The month of June is well-known as the most popular month for weddings, which means lots of entertaining and family visiting.   Even with so much to do and so little time, we all want to put our special touch on these memorable events.

Whether your party is indoors or out, creating just the right atmosphere is surprisingly easy with on-trend decorations you can make yourself.  Rustic, vintage, and fairy gardening themes are favorites these days and are perfect for DIY-ers.

The rustic look has become popular in both gardens and interiors in recent years--think distressed  and reclaimed wood, metals, glass, and natural fabrics like burlap.   Arrangements using these items and some simple plants like herbs or succulents can be made in minutes.  

  • For cute table decorations or small favors, cut circles of burlap with pinking shears (dyed burlap is readily available in most fabric stores, if you want to match to your wedding colors), set a plant in its pot in the center of the circle, wrap the pot, and secure with a rubber band.  Cover the rubber band with ribbon or raffia, and you're done! 
  • For a larger arrangement, just wrap several pots together--you can set  them on a disposable plastic plate first if you wish--this can act as a saucer if you need to water the plants, as well as making the arrangement more stable. 
  • Placing a pillar candle in the center of the plants is a nice addition for an evening event, or you may use a lidded mason jar filled with battery-operated LED mini lights.  On the flicker setting, these will resemble a jar of twinkling fireflies.

One of the easiest small decorations to make is the "planted" moss ball.  Choose a plant in a 6 inch pot or smaller, and keep it in the pot.  I used a 3.5 inch potted plant for this example. 


Simply take a chunk of Oregon green moss and wrap it around the outside of the pot.  Add additional moss to cover sides and top of pot, leaving the bottom uncovered.  Then take fishing line or a strong green thread and wrap tightly enough around the moss to secure it.  Leave the ends of the thread long enough to knot together at the end.  This sounds difficult, but in actuality this took about one minute, and needed very little fishing line. 

The key is to use a moss that is naturally interwoven, like the Oregon Green or Spanish Moss, and not a looser form like sphagnum or reindeer moss.  Also, the smaller the pot, the easier it is.  If you want a more colorful look, you could add a narrow ribbon wrap and tie off in a bow. 



For an evening event, you may wrap the moss ball with mini battery-operated LED lights.  Wrap with the free end from the top, and let the plant sit on the battery pack so it will not be seen, or place the battery pack against the side of the pot before you wrap with moss.   Herb plants can typically be found in either 2.5 or 3.5 inch pots, and are especially suited to this look.  Another option is to use flowering annuals from cell packs, and cut the cell packs apart so that the plant can stay in the plastic.  Keeping the plant in the plastic protects your table and linens from dampness, and keeps the plant from drying out too quickly--and makes a lot less mess!

Larger table centerpieces can be made simply and quickly made with a living wreath frame.  The form I used came with a jute liner, so it was a simple matter of taking the front of the frame off, setting the plants in their pots into the form, and surrounding with Oregon Green moss to hide the pots. 

  • Note:  If you are on a budget, use less plants and add bits of dried flowers, ribbon or raffia bows to the mossed spaces in between the plants. 
  • Adding battery-operated tea candles or mini led lights will bring an ethereal glow come evening.  Or, the entire wreath could be placed over a large glass hurricane with a candle inside.

For a large outdoor display, wrap metal garden spheres with LED string lights, and set in a bed of Oregon Green moss.

An afternoon garden tea party is a lovely theme for a garden wedding or shower.  For a rustic theme, terracotta tea cups and saucers make a charming accent--just place plants in pots in the cups and surround with moss.  Use tea herbs like chamomile, mints, lemon verbena,  and lemon balm. 

If your tea party is more akin to a summer barbecue, perhaps your guests would appreciate mosquito repellent plants in your arrangements.  Simple terra cotta pots can hold geranium citrosa, lemon grass, lemon eucalyptus, or catnip--all known to have an excellent effect.  Any lemon scent tends to repel the pests, so you can also use lemon grass, lemon balm, lemon verbena, and lemon thyme to vary the look of your decorations.

If vintage is more your style, use real thrift shop teacups and saucers to hold plants.  Or, use small purses or hats as pots, and substitute old scarves or handkerchiefs to cover the plant pots instead of the moss.   Plant pots can also be simply wrapped with vintage scarves or other fabric, and secured with a jeweled brooch or hat pin. 

Cut flowers can also be used, and since the container will be covered, any type of sturdy container will do.  If you want something truly different, how about some succulents or other low-growing plants in a vintage high-heeled pump?  If you don't want to actually plant, you can just cover the pots once again with moss. Too cute!!

 

The garden is the perfect setting for a fairy themed event--think "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  Drape sheer fabrics through the trees and light with white or pastel LED string lights.

Wrap moss orbs with lights and hang or place on tables.  Adorn an arbor or trellis with mosses, plants, and mini lights. 

Just secure Oregon Green moss in a random pattern to the trellis with fishing line, then overwrap with lights.  Wrap small plant pots with moss and attach the same way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good plant candidates

  • Trailing pink jasmine, ivies, vinca vine, violas, ferns, and other plants with small leaves and delicate flowers. 
  • Small groundcover plants, often sold under the brand names of Jeeper's Creepers, Steppables, or Treadwells, include mazus, irish moss, pratia, and many others that are just right for creating quick tabletop fairy gardens.  

For a stunning and colorful day-into-night arrangement, fill a large shallow bowl with soil or sand and disguise with a covering of Oregon Green moss, then set glass mushrooms into the soil and add battery-operated tea candles at their base.  For nighttime ambiance, add battery-operated LED mini lights and a bit of moss to glass vases, and pop throughout the garden and on tables.  To finish out the theme, use rolls of sheet moss as table runners, or cut into size for placemats.  Don't forget a liberal sprinkle of iridescent glitter for that extra sparkle!

Hopefully, these ideas will spark your imagination.  The key is to keep the plants in their pots, which keeps it quick and simple, and keeps the plants from drying out as much.  Using small plants keeps costs down, and these smaller arrangements also make great favors for guests.  Perhaps the greatest benefit is that the plants can be placed in the garden after the event, creating a lasting memory of that special day.