The Hippo


Dec 5, 2019








Courtesy of Plant Nite.

Plant Nite 

Where: Various bars and restaurants in the Manchester area
When: Offered eight to 10 times monthly on various days. Events start at 7 p.m., or 2 p.m. on Sundays. 
Cost: $50 per ticket. Purchase online.

Party planting
Gardening meets nightlife in new event concept

By Angie Sykeny

 A new approach to the traditional night out at the bar has been catching on around Manchester. 

It’s called Plant Nite, and it’s a lot like its popular sister company, Paint Nite, but instead of pairing drinks and socializing with painting, it pairs them with gardening. At Plant Nite events, which run about an hour and a half, adults 21+ are guided step by step as they build their own terrariums in a fun, party-like atmosphere. There are about eight to 10 events offered each month at various Manchester-area bars and restaurants.  
Plant Nite had its initial launch in Boston in September but didn’t hit New Hampshire until early last month. Within just a couple weeks of its debut, Plant Nite Manchester’s calendar was booked up.  
“Manchester has had a lot of painting activity, but nothing like Plant Nite,” said Diane Meehan, who manages Plant Nite Manchester. “There’s people who aren’t interested in painting or just want to try something new, so I think with Plant Nite [the founders] were looking to tap into another style of creativity.”
Plant Nite events are hosted by master gardeners who provide instructions for building the terrariums, oversee the music and side activities and facilitate social interaction among the participants. 
Each event features a different style of terrarium, such as a wooden planter, glass bowl or hanging globe, and new styles are added regularly. Materials supplied include a planter, plants and decorative accessories like sand, moss, gravel and ornaments. The only kind of plants used in Plant Nite events are succulents, which are very hardy and easy to take care of, even for people with no gardening experience. 
Though everyone at the event builds the same style of terrariums, there is a variety of choices available in the layout and decorating stages. 
“No two plants end up looking the same,” Meehan said. “We walk you through the general steps, but you can tailor it to what appeals to you aesthetically … [by] deciding how to place things and what colors and patterns to use.”
Plant Nite’s partnership with local bars and restaurants is a fundamental part of the event concept. It allows participants to order from a full menu of food and drinks as they create, and it provides a backdrop that’s conducive to the laid-back, communal nature of Plant Nite events. 
“A bar just has a different element from a studio. There’s a feeling of more fun and more energy,” Meehan said. “Some people prefer a studio’s class-like, quiet environment where they can concentrate and do their thing, but people [attending Plant Nite] are looking for more of a party, social experience.”  
The dates and locations for upcoming Plant Nite events are listed on the website, along with descriptions and photos of the different terrarium styles and short bios and photos for all the master gardeners. Plant Nite also offers private events for birthday celebrations, corporate team-building, fundraisers, bachelorette parties and more. 
Meehan said that while people have expressed disappointment about not being able to bring their kids, Plant Nite was specifically designed as an activity for adults, to encourage them to get out and take a night for themselves. 
“In this day and age, we’re always going, going, going. … Some people may have forgotten what it’s like to create something or to connect with people,” she said. “Making time to reconnect with [ourselves] and others is important for our well-being, and this [Plant Nite] experience is the perfect opportunity to step out of isolation.” 

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