base set of grey/silver and beige items and then will buy a few items such as glasses or flowers that are brighter colors.

  23. Ellie W says

    I get ideas from the internet for themes and then coordinate everything to that theme or color scheme.

  24. Margaret Smith says

    I try to stick to a color theme and decorate the table with a tablecloth, centerpiece and place settings in the same color theme.

  25. Stephanie V. says

    I let one of the kids pick the color scheme each occasion = makes it fun!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  26. Katharine Davis says

    I tend to buy everything in shades of green and blue with some violet to mix, they all tend to blend nicely and pull a look together

  27. K Anne says

    I like to pick out a printed plate and then I will buy the matching paper napkins in different solid colors

  28. Anastasia says

    I take the easy way out and let the Party Story lead the way. They always have coordinating decorations, plates, cups and more. Sometimes, I mix and match with similar designs, just to give it a little bit of a personal touch :)

  29. Cynthia C says

    I usually choose a theme and try to color coordinate table linens, dishes, centerpieces and favors.

  30. Kimmy Ripley says

    I love prepping for parties… especially my daughter’s birthday parties. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. It takes me a long time to gather all of the items.

  31. Joseph Stowell says

    Wow, great fixings! However, for me, the perfect coordination is family and friends—an eclectic bunch!

  32. mickeyfan says

    I rarely do coordinate! However, I prefer neutral colored dishes so that I can add pops of color with linens and flowers.

  33. Barbara Montag says

    Spring and summer months I focus on yellow & green with a touch of red.
    To fill in the empty spots I visit thrift shops!
    You can find all kinds of amazing things there.
    thank you

  34. Debbi Wellenstein says

    I do not strive for coordination when entertaining. I have been known to use Halloween napkins at Easter, because the Halloween napkins were on clearance! My sister, on the other hand, made a very cute table presentation with cheap opaque glasses bought at the dollar store, and added tall decorations and flowers to make cute vases.

  35. John Stetson says

    I’m afraid my guests are forced to make do with what they get. I’m just not a very coordinated host.

  36. Cathy Truman says

    I choose a theme and match the napkins, plates. cups and I make a special centerpiece to match,
    I like to find some cute items at the craft store to make up gifts to give the guests.

  37. Lee Mckoen says

    I always like to change with the holidays and seasons , so I usually look in magazines or pinterest for Ideas

  38. Neiddy says

    I get inspired by all the great ideas I find on pinterest and/or blogs and I plan my occasions based on those but I also like adding my personal touch

  39. Sarah Hirsch says

    most of the kitchen items, dishware and serving pieces that i own are the same colors, so it is easy for me to coordinate.

  40. Lauren Olivia Wood says

    I set my dining table with a themed matching set of linens and tableware, along with a beautiful centerpiece. I plan a themed menu and have a strategic guest list.

  41. Carmen N says

    I often go for mis-matched items (even plates), but I usually stick with one main color and only a couple of coordinating colors

  42. Carolyn Daley says

    We like a theme that goes with the occasion. For example, we have some plates with balloons on it to celebrate birthdays. We match the napkin colors and other decor around the colors of the themed plates.

  43. Karen Drake says

    I coordinate everything by making use of the red theme I already have, I buy red flowers and red flowered napkins, add some ribbons as napkin holders and I have a lovely table.

  44. Mary Withrow says

    I always pick a theme and go from there. The best part of having a party is the decorating and baking!

  45. RICHARD HICKS says

    Depending on the holiday, I have color coordinated napkins, plates, flowers, and knick knacks on the table.

  46. Beverly Metcalf says

    I love to decorate my table, especially for the holidays. I usually start with a tablecloth and napkins that fits the occasion and then add other decorations, such as flowers or candles. I love your great seed party idea and your decorations are so pretty. Thanks!

  47. Krissie says

    I find napkins, plates, cups, and decoprations that match the color scheme of whatever party theme I’ve chosen!
    Califkitties @

  48. linda says

    I don’t really coordinate. I just startpulling out my different sets of china, flatware, linens and flea market treasures and layer, add and subtract till I get a fell I love. Speaking of love: a seed exchange party!! On my calendar for next spring!
    madrockclimbr aT GMAIL DOT COM

  49. Christian Alejandro says

    My girlfriend and I choose a them, and then we stick to it with all things we buy. Matching is easy once we’ve decided on a theme.

  50. Valeen N says

    I love to go to the fabric store and get fabric for a tablecloth, and napkins. I also love to coordinate with fresh flowers and of course, matching plates, napkins, etc.!

  51. Jacqueline Weiskopff says

    I haven’t planned a party in a few years as I am relocating to another state and trying to sell my primary home. However, I’m in the mood to put together a great party. You provide alot of great ideas!

  52. Kathy Pease says

    I am no Martha Stewart but I do try to match the plates,napkins and table cloth. We are not real fancy around our house. A nice center piece always adds a nice touch :)

  53. susan smoaks says

    I make my special occasions perfectly coordinated by going with a simple clean look. I try not to over do it. it keeps things neat and orderly.

  54. Sarah L says

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a coordinated dinner party. I like white napkins and my white dinnerware. Other than that, I’m no Martha Stewart.
    Thanks for the contest.

  55. Laurie Emerson says

    I first like to start with a theme and then start co-coordinating. If it is a summer party I like to use plates, glasses, paper napkins and decorations which have a summer feel to them, especially floral and beaches. I do the same for most of my celebrations and always have music playing in the background which go perfectly with the occasion.

  56. Jean F says

    We throw an annual Valentine’s Day party, and Everything is red! Dinnerware, cutlery, serving pieces, glasses

  57. Tabathia B says

    I usually have a outdoorsy theme using a tin bucket as a cooler and mason jars for drinks

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  58. Becky Richied says

    I love to plan ahead and look around to get things as cheap as possible without making it look like so.

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