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REAL PARTIES: A Day in the Garden

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garden themed birthday party ideas

This adorable “Day in the Garden” themed party – created by hwtm reader Dana Nussbaum for her daughter Maddie’s first birthday – is full of SO MANY creative details!

There’s a touch of the whimsical garden theme in absolutely every element of the party… from butterfly lollipops in the dessert buffet to garden themed board books and snail/butterfly finger puppets in the favor pails to themed activities like “flower potting” and “ladybug relaxation” stations.

garden themed birthday party ideas

I’m especially loving this bright & colorful cupcake tower and all the garden-themed accents worked into the treat buffet!

garden themed birthday party ideas

Read on for lots more pictures and all the creative details, as told by Dana

garden themed birthday party ideas

“The theme was inspired by my daughter’s absolute love for our backyard and all things outdoor/garden… flowers, ladybugs and everything in between!

garden themed birthday party ideas

garden themed birthday party ideas

These added so much whimsy and color to the party and were so easy and fun to make! Each centerpiece was made with a brightly colored tin bucket and 3 multicolored pinwheels. A little green tissue paper grass added the finishing touch!

garden themed birthday party ideas

garden themed birthday party ideas

Each child received a flower headband upon entrance (a great find in the Target $1 bins!)

garden themed birthday party ideas

The party site was decorated with pictures of Madison from each month of her first year. I framed them in brightly colored frames I found at Ikea and labeled each one with the corresponding month using scrapbooking labels.

garden themed birthday party ideas

garden themed birthday party ideas

A giant ball pit was the hit of the party!
I custom made ours with a large inflatable pool selected in the colors of the party and then filled it with over 1,000 colored playballs.

garden themed birthday party ideas

In addition to the ball pit, kids had the choice of three stations to choose from:
• Flower Potting Station – kids potted and watered their own pots using miniature gardening tools and tiny painted pots found at Target.
Handprint Station – each of the kids made their handprint on a mat board customized with the slogan “Oh, How I Have Grown!”  and took it home as a keepsake.
Ladybug Relaxation Station – for kids needing a break from the action, I set up a special Relaxation area with a giant ladybug beanbag and flower tuffets; there was a small table featuring a terrarium with ladybugs and toy bugs / dragonflies for the kids to play with.

garden themed birthday party ideas

garden themed birthday party ideas

Since this was a sunny day, a special Sunscreen Station was set up with sunscreen wipes and a pair of sunglasses for each child that they could also take home with them (easy to find in the party favors aisle; I embellished mine with floral stickers to match the theme).

In addition to taking great traditional shots of the party, our amazing photographer (Jen St. John) also took a Polaroid of each family and we put them in customized embellished folders so each guest could take some memories home with them.

garden themed birthday party ideas

We are a big dessert family so we set up a dessert table with garden theme goodies such as gummy ladybugs, butterfly lollipops, caterpillar sugar cookies, giant pixie sticks and a tower of baby-sized cupcakes! (also see image #3, at top)

garden themed birthday party ideas

Baby Snack Bar
Since we had many babies in attendance at the party, I didn’t want to leave the lil’ ones out…we featured a baby snack bar with glass containers of baby-friendly fare like Yogurt Melts, Organic Puffs and Dried Fruit, along with miniature multi colored snack cups so their parents could fill one up and take it outside to the garden.

garden themed birthday party ideas

garden themed birthday party ideas

-The inspiration for these was a collection of Madison’s favorite things, all with a garden twist…
• Personalized sand pails (found for $1.00 each at Michael’s and easily customized with stickers)
• Miniature Bubbles
• Little Twig Bath Care Goody Bag (Bumble Bee bath mitts with a selection of sample-sized bath products)
• Renee & Jeremy CDs (this is Maddie’s favorite musical duo!)
• Garden Themed Board Books
• Playtex Straw Cups customized with garden theme stickers
• Handmade flower hair clips for the girls (a great find on Etsy!)
• Butterfly / Snail finger puppets (found for under $1.00 at Ikea!)
• Personalized Name Labels for each of the kids (with garden theme designs like butterflies / bugs)”

garden themed birthday party ideas

garden themed birthday party ideas

garden themed birthday party ideas

garden themed birthday party ideas

garden themed birthday party ideas


Vendor Credit
  • Send in the Clowns: Party Entertainer, Party Assistant, Handprint Station
  • Mary Had A Little Party: Invitations, custom signs, favor tags, birthday banner, cupcake toppers
  • Barbara Neely Designs: Caterpillar Banner
  • Chickabug: Labels; Dessert Bar & Potting Station
  • GlitzGlamBowtique:  Custom Birthday Hat
  • OrangeKisses:  Custom Tissue Poms
  • Jen St. John Photography:  event photography
  • Crumbs Bakeshop, Calabasas – mini cupcakes
  • Susie Cakes, Calabasas – birthday cake
By |2017-05-02T13:04:49-07:00August 20th, 2010|First Birthday, Kids Birthday, Parties for Girls|

About the Author:

Jennifer Sbranti is the founder of Hostess with the Mostess®, a creative living and party planning resource established in 2006. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Sonny, and daughters Macy (9) and Rylie (7). Sbranti’s work has been featured in media outlets such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, Real Simple, People, InStyle Weddings, and Extra! TV. She has designed creative content and unique live events for several well-respected brands, including Mattel, Coca-Cola, The Hershey Company, Toys”R”Us, Pottery Barn Kids, and Starbucks.


  1. kira August 20, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Dana did such an amazing job…every detail is so thoughtful and whimsical. I love the sunscreen station idea and the lady bug resting area…I want a lady bug resting area!!! Where did she find that fun acrylic(?) box with the polka dots on the dessert table?

  2. SEND IN THE CLOWNS August 20, 2010 at 11:03 am

    What a great job by Dana-the bday mom(and our lovely client)! SEND IN THE CLOWNS LA provided a variety of entertainment elements: Custom Hand Print Station, Oodles of bubbles, & Fairy Fun–just to name a few!
    Thrilled to be part of this well-executed event for a darling 1yo!

    Leesa Zelken, CEO (Children’s Entertainment Organizer TM)
    SEND IN THE CLOWNS “Bravura kiddie party planning”

  3. Ann Marie Buckley August 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

    This is just so cute! Thank you for sharing! I have a list of your really cute ideas. And Madison is stunning!!!

  4. Joyce August 20, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Love this!! So many great ideas!

  5. Maribel August 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Love, love, love the baby snack bar station…I’m stealing, I mean borrowing this idea along with the sunscreen station for my son’s upcoming birthday party. Great job Dana. You’re so creative!

  6. Kristin August 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Really well done. Love how you incorporated DIY ideas into your plan so your own style would shine.What memories those stunning pictures will tell in years to come!!

  7. Betty Islas Velazquez August 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    OMG!!! I love it!! So many inspirations for my daughters 2nd Birthday!

  8. Pink Peppermint Paper August 20, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Those invitations are super cute! Love the individual flower petals.


  9. Jen @ Passion-for-Parties.com August 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    What a spectacular celebration! The little ladybug relaxation station is beyond cute!!! Love how no detail was left unattended. Adorable! :)

  10. Jen St. John August 20, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Everything turned out super adorable and the itty bitty’s had such a great time! Thank you for making me a part of this special special celebration, Maddie’s 1st Birthday!

    [email protected]

  11. Natasha August 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Love all of the ideas and I too will be borrowing some. Did you buy or make the flower lanterns hanging outside over the table and chairs?

  12. Jen August 20, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Everytthing turned out so perfect and the itty bitty’s all had such a great time! Thank you for sharing such a special celebration with me!!


    [email protected]

  13. Malinda August 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Oh My Goodness! I love this party! It is simply adorable!

  14. Pam August 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Love the arrangements and the photos really capture the fun, playful, colorful party theme. Good job all.

  15. [email protected] August 20, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Wow! Just A D O R A B L E!!!!

  16. Fabelicious August 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    So adorable!

  17. keecam August 21, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Can you please please tell me where did you got the multicolored pinwheels? I’m in love!!!

  18. jring10 August 21, 2010 at 8:23 am

    i also am in love with the pinwheels! where did you find them? super job on everything -what a spectacular party!

  19. Dei West August 21, 2010 at 8:59 am

    So cute! Do you know the name of the font used on the cake? I love that!

  20. Maureen Anders & Adria Ruff August 22, 2010 at 7:41 am

    So sweet! I love it all! The pinwheels are spectacular, the cake, the favors, the sweet table!

  21. Family Lawyers Sydney August 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

    wow those cup cakes really pretty

  22. Dana August 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks so much for all of the sweet comments. The pinwheels were such a find! I found them in the Target $1 aisle…definitely a favorite destination. Kira, the stand that the cupcake tree is on is a little acrylic box I found in the Ikea kitchen cabinetry aisle…I decorated it with some polka dot stickers and just turned it upside down and it made the perfect stand! Dei, I have no idea what font was used on the cake but I ordered it from Susie Cakes in Calabasas so they might be able to tell you!

  23. Natasha August 23, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Where did you get the flower lanterns?

  24. College Parties August 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Everything looks amazing! On a side note, what kind of camera do you use to take your pictures? They’re beautiful!

  25. Jen St. John August 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Sony Alpha 500 DSLR
    18-55mm DT zoom lens
    75-300mm F4.5-5.6
    50mm F1.4

  26. Jen St. John August 25, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    My apologies…in response to “college parties”

    The camera I use is a Sony DSLR (Alpha 500) – I used 3 different lenses for Dana’s Party…they were:

    18-55mm DT zoom lens
    75-300mm F4.5-5.6
    50mm F1.4

    [email protected]

  27. Bianca October 14, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Wonderful party! All very beautiful and tasteful!
    I am Brazilian and was looking for different ideas for a garden party at the house, and after seeing this post, the first anniversary of the tera Lunna tema”Um fantasy world in the enchanted garden of Lunna”Thank you!

  28. Carol October 14, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    absolutely adorable!!!! i love all the beautiful details. where did you find green grass tissue?

  29. Laura April 15, 2011 at 11:32 am

    LOVE this party – know I am late leaving a message. I am “borrowing” this idea for my daughters 1st birthday. Question – in the photo of the invitation – behind the invitation – I see colored boxes – did you do boxed invitations? if so where did you get those boxes? thanks

  30. Kai April 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I love what you did! The centerpieces are adorable. Did you make your own tissue paper grass or did you purchase it?

  31. nora February 17, 2012 at 1:10 am

    So adorable and creative! I absolutely LOVE the pinwheel centerpieces!! where are they from?!

  32. LuMiD February 20, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Where can i find the fluffy balloons? those are so pretty!

  33. Sarah Abracia May 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

    this is great!

  34. Sammie Watson July 22, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Wow, you know what the say about like mines, totally true. I was only looking for a picture to post on the event calender when I got here. Let me tell you, everything is what I am planning except the sweet shoppe, down to the Mommy fairy. Layla's Loft is making it now. Thanks for the great Ideas with the sandwiches.

  35. Jourdan C January 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Hi! I know this post is a couple years old, but I love everything about this party! I’ve been looking into pinwheel centerpieces for my daughter’s baptism, and haven’t been able to find any that I really like…or that are decent quality. Could you tell me where you found the pinwheels used in your centerpieces? I know the company might not be making them after two years, but hopefully they’d have something similar. Thank you!

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