June 7, 2015

Petunia Palooza!

Let's face it. Anything with PALOOZA after it sounds way more fun than without. Drinks Palooza. Dinner Palooza. Family Palooza. Even Weeding Palooza. Maybe that's a stretch. But this was the most AWESOME Petunia Palooza I've ever been to. Okay, so it's the only petunia palooza I've ever been to, but boy, was it fun!
Here in New England, this past Monday was a stinker of a day. Rain, rain, go away! But with this party ahead, celebrating Wave petunias at Mahoney's Garden Center, I had something to look forward to, especially because I had my partner-in-crime, Eliza, by my side.

So, why do I have a bouquet of Kirin beers here? Because, funnily enough at the palooza, we learned that Kirin beer is responsible for developing the Wave petunias that we were there to celebrate. Being master gardeners for hops, the company also worked on propagating a denser, hardier petunia. Guess I'll have to grab a few beers next time I'm potting my plants! 

 When we arrived, we had time to look around at all the varieties of Wave Petunias...

 This basket came home with me because I loved the color variations in the same plant!

Same with this grouping...they were pretty spectacular!

 Insert ooohs and aaahs here!
I never really loved petunias before this night, but after seeing all the ways to include them, plus how easy they are to take care of, I'm a permanent fan

So, first things first...a drinkypoo to get in the mood!

Here, Petunia the pig keeps company with yummy prosecco

Then Sophia and Bridget talked with Eliza about all the fun we were going to have

Our friendly caterer/bartender kept us well-fed and well-hydrated! Hiccup!
Pretty awesome backdrop for some yummy treats!
Our instructor Claire, with her perfect British accent, told us that the first thing to do was to pick a pot...
 ...and then the plants we wanted to compliment our petunias. When picking plants for pots, make sure you have the following:
thriller - center plant(s) that is a showstopper and sets the tone
spiller - plant(s) that hangs over the edges of the pot/window box
filler - pretty plants to fill around the other two types - can be different kinds like in mine where I used three different herbs
so many plants, so little time to think
Once we were set with our pot and plants, Claire began her instruction. There's just something great about a British accent, kind of like adding palooza to everything. It all feels more momentous!
Because my pot was big, we talked about ways to fill the pot to keep it light, but still have enough soil for the plants. I added this water bottle later on, but in the past at home, I've used Diet Coke cans to fill the pot and put soil on top.
 First things first, I needed to block the holes in the bottom so things like gravel and soil didn't pour out. And my notepad from the Courtyard Marriott from my daughter's recent college graduation was the perfect cover!
Gravel is important as a base so there's drainage for the water. See how great the paper worked?
Next up, we added the rich potting soil
Dirt got in my wine - oh no! Guess I'll have another!
 Eliza started with a pretty and soothing combo
I went for hot colors, although I switched out the pink calla lilies for yellow (my thriller)
I filled my pot up this far and Claire told me that I needed to add more soil, so I did, making sure that the plants were just below the rim of the pot
Claire also told us that with annuals, we didn't need to break up the roots like we do with perennials. She said that the root systems weren't as crammed and that we could squeeze the balls tightly to fit into small spots. In went the chives after the calla lilies.
I spread the pink petunias (say that five times fast) around in two sections of my pot (my spiller) and I added orangy-pink lantana (a filler). I LOVE lantana!

I added sage next and it just added the perfect mellow green to the pot, plus it smelled so good!
Why not keep the herb theme going? I had to add the rosemary too!
 Tada! A pretty pot to brighten these gloomy, rainy days!
Here's the gang, all proud of our creations. I even met a new blogger friend, Amanda, whose blog is Prim and Propah! Love it!
And before we left, I asked about the yummy watermelon appetizers. SO EASY!
All you do is cut up watermelon into square chunks. Using a melon baller or a spoon, (if you don't have a melon baller), scoop out a hole in the center of your watermelon. Then here, they clearly used a piping bag with a fancy, swirly tip. But if you don't want to deal with that, you can get a baggie and fill it with mascarpone cheese, available at most grocery stores near the cream cheese, and squirt some into the hole. Then drizzle some balsamic glaze (just boil balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan until it reduces a little) over the watermelon and sprinkle with chopped basil leaves. Perfecto!
Our versatile guy even showed me his squirt bottle. So easy!
However, Abby, the cat, was so over us at this point. Ha ha!

Here's to your next PALOOZA in whatever form it takes!


  1. I am just seeing this post! It was so nice to meet you! I hope they do something like this again, SO FUN!

    1. Hi Amanda! It WAS so fun to do this together! If I hear of another fun thing like this, I'll let you know! :)