Sunday, August 13, 2017

Guest Post: City Garden Party Update

Hi, I'm Sarah and I'm taking over Casa Pena Designs to update you on the Garden Party that I collaborated with Heidi to help plan. I had been talking about hosting this party for over a year and knew I needed a little help getting started. It was a huge success, in large part because of her design skills!

For example, after seeing the space, she whipped up this quick concept drawing:

Not that I ever doubted it, but I was amazed how well she understood my vision for the party. The concept drawing was instrumental in my ability to achieve the easy-going energy flow I was looking for.

Until the city bugs came out anyway, then it was time for bed.


We used a Fujifilm Instax Mini to capture the evening because we wanted our guests to have a photo in front of our mural (the reason for the party). In retrospect, we should have also taken digital shots, which we'll know next time.

Prepping the Space
I've lived in this house with my partner Lyn for about 5 years, which means that the algae along the side of the house has been there for at least that long. It started to bother me last year, but this year I decided to do something about it, thanks to the mold-be-gone product I found at kuh-kuh-kuh Costco!

It was kind of a process and I'm not sure how I feel about using a chemical that made me cough uncontrollably, but it worked like a charm!

We spend A LOT of time on the back patio, so we decided to invest in some comfortable outdoor furniture. We went to the nearest Costco to test out furniture and decided on this set. Since we have a little city car, we made the purchase online so we could easily arrange for delivery. This set is really comfortable and fits in this nook on the patio perfectly.

Potting Bench/Party Bar
I'm an avid gardener, so the idea of having a potting bench has always appealed to me, but I never made it a priority. That quickly changed when one of Heidi's recommendations was a potting bench that doubles as a bar from one of my favorite stores, World Market.

It was a great recommendation, and I'm happy with the purchase, but I wish I would have gone to see it in person before placing the order. It's more of a bar than a serious potting bench, but it fits perfectly in the space.

We moved the old set to the back of the patio area to provide additional seating. We had the perfect amount - everyone had a seat!

My partner, Lyn, has a special gift for creating killer playlists. Feel free to use our Drinks with Friends Spotify playlist - it was perfect for the energy flow of the party. 

I designed the invitations and detail my process in this post

We've always had plenty of lighting in our main patio seating area (under the deck), but police spotlights were the only thing lighting up the rest of the patio. This was problematic, since the purpose of the party was to show off the walls!

I shared Heidi's vision for how to hang the string lights, but I wasn't sure how to do it. What I was sure of was that I needed another trip to Costco for lighting.

I tried a few different approaches with hanging the lights. Two strings and an infinite number of tiny glass shards later, I decided to give it my all, which required a trip to the Home Depot. At this point, I got a little Harold Smith.

I'll unpack that when I detail my landscape design vision and execution in an upcoming post.

In the meantime, we're already working on our next event together - my bachelorette! It's more like a relaxing vacation (I hope) but there's much to coordinate, design and plan. Stay tuned!! - Sarah

PS - You can follow Sarah's blog at

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