My wedding will have a beautiful garden theme but, as I live in Arizona, it's not going to be easy to achieve that. I'd like to have favors that are garden-related. Do you have any suggestions?
--Joy Jordan, Glendale, Arizona
Since you're planning a garden wedding, why not give plants as favors? For a wedding in Arizona, you can pot up succulents, which are beautiful desert plants. Succulents store moisture in their leaves, stems, or roots, allowing them to withstand periods of drought. (The cactus, a plant most people are familiar with, is also a succulent, but for a wedding, go with something less prickly.)
You can order succulent cuttings by mail. Some of the varieties we particularly like include Aloe vera, hens and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum), Sedum acre, and Echeveria.
To pot up succulent cuttings as wedding favors, you'll need small, pretty pots, cactus soil mix, and small clay shards to cover the holes in the bottoms of the pots. The ends of the succulent cuttings should be callused over before they are potted; a freshly cut succulent put in moist soil or water will rot if it has not had time to dry. Make holes with a pencil for the cuttings, insert them, and fill up the pot with cuttings. Succulents favor arid conditions, so don't over-water them, and always let the soil dry out between waterings.
Group the pots on the tables, as centerpieces, at your reception, with a card in each pot with the guest's name on it. To make a simple card holder, take a 16-inch-high length of fabric covered floral wire, and use needle-nose pliers to form one end into a spiral. Insert the cards in the rings of the spiral, and these living wedding favors will be complete.